Saturday, September 30, 2023

September 30, 2023

The cleansing process for someone who had leprosy, to allow them back into the temple and among society, was quite an ordeal. You can compare leprosy to sin; as we learned in the September 28, 2023 lesson, it was an act of God’s judgment upon a sinful person. The lepers were separated from everything they loved and made to live outside of camp. Though there is a lot to this procedure, one significant example of this process is the ritual of offering the doves. They were to bring two; one to sacrifice over a bowl of water where the blood mixed with the water, and then the other was to be washed in the blood and water, then released. 

Much of what we learn in the New Testament is lost because we’ve not studied the Old Testament. I am overwhelmed by the details missed because of only lingering in the New Testament. 

Initially, the leper had to go to the priest to be diagnosed with leprosy, similar to us recognizing our sinful state and being separated from God like the leper sent to dwell outside of camp. The disease could be long or short, depending on how long God intends to keep them in that state. Once healed, they were to bring the two doves to the priest. That’s when he killed one and released one. 

All this said was to prepare you for the short comparison. So, the washing of the living dove in the blood from the one that was sacrificed, and the blood mixed with water is much like the blood and water that poured out of Jesus when they pierced his side as he hung on the cross. We are like the living dove, cleansed by the living water of Jesus and set free from our sins. 

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water: As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. Leviticus 14:5-7

Friday, September 29, 2023

September 29, 2023

According to the Jewish calendar, tonight at sunset begins the Feast of Booths, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles. It is also called a Harvest Festival by some. It is the last feast that the Lord commanded the Israelites to keep as a remembrance of their dwelling in tents when they left Egypt. It is a feast where they build a hut outside their homes and spend most of their time during the week of the feast. I would say that it’s like camping or glamping because they don’t have to sleep in it, but should have all their meals in it. 

Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 23:42-43

Jesus taught in the temple during the Feast of Booths. Part of the tradition was for the men to pilgrimage to Judea. His disciples wanted him to go with them to show himself to the world, but he warned that it was not yet his time. However, he secretly departed to go there to teach in the temple after they left. He had healed a man on the Sabbath, and the people sought to kill him. The priests were known to break the sabbath law to complete the eighth-day circumcision of baby boys, but when Jesus made a man whole, they protested that doing that wasn’t allowed. Jesus pointed out their contradiction, which they didn’t like. Many people believed in him; however, the Pharisees heard some people complaining and sent an officer to arrest him, but it wasn’t his time. Jesus honored God by keeping the feast.

Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. John 7:33-34

Thursday, September 28, 2023

September 28, 2023

I’ve always wondered why, when lepers approached Jesus, he didn’t flinch or mind touching them to heal them. From the scriptures in Leviticus and the commentary, it seems as though it’s not contagious but God’s judgment upon that particular person. It’s as if they wear their inward sin on the outside of their body. That’s why they must go to a priest to judge whether they are clean or unclean rather than a doctor. It makes perfect sense, as some ailments are products of worry and anxiety. Back then, the lepers had colonies and had others to commiserate with and wallow in self-pity, never to be healed. Here’s a thought: if you are in social groups that dwell on unhealthy issues, it may be a good idea to get out of them and get in a group that speaks life and peace over you rather than the negativity often produced by those who are not healed through salvation in Jesus. It is thought that leprosy came from Egypt, and those who didn’t leave the Egyptian traditions behind got it. Another point, especially for a Christ-follower, is to leave your old ways behind. Jesus set you free, so don’t return to your old ways, inviting sin to corrupt your body again. 

As a side note, they had to uncover their head but cover their upper lip, which reminds me of what the government recently did to healthy people, causing them to feel forced to wear a mask, knowing it was ineffective. Their goal was not to protect others but to demoralize and dehumanize them. Never comply with their mandates again. It was the news topic recently, but the idea seems to have disappeared as quickly as it reappeared. 

When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: Leviticus 13:2

Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid. 1 Timothy 5:24-25

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

September 27, 2023

For a woman, the most painful time and the most joyful time happens simultaneously: childbirth. Before Jesus came and made us whole, women who bore a child were considered ceremonially unclean and were not allowed to enter the sanctuary until the blood from childbirth stopped flowing. After that, she must present a sin and peace offerings to the LORD; then, she will be clean. 

Now, we stay secluded to protect the newborn because of the fear of sickness and disease from other people, but we don’t have a specific timeline. God no longer separates women; we are whole because of our salvation.

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 3:28

Now, the most joyful time in our lives doesn’t come with shame. We are purified and no longer considered unclean. The more I learn about the Old Covenant, the more I am grateful to Jesus for having set us free. Today, thank Jesus for his atoning sacrifice that has made us whole, pure, and one with him. 

And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest: Leviticus 12:6

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

September 26, 2023

If ever there were laws in the Bible that I’m glad were repealed by God, it’s the laws about unclean animals because “I love me some bacon!” And though I cannot eat shellfish because it makes my throat swell and my skin itch, it is delightful to those who can eat it. Through these laws, God was teaching the children of Israel to set themselves apart from the rest of the world, but nothing that God created is unclean. There are some things in this law that you don’t have to tell me not to eat, like bugs; I won’t even touch the clean ones! Yuck! Because of Jesus, the food laws are no longer an issue, and if you eat some of the things mentioned in these laws, you are still clean and holy. It is not food that makes you holy; it is Jesus! Jesus sanctifies us because we trust in him. However, like my shellfish allergy, there are some foods that, because of our body’s reaction, we should avoid for our health, but that is not everyone’s burden. 

Enjoy the good things, and remember, everything the government proclaims as healthy may not be. The sooner you learn that they are liars, the sooner we get out of our mess. Even our food is part of the awakening process. 

For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. Leviticus 11:45

Jesus said: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” Matthew 15:11

Monday, September 25, 2023

September 25, 2023

There are moments in God’s word that bring astonishment, and Leviticus 10 opened my eyes about being cavalier in our calling as priests in the kingdom of God. Viewing God as always loving without respecting his majesty might be a mistake. Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, made that mistake and paid for it with their lives. The rituals of the Tabernacle were very new, and they were still learning; however, Moses had taught them what God expected and may have thought that their position exempted them from following God’s specific rules, similar to what I’ve heard some Christians use as an excuse to go ahead without permission and ask forgiveness later. That’s a bad idea and reprehensible behavior that is unbecoming of a Christ follower. If you think that God only zapped people dead in the Old Testament, remember Ananias and Sapphira, who dropped dead after lying to the disciples about how much money they got for their land? I’ve had to repent for disrespecting God’s deity and honoring him as he deserves. Yes, he is loving, but we must respect him as our Almighty Father rather than treating him as a fellow human; he expects more from us. God is not to be toyed with.

Today is The Day of Atonement. I’ve confessed to God for not showing him all due respect, honoring his majesty, and not taking my position seriously. I’m not sure why I’m still alive. I’ve repented and will try diligently not to dishonor him by my lack of respect for his position. I’m thankful he brought it to my attention so I can do better. What do you need to confess and repent to honor Jesus today on this special day? 

Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. Leviticus 10:1-2

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:15-16

Sunday, September 24, 2023

September 24, 2023

The study of Leviticus is showing me some comparisons between our salvation in Jesus and what God required of the Israelites' rituals of sacrificial offerings. 

The Tabernacle was prepared, set, and ready, like when seeds are planted, and the Holy Spirit begins touching our hearts. The Tabernacle was cleaned and made holy, and then Aaron and the priest were consecrated. After that, Aaron made an offering for their sins and then an offering for the people's sins. While the people were watching, God appeared as a fire consuming their offering. 

And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. Leviticus 9:24

Belief in Jesus leads to salvation, baptism, consecration, and becoming clean, like the priests. Then Jesus became our sacrifice for sins; then it was animals, but now we have the more worthy offering. And upon accepting Jesus as our offering for sin, God appears in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the fire of God; do not put the fire out! That would be like removing God from your life. Do you see the comparison?

Side note: Did the people scream out of shock and then fall on their faces in fear? I would have! It's like when you have those God moments when he shows you how close he is, you're overwhelmed, and fear strikes you, knowing he is paying attention to you.