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What an awesome video. Holy indeed! Thank you, Lord. You are holy!

Psalm 38

A Prayer in Time of Chastening

Soemtimes we sin, and we continue in that same type of sin. It hurts our Christian walk, and is bad for us. The believer will receive conviction from the Holy Spirit - know that he/she is doing wrong, yet the Holy Spirit is ignored and the sin continues. How does God react in certain cases when this happens?

"Because God loves us, He is committed to doing whatever is necessary to stop us. Why - because He wants to punish us? No. Why? Because He’s a control freak? No. The answer is what we’ve just been singing about it—because He is good. He is good to me and He loves me and He knows I’m eating poison (sinning) and He will stop me. We call this the discipline of God—when God intervenes and does what He has to do to get our attention before we self-destruct." - Pastor Bryan Clark
1 O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.

One of the marks of someone who is truly repentant is they understand the seriousness of sin against God. It angers God. It’s God’s burning wrath. What David is actually saying is that he knows what he deserves. He’s asking for mercy. He’s offended God.

and your hand has come down upon me.

The picture I have here is when a child is throwing a terrifc tantrum and the parent just pins them down until the child is exhausted and finally comes under control.
Sin and Illness

Yes, illness can be connected to sin. How do we know? What I read is - one just knows. Whether convicted by the Holy Spirit, or imprinted on your mind by God - one just knows. If you are suffering, and you are not convicted about it being related to sin - than probably it is just the result of living in a broken world, and something to go to God for to get the grace and strength to deal with the illness. (and it never hurts to ask God in faith for a healing).

The point in this Psalm is David did know his illness was conncected with David's sin(s).

Verses 3-5
Because of your wrath...because of my sin...because of my sinful folly.

"folly" is an interesting word choice. In Hebrew ('ivveleth) is used only twice in the Psalms but over twenty times in Proverbs. The connotation is that this is willful sin, the path of folly. David was warned to stop sinning by God, but David kept on sinning anyway. David knows this and is acknowledging it before God.
9 All my longings lie open before you, O Lord;
my sighing is not hidden from you.

"We might expect at this point that David would be angry at God or bitter at God or feel separated from God. But it’s just the opposite. He has been away from God in his sin, but now God has refocused David’s attention. He’s actually feeling a great intimacy with God. His heart is now very responsive to God. Like a child who’s been properly disciplined, he now realizes God has done this for his own good. And his heart is very responsive to what God is doing." - Pastor Bryan Clark

Psalm 38

13 I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear,
like a mute, who cannot open his mouth;

14 I have become like a man who does not hear,
whose mouth can offer no reply.

Sometimes when people are sorry for their sin, they’re sorry that they got caught, they’re sorry they’re in a mess, and they’re sorry that they did that. But they aren’t truly repentant. They aren’ttruly broken. They become defensive.

David is not doing that - David is broken. He will not listen to his critics. He has no argument. they may not be totally correct about David's actions and the consequence of illness, but what difference does it make - I am guilty.

David commits everything to God - David waits for God's answer.

18 I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.

David gets to the point. "confess" in Hebrew means "to agree with". David is not tiptoeing around the issue, not making excuses, not equivocating. David is in agreement with God.“God, I agree with You. What I did was sin, and sin is offensive to You, therefore I agree with that. I confess that.” Now, what’s implied in confession is I understand—I agree with God that it’s offensive—therefore, I will stop.
21 O LORD, do not forsake me;
be not far from me, O my God.

22 Come quickly to help me,
O Lord my Savior.

"David understands that ultimately the only solution is God. His eyes are focused on God, and he
calls out, and he waits for God to deliver him—to be his salvation. If David would have had that
attitude earlier, Psalm 38 would not have been necessary. But he didn’t. Whenever we sin, what we’re really saying is, “God, I don’t trust You. I don’t think You can meet the needs in my life. I don’t think You can deliver the goods. So I’m going to take it upon myself and do it myself.” - Pastor Bryan Clark

Proverbs 10:7

7 The memory of the righteous will be a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.

A holy life lingers long after the person is gone. The name of the wicked evokes a stench, not a fragrance. Men still call their sons Paul—but not Judas!
MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. 1997, c1995. Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments . Thomas Nelson: Nashville

Leviticus 11

The Need for a Standard

Pat has an interesting observation about the big picture of "clean and unclean". In addition to that thought, the listing along with sanitary procedures probably were meant to keep the Israelites from epidemic diseases that could wipe them out, or seriously reduce their numbers.

However, I think the most important thing here may be the symbolism of God's choices. Afterall, later in the NT - there is no "unclean". So what is the symbolism for the Israelite back then, and can it apply to us today? What is the implication of these standards?

1) Animals that walk on earth (clean)-
Chew the cud - you are to meditate on God's Word.
Divided hoof - separation - discernment - apply discernment to God's Word. Do not take Scripture in isolation or out of context.

2) From the Sea (clean)-
Sea - is OT symbol of Humanity in its entirety.
Fins - allow navigation through Humanity.
Scales - provide protection in that environment.

3) Birds (Unclean)-
Unclean are either Carnivorous or omnivorous (eat anything/scavengers).
Heavens - represent spirituality.
Carnivourous - stay away from the ideas of the flesh.
Omnivorous - stay away from the spiritual idea that gather ideas from all sources and blend them together. There is only one acceptable source and that is God and His Word.

4) Insects (Clean)-if they can crawl, fly, and leap.
Crawl - things of the earth.
Fly - things of the heavens.
Leap - be able to accurately tie the two together.

5) belly crawlers (unclean) - clearly a reference to the symbolism of the serpent in the Garden. A sign of the curse. We are to stay away from all things Satanic.

So why not the "clean and unclean" in the NT?

Aside from the practical nature that was for the Israelite, the symbolic nature is now taken care of by Christ's teaching, the NT Scriptures, and the Holy Spirit in us.

Leviticus 12

Purification After Childbirth

Again I think Pat has a good practical observation on the need for rest after childbirth.

What is God saying on a symbolic level? God is not against birth, children or the act of procreation - His instructions were to go forth and multiply.

However the birth of a baby and the unclean instructions and the burnt and sin offering do point out:
"that since the fall of Adam every human being born into this world is born into a fallen race." - Ray Stedman

God impresses this upon his people by this restriction, circumcision, and offerings, this reminder that something connected with birth is unclean.

"the longer period after the birth of a girl is probably a reminder of the fact that evil did enter the race through the weakness of a woman who yielded to the temptation of the enemy. Now, the race fell in Adam, the man, not in Eve. But the temptation came through the woman and it was through that source that sin entered the race." - Ray Stedman

Mark 5
The Healing of a Demon-possessed Man

Bob Deffingbaugh's commentary is pretty good.

The Decapolis region is to the east of Israel. It is thought to be where a number of the Canaanite tribes settled after being defeated by God and routed out of Israel.

The people are pagan. They worship "false gods" and perhaps the pigs were a part of that process. If a food source - certainly they are not "clean" animals - so it makes sense that these people are not Israelites.

I think it is wrong to focus on the pigs - and say why? There is no indication that Jesus was behind the pigs going off the cliff. But even so...

"As Lord of all, God has the right to make use of His creation any way that He deems best, and this includes not only pigs, but people (cf. Romans 9:19-23)." - Bob Deffingbaugh

The result was - it clearly showed the man had been healed from demonic presence.

The people - they were afraid - what would Jesus do to them??? We didn't ask for this???? Go away.

Legion - well he was told to stay, despite his request to follow Jesus. Told to share with his family. A picture of not all need to be missionaries out of the country - we can do some of our best work at home. This will be evident on Jesus' next trip to the area.

Mark 5

The Sick Woman

God healed through Jesus.
"It is not I who do the works, but the Father who dwells in me," {cf, John 14:10}.

Christ was only aware at first of power going from Him. The first glimpse - of perhaps - the physical drain on the man nature of Christ when healings were done through Him by God (via the Holy Spirit). No wonder He slept so soundly on the boat during that storm.

The Dead Girl

Death is not what it seems to the World when Belief and faith are present.

Christ healed here - why not everyone back then and today? As stated before God has His reasons to heal - it was not for proclamation far and wide, not for the clamoring of the world to heal the infirmities of this world.

I think it is a lesson to us that despite being sick (through sin) or dead (in sin) - belief and faith in Jesus Christ will cause us to be restored and have "new life" - eternal life. It is not what happens to us in this world - but the choice to believe and receive Christ that is the true healing all should be seeking.

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I love the picture of the woman with an issue of blood. Who is the artist? I would like a copy of this picture, but I can't find it if I don't know who created it.

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