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August 2017

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Leviticus 24:1-25:46

"Command the people of Israel to provide you with pure olive oil for the lampstand, …” Just noticed that there is a big difference here from when the people voluntarily offered (Exodus 25: 2) whatever was on their heart to give back in Exodus. I don’t have time to look up the Hebrew word that this English word, “Command,” sites on but when I have time I will look it up.

I think it would also be interesting to chart out what type and under what circumstances God asks for a “freewill” offering as opposed to ones that are commanded.

Mike I’m not sure that the “Just Punishment” section is really about retaliation as much as it is about the priests matting out just and righteous punishment. If Leviticus was written as guidelines for the priests, then the entire book needs to be looked at from that perspective. The problem lay folks have is that we can run off on a tangent (your favorite word) when we have information without training. Information is great when we become partners with our Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, etc, however, when we try to do their job and usurp their “authority” in dealing with them because we have information, then we get into trouble. Either we need to change professionals, if they are unaware or ignorant of the basics and new information that comes out daily, or we need to support them with the information they have.

One of the things I have taken note of in chapter 25 in dealing with the Sabbath Year (seven), the Year of Jubilee (50) and the return of property, that is not in walled cities, to the original owners is that this is suppose to be a celebratory event. However, in order to be ecstatic about this if you are not the party being released, one must practice love for your neighbor as a lifestyle! There is also a type or element of restoration and redemption from sin as one would be rescued from either bad choices or environmental circumstances that would have caused selling oneself into slavery, or selling off the family home. Looking at the Hebrew or Greek root of the work translated “sin” you would see that it means “to miss the mark.” So one can be aiming for the bulls eye but miss the mark, which is what sin really is. In a careful reading of the first few chapters of Leviticus you will see that the sacrifices first mentioned are for “unintentional” sins.

Because we are so adverse to the word “sin” we shy away from it not realizing that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and it is not big sins or little sins that merit the death penalty, it is SIN (singular) PERIOD, intentional and unintentional. Although the penalty for sin, big, little or medium, is death the gift of God is life, eternal life.
Mark 10:13-31

“Good Teacher/Master …” begins the Rich Young Man begins his address to Jesus. There is more to his statement to Jesus then meets the eye. By calling Jesus good he was stating that Jesus had “worked out his salvation/redemption” and he, the Rich Young Man was looking to join him. In Judaism (I hope there are Jewish scholars on this Blog to either confirm or refute what I’m about to state), especially in Hasidim, redemption is worked out be “good works,” so by calling Jesus “Good” he was either validating that Jesus, like him, was a good guy (Only one greater than you can validate someone lesser---now that can be a whole discussion See Hebrews 7:7)) or he was seeking validation himself. If this man was seeking to validate Jesus, thus placing himself above God, then Jesus’ remarks to him, at least for me, carry greater weight and conviction then I’ve ever thought about. Yes, I know that he ran to Jesus, yes I know that he bowed down, but I also know that we participate in “false” humility all the time to “justify ourselves.” And if we are justifying ourselves, we are not doing it for ourselves we are doing it for those around us so that they know how great and wonderful we are. We are already thinking that we are great (large and in charge) and we want others to know that we are.

I really have to rethink the entire dynamic of this little scene, even the conversation Jesus has with his thoroughly confused disciples afterwards. And if you notice the commandments that Jesus gave to him were the ones dealing with outwardly behavior toward man, those were the ones this guy kept; however what wasn’t mentioned were the commandments that dealt with the “heart.” The first four commandments can be outwardly demonstrated; however inwardly, in the heart without anyone knowing them, you can break them. Jesus didn’t mention those four, I wonder why? (The question is rhetorical)

Psalm 44:9-26

Although the writer is speaking in the plural, we and us, this Psalm seems to really speaking about the Messiah. Only the Messiah, the sinless one, can make with any kind of certainty, the bold statements of being without sin.
17 All this has happened despite our loyalty to you.
We have not violated your covenant.

18 Our hearts have not deserted you.
We have not strayed from your path

Hmmm!

Proverbs 10:20-21

There are a lot of fools out here in the world because Common Sense, is not so common. The question for is, "Do I lack some of this uncommon Common Sense?"

21 …but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Today is the first time I really felt convicted. When I read Jesus' saying: "it is harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven." And in earlier verses when the rich man asked what he must do to obtain the Kingdom of Heaven and Jesus told him to go sell all that he had and give to the poor.

Sadly, I must admit: I don't think I can do that.

Sadly,
Jeff

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