Highlights In Today's Reading:
Amazing, but again we hear the Creator speaking to Moses: Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel (19:2). Have you counted how many times that God reminds us: I am the Lord (the Self-Existent Creator God) just in today's Bible reading (19:3,4,10,12,14,16,18,25,28,30,31,32,34,36,37; 20:7,8,24, 26)? Hallelujah — HE IS THE LORD!
Of all the nations in the world, God chose Israel to be a special people unto Him. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. . . . And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. . . . And ye shall be holy unto Me: For I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be Mine (20:7,23,26). Within this set-apart nation, He chose one tribe — the Levites — and within that tribe, there was only one family — the descendants of Aaron — that could be priests. If a priest broke a regulation of holiness, even if it was through ignorance, he became defiled and could not serve in the Tabernacle worship until cleansed from his defilement.
Aaron's two sons, Nadab and Abihu, thought they could do what they thought was satisfactory and still serve a Holy God. Since the presence of God can not dwell in the midst of sin, they were struck dead for their disobedience (10:1-2).
The Old Covenant was meant to teach the Hebrew nation the necessity of obedience if God were to dwell in its midst. But it also revealed that all these rules and Commandments were given to them by a loving God who desired that they gain the best out of life. The New Covenant does not provide a substitute for obedience, but it empowers the Christian to live lives in obedience to Jesus Christ: As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God (John 1:12).
Some are under the delusion that obedience is no longer as indispensable as it was with the Israelites. What a horrible blunder, they have mistaken the liberty in Christ for a license to sin. But the Holy Spirit led Paul to write: Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. . . . Neither let us commit fornication. . . . Neither murmur ye as some of them also murmurered and were destroyed. . . . (I Cor. 10:6,8,10).
Now the God of peace . . . make you perfect in every good work to do His will (Heb. 13:30-21).
Thought for Today:
How different our lives would be if we really loved doing the will of God, more than doing our own.
As the source of true guidance, in contrast to evil guidance (Lev. 20:6-8). Jesus, who is The Truth (John 14:6) also sent us the Spirit of Truth who guides us into all truth (16:13).
19:3 fear =reverential, heartfelt submission; 19:4 molten gods =metal images; 19:10 glean =gather leftovers after harvesters; 19:16 stand against the blood =stand against your neighbor's life; 19:17 rebuke thy neighbour and not suffer sin upon him =confront your neighbor for his wrongdoings, thereby clearing yourself of his guilt; 19:20 carnally =sexually; 19:23 uncircumcised =ceremonially defiled; 19:26 enchantment =demonic witchcrafts; observe times =soothsaying; 19:28 print any marks upon you =tattoo; 19:31 them that have familiar spirits =mediums, fortune tellers; 19:32 hoary head =aged, grey; 20:8 sanctify =dedicates; 21:7 put away =divorced; 21:8 sanctify him =consecrate him to God; 21:9 profane =defile, play the harlot.
Pray for Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Official: Rep. Gus Bilirakas (FL) • Country: Austria (8.1 million) in central Europe • Major language: German • Religious freedom • 78% Catholic; 6% Protestant; 3% Other Christian; 2% Muslim; .1% Jewish; 1.9% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice over and pray for those who share the Good News (Nah. 1:15).
Optional Reading: Mark 11
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:7-8