OYB March 1
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Mar 01
24:1-2 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they bring to you pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually (Word English Bible). There is likely some cool symbolism in here. One Jewish gave this explanation: The Jews were called an olive tree, and it was through their persecutions and oppressions that the "pure oil" was extracted from them so they could become a light to the nations.
24:5-6 "You must bake twelve loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts of flour for each loaf. Place the bread before Yahweh on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two rows, with six loaves in each row. Did anyone else see the disciples lined up at the Last Supper here, just before they went out to feed the multitudes with bread? Remember how Jesus said, as He was breaking bread, "You feed them."
25:2 When you have entered the land I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath rest before the Lord every seventh year. I believe this is another foretelling of the Sabbath Millennium (in addition to the 7th day of rest). In verse 6 it says, "you may eat whatever the land produces on its own during its Sabbath." I believe during the Sabbath Millennium, Jesus is going to provide for our needs and we will not have to toil for our food and provisions (hence, a rest for us). This is also seen throughout the books of the Prophets.
25:8-10 This passage is rich with meaning. Assuming the calendars are correct (they have had to be reconstructed throughout the years for various reasons), the next year of Jubilee begins 2,015 on the Day of Atonement (end of September). This, along with the fact that Israel became a nation in 1948, is why some Messianic Jews currently think it's possible that we could be either currently a few months into the Tribulation, or that it could begin within 2-3 years if the calendars are off. Why? Because the Messiah is supposed to set His feet on the Mount of Olives in order to fulfill the Fall Feasts-Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, & Feast of Tabernacles-(all within 15 days of each other) sometime before the end of a generation from 1948. Many people believe that a Biblical generation is either 40 years or 70 years (at the most). 70 years would put it no later than 2,018, at the end of the Tribulation. I am not saying this is fact, I am telling you what many people, especially many Messianic Jews, are watching to see if it is true. Also, notice there is a loud trumpet sounded. This could also associated with the Feast of Trumpets, or the "rapture."
Kingdom of God (vs. 14, 15, 23, 24, 25) verses Kingdom of Heaven: A man and pastor I respect highly, a good student of the Word, told me tonight that "Kingdom of Heaven" means all people who profess to be believers but are not necessarily true believers. "Kingdom of God" are all those who truly are saved, not just lip service. This will be an interesting perspective to study and gave me more insight on today's reading.
10:17-23 Why Do You Call Me Good? Julie's thoughts on this passage:
If Jesus was God, as He claimed to be (John 10:30), then why did He say to the young ruler, "Why do you call me good? Only God is truly good (Mark 10:18)." I used to think Jesus was denying that He was God in this passage, and it really bothered me. But then I read it more carefully to see if I had missed something.
Jesus had a knack of going for the jugular. He shamelessly exposed the most vulnerable places in people's thought lives. He wasn't satisfied to talk about the weather or to shoot the breeze with the lost and leave it there. He was always looking to go deeper-penetrate and renovate-in matters of the heart.
In this case, Jesus wasn't denying His goodness or deity at all. Instead, He was confirming it. The focus here was on the words "Why do you...?" He knew this man already believed Jesus was good, but he didn't believe Jesus was God. His unbelief was fully exposed a few verses later when Jesus told him to go and sell his many possessions and give them to the poor so he could inherit eternal life. This wasn't about earning his salvation by a good deed, but about revealing where his heart was. If the man truly believed in Jesus' deity and thus was willing to enter into a saving relationship with Him, giving away his wealth would have been something he was willing to do. Jesus exposed the man's unbelief openly, and assured the man he was indeed talking to the One true, good God.
Questions for reflection:
Is there anything Jesus would ask you to give up and your response would be to "go away sad"? If so, what? Are you willing to ask God to align your desires with complete surrender of everything you own, everyone you love, and everything you are?
Regardless of how many weeks, months, or years we have on this earth, are you ready for His return? If not, what do you need to do to prepare your heart and life so that you are not caught unaware like the 5 virgins who ran out of oil?