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A few things that I found interesting in our readings today:

1) When Nadab and Abihu were struck down, Leviticus 9:4 states that "Aaron was silent." He must have known there was no defense or excuse for their actions. Later, when Moses confronts the other two sons in v. 16 - 18 for how they handled the meat of the sin offering, Aaron answers Moses and defends his remaining two sons and 9:20 says that "he (Moses) was satisfied." While I do believe that "sin is sin", I have often wondered about gradations of sin - is one sin worse than another in God's eyes, or does He see all sin the same way? Both sets of sons were disobedient, yet some are struck down and the others are forgiven. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas on this?

2) Leviticus 10:10-11 - "You must distinguish between what is sacred and what is common." (NASB uses the words "holy" and "profane".) In v. 11, we read "you must teach the Isrealites all the decrees that the Lord has given through Moses." This reminded me of Matthew 28:20, where Jesus says "Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you."

Both of these passages remind me of my responsibility to study God's Word daily, to be able to discern between the "sacred and the common" and to go out and teach others with my life, my actions and my words.

3) Finally, I would encourage everyone (who has the time) to read Mike's links to the bible.org commentaries. I am in an in-depth study of Leviticus right now and have found those commentaries to be really helpful in understanding Leviticus, as well as the foreshadowing and how it all plays out in the New Testament. I have found my study of Leviticus has given me a much richer understanding of the New Testament, and especially the book of Hebrews.

Hi guys

I am reading this book called "Winning Words" It's about making sure that we know what God says about us by readind the bible daily and applying it to our lives. I agree totally that the Bible is like a seed. Once it's sown we will reap the rewards as we are transformed from the inside out. The parables about the seeds have come up a lot in the last week. A friend of mine talked about it and referred me to the first two lines in John! The power of the Word of God will change our lives as we make it become a part of our being! Just thought I'd share this with you!

Bye

With regards to Lisa's commment on the gradations of sin... I have to agree with Mike's analysis, that Aaron's sons were in such a high leadership position and their sin was so obvious that the Lord made an example of them. Another example would be in the Acts of the Apostles when a husband and wife (I can't remember their names) were struck down by God for holding back a portion of an offering they gave. They sold property and said they gave all the money to the Church, however they held back a portion for themselves in secret. Again, I have to believe this was to show the "wages of sin", which is death. I have noticed that both of these instances occurred in the beginning of new ministries (the beginning of the Tabernacle of the Lord and the beginning of the Christian Church).
As for farming and it's similarities in the Christian life... I can agree that faith is like the smallest of seeds and grows ten times to hundred thousand times from which it started. As for whether today's world no longer can handle a 'farming' analogy? All I can say is that God moves at His own pace no matter what. We have our time frames for doing things and God has His. We cannot speed up growth just like we cannot speedup the sunrise or sunset. You can think your growing quicker, but often at times we just end up deceiving our selves.
Stay safe and God Bless,
Jim

The OT reading on how Aaron's son's were killed for disobedience shows how God has His way of worship,His way of restoration not our way.We are in a period of grace and we can see evil increase all over.So many times it's easy to ignore God because we can't see Him strike people dead for disobedience like we read in the scriptures.He is the same and will not accept our way.Let us pray to open our eyes to His way in all that we do so we don't miss the mark.
PS.The Lord laid in my heart to fellowship with some brethren in the morning so I usually do my reading at night.God bless you all and keep you from your ways in favour of His ways.

Are you offering good counsel to those around you? When others around you see you, do they see someone that clearly knows what is right from wrong? ~ Funny you ask this question, our friends are going through a hard time right now in their marriage. They turned to us for some sort of 'counselling'. I straight out told them that I will listen to them but I refused to give them advice, I'm not a proffessional counsellor and I don't want to mess it up even worse. I don't want them to say "But you told us ...". I can share my experiences, I can share feelings, I can comfort them ... but I won't give advice. Anyway, they said they turned to us for help because they saw so many changes in us since I was saved, we seemed so much happier then before, they knew Rene and I always had a good marriage, but it seemed different now. I instantly knew they had to see the Holy Spirit in us. My friend told me she knows we can help them through this, because we life out of God's word. I told her they can do that themselves to ... and she's going to join me to church tomorrow. Praise the Lord!

Will you let Jesus plant a needed mustard seed in your heart? And will you be patient and allow the seed time & space to grow? ~ Patient/Patience is a new word in my dictionary since 6 months LOL I've come to learn what patience is all about since I'm saved. I was a terrible person who always wanted things NOW or yesterday. Jesus defenitly planted a needed mustard seed in my heart ... I know He did. I'm patient and little by little I see it grow. I know I need to be patient, it needs time, space and good care. It's not easy, because I really want to see what it looks like full grown, but it needs time. Till that time comes, I'll enjoy taking care of it. It's exciting taking care of something so beautiful ... planted with great care and love ...

Who do you have happy memories of? Who have you forgotten? How will you be remembered? ~ How will I be remembered? It depends who you ask ... The reborn version of Mae is so much nicer than 'the old one'. There are people I had a HUGE terrible fight with before I got saved. We went seperate ways and I never bothered looking back. I hurt them and they hurt me. They'll remember me as a psycho, seriously, they will. We had our differences and at that time the best thing to do, for me, was to turn around and don't look back. They let me down and I let them let me down, does that make sense? I still hope they will see me and see the changed person in me someday. I do know they will never let me explain what happened back then and something inside of me tells me it's better this way. Anyway ... I'm not really sure how I will be remembered ... I hope people remember my laughter. I laugh a lot ... A LOT!!! LOL I have happy memories of my grandfather, he passed away when I was 9 years old. I still remember how sweet he was for me, I remember his voice so clearly and his smell. He always called me "Mabellina" ... Who have I forgotten? I gave this question a lot of thought, and I think I didn't forget about someone ... Especially people who had a big part in my life. There are people that I didn't treat right, I don't have them in my life anymore, but that doesn't necerally mean that I forgot about them. ( I keep having problems with the word necerally LOL ... spellcheck!!!)

I like the idea of the seed being the Word or the Bible. I had another thought about that when I was reading it this morning. I am a leader of a fairly new Bible study. I have become discouraged that not many are coming to it. But then I thought about it, (perhaps the Lord led me to think about it) that one of those persons used the same Bible study as the Sunday School lesson on Sunday mornings, and another one wants to use the Bible study with some friends that she meets regularly with. So I guess it's growing even when I don't see it.

Birdie

Amen Birdie,

We need to share our thoughts and insights. We need to witness and testify - we have no idea how God will use our sharing of His word and its effects on our lives, but He knows. It is when we sit in silence that we make the mistake. We need to be constantly "sowing".

Great post!!!!

Leviticus 10;1-2 -really blew me away and made me so THANKFUL for God's grace and mercy. Nadab & Abihu did what we all do EVERY day sin; in one of many ways. I am so grateful for His grace. Its funny how this sin caused God to send immediate judgement like with Anaias and Sapphire lying about the amount of money they received for goods, and Adam and Eve. I wonder if this had anything to do with the fact that God was instituting something new and b4 it could get started they almost ruined it.
I so enjoy getting to know Him and His nature and realizing that the O.T God is very different from the N.T God.

The Mustard seed

Jesus phrases it in terms of a question?

"Again he said, "What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?"

So the small seed is planted, but a tree bigger than any mustard plant comes up?? What is that?

From Chuck Missler's comments on same parable in Matthew13:

The Mustard "Tree"

"The puzzling character of these parables is no more evident than in the Mustard "Tree." Despite the well-meaning Bible dictionaries that attempt to link this parable to various flora of the Middle East, the common mustard plant grows as a small bush, and is hardly the haven for birds.

Furthermore, the identity of the birds have already been revealed in verse 19 (cf. v.3): the ministers of the "Wicked One!" This seems to portray a view in which the church will grow into something never intended--a monstrosity in which the very ministers of the wicked one will find refuge in its branches! (Doesn't that sound descriptive of some of the activities of the present day? Should we be surprised?)"
http://www.khouse.org/articles/1994/31/
======================================================
The faith starts out pure - but along with the normal growth there is abnormal growth - in that in the large tree is true faith and a "twisted" faith. Kind of like the wheat and tares.

Jesus knew how in an imperfect world - growth of the church (faith) would not be pure and true to God.

The Death of Nadab and Abihu

Good comments today. I agree, I think it was dealt with severely because it was early on in the tabernacle process. Later we see priests do much worse and they are not dealt with in the same way.

But what is it that Nadab and Abihu did exactly? It was not the fire, but a different incense they used.

Whether they did not like the smell, thought it didn't matter - sweet smell is sweet smell - or they were just careless - they violated God's direct command to use frankincense. It was not a sin of ignorance, but one of presumption. they thought their way would be ok, that God would not mind - despite:

"You shall offer no unholy incense thereon," {Exod 30:9a RSV}

God was in the process of revealing man's needs through the sacrifices and offerings, and in the process revealing himself to the Israelites. When performed improperly - the priests were misleading the people about God.

How so????

Incense represents a picture of prayer. Frankincense pictures, not merely thankfulness for the ordinary blessings of life, but, primarily, thankfulness for the hardships and the difficulties of our trials in life. It is pleasing to God to see man thanking him in good times and bad - but especially the bad - where He manifests his Characteristics and man learns valuable lessons.

By using some other "perfume" that only represents happiness and thanksgiving - gives us the impression God is here to make us happy. But that is a distortion of what God does and how he represents the prayer offerings through frankencense.

"There is no implication here of eternal condemnation for Nadab and Abihu. This occurrence doesn't mean they are lost. I have no doubt in my mind that these two young priests were with the Lord in glory immediately. God took them home -- not because he was going to condemn them to hell, but only because they had violated their ministry. He called them home as an example to others in order that they in turn should not violate their ministries in the same way" - Ray Stedman

So why was the "sin" of not eating the goat passed over. Aaron is saying, in light of the events of the day - he did not feel right eating the "sin" offering. He is not worthy to eat and partake because of his failure as the High Priest to instruct his first two sons. It was a sin - but it was out of humility and a thought of being unworthy. Moses AND God could understand that - and so it is not punished.

The calming of the sea:
A good friend of mine pointed out to me several years ago that the bigger miracle in this story is not that Jesus calmed the sea but rather that the God of the universe was hanging out in a boat with a bunch of lowly fishermen. Wow.

Concerning the farmer analogy, God sure has made me wait for just about everything. Tho when at last it comes, its well worth the wait. It can be frustrating...not just because this is the age of instant info, instant everything! i was just listening to a radio sermon about Joseph, all he went through, like being in prison for those 2 yrs...God was preparing his heart, he was giving him "iron in his soul" for what lie ahead. I'm currently in the midst of a very stressful, painful situation and all i can do is wait on God. i'm at His mercy, totally dependent on Him, tho I always am anyway. Instead of saying, 'all i can do is wait' i long to really say, 'God is blessing me by having me wait, shaping me, molding me'. 'God is producing something greater in my suffering and trials'.
Its very hard to rejoice in, but if I am righteous before Him (which i dont feel i am, save for the righteousness of Jesus imparted to me), He promises to be with me n produce a harvest in me. Is He preparing me for something more? Spiritually yes, but in my situations i'm in now...I just dont know now. i'm very confused. Here come that verse, 'lean not to your own understanding, trust in Him, and He shalll direct your path,'
I'm counting on this now. I just dont know what to do, what my next step will be, i feel so helpless. But in the midst of all the tears, i know God loves me and His thoughts of me are constant and good. I feel very alone in this regarding other ppl, but not alone regarding God the Father. i'm so desperate for Him, like that song, "i'm lost without you'. I need His help so bad, this next week is going be very tough on me. sometimes, i just dont know if He is saying no or wait regarding normal life decisions.
I know God has the power to stop the storm, but He has the power to see me through the storm too. Sometimes He wont calm the storm, but calm the child.

I love these verses in psalms: 39 "The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble. 40 The LORD helps them and delivers them..."

I think this proverb, v.7 is concerning more the spiritual realm. Certainly the most ‘wicked’ people in history aren’t forgotten, Hitler, Hussein, Stalin, Dauhmer, Bundy, etc. These people will be forgotten when the eternal begins of course.
People who shock us or make any impact on our lives, I don’t think are forgotten this side of heaven. I have lost many people in my life, godly and ungodly and my love for them isn’t determined by their godliness/ungodlinesst. My happy memories live on in those who were ungodly as well. the one I miss the most is my best friend who died unsaved. Certainly I wont forget her while I live on earth…but God promises to wipe away all our tears in heaven. Concerning loved ones who “perish”, I believe God will erase our memory of them :( . In heaven, I don’t think we will not think of the lost…which actually breaks my heart. I’m sure this is very painful for all of us.

I probly sound like a real downer today, but hey, thats life. I'm clinging to Christ n hanging in there, thats all I can do...or God is blessing me by allowing me to go through this (ok, i cant honestly say i feel this way). but God help me through this next week. waaaaah. prayers are sure appreciated!

Jenny ... first of all I want to let you know that I'm defenitly praying for you! God will help you through this ...

Second I want to respond on what you wrote "but God promises to wipe away all our tears in heaven. Concerning loved ones who “perish”, I believe God will erase our memory of them :( . In heaven, I don’t think we will not think of the lost…which actually breaks my heart. I’m sure this is very painful for all of us". Do you know that I think about this al lot? I have so many unsaved relatives and friends, and it's like you said, so painful for me to know that they will be erased out of my memories. I do believe that God will erase them from our memories, to be sure that we won't be broken by thinking about them while we are in heaven and they're on earth. Going through terrible times. I really do think about it a lot ... I can say daily. I hope I can get my loved ones to be saved ... Like before Rene was saved, I have had many many times sitting on the coutch praying to the Lord and asking Him to bring Rene home save. Rene practicly lives in his car during the week, and while we had stroms going on in Holland, I was praying and asking Him to bring Rene home save. The thought of something happening to Rene and being unsaved, stressed me out! It's so hard! Gina has a little video on her blog, from the rapture, I cried watching it! I really hope I'll find a good way to life with this thought, give it a good place in my Christian life ... it's not going to be easy.

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