February 24 – Scripture of the Day

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In today’s reading the Lord gave Moses instructions regarding:

  • The Appointed Festivals
  • Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread
  • The Festival of Firstfruits
  • The Festival of Harvest
  • The Festival of Trumpets
  • The Day of Atonement
  • The festival of Shelters
  • Pure Oil and Holy Bread
  • An Example of Just Punishment
  • The Sabbath Year
  • The Year of Jubilee

The scripture that stood out to me today was Leviticus 24:14-17 which says, “When you make an agreement with your neighbor to buy or sell property, you must not take advantage of each other. When you buy land from your neighbor, the price you pay must be based on the number of years since the last jubilee. The seller must set the price by taking into account the number of years remaining until the next Year of Jubilee. The more years until the next jubilee, the higher the price; the fewer years, the lower the price. After all, the person selling the land is actually selling you a certain number of harvests. Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other. I am the Lord your God.”

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Today’s reading: Leviticus 23:1-25:23
Tomorrow’s reading: Leviticus 25:24-26:46

February 23 – Scripture of the Day

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In the reading today there are further instructions from the Lord to Moses regarding:

  • Punishments for disobedience
  • Instructions for the priests
  • Worthy and unworthy offerings

The scripture that stood our to me today is Leviticus 20:23-24 which says, “Do not live according to the customs of the people I am driving out before you. It is because they do these shameful things that I detest them. 24 But I have promised you, ‘You will possess their land because I will give it to you as your possession—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from all other people.”

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Today’s reading: Leviticus 20:1-22:33
Tomorrow’s reading: Leviticus 23:1-25:23

February 22 – Scripture of the Day

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One of the criticisms I sometimes hear of Christianity is that throughout the Old Testament, and perhaps particularly in Exodus and Leviticus, is all the “rules” people are supposed to follow.

No one likes rules. I am particularly bad at following rules.

And so it might seem counter-intuitive that I find so much joy and freedom in the scriptures.

How is that exactly?

How can “rules” bring freedom?

Well, we must be willing to look deeper than the rules themselves.

The scripture that jumped out at me today was Leviticus 18:5. This verse is found amongst the Lord’s commands to Moses and the Israelites regarding sexuality and other topics.

It reads, “If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.”

If we accept the premise that not only did God create us, but He did so because He loves us and wants a relationship with us, than it stands to reason the He knows best how we should live our lives.

And so God doesn’t give us rules for their own sake.

He doesn’t give us guidance on how to live our lives because He’s some sort of giant cosmic party pooper or control freak.

No.

He advises us how to live our lives, and live in relationship with Him and one another, because if we do so, He knows that we will be mightily blessed. We will find true life.

That’s why the “rules.”

Because He loves us!

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Today’s reading: Leviticus 17:1-19:37
Today’s reading: Leviticus 20:1-22:33

February 21 – Scripture of the Day

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There are many, many familiar phrases and idioms in the English language that have their meaning that originally comes from scripture. Today’s reading is one of those examples.

We’ve all heard about a scapegoat, right? According to Webster, a scapegoat is “a person who is unfairly blamed for something that others have done.”

But the original meaning and usage of scapegoat comes from Leviticus 16:10 which reads, “The other goat, the scapegoat chosen by lot to be sent away, will be kept alive, standing before the Lord. When it is sent away to Azazel in the wilderness, the people will be purified and made right with the Lord.”

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Today’s reading: Leviticus 14:33-16:34
Tomorrow’s reading: Leviticus 17:1-19:37

February 18 – Scripture of the Day

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Todays reading described how the Tabernacle ceremony took place. Included was:

  • Further instructions for the Guilt Offering
  • Further instructions for the Peace Offering
  • The Forbidden Blood and Fat
  • A Portion for the Priests
  • Ordination of the Priests

The verse that stuck out to me was Leviticus 8:33 which says, “You must not leave the Tabernacle entrance for seven days, for that is when the ordination ceremony will be completed.”

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Today’s reading: Leviticus 7:1-8:36
Tomorrow’s reading: Leviticus 9:1-11:47

February 17 – Scripture of the Day

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In today’s reading there were more instructions from the Lord to Moses about offerings. Specifically:

  • Procedures for the Sin Offering
  • Sins Requiring a Sin Offering
  • Procedures for the Guilt Offering
  • Sins Requiring a Guilt Offering
  • Further Instructions for the Burnt Offering
  • Further Instructions for the Grain Offering
  • Procedures for the Ordination Offering
  • Further Instructions for the Sin Offering

The verse that stood out to me today was Leviticus 5:17 which says, “Suppose you sin by violating one of the Lord’s commands. Even if you are unaware of what you have done, you are guilty and will be punished for your sin.”

This can be seen as a very difficult. I mean, even if we don’t know what we have done, we are still guilty?? And will be punished??

Oooof.

Not good.

And so that is why so much of this part of scripture describes the different offerings to God, including the sin offering. We must be held accountable for our actions (even when we don’t realize it) and thus an innocent animal was sacrificed to atone for our sin.

Thankfully we no longer must do this because Jesus paid the price for all the sins of humankind for all time.

Past, present and future.

Thanks be to God for His love, grace, mercy and forgiveness!

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Today’s reading: Leviticus 4:1-6:30
Tomorrow’s reading: Leviticus 7:1-8:36