Read Psalms 78 -- 80
In Today's Reading:
The Lord's judgment against disobedience; prayer against enemies; prayer for mercy and restoration
We are reminded of the pitiful heartbreak and horror felt by the Israelites following the destruction of the Temple and their nation. They had chosen to disobey God's Covenant and reject His Commandments. The awful consequences of sin are inevitable. The psalmist cried out: O God, the heathen (nations) are come into Thine inheritance; Thy holy Temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps (in ruins) (Psalm 79:1).
God had chosen Israel to be a witness to the world. They were to show how He would bless all who honor Him and His Word; but, as a nation, they failed miserably, just as many people do today. One of the devil's many lies that deceive is: If it feels, tastes, or looks good, do it. In contrast, Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25). His choice qualified him to help change the world. He led the Israelite nation out of Egypt and later he was on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus. Centuries after Moses, the few remaining faithful Israelites pleaded: Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy Name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for Thy Name's sake (Psalm 79:9).
For the Israelites, the blood sacrifices of animals could only temporarily atone for (cover) sins. How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14). When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him, he said: Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Jesus Himself declared: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (14:6). With Jesus' death, all of the Old Testament sacrifices for sins were made obsolete and the old sacrificial system under the Law were forever destroyed.
Since the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, there has been no Temple, no Brazen Altar, no Laver, no Golden Candlestick, no Table of Showbread, no Ark of the Covenant, no Altar of Incense, and no biblical Day of Atonement as commanded by God in the Old Testament. Consequently, there is no way for a Jew to have his sins covered by the blood of a lamb and no high priests to perform such sacrifices. Israel's sacrifices and feasts were symbols foreshadowing all that was accomplished by Jesus the Messiah. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross made it possible for both Jews and Gentiles, who recognize themselves as lost sinners, truly repent, and receive Jesus as their Savior, to be forgiven of their sins. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-28).
As the true Shepherd (see Psalm 80:1). Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, as well as the Door through which one must enter to be saved. He alone is the Way to heaven (see John 10:9,11).
78:15 clave = split; 78:34 enquired early = sought diligently; 79:1 on heaps = in ruins; 79:4 derision = ridicule; 80:3 Turn us again = Restore us; 80:8 a vine = Israel; 80:12 hedges = walls or fences; 80:18 quicken us = revive us.
BP Staff: Diana Hash · Pray for Adam Lock and the Bible Pathway International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts on WWCR, Nashville TN · Government Officials: Rep Julia Carson (IN), Rep. John Dingell (MI), and Sen. Phil Gramm (TX) · Country: Israel (6 million) in the Middle East · Major languages: Hebrew and Arabic · Witnessing to Jews about Christ the Messiah is actively discouraged · 88% Jewish; 8% Muslim; 2% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that you would be sanctified through the truth of the Word of God (John 17:17).
Optional Reading: II Thessalonians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:18