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)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Leviticus: Chapters 14 through 16

(This reading was done on 2/5/2013; published on 2/6/2013)
Hello my fellow Internites and I have to say I am weening on being excited for the studies.  I was able to make it through the begatting but now I am on rites and rituals that are no longer practiced today.  I know why they are there I just want to get into more scripture study rather than have nothing to write about here.  I know I seem like I am sounding bitter, but I'm not.  I love reading the scriptures and I am learning so much that I had no ideas about before.  I am still very excited whenever I open the book and read the words.

I did find another little gem that presented me with information I had no idea about.  So I guess the old saying is true, you do learn something new everyday.

I started off with a prayer for understanding and enlightenment.  That I would be able to use these scriptures in my every day life.  I also thanked the Lord for giving us this holy scripture and for his understanding as I struggle through trying to understand what He has presented to me.

Leviticus 14
Leviticus deals more with the rules and regulations on cleaning those and the home and the people that have come in contact with someone who has leprosy.  Again this is very instructional but really I could find nothing within it that deals with every day ideas.  I will continue to say that I know why it was written and I understand the necessity of it all, so with that I still have the images of what people did in those days floating through my head as I read it, but, I do not see anything that sits with my life.

Leviticus 15
This chapters deals with the rules and the rites that are used to help cleanse those who have a discharge or any other type of uncleanness.  More rules and more rites that spell out how the priests are to perform their duties to clean those who are considered unclean.  Nothing here for me to really report on.

Leviticus 16: 21-22
21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

This is where the phrase "scape goat" came from and I find this very intersting.  Aaron is supposed to confess over a goat he releases to the wild all the sins of the children of Israel.  I did not know this is where it came from but I found it interesting that it was a law presented to Moses.

This also seems like one of the greatest rules that the Lord presented.  Here is a way for Aaron to confess of sins besides all of the burnt offering he has to do anyway.  This makes it easier especially for everyone involved.  I am still unclear as to when this is done over the other sin offerings but I love this idea. 

(Reading for 2/6/13 - Leviticus: 17-20  - will be posted 2/7/2013)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Leviticus: Chapters 10 through 13

(This reading was done on 2/4/2013; published on 2/5/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites and welcome back to my little nook in the internet world.  I am glad you are joining me again tonight and look forward to sharing the information I have gathered from my studies.

So I started with a prayer of understanding and learning and dove into my reading.

Leviticus 10: 10
10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;

Moses is talking to Aaron about the sons of Aaron that were burned before the Lord for performing an unauthorized sacrifice.  The Lord consumed them with fire and they died.  Moses was comforting Aaron about the death of his sons; not to rend his clothes or wail, because what they were doing was against the laws of the Lord.  Finally he gives some other rules to live by and states not to drink liquor and then stated this verse.

I love this because I have not always been a practicing Mormon, and I had fallen within my time.  I think this line says exactly what happens with a muddled mind of an alcoholic haze.  This is also amazing to me that this is the thought of a religious leader while Moses was around.  Moses knew that alcohol would affect the mind like this and that Aaron would not be a good priest because his mind would be muddled and he would be unable to perform the tasks that were laid out ahead of him.

Leviticus 11

This chapter deals specifically with what kind of animal is to be eaten and what kind of animal is deemed unclean to eat.  Again, there are a lot of rules in here that needs to be dealt with and I am giving this information a different look.  The beginning of the church needed this information so that they could be found pure and righteous in the name of the Lord.  The only questions that I have is when did these rules become forfeit and has all of these rules.  I know we do not do sacrifices anymore simply because we have the blanket of Jesus' sacrifice to protect us from the harsh cold of the Law of God.  But did all of these rules go out the window?  These are one of those questions that are talked about quite a bit but no real answer has ever been given.

Leviticus 12

This chapter is given into how a new born child is to be handled and how long both the mother and child will remain unclean until a sacrifice is offered.  This is a very short chapter so not a lot with regards to rules or information.

Leviticus 13

This chapter deals with all the different forms of leprosy and boils.  What the priests are to look for in each case, how long to separate them, and if separated what to look for after the seven days.  What struck me as interesting with this chapter was the information that was included.  These were not only priests but also doctors.  The information that they were given was what was needed to look for and how to treat, if it was at all treatable, the plague of leprosy.  I do not know how prominent leprosy was but it sounds like it was new enough because the priests were being told what, exactly, to look for.  If this was something that was prevelant wouldn't they have already known this information?  It's a question that is, I believe, unanswerable until a later time.

(Reading for 2/5/13 - Leviticus: 14-16  - will be posted 2/6/2013)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Leviticus: Chapters 6 through 9

(This reading was done on 2/3/2013; published on 2/4/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites.  I hope everyone is doing well tonight and one of these days I will get these blogs posted before 11 o'clock at night...I promise. 

Time for the reading and with it comes a prayer of understanding that the information presented to me will be understandable and that I can use the information to further my studies.

Recently I have been a little upset that I have not been able to use anything and that, while educational, the information from the past few chapters have all been a lot like reading assembly instructions for a very delicate item.  All down to specifics, to the inch, what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.  Tonight, I had an epiphany of this information.

Leviticus 6-7
These chapters again deal with how the offerings should be sacrificed.  It was as I was reading this information that it finally hit me and I wonder why it took so long.

These are very strict orders to be followed and while I understand that because it is the Lord's way, I never truly understood it until I finished up chapter 7.  These were laws that were governed by the Lord through Moses.  So why is it so important?  Because these are the laws that the priests are to follow for sacrificing before God gave us the final sacrifice in Jesus Christ.  These rules and regulations needed to be followed to the exactness because these were the rules to save our souls.  It was so clear to me I do not understand how I could have missed it.

Leviticus 8: 8
8 And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim.

This took me aback.  While reading the information on the instructions I knew the breastplate that he talked about included the Urim and the Thummim but for some reason it did not impact me the same way this did.

I think it impacted me was that this breastplate, now officially, sat upon Aaron's chest.  The same breastplate, I can only imagine, that was found by Joseph Smith.  Along with the Urim and the Thummim this breastplate was laid to rest and finally found by a young farm boy who introduced us to the church I now belong to.  To have a piece of history like this in your hands, how filled with joy he must have been.  To know that he is holding the same things that Moses had commanded to be made.  I know this church is built on faith that Joseph Smith had and I think this part has a lot to do with it.

Leviticus 9: 24
24 And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which‍ when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

I can tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I would have done exactly what the children of Israel did.  Presented before the Lord I would fall to my face as well.  To be honest I think a lot of it would be fear, there would be awe, but I would fear that my faith did not meet the approval of the Lord.  This is the fear I would have.  I still have that fear within my own life today.  If I was to be face-to-face with the Lord, how would I react.  I know there would be tears, and I know I would be afraid.  Not because I am face-to-face with the Lord, but for the same reason.  I honestly do not know if my faith measures up to what the Lord wants.

I am scared to meet my saviour, I have dealt with a wavering of my faith, with inactivity, with slothfulness, and I am afraid that I will never measure to what is needed.  I am working on it, and my prayers are earnest.  But I still fear that my life will never measure up to what Jesus wants from me.

(Reading for 2/4/13 - Leviticus: 10-13  - will be posted 2/5/2013)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Leviticus: Chapters 1 through 5

(This reading was done on 2/2/2013; published on 2/3/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites, again we are back and blogging the night away.  I'm sorry it took so long to get it up I have been in mourning over the loss of the Superbowl.

Besides the information I will be posting tonight I will be posting some information that has not been sitting well with me in the sense of what it means.

Anyway, on with the reading.  I started again with a prayer of understanding and the hope that the information that I am reading can be taken and used by me in my everyday life.

Ok so, there were a few things that I saw but not a lot.  So I am going to sum up what I did read and then tell you what I had found.

Leviticus: 1-5
These chapters talk about how the atonements for sins and peace offerings with burnt offerings as well as offerings made without meat (unleavened bread.)  It goes into how the offering is supposed to be offered up to Aaron and how everything is supposed to be laid out.  Again, very instructional and offers a glimpse into what was done and how it was done in the biblical times, however does not really stand the test of time now as far as the churches we have now.

The one piece that really stood out to me was:
Leviticus 4: 6
6 And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the vail of the sanctuary.

The reason I find this so interesting is that the sprinkling of the blood is numbered.  In all the other descriptions it states that the blood shall be sprinkled on the altar, or about the altar, but never gives a specific number of times like this.  Again, nothing in the Bible is printed by accident, so there is a reason that it is numbered.  The only question I have is why?  Again there is information that I do not know and these are some interesting questions I have.

Ok, I want to talk about something that has been eating at me since I heard about it.  Not because it is not great that the church is doing it, but the reasons is what I do not understand.

As many of you know they are decreasing the age of male missionaries from 19 to 18 and female missionaries from 21 to 19.  I love this idea because it puts more of our missionaries out into the field.  But a fear has been raised into me.  Why is this happening now? 

A few days ago I wrote about Moses holding back the wrath of God and I wondered how often the hand of God had been held back to save us.  And now I fear that we really are in the end times here.  There is a quickening of our work and the question that I fear the most is why.  Are we close?  Do we only have a few more years?  I do not know, I just hope that whatever does happen I will see my friends and family in heaven when my years have been numbered.

(Reading for 2/3/13 - Leviticus: 6-9  - will be posted 2/4/2013)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Exodus: Chapters 37 through 40

(This reading was done on 2/1/2013; published on 2/2/2013)

Hello my Internites and my apologies on such a late posting.  This weekend was church conference time so I hope there is some understanding.

I am both elated about the reading and a little chagrined about the reading today.  Elated because tomorrow I move onto another book, Leviticus begins!  I am a bit chagrined though because today will be another small posting without a lot of information on it.  I feel I should add more to what I read but unfortunately there just was not anything for me with this read, nothing that stood out and demanded attention like I have had before.  Again, I apologize if I have let anyone down.

I started with a prayer of understanding and help to use what I can in the scripture for my every day life.  I ended the prayer as I usually do, with a thanks for the blessings I have had so far with my studying.

Exodus 37-40
While these were awesome chapters, they describe the actual creation of the ark of the congregation as well as the tabernacle that was built.  Since this described the ark itself they read as the previous chapters did with regards to the specifics of the building of the tabernacle and the ark.

Again the thought continued to come to me that this description was necessary somehow, was kept in there for a reason, but I have no idea why I kept getting that thought.  From what I understand, most people think that Moses wrote the first 4 books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.  If this is the case then it could possibly be so exact because Moses wrote it and had the first hand knowledge of the measurements.  However, there is just something else that keeps dancing around in my head.  Questions I have about the exactness of it all still linger and I do not know why it would be included in the Bible unless it needed to be in there, if that makes any sense.

I am hoping that it comes to me somehow or that I understand the reasoning behind it but I do not know if I ever will.

Well tomorrow I start on Leviticus and to be honest I am apprehensive.  This is, by FAR, the farthest I have read into the bible at all except small portions here and there.  This has been and will continue to be new territory for me and I hope that I do not disappoint with my ramblings.

With that, I look forward to seeing you tomorrow as soon as I get back fromtearing down the Stake Center after our conference.

(Reading for 2/2/13 - Leviticus: 1-5  - will be posted 2/3/2013)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Exodus: Chapters 33 through 36

(This reading was done on 1/31/2013; published on 2/1/2013)

Hello my fellow Internites, once again I am here to say a few words on what I have learned and what I have read.  Hopefully, this finds you well and that you are also basking in the words of the Lord.

I started again with a simple prayer for discernment and interpretation, to understand the information that is given to me and that I can use the information in my everyday life.

Exodus 33: 11
11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

I love this passage because of the interpretation of it all.  The fact that Moses stood face to face with God himself, like a friend!  That would be glorious.  I hope we all get a chance to do this, not with prayer, and not with being close to God, but to physically know that I can see God face to face.  I can only begin to imagine how something like that would be.

Exodus 34: 30
30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

This says to me that Moses was with God upon the mount and when he came down, after 40 days and 40 nights, Moses' face shone.  I can only imagine the brilliance that Moses commanded while being in the presense of God for 40 days and nights.  This seems pretty powerful to me and it made me imagine what Aaron and those that witnessed this went through.  I imagined when I am driving down the road and there is a glare on the window or the sun is setting and coming right through the windows.  It burns my eyes, that brightness that makes it unable to focus or even look ahead of you.  That kind of brilliance is what went through my mind when I read that.

Exodus 35: 29
29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.

For me I would do whatever was needed when the call came out.  I can see this, and I do every Sunday, when someone needs help, or some task needs to be done, people will gladly volunteer their time to help with whatever is needed.  This kind of service is what we should all be doing.  To bow down in servitude and offer to your fellow man whatever is needed for God.  This is beauty and makes me proud to see those who serve the Lord.

Exodus 36:
5 And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make.
6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.

I hear information like "churches are only there for the money," or something of the like.  While those of us who are loyal and faithful church goers do give 10% it is because we have faith, that our tithing is used for work that will enhance the church.

This though, made me laugh.  The elders (or wisemen) came to Moses and said "we have too much, you need to tell everyone to stop!"  Moses promtply did it.  This is amazing to me, why would Moses stop, because churches are not in it for just the money.  They are in to help the people that come unto them.  There are charities that churches help, adminstering of the poor and sick, missions, upkeeps of church, all in the name of God.

(Reading for 2/2/13 - Exodus: 37-40  - will be posted 2/3/2013)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Exodus: Chapters 29 through 32

(This reading was done on 1/30/2013; published on 1/31/2013)
Hello my fellow Internites and before I lay my head down for the night I will post my studies for the day.  I hope you will find this as enlightening as I have.  I do have to start off with a huge blunder I made yesterday with regards to the chapters.

Yesterday  reading was supposed to entail Exodus Chapters 24 through 28.  Unfortunately I had over read into 29 and incorporated that description into what was Chapter 28.  I have corrected it and will include the little bit about Chapter 29.  Again, I'm sorry about that, I have corrected the information.

So again today I started with a prayer for understanding about what I was about to read and to help me pull the gems of my everyday life out so that I could more understand the bible itself.

Chapter 29 (This was erroneously entered as Chapter 28 from yesterday's writing)
This chapter dealt specifically with the armor that Aaron was to wear and how exactly to make it. Again, very instructional, but nothing really specific on every day life.

Chapter 30
This chapter deals specifically with the altar that is to be made for the incense before the veil of the tabernacle.  Again, the exacting detail is more then we have seen in the bible save this entire section.  To me this all feels specific.  Why would this be left in the bible itself and take up so many chapters?  Because we need to know this information.  Everything in the Bible is there for a reason, why would it help us day-to-day, I do not know, but it was left in for a specific purpose.

Chapter 31: 14-15
14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is‍ holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any‍ work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is‍ the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any‍ work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
 
This is something I firmly believe in now.  I think that we have all traveled far enough away from God that this is something simple that can be done to get us back on the right path.  Sunday should be a day consecrated and used to help serve the Lord.  For me it includes going to church and spending time with my family.  I will also be taking up other church books to read during these days to help fully immerse myself into this Sabbath day.
 
Another thing that I have found is that God will not repeat himself without a reason.  In both of these verses he includes the same dour consequence for not keeping the Sabbath holy; death.  Now I am refinding myself in a spiritual manner, but I want to work for the Lord now, I want to do right by God, and this is one of his basic commandments.  Everyone who is a religious or spiritual person should be looking at this as something they can do.
 
Chapter 32: 10-14

10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
11 And Moses besought the Lord‍ his God, and said, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?
12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it‍ for ever.
14 And the Lord‍ repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.
 
Usually I do not print out this much scripture I just break it down for you but I think there is something here and I think that it needs to be said.
 
I will admit, I am not a Biblical scholar, I don't know if I ever will be, but from what I have read I think that God is quick to anger.  Now, this could be taken a couple different ways before those who have studied start to berate me.  With Noah and the ark it did take years of sin to finally make God break, but when he did his anger was quick and decisive.  He saw the sin on the earth and said, that's it, build an ark, I'm killing everyone.
 
In this passage God finds out that the children of Israel are all worshiping a golden calf.  This anger comes quicker because he is there in the midst of it, and the same angry judgement comes.  That's it, they're sinning egregiously, I'm going to kill all of them and just make you a great nation Moses.  But here it was Moses who literally talked God out of smiting everyone.
 
The reason I included this is because of my message yesterday.  All this time, all these sins that are being committed, how many times has someone stopped God from raining judgement down upon us.  We know it's coming, something has to break, but how many times has the hand of judgment been coming down only to be stopped by someone asking for a little more time.  I shudder to know to be honest. 

(Reading for 2/1/13 - Exodus: 33-36  - will be posted 2/2/2013)