~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Leviticus 22:17-23:44 ~ Mark 9:30-10:12
Psalm 44:1-8 ~ Proverbs 10:19
Old Testament - Today in Leviticus chapter 23 we read about the Appointed Festivals. Zondervan's NIV Study Bible has a great chart summarizing the Old Testament Feasts and Other Sacred Days, which is significantly paraphrased below with just Name & Purpose -
1. Sabbath - Rest for people and animals
2. Sabbath Year - Rest for land.
3. Year of Jubilee - Help for poor; stabilize society.
4. Passover - Remember Israel's deliverance from Egypt.
5. Unleavened Bread - Remember how the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt in haste.
6. Firstfruits - Recognize the Lord's bounty in the land.
7. Weeks (Pentecost or Harvest) - Show joy and thankfulness for the Lord's blessing of harvest.
8. Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah-New Year's Day) - Present Israel before the Lord for his favor.
9. Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) - Atone for the sins of priests and people and purify the Holy Place.
10. Tabernacles (Booths or Ingathering) - Memorialize the journey from Egypt to Canaan; give thanks for the productivity of Canaan.
11. Sacred Assembly - Commemorate the closing of the cycle of feasts.
12. Purim - Remind the Israelites of their national deliverance in the time of Esther.
13. Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication or Festival of Lights) - Commemorated the purification of the temple and altar in the Maccabean period.
14. New moons were also often special feast days.
(Above is from Zondervan's "NIV Study Bible” pp. 176-177) Bible.org's commentary on Leviticus chapter 23 is at this link. Below is a Jewish calendar, which includes many of the feasts and sacred days listed above -
New Testament - Mark chapter 9 verses 33-35 always stand out to me and I personally always need to be reminded of Jesus' teaching here in the last sentence - "Jesus asked them, "What were you discussing out on the road?" But they didn't answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. He sat down and called the twelve disciples over to him. Then he said, "Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else." How are you doing on this last sentence? Are you taking last place? Are you the servant of everyone else? Do you think this last sentence applies to Jesus' life? Do you think we should model how Jesus lived his life?
I came across an artistic image I liked a lot, below, which applies to verses 36 & 37... except of course that the child is wearing very modern day clothes - keep in mind it is art! :) - "Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me." Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Mark chapter 9 &10 is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 44 verse 3 is a wise statement about where the Israelites and our true strength and victory in life comes from - "They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strength that gave them victory. It was by your mighty power that they succeeded; it was because you favored them and smiled on them."
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 10 verse 19 tells us - "Don't talk too much, for it fosters sin. Be sensible and turn off the flow!" This is a wonderful reminder that we should listen at least twice as much as we talk! That's why we have 2 ears and one mouth... :)
Comments from You & Question of the Day - Based on Psalm 44:3 above - as you look back on your life and at the good things that have happened to you, do you think that these things occurred because of your own power or work alone? Or, do you think it is possible that God's hand was blessing your life through all of those good things - even if maybe you did not notice God was there at the time? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!