Old Testament: Leviticus Introduction Below
*Psalms Reading: Psalm 46
New Testament Reading: Romans 16
I am a Daddy’s girl, through and through. As a child, you could usually find me hiking with my dad, reading books with him, snuggling up to him, or helping him with a building project. He was so strong, secure, safe. Now, as his terminal illness has progressed, I have much more of a parental role toward him than he does toward me, but I’ll still always consider myself a Daddy’s girl.
Sometimes I like to sit back and just observe my daughters interacting with my husband too. They fawn over him! They want to attend all the Daddy-Daughter dances together. They draw him sweet pictures regularly. They beg him to scratch their backs to get them to sleep. When they are scared, they run to him for comfort and protection, knowing that he is strong and gentle.
Though in this flawed and sinful world many fathers don’t live up to God’s ideals, we all do have a Heavenly Father who wants to guide and protect us.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1, ESV) I’ve always loved this verse. It has spoken to the depths of my soul during many tumultuous times in my life. Following these encouraging introductory verses, Psalm 46 proceeds to mention many catastrophic events – the earth gives way, mountains fall into the sea, waters roar, mountains tremble – and calls us to have no fear during these times. Verses 4 through 9 then remind us of the power and provision of our God.
“Be still and know that I am God.” This verse I have both underlined in my Bible and written in the margins so I will be sure to notice it as I read. It is a good reminder that when all the chaotic events occur (both the ones mentioned in this Psalm as well as any others that happen in my own life), I am still called to find shelter in His stillness and remember that God is on the throne and He is in control. I don’t know about you, but “be still” is a tough command for me to follow; I like to always keep my hands and mind busy. My mind, actually, does not often settle down at all; anxiety has been my constant (uninvited) companion for as long as I can remember. However, when I purposefully choose to be still, basking in the presence of God, I can feel His peace wash over me like a spring rain. It takes a lot of effort, as I am not naturally driven to “be still”, but I’ve never been disappointed following a quiet moment with God; to the contrary, I find a renewed sense of purpose and strength when I remember – rather, KNOW within the depths of my soul! – that He is God.
“‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!’ The LORD of hosts with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” God is our protector, our fortress… our Daddy who loves us so much!
1. Pray this Psalm today. Think about it intently as you say each word.
2. Choose a time this week that you can “be still and know that He is God” – bask in his presence for a while as you praise and pray.
3. What in your reading today helps you KNOW that He is God? What are His qualities?
In our Old Testament reading, yesterday we finished reading Exodus, tomorrow we will begin Leviticus – here today is our
Introduction to Leviticus
Leviticus is the third book in the Old Testament, and the middle book in the Torah. Moses wrote Leviticus, which is mostly a record of God dictating His rules to Moses – while the Israelites were camped in front of Mount Sinai.
The recurring theme in Leviticus is, “Be holy, because I [God] am holy”. Leviticus 20:26 sums up the whole book pretty well, “You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.”
God had rescued the Israelites from slavery to belong to God. They had served the Egyptians, and now they must serve God. And in order to do that, they needed to know what God required.
As you read, you’ll be struck repeatedly by the fact that God is holy, and people aren’t. God gave all these rules because He wanted His people to be holy, and if they followed all these rules, they would be holy. The story of Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10 is a stark reminder that misdirected zeal for God can result in death.
You will see that reconciliation is possible for those who break God’s laws in ignorance, but only punishment awaits those who defiantly break God’s laws.
You will recognize that some rules were fulfilled in Jesus. For example, Leviticus 23 describes the “Feasts of the Lord”, which have fulfillment in Jesus. For example, Jesus fulfilled the 4 Spring feasts on the exact calendar day of the feast. I suspect the 3 fall feasts will be ultimately fulfilled exactly when Jesus returns.
- Passover – Jesus *was* the Passover lamb, and was killed on the date of Passover
- Unleavened Bread – Just as yeast was to be removed from houses, Jesus removed sin to his grave on this date.
- Firstfruits – Jesus was raised from the dead on the date of the feast of firstfruits.
- Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost) – The Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers on this date in Acts 2.
- Feast of Trumpets – I believe this will be the date the last trumpet sounds
- Day of Atonement – I suspect this may be the date of the Great White Throne Judgement
- Feast of Tabernacles – I suspect this may be the date of God’s dwelling with men.
Ultimately, I suspect what you’ll recognize is that God is holy, and no matter how hard we try, we just can’t follow all His rules to be holy. You’ll acknowledge that we couldn’t please God on our own. And will appreciate all the more that God sent his one and only Son to reconcile us to Himself.