February 10

Read Leviticus 24 -- 25

In Today's Reading:

Not only did the Lord speak, but He commands. Note the seriousness of blaspheming the Name of the Lord (Leviticus 24:11). Discover God's number for perfection and its eventual climax in the victorious jubilee.

Verses for Today:

Bake twelve cakes. . . . And you shall set them in two rows . . . on the pure table before the Lord. And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire to the Lord (Leviticus 24:5-7).

Highlights:

Care of the Tabernacle, lamps, and Showbread; death penalty for blasphemy; Sabbath years; year of jubilee; seventh year redemption of property; laws concerning the poor.

The Showbread was the result of the Israelites' physical labor: tilling, sow ing, reaping, milling, and baking. The olive oil required for the Candle stick was obtained through the work of servants in accordance with the Lord's direction. As followers of Christ, we also must respond to our responsibility by doing our part. The Table of Showbread was never to be without bread, for God had said: You shall set Showbread upon the Table before Me alway (Exodus 25:30). The bread illustrates that His Word is the source that develops and sustains spiritual life (1 Peter 2:2; Matthew 4:4).

The loaves were made of fine flour -- coarse or inferior flour could not be used, for each loaf also foreshadowed Christ, the Perfect One who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:26). The loaf could not be eaten until it was baked. The crushing of the wheat into flour is also a picture of Christ, Who faced the fierce oven of affliction and crucifixion to come forth as the Bread of Life (John 6:35; see also Isaiah 53:10) who sustains and strengthens the Christian.

Pure frankincense was offered on the altar near the entrance to the Holy of Holies. But it was also put on each of the two rows of bread, showing how closely the bread and the Altar of Incense were united. The offering of incense on the bread was symbolic of prayer according to the Word of God. The bread was symbolic of His Word that provides the source of strength and knowledge to offer acceptable prayer to God. Jesus said: Man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).

Just as the priests ate the showbread, we are to partake of the spiritual food that is available through reading the Word of God. Through His Word, the Holy Spirit guides us to pray acceptably to God.

Let my cry come near before You, O Lord: give me understanding according to Your Word (Psalms 119:169).

A Thought from Psalms: Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart (119:2).

Christ Portrayed:

By the kinsman-redeemer (Leviticus 25:47-55). Christ is our Redeemer (Galatians 4:5; Titus 2:14) and we have become His kinsmen through that redemption (Romans 8:16-17).

Word Studies:

24:4 order the lamps = see that they are continually supplied with oil and kept in trim; 24:6 pure table = table of pure gold for showbread; 24:12 in ward = custody/under guard; 24:19 blemish = a permanent injury; 25:30 shall not go out = shall not be returned to the original owner; 25:34 field of the suburbs = pasturelands; 25:35 be waxen poor = is impoverished; 25:36 usury = interest; 25:39 bondservant = slave; 25:43 rigour = harshness, severity; 25:47 wax = becomes; the stock of the stranger's family = a member of the foreigner's family.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Gov. Kirk Fordice (MS), Gov. Frank Keating (OK), and Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. (NC) · Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Slovakia (5 million) central Europe · Major languages: Slovak and Hungarian · Religious freedom · 60% Roman Catholic; 8% Protestant; 4% Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Sing praises to God, for He hears your prayers and delivers you (Psalms 40:1-3).

Optional Reading: Mark 13

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9