Reading #1 – Leviticus 9
Reading #2 – Psalms 80
Reading #3 – Proverbs 19
Reading #4 – Nahum 2
Reading #5 – Ephesians 2
Leviticus 9 – Aaron Offers Sacrifices. After being consecrated as the High Priest, then Aaron and his sons commenced their priestly duties. Aaron, unlike Jesus, offered animal sacrifice first for himself and then for the people. Aaron had committed sin during the rebellion by creating the golden calf and installing it as the nation’s G_d to bring them back to Egypt (Exodus 32). When you read the accounts of the animals being slaughtered, you may be appalled at the potential sight however, sin is a “waste” because it does irreparable damage to people’s lives and steals G_d’s very best desires for your life. The order of operation important because the first thing that had to happen was to deal with the sin. After the sin was dealt with then the glory of the Lord appeared ().
Psalms 80 – G_d Implored to Rescue His People from Their Calamities. At the end of the party, we see with open eyes the mess we have created and then we turn our eyes to the Lord (1-3). The thing is, even if we cry our eyes out before Him and deeply regret the mess we made, the Lord does not take immediate steps to restore us (4-7). G_d is never hasty in His decisions and in every situation, He has a plan to restore His children. Israel was given the best of the land of Canaan which was about 56,000 square miles equal to about the size of New York and Vermont so it was a wide swath of land (8-11). Before the conquest, the people were instructed to destroy every altar, idol, and temple left by the previous occupants or those items would become a trap but, the people did not listen which is a sad refrain of mankind (Deuteronomy 12:3). When we sin, we tell G_d “take a hike”. When He takes a hike, he withholds everything that belongs to Him in a slow methodical procession (12-16). When we have been ravaged by sin’s diabolical plan and there is no way out of the cycle, we turn our eyes to the Lord and seek to be rescued (17-19).
Proverbs 19 – On Life and Conduct. There are two pathways in every decision we make: the way of wisdom or the pathway of foolishness (Mike Krier). The way of foolishness is not limited to just the poor because we see its fingerprints in every walk of life. Foolishness’ fingerprints are well documented so that mankind can see its motives, the mess it leaves behind, and/or the people it hurts. In scripture, we read the accounts of the wicked kings whose actions set the stage for the destruction of Jerusalem (1-3).
Nahum 2 – the Overthrow of Nineveh. Nineveh, part of the Assyrian Kingdom, was given fair warning about the coming destruction but chose not to listen. What Nineveh had taken from Jerusalem in the time of Manasseh would be restored in the time of Josiah (1-2). The Babylonians destroyed everything in Nineveh and took every piece of value (3-4). The nobility had thumbed their nose at the thought of anyone invading the land and found out the hard way that no matter how big you get to be, you are human and can be brought down (5). The nation listened to the king and became overconfident in their leaders and did not prepare themselves for the “just in case” (6-13).
Ephesians 2 – Made Alive in Christ Jesus. When sin enters the human heart, it kills off every bit of light, peace, joy, and strength leaving the individual helpless, lonely, defeated, and weak. Sin’s conquest is well known because it infects everybody to one degree or another. The good news is that Jesus’ death on the cross was to pay the penalty for the sin of mankind (1-3). When the first man, Adam, was kicked out of Eden, according to the Mesopotamian story, the union between His creation and Himself was severed which broke the connection of G_d’s blessings. The only way for man to enter back into a relationship with G_d would be through a pure sacrifice – enter Jesus the Messiah (4-6). When Jesus died on the cross over 2000 years ago, he forever put to rest the need for daily sacrifice (16-22). When we entered into a covenant with Jesus, we became a new person with a new zeal for life, a new hope, and a renewed purpose. Becoming a born-again Christian does not mean that we someone new, we are still the same person with the same flaws, same character, and same name (6-10). The Devil will always whisper in our ears how unlikely it is that we have been changed because if he can beat us at that, nothing is impossible yet, we need to daily remind the Devil and ourselves of the work that Jesus had done on the cross so that we can stand up to our accusor (11-15).