Daily Bible Readings for 7-21 – 7/23

Hi,

Due to a hectic schedule this week, I am going to encapsulate the scriptural readings for 7/21-7/23. As I found out over the past 15 almost 16 years of reading, I find that combining the chapters sometimes helps the reader to understand where the writer is coming from. As an example, when you read about the laws that were written, one question that should be at the core of our understanding is, “why would such a law be written”?. I hope that you are enjoying the readings and that my notes are helpful to build upon your understanding. I encourage everybody to get a firm depth of understanding when it comes to scripture because it is helpful when refuting scriptural misunderstandings. 

IHS

MK

Daily Psalm 7/20/2021

When I see and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have established,
What is a man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor (Psalms 8:3-5).

When you look at the breadth and depth of G_d’s world, one cannot help but be amazed. I thought about the miracle of the human body how it is so intricate but even the most brilliant medical minds can not replicate it. When we were made, the purpose was for fellowship and all that come to him must believe he exists and is the rewarded of them who pursue righteousness.

father,

I pray for my family and families today.  I pray for the military, law enforcement, EMT communities. I pray for the city of Stacy, the state of Minnesota, and my USA. The nation is quaking but I know that you are holding the foundation firm.

IHS

MK

Daily Psalm 7/19/2021

Judge and vindicate me, O God; plead my cause against an ungodly nation.
O rescue me from the deceitful and unjust man!
For You are the God of my strength [my stronghold—in whom I take refuge]; why have You rejected me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your dwelling places.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God, my exceeding joy;
With the lyre, I will praise You, O God, my God (Psalms 43)!

One of the most difficult tasks that we are assigned by our King is, live to honor the work on the cross. Jesus did the hard work over 2000 years ago on the cross of Calvary; His blood was poured out on the altar signifying his death. When we are baptized in his death, all of the mess that we brought to Calvary was washed away and the physical stuff that held us back from living a full life in Jesus was put to death. Once something is put to death, we no longer need to carry it around. 

Father,

May the plan you have for my life and that of my readers be put into action. i know how easy it is to carry around dead weight. You desire for your children to be free from bondage. May your best desires for my life and that of my readers be put into action. I pray for my family and families, the military, law enforcement officer, and EMT communities. I pray for the city of Stacy, State of MN, and my USA.

 

Daily Bible Reading 7/20/2021

Reading #1 – Leviticus 15

Reading #2 – Psalms 86

Reading #3 – Proverbs 25

Reading #4 – Zephaniah 2

Reading #5 – Philippians 2

 

Notes

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).

Daily Bible Reading 7/19/2021

Reading #1 – Leviticus 14

Reading #2 – Psalms 85

Reading #3 – Proverbs 24

Reading #4 – Zephaniah 1

Reading #5 – Philippians 1

 

Notes

Leviticus 14 – Laws of Cleansing a Leper or House with Leprosy. Although the writing seems to be a headscratcher because of the depth it goes into, it is important to note that leprosy was/is a communicable disease. Knowing this, the Lord relayed through Moses the necessary steps to cleanse the individual(s). I would surmise that if the process was not enacted, fear and panic would spread through the community as we’ll find out with the 12 spies that were sent into the land. You will notice that the priest was to sprinkle the individual being cleansed “seven times”, the number “7” in scripture is the mark of completion or “G_d’s” number (7). The people bringing the offering were to bring an offering commensurate with their income (21). The number 8 signifies a new beginning, a new day has dawned and the man/woman is free (23, Revelations 21:5).

Psalms 85 – Prayer for G_d’s Mercy Upon the Nation. Sin destroys a nation from the inside out. If the sin was a blight on the outside, it could be easily cleaned by rubbing the spot off. However, when blight is on the inside, it can be hard to decipher the truth from the lie. The Lord is most certainly willing to heal the land but He will never do it unless we ask for it (Psalms 86:5). Once we are forgiven, it is incumbent that we strive with all earnest to never return to folly (8). The thing is, G_d’s restoration plan takes time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). When we come to the Lord and repent of our sins, it must be with the only intention being “I want the relationship renewed even if it means living in the mess I created as long as I have peace with You” (6-7).

Proverbs 24 – Precepts and Warnings. The writer of this section addresses key areas that will keep the listener from trouble. What is missing is the reasoning behind the warnings. When it comes to G_d’s precepts and warnings, He never explains why such nonsense was written. When we are disobedient or obedient, we find the answer to “Why”? (3).

Zephaniah 1 – Day of Judgment on Judah. The prophet Zephaniah prophesied the coming destruction of Judah in about 610 BC or about 26 years before the fall of Jerusalem in the time of Josiah (1). Although Josiah turned the nation back to the Lord, it was just the last ray of sunshine before the nation fell. When Jerusalem was destroyed, it was completely destroyed so that the only thing one could hear would be the “creak of the doors” (2-6). G_d would not accept an excuse for misbehavior from the Israelites and nor will He accept one from us (7). The entire nation would be sent into exile and they would be utterly humiliated (12). The wealth of the nation would be stripped away, the vineyards that were planted would yield fruit for the invaders, and the houses they built would be emptied (13). This prophecy was the final warning and it was dire (14-18).

Philippians 1 – Thanksgiving. The church at Phillipi was on fire for the Lord and in every way possible, it provided for Paul’s needs, for the church at Jerusalem, and for its community. Paul prayed daily for this church that it would continue to grow in the face of worldly pressure to conform (3-7). Although in prison, Paul was spiritually free and his imprisonment spurned growth in the churches he planted (12-14). In Paul’s time, just like in ours, some people preached out of selfish motives and others out of love for the Lord. Paul’s encouragement for the church was “do not worry about the motives because G_d uses both to further the kingdom (15-18). Paul’s source of joy was the Lord so he did not get caught up in worldly arguments (21-23). Just like today, the community was constantly changing which meant that cultural norms would also change, for this reason, the church was admonished to live for the Lord and honor Him always (27-30).

 

Daily Bible Reading 7/18/2021

Reading #1 – Leviticus 13

Reading #2 – Psalms 84

Reading #3 – Proverbs 23

Reading #4 – Habakuk 3

Reading #5 – Ephesians 6

 

Notes

Leviticus 13 – Testing for Leprosy. Leprosy is a skin infection that spreads rapidly. Because the nation was as large as it was and in as close confinement as they were, measures had to be implemented to curtail the infection from affecting the entire nation. The priests were tasked with inspecting all cases to see if it was leprosy or a mere rash; if it was leprosy, the individual or family was excluded from the assembly; if it was just a rash, the person was considered “clean” and was not prohibited from the assembly. Remember, there were no doctors at this time so the only recourse was to isolate people. Once the rash had cleared, the person had to shave his/her hair, and then they could return to the assembly.

Psalms 84 – Longing for the Temple Worship. Worshipping in Solomon’s Temple was the heart of the nation. When the people could no longer worship in the Temple, it created a chasm in the individual’s life (1-3). Somehow or another, this individual had quit attending the Temple and as he thought on the people still attending, how blessed the people were who never abandoned the Temple (4-7). Although the world has so much to offer, there is nothing in it compared to the presence of the Lord (8-10). The world will never shield you from the destruction it has in mind for the person who falls into its trap. The Lord, on the other hand, will watch over His children in good times and bad times (11-12).

Proverbs 23 – On Life and Conduct. Garnering wealth is the desire of mankind and it is the impetus for working longer than he/she needs to and it is also the cause of mental health issues. For this reason, the writer admonishes the listener to not look upon wealth because greed will pull you in multiple pathways (4-5). Wealth is likened to a carrot that stands out in front of you to compel you to follow it not knowing where the holder of the carrot is leading you to.

Habakkuk 3 – G_d’s Salvation of His People. This is an eye-opening prayer for the nation Israel who was enduring a time of great persecution. After hearing what the Lord had to say to the Prophet and His plans for His people, the weight of persecution fell off the shoulders of the listeners (2). In its history, the nation witnessed the rise and fall of Egypt, the exodus from Egypt, and struggles in between, and the pathway of the Lord always shined greatest in times of persecution (3-6). Because the rivers were parted and the rain devastated the earth didn’t mean G_d was angry with the rivers, earth, and waters rather, a pathway was made for G_d’s children so that they could leave the bondage they were enduring (8-10, Luke 3:4-6). The thing is, deliverance from the bondage to Babylon would take time and Habakkuk would not see that day but like Abraham, he believed G_d and had faith that He would work all things for the good (16-19, Hebrews 11:6).

Ephesians 6 – Family Relationships. We hear a lot from the word about “Salvation of the righteous” but we little understand the complexity and the work required on our part. The Devil hates the family because, when the family is united as one, he is given no room to operate and will leave (James 4:7). The thing is, the battle with the Devil requires everybody’s involvement and cooperation, not just the one person seeking peace (1-9). Because the Lord knows that mankind operating on his/her strength will never outwit the Devil unless they put on the whole armor of G_d (10-11). When trouble arises in our homes, communities, and churches, we must understand that our battle is not against the individual but against the noise of the enemy (12-13). To fight the good fight, we must know the truth and that is, having strong moral courage and unbreakable integrity (14). We must know the Word of G_d that is, to the difference between what G_d is saying and what the Devil is saying (15). The shield of faith (16) is a defense against the Devil’s flaming arrows. We must protect our minds against the deceitful attempts of the Devil. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word which is our guiding principle and the answer to why we are not affected by the influence of the world (17). Prayer must be an integral part of the fabric of our lives or we will not succeed in the mission He has for us (18-19).

 

Daily Bible Reading 7/17/2021

Reading #1 – Leviticus 12

Reading #2 – Psalms 83

Reading #3 – Proverbs 22

Reading #4 – Habakuk 2

Reading #5 – Ephesians 5

 

Notes

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).

 

Daily Psalm 7/16/2021

For He is our God
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts and become spiritually dull as at Meribah [the place of strife],
And as at Massah [the place of testing] in the wilderness,
“When your fathers tested Me,
They tried Me, even though they had seen My work [of miracles] (Psalms 95:7-9).

When G_d speaks to our heart, we often mistake it because it isn’t accompanied by the sound of angels singing. Sometimes G_d’s voice is the sound we hear in our heart but we tune it off because it is not what we want to hear and we tend to quarrel with the Lord like Israel did when what they wanted was not mysteriously dropped into their lap (Exodus 17:1-7). Consider the case of the young man who wrote from college asking for additional funding only to be told: “read the Bible” which occurred several times during the boy’s time at college. When the young man got home, he criticized his dad for not meeting his “financial needs”. His dad asked him, “did you read your Bible”? The child replied, “of course I did”! Only to be told, “No you haven’t because if you had, you would have seen a $100 in each page of the Bible”.

Father,

Thank you for your unmerited grace and mercy. You give us your word that we may know you and may grow up in you. May my ears ever be attuned to what you are saying that through these words I may grow up in you and others may know the truth and walk in it. I pray for the military, law enforcement, and EMT communities. I pray for my families that your good spirit may dwell richly in them. 

IHS
MK

Daily Bible Reading 7/16/2021

Reading #1 – Leviticus 11

Reading #2 – Psalms 82

Reading #3 – Proverbs 21

Reading #4 – Habakuk 1

Reading #5 – Ephesians 4

 

Notes

Leviticus 11 – Laws about Animals for Food. While scripture tells the nation what foods were impure and which ones were permissible to eat. What it does not tell us is, “why they were impure”. The search I conducted used the term “totemism” or the making of totems to resemble an animal that the nation worshipped, for example, Egypt worshipped the horse. Another part of the equation is “sanitary” that is, cooking in such a way as to keep people from getting sick; remember, this was a nomadic people who had to carry everything with them (Jewish Encyclopedia) plus the people did not have a way to store the food so it had to be burned up if any remained for more than 1 day.

Psalms 82 – Unjust Judgments Rebuked. The nation Israel, just like the church, is a lesson in what happens when our judgments are flawed and the wrong people are executed (1-2). When Jesus stood before Pilot, the same people who cheered him on would turn on him and side with the Sanhedrin. Caiphas, a man who thoroughly destained Jesus, said “Don’t you realize that it is better for one man to die for a nation than for the whole nation to die” (John 11:49-50)? When the nation was on the precipice of being exiled, they asked the question “why is G_d unhappy with us didn’t we fast when we were told to”?  While yes, they did fast and pray at the set times, they missed the weightier of caring for the nation especially those who had needs (3-5, Isaiah 58). The thing is, we are called “G_d’s children” but, we will die like men and fall like any of the princes; the implication is that if we do not live according to the full letter of G_d’s design for our lives, we will pass into history just all of the other kingdoms of the world (6-8).

Proverbs 21 – On Life and Conduct. Interestingly, we can live our life any which way we want to. We can do whatever we want and still go to church on Sunday as long we are alive. The trouble is, at some point in time we will be accountable for our actions (1-2). When we sin, something or someone will be sacrificed on the brazen altar and it is usually the innocent person “our children”. Consider the case of the man who spends long hours at work pretending he is doing it for his children when it is in all likelihood it is to fill the greed that drives him on. When this happens, the child becomes bitter, angry, and rebellious (3-4).

Habakkuk 1 – Chaldeans Used to Punish Judah. Habakkuk prophecied from 625-600 alongside Jeremiah. What Habakkuk saw was a tragedy of epic proportions that was 500 years in the making. The Lord showed the prophet what would soon take place (1-4). Of course, the words of Habakkuk were nothing new because the prophets before him tried to warn the nation with little to no success. The Chaldeans, Babylon, would be the Lord’s judgment gavel that would be the final verdict (5-11). The Lord most certainly could have stopped the coming judge and jury but, then he would not be respected for who He is and the Kingdom He rules (12-16). Babylon’s destructive path would not stop until all of the lands were subjective to them (17).

Ephesians 4:1-16 – Unity of the Spirit. Paul’s appeal to the church flew in the face of the conventional wisdom of the world. The world says, “live to please yourself and do what feels right” but Paul’s word commends the people to live a G_dly by using a strong moral compass (1-2). For the Spirit to operate in our life, we must be at peace with the Lord G_d in all that we do (3). In the church, there should be one Spirit, one foundation, and one Baptism so that there is no room for discord among believers (4-6). When we operate under the rule of “flesh”, it is very difficult to please G_d because our motives will be on “what pleases me”. Because it is very difficult to put the flesh to death and keep it that way, we need the Spirit of the Lord operating in and through our life. There is no offering that could ever pay for the sin that we have committed because, no matter what we sacrifice, it would only be justified payment. For this reason, Jesus died on Calvary, not for something He did but to restore the relationship between G_d and man (7-10). Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, the church can be a light in a dark place or a beacon for the world as long as she remains in the right relationship with the Lord. This gift of salvation was not cheap because it cost Jesus everything and for this reason, we need to take it seriously (11-16).

Daily Psalm 7/15/2021

In You, O LORD, I have placed my trust and taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness rescue me.
Incline Your ear to me, deliver me quickly;
Be my rock of refuge,
And a strong fortress to save me.
Yes, You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake, You will lead me and guide me.
You will draw me out of the net that they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength and my stronghold (Psalms 31:1-4).

When we come to the Lord and recite the words above, we must understand the importance of “in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). G_d does not listen so much to the words from our mouth as He does the words from our heart. If the words of our mouth do not jive with the words of our heart, what we say will be meaningless (1 Corinthians 13:1). Of all the things G_d desires from us, the greatest, to me anyway, is a heart that is responsive to Him or, “The willing praise of His people” (Psalms 119:108). When the Lord G_d is our stronghold, there is nothing the world can do to us that will take us from the hand of the Lord (Isaiah 43:12-13).

Father,

Thank you for the day you have made. help me to honor you in all that I do. May the willing praise from lips be in line with the desires of my heart. I praise you not because of your manifold gifts but because I have seen with my eyes the salvation of the Lord and know that you are always faithful (Luke 2:28-32). I pray for my families today and especially those affected by the collapse of the condo in Miami and the fierce fires in the west. I pray for the military, law enforcement, and EMT communities. I pray for the teachers, preachers, the city of Stacy, the state of Minnesota, and the USA. 

IHS

MK