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Bible Pathways - July 8, 2005

July 8


Read Psalms 78:1


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 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 regardless of their conduct. They chose to disregard God's Covenant and His Commandments. The awful consequences of their sins were 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 way to scripturally observe the Day of Atonement or any other sacrifice as commanded by God. All of Israel's sacrifices and feasts were symbols created by God to foreshadow and explain all that was accomplished by Jesus their Messiah.


After Jesus' sacrificial death, all of the Old Testament sacrifices for sins were made obsolete and the old sacrificial system under the Law was destroyed soon after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. 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 who gave His life for His sheep. He alone is the Way to heaven (John 10:9,11).


Word Studies:


78:15 clave = split; 78:34 enquired early = sought diligently; 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 Staff: Rita Guerra · Government Officials: Rep. Julia Carson (IN) and Rep. John Dingell (MI) · Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa · Major language: Spanish · Freedom for churches at this time · 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Children, ask the Lord to enable you to honor your parents (Ephesians 6:1-3).


Optional Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2


Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Thessalonians 4:13

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