~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Leviticus 4:1-5:19 ~ Mark 2:13-3:6
Psalm 36:1-12 ~ Proverbs 10:1-2
Old Testament - Today in Leviticus we read about the Sin Offering and the Guilt Offering. Combine this with our readings from yesterday and we've covered the 5 major Old Testament sacrifices - which I'll recap below from Zondervan's NIV Study Bible. I'd recommend taking a good mental note of these 5 Sacrifices, as we'll keep reading about them this year in various capacities in the OT -
1. Burnt Offering - Voluntary act of worship; atonement for unintentional sin in general; expression of devotion, commitment and surrender to God. Bull, ram or male bird is offered - wholly consumed no defect.
2. Grain Offering - Voluntary act of worship; recognition of God's goodness and provisions; devotion to God. Grain, fine flower, olive oil, incense, baked bread, salt offered - accompanied burnt and fellowship offering.
3. Fellowship Offering - Voluntary act of worship; thanksgiving and fellowship as it included a communal meal. Any animal without defect from herd or flock offered.
4. Sin Offering - Mandatory atonement for specific unintentional sin; confession of sin; forgiveness of sin; cleansing from defilement. Young bull for high priest & congregation offered. Male goat for leader. Female goat or lamb for common person. Dove or pigeon for the poor. Tenth of an ephah of fine flower for the very poor.
5. Guilt Offering - Mandatory atonement for unintentional sin requiring restitution; cleansing from defilement; make restitution; pay 20% fine. Ram or lamb offered.
(above 5 points from Zondervan's NIV Study Bible p. 151)
Chapter 4 verse 29 contains something new I learned recently, again from Zondervan - "They are to lay a hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place where burnt offerings are slaughtered." The sin offering included confession (see chapter 5 verse 5) and the symbolic transfer of guilt by laying hands on the sacrifice, as we see here in verse 29. It's only recently that I've understood that the laying on of hands on the offering symbolically transferred guilt to the offering.
Chapter 4 verse 21 foreshadows Jesus' death on the cross outside the gates of Jersusalem at Golgotha - "The priest must then take what is left of the bull outside the camp and burn it there, just as is done with the sin offering for the high priest." Here's how Hebrews chapter 13 verses 11 through 14 looks back at this verse in Leviticus - "The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come."
New Testament - Today we read about Jesus calling Levi / Matthew from his tax collector booth.
Jesus' teaching in Mark chapter 2 verse 27 is very wise for each of us to keep in mind - ""The Sabbath was made to benefit people, and not people to benefit the Sabbath." Commentary on Mark chapter 2 is online at bible.org at this link.
Psalms - I love Psalm 36 today! There are some powerful verses in this Psalm... Starting off with verse 1 being a scary & true verse... "Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God to restrain them." Wow. I'll admit - I've been there. I know what it is like to have sin whispering deep within my heart. Thank God for the gift of Jesus - the savior of my world... Thank God for the gift of the fear of God. And thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit who directs us along the narrow path - the path of life and light. I pray that verse 1 does not ring too true for you today - but if it does, please pray to Jesus to instead fill your heart with Jesus' Spirit, which is the only power that can truly dispel the whisper of sin within.
Verses 5 & 6 reminded me immediately of the Third Day song "Your Love Oh Lord", which borrows nicely from these verses. "Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths." I believe Third Day won the Grammy last year for their CD "Wire". Great CD. Props to TD for their ministry!
Verse 9 just has so much simplicity in it's truth... I love it... I hope you believe this too - "For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see." Are there really any other lights by which we may see? Are there really any other fountains of life?
Proverbs - We start Proverbs chapter 10 today, with the reminder that we're currently reading Proverbs of King Solomon, the son of David. Verse 2 is another great reminder for each of us... "right living can save your life." Do you believe this? Do you practice this? Below is a portrait of King Solomon by artist Guy Rowe -
Comments from you and Question of the Day - Psalm 36 verse 1 is a sobering verse - "Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God to restrain them." This reminds me of an old U2 lyric from their song Acrobat - "If you just close your eyes, you can feel the enemy." Have you ever felt sin whispering to you? Do you think that sin can indeed whisper to our hearts? Can it whisper from within our hearts? Do we need more that just fear of God to restrain us from sin? Has Jesus freed you from the whisper of sin within your heart? What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!