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Bible Pathways 07/08/04

July 8

Read Psalms 78 - 80

In Today's Reading:

The Lord's judgment against disobedience; prayer against enemies; prayer for mercy and restoration

God had chosen Israel to be His witness to the world. As His people, they were to be an example of how He would bless all who honor Him and His Word; but, they had failed miserably and the glorious City of God was destroyed. We are reminded of the pitiful heartbreak and awesome horror felt by the Israelites following the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. They had assumed that, since they were the chosen Covenant people of God, they were secure. But they had chosen to disobey God's Covenant and His Commandments. The awful consequences of sin are inevitable. The psalmist cried out: O God, the heathen (nations) are come into Your inheritance; Your holy Temple they have defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps (in ruins) (Psalm 79:1).

The few remaining faithful Israelites pleaded: Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your Name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for Your Name's sake (79:9).

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 scripturally observed Day of Atonement as commanded by God through Moses. All that was essential to cover their sins was destroyed at that time. Israel's sacrifices and feasts were symbols created by God to foreshadow all that was to be accomplished by Jesus the Messiah.

With Jesus' sacrificial death, all of the Old Testament sacrifices for sins were made obsolete and the old sacrificial system under the Law was destroyed. The blood sacrifices of animals could no longer temporarily atone for (cover) sins. The Holy Spirit led the learned former Pharisee, the Apostle Paul to confirm that the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot (defect) to God (can), purge (cleanse) your conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14).

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 you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-28).

Christ Revealed:

As the true Shepherd (Psalm 80:1). Christ is the Good Shepherd and the Door through which one must enter to be saved. He alone is the Way to heaven (John 10:9,11).

Word Studies:

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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for BP Staff: Rick Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Julia Carson (IN) and Rep John Dingell (MI) · Country: Iceland (272,000) at the northern end of the Atlantic · Major language: Icelandic · Religious freedom · 94% Protestant; 6% Roman Catholic ·

Prayer Suggestion: Be of one heart and mind with other Christians (I Corinthians 1:10).

Optional Reading: II Thessalonians 2

Memory Verse for the Week: I John 4:18

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