Thursday, February 14, 2013

Numbers: Chapters 13 through 15

(This reading was done on 2/13/2013 - published on 2/14/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites for once again joining me on my trip through Numbers.  Today started off very interestingly and I was intrigued to read it.  So without further ado let's get started.

I started with my prayer of understanding and thanked the Lord once again for his words and knowledge that he gives me every time I read.

Chapter 13:
This was an intriguing chapter and I really enjoyed reading it.  Like a short story from a spy novel.  Moses calls up one person from each family and asks them to go out and look at the lands and the cities they are about to enter.  He wants to know if they dwell in tents or have walled cities, if the land was plenty or not, and all manner of knowledge.  Ten of the scouts come back and let them know that yes there is a lot of wealth within the land and the towns are strongholds.  They also report that there is evil in the land.

Chapter 14: 8-9
8 "If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey."
9 "Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not."

This speaks volumes and makes me think of our own country, our own military.  Our soldiers are strong and the best in the world, but how much stronger would they be if they followed the Lord.  Those who believe have the strength of the Lord and that is greater then any weapon you could yield.

The rest of the chapter deals with the children of Israel and their unhappiness.  The Lord promises to smite them all but Moses speaks truth in that the Lord promised to bring his people into the land of Canaan and give it to them.  The enemies of the Lord will say that the Lord killed his people because he knew they could not give the land to his supposed people.  The Lord concedes but says that the children of Israel will wander the land for 40 years because of their murmuring.

Chapter 15:
This chapter deals with what the ritual will be when they are done being lost for 40 years.  The sacrifices that are to be made when the land of Canaan is given to the children of Israel.  The Lord chastises his people greatly in this chapter and just reading it, I can tell, is very upset with the people who are murmuring against him.  It is a difficult chapter to read, God's wrath is held in check but with a palpable anger that is felt through the pages.  The chapter ends with this:

39 "And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:"
40 "That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God."
41 "I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God."

I love this message, the fact that God says we need not follow our own hearts and eyes but what we need to do is follow the Lord God.  Following his commandments is the only true way to living with him by his side.  Everyone needs to realize that, fundamentally it is the most important message that is repeated in the Bible.

(Reading for 2/14/2013 - Numbers: 16-19 - will be published on 2/15/2013)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Numbers: Chapters 8 through 12

(This reading was done on 2/12/2013 - published on 2/13/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites, it is becoming clear the work of the Tabernacle and what is supposed to happen with it.  This information is all very interesting but so far I still have found no real gems to use with my everyday life.  I do love the information I am receiving and how happy, calm, and at ease I feel as I read these words.  I am excited when I read the words from our Lord and I can not wait to pick up the next day.

So today I started a deeper prayer then I have done before.  I asked for understanding as I usually do but my mind came to offering thanks.  Not only for what I have gleamed from what I have read, but from the words themselves.  I thanked God for the Bible and the other scriptural works that he has given us, for some reason I felt it very necessary to add that in.

Numbers 8:
This chapter talks about how the Levites are supposed to be set aside to work on the Tabernacle.  They are to have the entire congregation of Israel lay their hands upon their heads and set them apart so that they can take the place of the firstborn of Israel.  I understand how important this work was because it sets those apart which is a fundamental part of our church service.  When we take on a calling, we speak with the bishop and are set apart so that we may take on the work that we are to do.

Numbers 9:
Also a very interesting chapter.  Once again God tells Moses that the children of Israel are to keep the Passover.  This is definitely not the first time God has told Moses and the children of Israel this.  This is a necessary service to attend simply because of all the mentioning of it.  This means something to me because as I have heard and as I am led to believe, if the information is in the bible then it is in there for a reason.  The rest of the chapter talks about how they are to move when they travel to their new home.  When the smoke pillar of the Lord moves then they are to follow.  In night the smoke will become fire.  They are to remain wherever the smoke stays.  No matter how long that smoke remains there they stay there.

Numbers 10:
This chapter talks about creating trumpets to blow and how they need to sound one trumpet for everyone to meet at the tabernacle, one trumpet as an alarm, and how to use the trumpets during their marching.  The Pillar of smoke begins to leave and the camp goes with it.  There is a specific way that each tribe is supposed to go after the tabernacle and this is explained as well.

Numbers 11:
There were many rumblings within the children of Israel as they traveled to the land they were supposed to be at.  Because of these rumblings and whinings, the fire of the Lord went out to devour those who complained.  Even after that there were still others who complained that they had no flesh to eat and they were getting tired of Manna (the bread that dropped with the dew).  God told them that they would have meat, so much meat it would make them sick of meat.  Moses also chose the 70 elders which again is a big part of my church and these 70 are the most righteous under the prophet themselves.  Finally God delivered up quail in the encampment.  Those that ate the food were plagued by God because of their unclean ways.

Numbers 12:
Aaron and Miriam murmured against the Lord and his choice for a voice.  Moses was a meek man and Aaron felt he was stronger.  The Lord called all three of them to the door of the tabernacle.  God said one of the greatest passages I have ever read.  He says that his prophets he will talk to in visions, but Moses, the most righteous of all of the children of Israel, speaks face to face with God.  God will choose his prophets this way and it moves me that he does.  Miriam is struck with leprosy and is shut out of the camp for 7 days before she is allowed back in.  

(Reading for 2/13/2013 - Numbers 13-15 - will be published on 2/14/2013)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Numbers: Chapters 5 through 7

(This reading was done on 2/11/2013 - published on 2/12/2013)

Numbers 5
This chapter deals with lepers being sent out of the camps.  It also deals with how a sinner is to repay his debt to society so that he may be made clean again in the eyes of the Lord.  Finally, the chapter describes a, to me very barbaric, ritual that should be followed to find out if a wife has been unfaithful.  The barbaric part of this is that it did not matter what the woman did, it came down to if she actually cheated, or, if the husband thought she had cheated.

There are a couple things I need to realize though.  These were the laws that the Lord set forth and another thing I need to keep in mind is that women were treated a lot differently back then and it is not like it is now.  I also have to think that if a husband and wife have a good relationship then the chances of something like this even happening is fairly slim.  So again, understandable but a little barbaric in my eyes.

Numbers 6
The chapters talks about how a man is to take the vow of a Nazarite.  They are to take no alcohol of any kind or even eat any fruit from the vine, whether it be wet or dry.  They are also not allowed to shave their head.  They are to remain away from any dead otherwise they would be defiled.  The law states that he is to shave his head and offer a sacrifice.  They are also to shave their head and offer a sacrifice when their service as a Nazarite is over.

My favorite part of this chapter though is at the end when it is revealed what the blessing is to be to the children of Israel.  This beautiful blessing that is given to all of us is very touching and proves to me that God looks upon me as a loving father who smiles at me.  Not only with his mouth, but with his eyes.  I know that God is happy with me because of the faith that I follow, and because of that I am allowed to share in this special blessing as well.

Numbers 7
This includes the dedication of the Tabernacle.  It talks of each family and the sacrifice that they give to Aaron and the priests.  Each family on their own day offers the same thing as a dedication.  Once the dedication is completed Moses goes into the tabernacle and a voice is heard from the Tabernacle, the voice of the Lord.  The chapter ends with me wanting more, wanting to know what God said to Moses.  I can not wait to read more and see what is said.

(Reading for 2/12/2013 - Numbers: 8-12 - will be published on 2/13/2013)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Numbers: 1 & 2 - Numbers 3 & 4

(This reading was done on 2/9/2013 & 2/10/2013 - published on 2/11/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites and I have to give an apology to everyone.  I did not realize I posted no blog from yesterday.  What I did today was changed the reading to include 2 days worth.  This is going to include Numbers 1&2 as well as Numbers 3&4.  I did not want to play catch up like this, but it was only one day and the sum of just a few chapters so I figure it would be OK.  So onto the reading.

Numbers 1
The beginning of the book of numbering the children of Israel.  This chapter talks about how they numbered all the men from age 20 up who could fight for Israel from every household except the Levites.  These people are to sleep with their own group and each group shall have their own colors or "standard".  The Levites however were not numbered because they are to care for the Tabernacle and strike it down or put it up.  They will camp around the tabernacle and perform service for the tabernacle.

Numbers 2
This chapter deals specifically as to how the camp is to be set up and where each of the families are to be camped.

Numbers 3
This chapter dealt with the families of the Levites and how they were to be camped around the tabernacle itself.  Also it dealt with what part of the tabernacle each family was supposed to take care of and they had charge over.  Accordingly it would be their job to assemble these pieces when they set-up and they would disassemble the pieces they were in charge of when they tore down.

Numbers 4
It is stated how Aaron and Moses were to pack the tabernacle and cover it using the veil of covering and beaver pelts and cloth.  Once they get everything packed up, the task of moving the tabernacle itself will fall upon the Kohathites and that family, however if they are to touch anything holy they would be put to death.  The Gershonites will be set apart as well as they are the family that is to deal with the hangings of the tabernacle, including all the curtains and other veils.  And each other family is given their duties and set apart to follow them.

(Reading for 2/11/2013 - Numbers: 5-7 - will be published on 2/12/2013)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Leviticus: Chapters 25 through 27

(This reading was done on 2/8/2013; published on 2/9/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites and welcome to the last few books of Leviticus.  Tomorrow we start on Numbers and I have to say I am very excited.  I have never read this far into the Bible and I am learning a lot more than I thought I would or ever have before.  I feel energized and thankful for starting this endeavor that has yielded so much knowledge that I do not see this as a chore like I thought I would.

So onto the reading!  I started with a prayer and also thanked the Lord for the information he has already presented me.

Leviticus 25
This chapter deals with something that I have never heard of and that is that every seventh year shall be a sabbath year.  A year devoted strictly to the Lord.  This is such a new concept to me yet it seems so beneficial.  One whole year, dedicated to the Lord, what a privilege it would be.  Think of all the service you could do and all the blessings that would be poured out.  This, in itself, would be a miracle.

It also talks about every 50 years we are to have a jubilee.  A holy, year-long, festival that forgives trespasses and is meant to honor the Lord.  During this time we are instructed not to plow or to sacrifice so that the meat of the field can grow and multiply.  There are also laws set forth in this chapter that include how to sell and redeem lands and servants.

Leviticus 26
I highlighted some scripture in here as I read this chapter but I have to say that the entire chapter is worth reading and something I will comment on.  I suggest that everyone read this chapter, open your Bibles and look at what God himself has said and look on our times that we are living now.

This entire chapter tells of what we are going through now and how we could have easily avoided it all.  The Lord promises everything to us if we keep his commandments.  The Lord states that he will pour out blessings onto us, the children of Israel, if we follow his commandments.  He also states what will happen if we walk contrary to him.  Just look at some of the passages that are included and tell me that we have not fallen so far that we are now walking contrary to God.

We are not going through revelations, we are going through Leviticus 26.  Everything in here is something that we have seen and all of this has happened over a period of time in the past 20 years or so.  I live in Sacramento and I remember a time that we had seasons.  We had rain during the winter and now we have nothing.  It has been about a week since it rained for about a day or two and before that it was nearly three weeks.

Look at what has happened over the past few years alone.  Everything we have done has been leading us down a pathway contrary to God.  What God says is the rules, we no longer follow the covenants we have with him so he has done exactly what he said he was going to do.  None of this will change until we start walking with God again, unfortunately, we may never be able to do that.

Leviticus 27
This chapter deals with the consecration of houses and how the cost is to be determined for people living within the homes.  This chapter also talks about how tithing is to happen with regards to the crops and cattle.  There is a specific way that each of these are supposed to happen and it makes a lit more sense right now about how tithing works in our modern church.

(Reading for 2/9/13 - Numbers: 1-2 - will be posted 2/10/2013)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Leviticus: Chapters 21 through 24

(This reading was done on 2/7/2013; published on 2/8/2013)
 
Chapter 21:
This chapter deals with a few things but the chapter itself is short.  First off it talks about how the priests (Aaron and his sons) shall be holy before God and not defile himself or the dead.  The chapter goes on to talk about what Aaron and his sons are to look for in wives.  They are supposed to take a virgin as their wives.  To take anything else would be defiling themselves and this is what they are not to do.  Finally it comes to those with blemishes not being able to offer any kind of offering on the altar.  They can still do the sacrifice with the help of the priests, but they shall not go through "the veil" of the tabernacle to offer a sacrifice.
 
Chapter 22:
Again a short chapter with a few more rules that are introduced.  First one of the rules includes that no starnger shall eat of the sacrifices.  No visitors, or strangers, or anyone that is not of the house of Israel shall eat.  Even if a woman were to marry her husband would not be able to eat, nor would she anymore because she is a stranger of the land.  If she were divorced, or widowed, or seperated then she could.  Also if someone is to buy someone else (endentured into slavery) they are to eat.  There were also more rules about sacrifices with blemishes and that they are not to be offered for a holy sacrifice.
 
Chapter 23: 8
8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
This is interesting to me.  I had not ever read this before and it shows that we are supposed to have a day set aside for church.  I always wondered about this, about why we have meeting houses and why we have churches and here it is, straight out of the Bible.  Like I said, I had never read this and I used to be under the assumption that I could have church anywhere, at any time, and now I see how wrong I actually was.

The remainder of the chapter talks about the feasts and meetings that are to be performed and how burnt offerings and unleavened bread is needed to be served on those days.

Chapter 24:
This chapter talks about a fire to the Lord that will be outside the tabernacle that will burn continuously.  Also the law that includes "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" is introduced.  More information on these laws and how to deal with those who are blasphemous are to be dealt with.  Very interesting laws and how to play them out.

(Reading for 2/8/13 - Leviticus: 25-27 - will be posted 2/9/2013)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Leviticus: Chapters 17 through 20

(This reading was done on 2/6/2013; published on 2/7/2013)

Ok, my fellow Internites I will make this short and sweet...my cup runneth over and there is a LOT to go over today.  So let's get to it.

I started with my usual prayer of understanding and that I should be able to find gems that I can use or explain with my everyday life.  I also thanked the Lord for the word of the Bible

Leviticus 17: 4
4 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto the Lord‍ before the tabernacle of the Lord; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people:

I started with this one because it says a lot in a very little.  Basically what this brought to mind is that the Lord is saying, heed my word and follow the instructions I give you, if not then I'm turning my back on you.  This, I think, is very important that people need to understand.  Following this are rules and laws that need to be followed; all the chapters dealt with rules and regulations including the death penalty and when to instigate it.  The Bible is God's word and too often, we don't fully understand that, even when we are studying it. 

These rules that have been presented and the rules that will be presented need to be followed, if not then you are cut off from the Lord and you are on your own.  That would scare me, tremendously.

Leviticus 17: 8-9
8 And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be‍ of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice,
9 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the Lord; even that man shall be cut off from among his people.

Sacrifices were meant to be made.  Even now, we have to sacrifice something to the church.  Most of us see this as a necessary sacrifice and we see the blessings that are given to us.  For example, tithing is a sacrifice, but those of us who have tithed the blessings are poured out to us and we know that this 'sacrifice' is needed.

These scriptures talk about those that offer a sacrifice but do not bring it to the tabernacle or even offer it to the Lord and they are sent out from God's eyes and seperated.  How could you not do this?  I could give my tithing to a charity, but this is a sacrifice for the Lord.  We thank the Lord for the work that we have and the support we have for our family.  Yes you could give it to charity, which would be a great thing to do, but without offering that thankfulness, that sacrifice, then you will be cut off.  I am not saying not to give to a charity, I am saying that sacrifices to the Lord need to be made. 

Leviticus 17: 10-11
10 And whatsoever man there be‍ of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
11 For the life of the flesh is‍ in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is‍ the blood that‍ maketh an atonement for the soul.
 
If nothing else speaks of Jesus Christ in the Bible this scripture does; "for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."  In the Old Testament the blood was from an animal sacrifice, in the New Testament that blood is from our saviour Jesus Christ.  This law has never changed and the fact that we celebrate this every time we take our sacrament says something very deeply.
 
Leviticus 18: 4-5
4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am‍ the Lord‍ your God.
5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am‍ the Lord.

This felt like a very big hug from God.  Here he says that if we shall do the judgements and ordinaces we walk with the Lord.  Not only do we need to just "do" them we need to "live in" them.  These statutes that the Lord has given us need to be followed simply because without that we are not the Lord. 

Now these rules and ordinaces change over time.  Like I said before, we don't do animal sacrifices anymore because we do not need to.  We have the sacrifice of Jesus.  But in general these laws and judgements and ordinances need to be kept to follow the Lord.  It is a simple plan of salvation and yet today we seem to follow these ordinaces when we want to, but that's not the way it is supposed to be.  These rules are a necessity to our life and our salvation.

Leviticus 19: 2
2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord‍ your God am‍ holy.

I love this, again so simple and so powerful.  This needs to be stated from every father to every son and every mother to every daughter.  You shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.  Keeping ourselves holy will make us more like God and that is what we all strive for.

Leviticus 19: 15
15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but‍ in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

I love this one too.  Too often I hear people who claim to be 'good christians' turn around and talk about people or gossip behind their back.  This gets very frustrating for me and I see it as crass.  I try to look at who they are and what they bring to the table in terms of righteousness.  I will not say I am perfect, but I would rather look to see what people bring to my salvation rather then put them down for some reason.

Leviticus 20: 26
26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am‍ holy, and have severed you from other‍ people, that ye should be mine.

This was strong for me and meant something.  I am a child from Israel and reading more I see that those others have had their religions but they are gone.  Throughout this chapter there is talk of the God the Canaanites follows.  Is there any more of a reference of them?  No, there is no holy Bible of the Canaanites.  There are scriptural studies from other religions but nothing like the christian religion.  I know that I have been seperated as a child of Israel and with that I am folded within the arms of the Lord and I am his.

(Reading for 2/7/13 - Leviticus: 21-24  - will be posted 2/8/2013)