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Psalm 41:12 You know me inside and out, you hold me together, you never fail to stand me tall in your presence so I can look you in the eye. Mike, this verse reminds me of your picture illustrating Jesus healing the deaf-mute. I noticed the eyes of the man kneeling there, looking into the face of the gracious healer, trying to fathom: "What kind of love is this that reaches out and embraces me?"

I also think it was Proverbs that stood out, especially in light of the commentary. "The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin." Before we walked with the Lord, we had a lot of financial issues (which we are still paying for) and we made more money....but since we have come back to the Lord and honored Him with our Tithe - somehow, we always make it without having to penny pinch too much...He has taught us to live with less and not notice. He is good.

Leviticus 16:29-18:30

By now I think my surprise by what I uncover in the scriptures should be muted, but it isn’t. I am amazed when questions recently asked and or scripture answers ones asked long ago. I seem to never get over how answers fall into place if one just keeps seeking, knocking and asking. Yet the question asked has long since floated out of my memory no longer stored at the forefront of my mind.

This passage in chapter 17 answers my forgotten question,

3 If any Israelite sacrifices a bull or a lamb or a goat anywhere inside or outside the camp 4 and does not bring it to the entrance of the Tabernacle to present it as an offering to the LORD, that person will be guilty of a capital offense. Such a person has shed blood and must be cut off from the community. 5 This rule will stop the Israelites from sacrificing animals in the open fields. It will cause them to bring their sacrifices to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle, so he can present them to the LORD as peace offerings.

I have always wondered why Israel’s first King, Saul, had the kingdom taken away from him over a sacrifice he made while he waited for the prophet Samuel to come to him. It was the prophet who was to offer up the sacrifice, however, Saul saw his fighting men desert him while waiting. I had acknowledged that there was probably something Saul did in a long list of don’t dos, but I wasn’t quit sure which one or ones he had violated, and today I find it.

1 Samuel 13

11 …Saul replied, "I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn't arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle. 12 So I said, `The Philistines are ready to march against us, and I haven't even asked for the LORD's help!' So I felt obliged to offer the burnt offering myself before you came."

13 "How foolish!" Samuel exclaimed. "You have disobeyed the command of the LORD your God. Had you obeyed, the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your dynasty must end, for the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart. The LORD has already chosen him to be king over his people, for you have not obeyed the LORD's command."

Sorry, but I’m just too excited to focus on anything else.

Mark 7:25-8:10

I absolutely love the story of the Syrophoenician woman; I just absolutely love her. Here is a woman who is not a child of the Covenant, she is not entitled to the benefits of relationship with the Father, yet she accepts what many would consider an insult, in fact it was an insult to be called a dog by a Jew. Yet she passed the test because she wanted what was best for her daughter, to be released from the oppression of a demon spirit. No matter the insult, she was not asking for full privilege, she was happy to accept the crumbs because the crumbs were better than nothing. Her perseverance in the face of an insult, which was a test, gave her access to the whole cake. She is a model for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord to never give up, never give in, and never give out.

Previously we saw in chapter five of Mark that a whole town would have preferred a man so full of demons to remain in bondage then to have there precious pigs destroyed. Boy, what a reversal. The townsfolk were offended because of a miracle, but this woman took accepted an offense to get a miracle. What would I do?
Psalm 41:1-13

As you read and study the Bible you come to realize how inadequate our English words really are. You discover things like, there are over fifteen Hebrew words translated “poor” in English and you learn that they do not have the same connotation that we assume when we hear the word poor. This is particularly true in the first verse of this Psalm.

Since the consideration given to the poor evokes blessings on the one doing the considering, it is good to know that this poor is not the one meaning lack of resources. Well it does but that is not the full meaning. It is the poor that is low, weak, thin, possibly one who is depressed and maybe, “Poor in spirit.”

1 Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor.
The LORD rescues them in times of trouble.

Either way, am I kind to the poor? Do I recognize that being nice is not equivalent to being kind? Hmmm!

Proverbs 10:15-16

15 The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their calamity.

This weight and power of this verse can so easily be passed by. This verse sounds like a given, yet do we stop and think if there is true safety in having a fortress made of wealth, when scripture states that the name of the Lord is a strong tower? So we make think in passing that wealth gives protection, and it does, we may fail to see how flimsy it is because it can be here today and gone tomorrow.

And what about the second part, “the poverty of the poor …” Their calamity is not in being poor but it is the poverty that makes them destitute. Again poverty and poor are not one and the same. One can be poor yet not have even a shadow of poverty; in fact one can be in a state of richness. I believe the poverty spoken about here is being without God, excluded from His fellowship.

Grace and peace,

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