Posts Tagged ‘Sabbath’


Leviticus 26:1-4,14-16,18,21,23-24,27-28,36,40-45 “‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God. “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD. “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit… “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it… “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over… “‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve… “‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over…

“‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over… “‘As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them… “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the LORD.’”

Never before have I had to select so many verses to draw what I believe God is speaking to us and I do hope you will read the chapter before your read any further because the above highlighted verses don’t fully draw out the essence of the chapter.

We are now living in times when many great thinkers and authors seem to be using their combined learnings of various religions and beliefs to create a concept of spiritualism, a mantra the seeking world is fast accepting.

Religion appeals to few but a watered down version is palatable and some ex-christians twist the word of God to their own benefit showing the character of God to be different from that of Jesus and revealing the God of the Old Testament as a hateful and heinous God, therefore not deserving of our love or care.

When we read chapters such as today’s passage, it seems easy to be misled by such questions and so what then is really the truth? (more…)


Leviticus 25:1-7,10,54-55 The LORD said to Moses at Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the LORD. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten… Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan… “‘Even if someone is not redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Many aspects of life in those Mosaic times are very odd to us and we find them hard to understand or accept. Slavery is one such concept and keeps us wondering how a God of love would permit such things.

In this long and exhaustive chapter on the year of jubilee, what could be relevant to us in today’s time and how does this draw us closer to God? (more…)


Leviticus 23:1-3,5-6,10,15-16,23-24,27,34 The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are my appointed festivals, the appointed festivals of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. “‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD… The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Festival of Unleavened Bread begins; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast…. “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest… “‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the LORD… The LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of sabbath rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts… “The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present a food offering to the LORD… “Say to the Israelites: ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Festival of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.

Seven seems to be a number that God likes or so it seems from the number of sevens mentioned in the Bible. Here it is the seven festivals the Israelites were commanded to observe.

So many forced breaks certainly would’ve made employers/businesses wonder how they could achieve productivity and so is this just a concept of the ancient past? (more…)


Leviticus 16:2-5,20-22,29-32 (ESV) and the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. But in this way Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with a bull from the herd for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He shall put on the holy linen coat and shall have the linen undergarment on his body, and he shall tie the linen sash around his waist, and wear the linen turban; these are the holy garments. He shall bathe his body in water and then put them on. And he shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering… “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat. And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself to a remote area, and he shall let the goat go free in the wilderness… “And it shall be a statute to you forever that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict yourselves and shall do no work, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you. For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the LORD from all your sins. It is a Sabbath of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; it is a statute forever. And the priest who is anointed and consecrated as priest in his father’s place shall make atonement, wearing the holy linen garments.

We arrive at an annual tradition that served to atone for the sins of God’s chosen ones and this was a carnival of forgiveness of sins for an entire nation at the same time.

The question that comes to mind is why do we not mark it if we are followers of this same God and have we missed God’s clear instructions to us?

The two sons of Aaron who died before this event are the same ones mentioned in Leviticus 10 and God’s caution to Aaron was for his own safety for he bore in himself sins that would cause his death when he entered the veil or the Holy of Holies.

On the day of Atonement, the high priest was required to wash himself and wear the holy garments of linen and then to offer the sacrifice of the ram and two goats procured from the ones who were being atoned for. Would that suffice to wipe out our sins?

Hebrews 10:1,3 (ESV) For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

One goat was sacrificed while the other carried the sins of the entire nation of Israel, which were confessed by the high priest before God, and it was then sent away into the wilderness.

When we look at our lives today, we seem to be living in sin or carrying the burden of sins and don’t we wish that our sins could be atoned for and we could have a clean slip of life without the burden of our guilt on us?

The whole ritual of sacrificing animals is gruesome and traumatic to endure but wouldn’t it be better them than us going through it and thereby we get to live without the scarring of sin in our lives?

In Jesus, we have the High Priest whom God required to go into the Holy of Holies for us because He is God’s only son and is the only person who can enter the veil because He is sinless.

His garments were linen and were seamless as was required of the High Priest and also recorded in John 19:23-24 (ESV) When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things.

He is the first goat that was sacrificed and His blood is upon the mercy seat and the altar and it is a picture of Christ dying for us.

He is also the second goat that bears the sins of the nation and was sent out into the wilderness. The atonement is complete with His sacrifice and His bearing of our sins.

John the baptist recognized Jesus and his statement is recorded in John 1:29 (ESV) The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

When Jesus entered heaven, He entered into the Holy of Holies for us as was required. Hebrews 9:7 (ESV) reads, but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people.

The High Priest in the Old Testament would hopefully come out after the atonement but Jesus continues to be before God the Father and continues to intercede for us before God.

What is needed for us to receive this permanent pardon is our willingness to receive Christ’s sacrifice as the final payment for our sins and our hope is in His resurrection and the fact that He continues to mediate for us before God.

The question that really needs to be asked is if we are willing to accept Jesus and His sacrifice as the atonement for our sins?

For those of us who have been saved by His shed blood, the question we are asked is if we live Holy lives? 1 Peter 1:15-16 (ESV) but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

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Acts 18:1b, 4-6, 9-11
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth… Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles”… One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

For a long while, I imagined Paul to be a strong and courageous man for his ability to speak out against what was not right and stand up for the gospel. In today’s passage, we see another side of Paul; we see fear and frustration in a man devoted to the cause. So much so that God had to reassure him in a vision. Paul in his ministry traveled significantly with one goal in mind – to serve Jesus to the world and now he seems lost. What happened to Paul? Had he lost his drive and passion? Was it the strength of the opposition or the lack of support in his ministry? What is the Lord speaking to us this morning?

Like many, we tend to put our faith in things we can see and touch and so in Paul, we drew confidence from his powerful ministry and life because he is a person we can relate to. However, we are reminded again that Paul is not the role model we need to follow but Christ. Paul, like you and me, is a servant of God and lived to glorify God, not himself. We need to be focussed on Jesus and draw strength and direction from Him. As human as Paul was, he could only see opposition and hardened hearts but God sees the big picture and directed him to continue to serve. We need to ask God to show us the way to serve him and we need to give it our all. The reason should not be self glory but God’s glory and our eyes need to fixed on Jesus throughout.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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John 19:31-36
Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs…These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

I love movies and the way they are able to weave stories that make it all seem real. What a lot of work it must take to write a script, cast the actors, chose the sets and locations, get the entire crew in place, shoot every last detail and hope that all of this adds us to a box office hit. Few become hits and many flop and so the story goes. As time progresses and technologies improve, we realize how the fine details are not so fine anymore as our eyes are now used to seeing things in better light. However, this picture of Jesus’ life and death painted in words in the gospels is unchanging and seems to be perfect in every sense. How is that possible? Were there some loopholes to the tale?

There are four cross references for verse 36 and they are Exodus 12:46; Num. 9:12; Psalm 34:20; Zech. 12:10. When you read these, you will note that the background refers to the passover lamb. Is it not amazing that Jesus is our passover lamb, perfect and unblemished in every way, sinless, righteous, and sacrificed for nothing but our sinfulness. How awesome is our God who is perfect in every way, and fulfills every requirement of the law to be our sin offering? For this God who is so perfect, don’t you think he does everything in a perfect way for his glory? Lets not grow weary when trials come our way because God will work perfectly in and through every situation in our lives for his glory.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting http://groups.google.com/group/in-his-loving-service. Also, share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.