February 2, Leviticus 4-7

 

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If the offerings in Leviticus 1-3 serve to maintain fellowship with God, the offerings described in Leviticus 4-7 serve to restore fellowship with God.

The offerings described in Leviticus 4-7 certainly seem foreign to us, but there is a good reason for that.  The reason is because the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross eliminated our need to offer continuing sacrifices for our sin as outlined in our reading today. However, reading the offerings should elicit two responses from us.

The first response is comparison between the sacrifices of Leviticus and Christ.  Like the animals, but even in a much more perfect way, Christ was without defect.  Second, like the offerings, Christ became our sin bearer.  Third, like the offerings, Christ died as a result of becoming a sin bearer.

Now, once we’ve made the comparison, the second response should be automatic—intense thanksgiving that Christ once and for all dealt with our sin.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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February 1, Leviticus 1-3

 

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O.K., here we go.  Marathon runners and other distance runners have different challenges on a run.  Sometimes, the challenge is rather personal—just a spot where the runner is not feeling as well as at other spots.  Other times the challenge is part of the physical description of the course—an incline or decline.  In our marathon of reading the Bible through in one year, Leviticus is our first real incline.  There will be others.

Here is what I want you to remember today.  Paul said in the New Testament that “All Scripture is inspired” and “All {Scripture} is profitable.” (2 Timothy 3:16)  In these days of reading Leviticus, try to find just one little nugget of application.  I’ll try to help you find that nugget.

Here is my nugget of the day.  As we read about the offerings in Leviticus 1-3, the common denominator is that the offering was from the best that the worshipper had to offer.  Phrases like “without defect” and “fine flour” are common throughout these three chapters.  Are you ready for a big question?  Think about your last offering of praise.  Was it among the best you had to offer?  Think about your last offering of teaching that group of fourth graders.  Was it among the best you had to offer?  Think about your last financial offering to the LORD.  Was it a tithe just to say you tithed?  Was the amount given determined in any way dependent just upon the tax benefit?  Or, was the offering the very best you had to offer?

Maybe Leviticus does have something to say to us.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 31, Exodus 35-40

 

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The Book of Exodus closes with the construction of the Tabernacle as detailed back in Exodus 28-31.  This description would have occurred immediately would it not have been for the impatience of Israel in fashioning the golden calf.  Back on track in chapter 35, we read that now they do all of the work just as the LORD commanded.  Several key points emerge from this construction project.  First, we see the connection between ability and willingness.  In Exodus 35:20-22 we see this idea of willing.  We see it again in Exodus 36:2 with the ability of the skilled workers.  In both cases, the narrator makes a point that there is both ability and willingness.  Always remember that God gives us the ability, but that does not necessarily translate into willingness and action.

But, when ability is matched by willingness, we get a wonderful result. Every pastor and church leader needs to read Exodus 36:4-7 again. The people had to be told to stop bringing their offerings because more than enough was being brought than could be used. 

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 30, Exodus 32-34

 

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Exodus 32-34 gives us yet another reminder of the fickleness of the commitment of Israel.  Being uncertain of the reason for Moses’ delay on Mount Sinai, they make for themselves an idol to represent gods going before them.  (So much for the Ten Commandments not being burdensome.)

What follows is fascinating!  God tells Moses that they are to go to the land promised to their fathers, but He will not go with them.  Moses knows that there is no point in going if God does not go with them. Moses has a heart to heart with God resulting in the renewal of the covenant as described in chapter 34.

Several points of application are appropriate.  First, like Israel, we would do well to always recognize that unless God go with us, we better not go.  Second, we learn from Moses that sometimes we have to have our own “heart-to-heart” with God.  Why don’t you try today to speak to God as one does to a friend?  (Exodus 33:11)  Finally, and most importantly, let us be certain that the only way for God to go with us is to go on His terms not our terms. 

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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January 29, Exodus 28-31

 

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Today, we read about the special instructions for priests and the place of worship—the Tabernacle.  What do all of these instructions have to do with us?  Well, actually, a lot!  The teaching of the New Testament is that the place of worship and the people of worship are one and the same.  For examples of this NT teaching, read 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; and John 4:15-24.  (After reading Exodus 28-31, you will probably want to read something from the New Testament.) After reading these verses, I think you will agree that though the practices have changed, the principles behind the practices have not changed.  The special instructions of Exodus 28-31, though foreign to us, do reveal that God is serious about the holiness of the place and the people of worship.  In addition, 1 Peter 2:9-10 indicates that, in Christ, all believers are priests.  So, when we put the Old Testament alongside the New Testament, we have to ask ourselves some questions.  Ready?  These are not easy questions. 

  1. What have you done lately to prepare yourself for worship?
  2. Is there anything you need to confess before you worship the LORD?
  3. What are you allowing to come into God’s sanctuary—your body? 

One thing I know after reading Exodus 28-31.  God is serious about the holiness of worship.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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