OYB March 2
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 02
Chapter 26: Consequences of obedience/ disobedience & Millennial Kingdom prophesied, compare Zechariah 14.
26:3-4 "If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops..." Here God commands that His people obey His decrees and commands if they want seasonal rains (could be taken both literally and symbolically as "refreshing and replenishing our spirits). What are those decrees we are to keep exactly? Zechariah 14, in talking about the Millennial Kingdom during Jesus' reign, "Then...all the nations...will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain (vs. 16-17)." I believe at least a portion of this Leviticus passage is directly prophetic on one level about the Millennial reign because there is talk of peace, provision, and no wild animal attacks, and in verses 11-12 the Lord walks among His people. As I kept reading, this passage is almost exactly like Zechariah 14 only worded a little differently!
27:1-8 The value of a person. Here is Guzik's commentary: Persons are assigned a value according to their age and general usefulness to society; especially in an agricultural society, there was a definite sense in which a man between 20 and 50 was more "valuable" than a child one month to five years old. (Julie adds: in studies conducted especially in labor intensive work, men are able to do significantly more work and stay focused longer than women, hence the greater work value). Importantly, no one was prohibited from fulfilling a vow of consecration because they did not have enough money; if they were poor, the priests would be flexible with the valuation. Everyone can give their life to the Lord; there are none who are too small, or too insignificant, or too useless. God wants to use each and every one.
This is a beautiful Messianic prophecy through and through! Note the Princess Bride is His Church, led to His Palace on the great Wedding Day! Hey, men, I didn't write this stuff. You'll have to take it up with the King.
Questions for reflection:
Regardless of the monetary value set down for a person to dedicate themselves to the Lord in a work-intensive culture, you are priceless to God. He already proved it by paying the ultimate price to be with you forever. Have you ever thought about offering your life to the Lord? I mean truly dedicating yourself to His service in whatever capacity He wants to use you on this earth?
Have you ever thought about offering your children to the Lord (as in a conscious dedication of their lives and futures)? I recently thought about doing this. My daughters are 18 and 15, and I thought what a great testimony it might be to them if I held a dedication ceremony where I prayed over them and offered them to God for His service. I suppose many of us do this when they are babies, but did we really mean it? Did we know at the time what we were saying? And did our children hear us and understand what we were doing? So that is why I think it's a cool idea to do with our older children, and even with ourselves. The cool thing is that even if your kids don't think it sounds too great, I believe God will show them that His purpose for them is awesome, and they will end up wanting to comply with the whole dedication thing.