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Friday, March 7, 2008

Numbers 8-9:23; Mark 13:14-37; Psalm 50:1-23; Proverbs 10:29-30 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament

1. Purification of the Levites.

- The Levites are set apart for God's use. Isn't that what we are supposed to be doing, too?

2. The Second Passover

-It's been a year since the Israelites have left Egypt. The rules are set for the celebration of the Passover. When and how to celebrate it.

- Failure to celebrate it appropriately calls for separation from the community.

- And, Moses consults God for answers. Here again, isn't that what we are supposed to do. Listen to God, wait for an answer. Granted, Moses had a direct line...

3. The fiery cloud.

- The Israelites moved and rested with God, and at God's command. They were led by God. If He stopped, they stopped. If He moved, they moved.

New Testament

4. Jesus warned of the terrible trgedies which will be part of human experience while He is away. Finally there will come events foretold in the Book of Daniel and by other Old Testament prophets. As the end nears there will be "greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again."

5. That day will close when "everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory."

6. So, what are we supposed to do in the meantime?

- Jesus gives His followers this warning: "Be on guard! Be alert!" No one knows when the Lord will come, so each of us must be alert and about his assigned task.

- And what must we be alert for? Jesus is warning us to be alert for the very things that crept into the religion of Israel and sapped it of its vitality do not slip into the practice of our faith!

- How good it is to know that, until Jesus does return, you and I can worship Him, with others, in Spirit and in truth.


7. "Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
Then call on me when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory.”

- Remember the purpose of all these sacrifices and rules was to keep a constant reminder before these people that they needed to serve God above all else. God did not need their sacrifices, and He doesn't need ours.

- What God wants from us is worship and thanksgiving...from our hearts. David, who is credited with writing the Psalms, was said to be a man after God's own heart. I think what he (David) is trying to get us to see is that the core of what God wants is worship and love...not just meaningless sacrifices. But think about this in human terms. How many times have you gotten a gift for a loved one? Just because it was time to do it, a birthday, or an anniversary. The recipient knows wether this gift is from love or from duty.

8. "...While you did all this, I remained silent,
and you thought I didn’t care.
But now I will rebuke you,
listing all my charges against you.
Repent, all of you who forget me,
or I will tear you apart,
and no one will help you."

- And for the wicked...judgement is coming.

9. "But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.
If you keep to my path,
I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”


10. "The way of the Lord is a stronghold to those with integrity,
but it destroys the wicked."

- Keep your integrity!!!

See you next post...

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