Reading #1 – Leviticus 15
Reading #2 – Psalms 86
Reading #3 – Proverbs 25
Reading #4 – Zephaniah 2
Reading #5 – Philippians 2
Leviticus 15 – Cleansing Unhealthiness. The emission of bodily fluids passes infection from one person to the next. For this reason, rules were put in place to reduce the chances of a plague (3-7). When an emission occurs, the man must count off seven days which, again, is the mark of completion for his purification and on the 8th day (New beginning) he was required to bring a sin offering (13-15). When a man and a woman had sex, both were required to purify themselves (16-18). During the woman’s menstrual period, the woman would be impure for seven days and she was not to be touched upon completion, she would go through a seven-day cleansing period (19-30). The reasoning behind this was to prevent the tabernacle from becoming impure (31-33).
Psalms 86 – A Psalm of Supplication and Trust. This is a very private prayer (1). For this individual, David, to pray for the Lord’s protection, he had to believe that the Lord would come through for him (2). No one is without sin no matter how hard he/she tries and when we do sin, we have an advocate (3-5, 1 John 2:1-2). Faith is a substance that begins in the heart coupled with historical proof of G_d honoring his prayer (6-8Hebrews 11:1). For “all of the nations to come and bow down”, the power of the Lord operating through faith and obedience must be at work in our life (9-17).
Proverbs 25 – Similitudes and Instructions. The King of the nation is not only the leader, he is also the “bar” by which people will live their lives. If the king was no good, the people were no good. If the king was righteous and sought the Lord, the people would also walk in righteousness and seek the Lord (2-5). For this reason, Mosaic law dictated that the King was to write a copy of the law and meditate on it all of the days of his life (Deuteronomy 17:18).
Zephaniah 2 – Judgment on Judah’s Enemies. Before anything happens, the people are told to repent and submit to the Lord in obedience to His word (1-3). If this was not done, how could the nations be judged and the verdict carried out as it is written (4-8)? Unless a standard is set to show what a righteous life looks like, how will the people know what is acceptable to the G_d of the Universe (9-15, Isaiah 59:18-20, Revelations 21:1-5)?
Philippians 2 – Be Like Christ. By encouraging the church to be like Jesus, he was pointing the glory to the G_d and Father of Jesus. Just as a father’s greatest desire for his children should be “Be all that you can be in Jesus Christ, reach beyond the minimal views of the world, and seek “His Utmost for His Highness” (Oswald Chambers). Living for Jesus is not a checklist nor is it a mere “todo list”, it is a lifestyle choice to do what is right even if the world says “you don’t have to do this” or, “Even if none else follows” (1-4). Having the attitude of Christ is not easy because it’s likened to being on a strict diet and being at the same table where people are gorging on pizza; if we stay at the table long enough, we will pick up a piece of pizza and the world will not judge us for it but, they will heckle us for it. In the same way, when we tout the teachings of Jesus but live according to the world’s standards, the world will not change. When we live according to the word of G_d daily in and out of the sight of the world and fruit comes from our life, the world will come to ask “what do you know that I do not” (5-11)? Unfortunately, obeying Jesus can never be done by our physical stamina, it must come from the throne room that is, “we need the Holy Spirit operating in our life” (12-18, John 15:5).