Monday, February 11, 2013 4:05am
It has been a few weeks since I’ve woken up this early. I’m taking that as a sign that I am starting to heal… I’m not gonna make the same mistake as Saturday and overdo it. Did not work out so well.
I don’t know if it’s because it’s early, or because I spent so much time talking to You yesterday, but I don’t seem to have much on my mind this morning. There is lots I’m thinking about, but not anything that I am really burdened about.
You are good, and what You do is good. (Psalm 119:68)
Reading Leviticus 15-17
A few things that stand out to me….
Certainly not much privacy in that time. Did everyone know what was going on all the time because of the sacrifices and ceremonial cleaning that one had to make? Is it pride that makes me thankful for the fact that my sin is first and foremost between me and You, Lord? I understand that my sin can affect, or be against others, and I need to make that right as it happens. But, I have seen the way that people judge and condemn, and I’m so glad that with You it is different. Once I confess my sin to You, You no longer hold it over my head or use it against me. I am grateful for that.
I love reading about the Day of Atonement, but even more than that, understanding what a beautiful truth is being foreshadowed. The High Priest was only allowed to go into Your presence once a year, and in a certain manner, prescribed by You.
Now, we “have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain….let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.” Hebrews 10:19-22
Whereas the High Priest once a year entered that Most Holy Place, we now can come before You at any time. Not carelessly however, and I think sometimes I forget this. We don’t get to do this because WE have become worthy, but because we are putting FULL ASSURANCE in the fact that Jesus blood has cleansed us. And the fact that He is always interceding for us. He is the “smoke of the incense” that fills that Most Holy Place. It is with boldness, not “brazenness”, that we come before You.
I love the picture of the High Priest, coming before You in His simple linen tunic. White linen garments always speak of righteousness in Your Word, and I believe that this is a picture of Christ’s righteousness that stands before God. But I also love how the High Priest had to strip himself of everything that denoted who he was-his normal garments-layers and all his ornamental dress, and it was simply him in linen garments. Just reminds me of the truth that there is nothing that I have to offer God. I need to strip myself of all but the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That is the only way I should be coming before God. Lord, give me caution as I approach the Throne. Not to make me hesitant, but to make me dependent on You. Your blood. Your righteousness.
I love the picture of the scapegoat, being sent out “into some remote place” to get lost. I understand in my head that You took away my sins (John 1:29), that when I confess my sins to You, You don’t remember them anymore (Hebrews 8:12). Why is it that I can’t forget them? Is it because I don’t believe it? That I can just imagine that scapegoat finding its way back into camp?
I do believe it, though. Why is it, that of all the things I remember, it’s the things that I don’t want to remember? Why can’t it be the things that I need to remember?
What is more rehearsed in my mind?
Hmm…something to think about.
And You bring to mind, Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, , whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
Also, Colossians 3:2-3 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” I love that picture of me being hidden in the “smoke of the incense”-Christ’s petitions to the Father-interceding for me. Thank you, Jesus.
And I get the answer to my question from a few days ago about the reason for not eating the blood. Verse 11 of chapter 17 says, “For the life of the creature is in the blood, and I have given it to You to make atonement for yourselves on the altar: it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
The blood was set apart for atonement. It wasn’t perfect blood, and that’s why it had to be repeated over and over and over again. But, it was the means by which God’s wrath was satisfied so that we could be reconciled with Him. And so for that reason, it was, just like all things that were holy unto the Lord, not to be eaten. When Christ’s blood was shed, it was perfect blood, and so that sacrifice only had to be made once, because it covered all the sacrifices in the past, and it covered all the sins in its future.
There were so many things that I wanted to look into further, but the kids will be getting up soon, and I still need to read Acts 18.
One thing stands out to me about Apollos. It says “He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.” vs 24b and 25
I am sure that God had gifted him to speak boldly and refute Scripture, but the thing that stands out to me is “he was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.” Thorough means “exhaustively complete; painstakingly accurate or careful” and I am intrigued by the fact that this man knew God’s Word like that. It says that after Priscilla and Aquila had “explained the way of God more adequately”, he wanted to go to Achaia, and when he got there, “he was a great help to those who by grace had believed”. I can’t help but think that this knowledge of God’s Word is the means by which he was able to do this. He was able to “vigorously refute the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah”.
It is just another reason to commit myself to thoroughly studying Your Word. I think that I would be more effective when I refute those who argue against You, and try to deny that You are the Messiah. Am I correct in my thinking that I should be more focused on gaining knowledge of Your Word, rather than on what I am to do with it? Lord, please continue to give me a hunger and desire to understand this wonderful book that You have given us. I hesitate to call it just a book-it is more than that, so much more.
Lord, help my focus to be on You and Your Word. And let all the other things going on in my life fall where they may. Let me filter every word that goes out of my mouth, and every word or thought that comes into my head and heart, through Your Word-Your truth.