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Leviticus 24

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually.....This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.

Some of the supporting verses as to why I think the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew is referring to the nation of Israel.
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A Blasphemer Stoned

God does not want man taking revenge. However, here and in the NT, society in its structure can judge and take a life. (My opinion in reading of Scripture).

We are to turn the other cheek and forgive - but it does not say that we cannot have the person arrested and let a societal system decide judgment. In that sense God desires order over anarchy. However, He never wants us taking the matter into our own hands.

Spiritually?????

"But he prescribes immediate death because this sentence is designed to teach a truth. The truth is that a man who curses God, who rejects God, has denied himself the very basis of life. Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God," {cf, Matt 4:4}. And if a professed believer denies God, he has denied the basis of his life, the only way he can live. So God makes it obvious, makes it clear. He says that the man has lost the right to live, has denied himself that right. And his life was taken away so that the truth might be vividly demonstrated to all.

Thus we know that this is what happens to us, spiritually. We don't need to point the finger at this young man, do we? How often do we do this very thing! We get angry with God and we shake our fists at him, just as Martha did with Jesus. She blamed the whole thing on him, and we do it, too. We say, "It's your fault! Get lost, God, I don't need you anymore." And when we take that attitude, God says, our life is ended. Our spiritual life is stopped right there. We are not lost. This doesn't mean that we have lost our salvation; it means that his supply of life to us to live by day by day is ended -- until we see what is wrong -- and his grace restores us. Then we can begin again." - Ray Stedman
http://www.pbc.org/library/files/html/0521.html


Mark

The Rich Young Man

I think the rich young man plays into what Jesus said about children in verses before this story. I have said that the Bible is coherant and tightly written - I do not think stories are thrown in willy-nilly but are part of a pattern. How so here????
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"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone." Mark 10:18

The man is direct (like a child) and desires to be taught (like a child). Jesus is implying by the man's directness - do you call me good - when only God is good - because you believe I am God????

So now Jesus tests the man's obediance (like a child of that culture) - do you obey the Law?

Jesus does not rebuke the man when he responds affirmatively - but loves him. So how obediant will you be concerning this new found belief in me and eternal life - will you give up everything?

I agree with Gina - Jesus was penetrating to the core of the man's heart - to the one thing that the man clung on to - will you give that up??????

The man went away sad - he had great wealth. Would that make many today sad?? the man was sad because he knew he could not serve two masters. He had wealth, but he wanted this thing - eternal life.

I do not believe this is the end of the story. I believe Mark was that young man - and I will give my reasons further on in this Gospel.
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It is hard for the rich to be saved - but not impossible. For nothing is impossible for God.

Wealth affects people - some greatly and obviously, others it takes some discernment, but it can be seen in subtle attitudes. too often people of wealth think they did it, they managed their life, they accumulated - but all things come from God.

Rich or poor - the way to salvation is the same - becoming humble, acknowledging sin, accepting and receiving Christ, trusting in God to run ones' life. It is hard for a rich person to come to that state - but not impossible.

When Peter says - we gave up everything? Jesus seems to be saying - yes, Peter you did - and you will get much in return. Relationships with new family (Body of Christ), new places to reside, and also persecutions that will build you up and be examples of faith. You will receive much now in this age - and the BIG BONUS - "eternal life".

"But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

Always a troubling verse for me - but I think I understand now - it is a tie. We all will be in heaven with glorified perfect bodies and minds. Those believers that acheived riches here on earth will be no different or better than the believers that were poor here on earth. Yes, there will be different rewards (responsibilities) in heaven, but that is based on our Christian walk, and not our status here on earth.

Psalm 44:9-26

In the first eight verses, the people remembered the past - God had been with them. God had given them victories over their enemies. The Hebrew people gave God the credit and the glory.
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Present

In verses 9-22 the picture is not so pretty. The Israelites had not only experianced defeat - but a series of defeats.

14 You have made us a byword among the nations;
the peoples shake their heads at us.

"The “byword” is the Hebrew word for a proverb—meaning they’ve become a proverbial statement. What he means by that is whenever these enemy nations went out and were soundly defeated, they would say, “Wow! We got Hebrewed. We got Israelized.” They became a byword for getting booked, getting crushed. He is saying, “We’re a laughing stock.” - Pastor Bryan Clark

The people are not stupid. they know their history and when they have lost battles before now. Go back to the Book of Judges, the Book of Joshua, and Samuel. There were times when the nations lost their battle. We remember those and we remember it was because of sin. Whenever the nation harbored sin among them, they lost. They were defeated; they were crushed.

But we have examined our hearts and we know we have not sinned against you.

17 All this happened to us,
though we had not forgotten you
or been false to your covenant.

18 Our hearts had not turned back;
our feet had not strayed from your path.

So what gives God - why are we losing the battles when we call on your name?
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The Future

So wake up God - come to our rescue - we are totally defeated and in total surrender [25 We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground.]

26 Rise up and help us;
redeem us because of your unfailing love.

These people aren’t bailing out. There’s nowhere else to turn, and they’re appealing to the
lovingkindness of God to do something.
======================================================
God never promised a Rose Garden life.

"There is no place in the Bible where God proclaims a message of health, wealth and prosperity. It just isn’t in the Book. It’s in our hearts…but it’s not in this Book. As a matter of fact, the reality is that suffering sometimes is just the price we pay for loyalty to God in a world that is at war with Him. That is a message that Jesus spoke often. Jesus often said, “You know, if you’re going to follow Me, you need to know there’s a price tag. Because this isn’t a playground; this is a battleground. And this is a world that’s at war with Me. They hate Me; they’re going to hate you. They persecuted Me; they’re going to persecute you. I suffered for your sake; I’m going to ask you to suffer for Mine.” Sometimes there is no explanation other than we suffer for the sake of God and His plan and purpose. That’s what these people in Psalm 44 understand: “God, the only thing we’re guilty of is that we are Your people, and because of that these other people hate us. We’re suffering for the sake of Your name.” - Pastor Bryan Clark

In romans 8:31-36 Paul says much the same thing:

Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY
LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”
(Rom. 8:36)
Sound familiar? It’s a quote from Psalm 44. Basically, Paul is bringing the message from Psalm 44— that tension that we feel—and he’s bringing it into Romans 8 and saying, “You know, sometimes we will suffer simply for the sake of Christ.

In Hebrews:
…and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a
better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains
and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. (Heb. 11:35b-38)

Men and women of great faith. But they weren’t delivered; they were imprisoned. They were
tortured. They were sawn in two. They were persecuted. The reality is, there is a price to be paid to be numbered among the people of God. And sometimes God calls us to suffer for His sake.

Sometimes our suffering is for no other reason than for the cause of Christ, in ways we cannot explain or understand. But in the midst of that, we need to understand that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, and in the end we will be victorious and conquerors.

Proverbs 10:20

20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

What a good man says is a reflection of what he is. Because his character is sterling, so is his speech. Since the heart (or mind) of the wicked man is not worthwhile, neither is the conversation that flows from it.
MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. 1997, c1995. Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments . Thomas Nelson: Nashville

Our "camels" are basically our desire for control-our lack of faith. Can you see Jesus trying to drag a camel(undecided one) through the eye of a needle (One door and only One)when he said "hot or cold or I'll spit you out." We want it both ways, and chaos reigns, the seas are rough. We must trust in the One who says "Peace be still" and even the wind and the seas obey. Why do we so deceive ourselves?

John says that God doesn't want us to judge on our own but only allow governments to do that. I believe in general, however, that governments and individuals should be in sync. Moreover, if two men come into my home and one holds a gun to my head while the other rapes my wife and I notice the first one's attention is on the evil act and that the other has left his within reach - I will take the gun and empty half of it into the head of the first man and use all of the other bullets into the head of the other to maximize the chance of both ending up dead. There is no question in my mind that this is what I would do without hesitation or remorse.

On the other hand, since we're talking about Philadelphia... members of the Society of Friends would honestly do nothing but pray for the men and hold no grudges against them - as they are far more forgiving than I. In addition, when they started the city of Philadelphia, all trading was done through New York City as it was already a well established port. But, Philly flourished as a port (where no other city could compete with NYC) solely because they were the only Christian businessman one could actually trust. Those who moved to the area, however, thought their attitudes on non-violence who pretty silly (especially when it came to not killing the Indians) and began (some say) calling them Quakers for what shaking "cowards" people thought they were. Finally, Pennsylvania did not sign the Declaration of Independence until July 14th because the Quakers not only believed in non-violence but in representing the people's desires and the ten days were used for EVERY political office to be vacated to allow non-Quakers to vote for war. The rare Quaker that, however, denounced his oath of non-violence was Green - who became Washington's second in command.

Which is more Christ like... my violent response or the Quaker's non-violent response? I believe both are. That we are not only to sometimes stand and sometimes sit but that some should study war and some should study peace. Only in this way will we be ready for an intelligent choice of action. Anyway, that's my humble opinion. BTW, I was raised in a Quaker home but in my 30's left the organization due to their lack of belief in Baptisms and found the attitudes against violence were stronger than attitudes about motivation so that they became a particular haven for witchcraft and many other belief systems.

I also believe the Rich / Poor man stuff is more on the subject of lifting our crosses. That we are to do for Christ what we are poor at (life being about the journey and growth and not about the performance and destination) rather than what is easy for us (as is generally suggested in gifts classes - which are really talent classes). The hardest thing for the rich man was giving up his riches - it was his personal barrier (and most popular one, especially for Americans) to true love.

Well, I got a late start but I'm finally caught up. =)

The eye of the needle is a door in the city walls barely big enough for a human to squeeze through. A camel would have to have all of its cargo unloaded and come in on its knees.

Jim,

The scenario in Leviticus is not one of self-defense. I agree with your example of a break-in and rape in your house.

The setting in Leviticus is judgement. The individual is not to go out seeking revenge. We are to forgive, but again - there is nothing in Bible to preclude wanting to see justice done. God just wants justice done in a societal system.

Remember Cain? There were no societal structures, so to prevent vigilante revenge by relatives, God put a mark on Cain. Cain was made an outcast. If there was a societal structure like the one in Leviticus, then I have no doubt God would have had Cain executed for murdering Abel.

Comment - (not the same Lisa who posted at 9:44 a.m.)

"... 'we are looking at the bell as a symbol of an ongoing continuous struggle for liberty rather than [a symbol] of liberty attained.' ..."

A quote taken from: "For Whom Will the Liberty Bell Toll? From Controversy to Collaboration"
Gary B. Nash, Christ Church, Philadelphia, January 25, 2003.

The full document can be found at:
http://march.rutgers.edu/docs/Main%20Pages/ForWhomWilltheLibertyBellToll.pdf

Because I had the opportunity to visit Market Street & 6th, in Philadelphia, PA (the home of the bell), I found it Mike's comment intriguing.

To humbly add to Mike's comment posted: "This is pretty awesome - the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is so named because this statement from Leviticus chapter 25 verse 10 is written on the bell: "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." -

it was originally so named the "State House Bell" and then renamed and/or refereced to in 1835 by an abolitionist group who had to fight and continue to do so to obtain and proclaim liberty for the greater cause.

Posted by about.com here is one of many links that talk about the timeline of the bell ...
http://philadelphia.about.com/library/weekly/blliberty_bell_timeline.htm.

And for you history buffs, this link has great historical information regarding the "White House" in Philadelphia - pre Washington, D.C.:
http://ushistory.org/presidentshouse/

To conclude - we, the people of God, will have to continue to fight for our God-given right and religious freedom - until the real bell tolls which is "The Last Trumpet"; let us finish the race.


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