Highlights In Today's Reading:
You may not be surprised and probably know that almost all our laws in America that are beneficial to “mankind” come from the laws God gave the Israelites. Read carefully the details of three very important feasts and the pattern of the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant — all symbolic of Christ and His relationship with believers today. Again, the Lord gloriously provides the Spirit of Truth . . .. He will guide you into all Truth (John 16:13) for the protection, care, and guidance of His people.
How easy but sinful it is to spread gossip! Of all sins, some of the vilest are committed with the tongue. Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest (pervert) judgment (Exodus 23:1-2). This means more than repeating gossip or slander. The Hebrew word also means that a person should refuse to even listen to slander.
God says that anyone who uttereth a slander (repeats an ill report or accusation), is a fool (Proverbs 10:18) and the one who repeateth a matter separateth very (close) friends (17:9).
Slander is perhaps the easiest, most subtle sin a person commits; yet, it is so wicked that it is listed with the seven most abominable sins that God hates: These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren (6:16-19).
By gossiping, some have not only destroyed the good reputation of others but their own usefulness to God as well. The Bible says: If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. . . . The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity . . . it defileth the whole body . . . and it is set on fire of (from) hell. . . . it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. . . . Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. . . . the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy (James 1:26; 3:6,8,13,17).
Thought for Today:
Finally, brethren . . . whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).
As the Ark of the Covenant (Testimony). The wood demonstrated His humanity; the gold overlay represented His deity. Only through His blood sprinkled on the Ark could one receive forgiveness. God dwelt above the Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:10-22). Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He (Jesus) entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12).
23:2 decline after many =b> don't side with the majority to pervert justice; 23:5 forbear =refuse to help someone; 23:8 gift =b> bribe; 23:13 be circumspect =b> pay strict attention; 23:23 cut them off =utterly destroy; 23:31 bounds =boundaries; sea of the Philistines =b> Mediterranean Sea; the river =the Euphrates River; 24:11 laid not his hand =did not strike down; 25:22 commune =speak.
Pray for The Arabic and English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in honor of W.C. Williams • Staff: Ken Sharp • Government Officials: Gov. Chet Culver (IA) and Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ) • Country: Belarus (10 million) in northeastern Europe • Major languages: Belarussian and Russian • Religious freedom • 48% Orthodox; 22% Roman Catholic; 1.1% Jewish; 1% Protestant; .2% Muslim; 27.7% Agnostic/Atheist/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray with a heart of righteousness, keeping the truth of God, and know He will hear your prayers (Isaiah 26:2).
Optional Reading: Matthew 25
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 3:11