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I just found your blog and love it! I've been reading through the Bible and usually end up looking up things on the internet, printing out pictures or articles, and gluing them in my notebook. Your blog is a version of my notebook! The one-year Bible I am reading through is laid out differently than yours, so I have to skip around, but I find your commentaries and added art work helpful. Thank you and God bless!

Hi,

I admire you for putting great efforts in updating your blog daily which shows your great love in spreading the Good News. I stumbled upon your blog quite sometime ago but it was lost among so many other blogs that are more 'interesting' as they deal with current affairs. However I do confess that we must anchor ourselves to the Bible as the only reliable benchmark to living a life acceptable to God. I would love to continue reading your blog on a daily basis and I pray that more readers will find your blog and comment on the issues you raise daily.

Well, the imagery in the Psalm section conveys a common problem, which is how to spend time effectively and productively. I believe many people, especially the under-employed and the retired, are at a loss as to what to do with their time. I believe that God wants us to apply our talents towards areas that help the disadvantaged and I am grateful that I am given the privilege to serve in the area link to the URL above.

I suppose in our lifetime we need to be able to show to God when we meet Him what we did while we sojourned here.

When Jesus offered the lawyer 2 commandments to love God and love our neighbour he said they contained all the law and the prophets. At the trnafiguration we see a visual aid of the same truth the in Jesus all the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah) are contained.So when the cloud disappears only Jesus is seen. So much trouble in the church might disappear if we focussd on jesus love for us and those around us rather than on our rules for conduct etc. Michael

This is my first year reading through the Bible with you and I am enjoying it immensely! Thank you Mike for all your work in this blog and your thought provoking questions and insights, it is all such a blessing.

It amazes me how God so often ties in what I am learning in my regular Bible Study small group with what I am reading in the One Year Bible Blog.

Our small group is doing a study by Kay Arthur, “Lord I want to Know You”. It is an excellent study on the names of God, as God’s names denote His character, so we come to know God better.

The name we have been studying this week is Jehovah-mekoddishkem, which is translated; the LORD who sanctifies you; the LORD who makes you holy, or the LORD who sets you apart. By studying this Name of God, it is clear to me that first, by faith, comes redemption and then comes holiness, and this comes to us through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.)

Leveticus 20 also uses this name of God.
Verse 7: So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the LORD your God. 8 Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the LORD who makes you holy.
Verse 26: You must be holy because I, the LORD, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.

As our small group studied this name, it was apparent that, the Christian life is not what I do or don’t do in order to make myself holy. It is because I am holy, made so by God (Jehovah Medoddishkem), I do, or don’t do.
Hope you ehjoy this perspective on holiness. It has given me much to think about!

Hello All,

Nice to have several different commentators and perspectives today.

Jane, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Names of God--particularly with this passage of Leviticus and the idea of being set apart.

When I was reading good ol' Deffinbaugh this morning (such a staple among us), his comments lined up very much with yours. He notes:

"How did they [the scribes & Pharisees] go wrong here?. . . . Now is the time to note the phrase which is the key to the entire passage, both structurally and interpretively: “I am the LORD, who sanctifies you.”

Who is it that sanctifies the priests, who makes them holy? God said six times that He did. He set Israel apart from the nations, and He set the priests apart from the people. The Israelites did not sanctify themselves by leaving Egypt, God released them while they, at best, stood by passively, and, at worst, drug their feet, rebelling and complaining.

God commanded the priests to avoid outward defilement because they were already holy, by God’s sanctification. They were to avoid the things prohibited because these things would make them unclean, not because avoiding them would make them clean. There is a world of difference between avoiding something to keep yourself from defilement and avoiding something to make yourself holy.

Here is a key to the error of the scribes and Pharisees. They confused the cause with the effect. The cause is the holiness, the sanctification, which God has already accomplished (which is primarily inner—a matter of the heart). The effect is separation of the priests from that which defiles, so as not to contaminate and defile that which God has sanctified. This explains why our Lord persisted, in His earthly teaching, to carefully distinguish between cause and effect. Salvation—making men clean—is our Lord’s work alone. Keeping ourselves pure is our duty (enabled by the Holy Spirit), so that we do not defile what God has cleansed. We ought to keep ourselves clean, but we can never make ourselves clean. We seek to stay clean (effect) because God has made us clean (cause). The priests should avoid defilement (effect) because God had already set them apart (cause). -Bob Deffinbaugh

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This reminded much of your comment "It is because I am holy, made so by God, I do or don't do"

I also liked this comment from Deffinbaugh:

Where did the scribes and Pharisees go wrong? I think they erred in several critical areas. First and foremost, the scribes and Pharisees did not handle (interpret and apply) the Scriptures properly. They did not carry them far enough. They stopped at the apparent, but did not press on to the intended meaning and practice. They interpreted the Scriptures in terms of what they wanted to believe and in terms of the way they wished to live. They did not conform their lives to the Word of God, but conformed the Word of God to their lives. They turned the sacred text into a pretext. They interpreted the Scriptures in such a way as to always “fulfill” them, to live by their demands, rather than to be persistently reminded of their own sinfulness, and their need for a sacrifice. Rather than seeing holiness as God’s work, they saw it as man’s work, and thus they became proud and independent, rather than humble and dependent upon God. They did not feel that they needed, nor did they seek, mercy, but they felt they deserved God’s blessings. Rather than viewing their position as a privilege, they saw it as a right. Rather than seeing their ministry as a service, they saw it as a right to have status.

These errors are not confined to ancient Israel, or to the first century, they are just as prevalent and popular today. We, like the scribes and Pharisees, are not inclined to take the Scriptures as far as God intended us to. We wish to stop at the point of studying them for information, for the formulation or proof-texting of theological systems. We want to feel holy, without acknowledging that holiness comes only from God. We want to avoid those defilements which we find distasteful anyway. We want to keep the Scriptures carefully compartmentalized, rather than to allow them to convict us in every corner of our lives. We want to use the Scriptures to elevate ourselves above our peers. May God grant us to understand and to apply the principles of Leviticus and the Law as our Lord taught us to do, for His sake."

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What a great focus point for our study of Leviticus--may He indeed help us to understand and apply the principles of Leviticus for His glory.

Hello Again,

Just a quick comment on you (Mike) saying that you don't watch R rated movies anymore.

This morning I was listening to Allistar Begg (love him) and he commented about a movie:

"It's a movie that you can take your grandma to without worrying. Incidentally, if you can't take your grandmother to a movie, you shouldn't take yourself either."

Pretty astute perspective.

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