Reading #1 – Leviticus 12
Reading #2 – Psalms 83
Reading #3 – Proverbs 22
Reading #4 – Habakuk 2
Reading #5 – Ephesians 5
Leviticus 12 – Laws of Motherhood. According to Scofield, it was the bodily fluids that made the woman impure. While scripture does not specify the reasoning behind the 33 (birth of a male) and 66 (birth of a female) days of separation from intimacy, I believe it was to reduce the chances of illnesses being passed around (4-5). The reasoning behind the need to be separated from intimacy was for the women to be healed and refreshed according to Zondervan commentary. After the woman had completed the 33 or 66 days, she was required to bring a year-old lamb and a pigeon or turtledove to the temple s a sin offering. If the woman could not afford a year-old lamb, she could bring two turtledoves or two pigeons (6-8). After Jesus was born and Mary had completed the 33 days separation, she brought two turtledoves or two pigeons and presented her first-born son at the temple on the 8th day (Luke 2:21-24).
Psalms 83 – G_d Implored to Confound His Enemies. This Psalm is a “one-way prayer” and it is the beginning of our heart’s cry and the entry to the sanctuary (17-18). Each of us, at one time or another, has uttered a similar prayer and I will tell you, there is nothing wrong with it and it does not upset G_d. The problem is, G_d’s response, just as it was to Jeremiah, always helps us to see the answer by removing us from the center of the issue and placing us on a solid foundation (Jeremiah 12:1-5, Psalms 73:17).
Proverbs 22 – Warnings and Instructions. When we come to the Lord, we are placing our life in His hands and asking for His protection. When we do this, we are in fact saying, “I want to know your direction for my life and I will listen to you.” So, the writer is providing deep and abiding instruction to the listener and these instructions are guideposts for the listener. When the listener is supporting the leader, he/she must decipher the difference between a wicked leader and a righteous leader (2-6).
Habakkuk 2 – G_d Answers the Prophet. So the Prophet goes to his guardpost and stations himself in the tower, after praying about the destruction incurred by Babylon (1, Habakkuk 1:4). From this springboard, G_d answers the Prophet and, in a round-about way, He speaks about the coming destruction of Babylon that would occur later on. Being told to “write this down”, the prophet is giving physical proof to a wayward audience (2-3). Living by faith in the true G_d implies the necessity to refuse the advances of earthly gods that hold no saving power (4). We have no power nor authority to change the world to comply with Biblical standards but we can be living proof of the power and authority the G_d we serve and by it make the Kingdom of G_d appealing (5-7, Matthew 5:16). There is always an end to every beginning because actions always breed results (16-17). The idols of the land are simply pieces of material that are likened to mascots that are little more than a bulky thing to carry around. The priests who carry the idol use it as an excuse to extort funds from people who are oblivious to what is going on (18-19). The difference between these idols and the lord is that He is an ever-present help in times of trouble (20, Psalms 46:1).
Ephesians 5 – Be Imitators of G_d. When we come to listen to G_d’s wisdom, we owe it to Him and to ourselves to follow His plan for our life. We can, however, live to please Him and let the fruit of the relationship draw all men to Himself by being empathetic and compassionate to the people we interface with (1-2). Of course, the world has its ways of operation and we have no authority to demand the world to comply with Biblical precepts however, we must live to please Him always (3-10). When we arise to our calling and act on His precepts, a light shines from our hearts that get brighter as we grow in the relationship (14-21). To have peace in our homes, the relationship between husband and wife requires “mutual respect” which is evident by how the husband treats his wife and vice versa (24-30). The marriage relationship should transcend time just like the church’s relationship with the Lord is not just in the good times but in the bad times and the in-between times as well. Getting married doesn’t automatically make the two people one, it is the groundbreaking of the relationship and will take time and effort to forge a marriage that pleases G_d. When we get married, the Devil will always come to test our resolve; of course, we will never withstand the Devil’s onslaught without being in a right relationship with the Lord first (32-33).