Leviticus 24 - Day 151 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Leviticus 24
Commentary: This incident underlines the seriousness of the surrounding laws (cf. ch. 10). The surprising number of details about the man’s identity show that this was not just a vague story, but a well-remembered event. His offence was that he blasphemed the Name (i.e. the personal name of God, Yahweh) with a curse (11). Misuse of the divine name and cursing God were strictly forbidden and were among the most serious offences against the very covenant itself (Ex. 20:7; 22:28). The preceding chapters show us that the offence was not merely a matter of casual foul language, such as thoughtlessly sprinkles everyday speech nowadays in public and on the media. The name of Yahweh had been repeated in almost every paragraph of the laws. It was his character that shaped the whole social system of Israel and his authority that stamped their covenant law. Thus, to blaspheme and curse him was in effect to repudiate his authority and to reject his law. It was a crime against the whole community who depended on God’s continued protection under the covenant, and therefore set the offender outside that community. The death penalty in a sense sealed the offender’s own decision.
Wright, C. J. H. (1994). Leviticus. In D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, & G. J. Wenham (Eds.), New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., p. 152). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.
Application: Words are important for they define the ethos of a culture, but more importantly who we are as a person. Just because our society uses God and Jesus' name to express their surprise, disbelief and exasperations doesn't mean that it's ok. Can you imagine exclaiming a famous persons name, for example - Abraham Lincolm, everytime you stub your toe or make a mistake. Yeah, you get my point. Ridiculous right? So why has our society adopted the use of "OMG" to express ourselves, in such a way that minimizes the Creator of the universe? Because they don't know or respect Him. It's our responsibility to help them know how wonderful God is.
God deserves to be worshipped with all of our heart, mind, soul and body. His name should not be taken in vain.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me...
Leviticus 23 - Day 150 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Leviticus 23:4
Observation: In addition to their weekly Sabbath, God required his children to observe 3 annual festivals every year.
Application: God created us to be human "beings" not human doings. Without God's requirement of the weekly Sabbath rest, humans beings would work themselves to death. What good is it to acquire wealth and not be able to enjoy it? Take time for yourself, for your family and friends to explore what it means to be "created in the image of God."
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gift of rest, please help us to find our peace in You.
Leviticus 22 - Day 149 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Leviticus 22:17-25
Observation:God explains that the quality of the animal being sacrificed is important.
Application: After the Israelites entered the promised land and settled into their daily routines, the people began to take God for granted and began disobey His commandments. Not only were they worshipping other idols, they also began to present lame, blind and sick animals for their offering to God. If you think about it, our offering is a reflection of our commitment to God. If we don't care, forget or offer our "left over" diseased animals, we're basically communicating that we don't respect God.
God deserves our best...
Prayer: Lord forgive me for taking You for granted...
Leviticus 21 - Day 148 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Leviticus 21:16-23
Observation: God provides additional instructions for members of the royal priesthood, which disqualify anyone with a physical defect from serving/offering in the tabernacle.
Application: The blood of Jesus "covers" us. Jesus' blood cleanse our impurity, heals our inflictions, and makes us whole so when God looks upon us He doesn't see our sin smeared lives but His perfect child. Without Jesus, we would all be disqualified from serving in ministry.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your grace which gives me life.
Leviticus 20 - Day 147 (link to reading plan)
Scripture: Leviticus 20:1-5
Commentary: One of the major themes in this book equates idolatry with prostituting oneself after other gods. This in turn pollutes Yahweh’s sanctuary, the Israelites themselves and the land. The practice of sacrificing children to Molech (see comment on 18:21) is condemned, and the perpetrators are to be stoned (a form of communal execution which draws everyone into the act of purification). No violation of this command will be tolerated, even if God must mete out the punishment when the community chooses to turn a blind eye to sin. The idea of “cutting off” the sinner implies complete banishment from God and the community and was generally a punishment that was seen as being carried out by God.
Matthews, V. H., Chavalas, M. W., & Walton, J. H. (2000). The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (electronic ed., Le 20:2–5). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Application: Although the practice of sacrificing children to a statue, would not be tolerated in our society today. As a nation, we've aborted 45 million infants since 1970. I understand that the problem is bigger than just eliminating abortion as an option because boys/men need to take responsibility for their part too. However, the fact still remains that God abhors innocent children being killed.
Prayer: Lord, have mercy on us and help us fix this problem.