Scripture reading for February 14th: Exodus 35-37, Psalm 26, Philippians 4
Key Scriptures: Exodus 35:20-22 “Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicated an offering of gold to the Lord.”
God had commanded Moses to build the tabernacle and tent of meeting and had given an exact pattern to him on the mountain. Moses shared the need for materials and skilled labor with the people of God. All who were willing came to give freely and to offer their skills, given by God, to do the work. And they freely gave their offering of gold in faith. There was more than enough!
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord, I believe that my response to Your call is to give my body and heart and mind willingly to You, as well as tithes and offerings. Help me to accomplish Your assigned tasks as You build Your house!
Philippians 4;18-20 “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Psalm 26:8 “O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells.”
Scripture reading for February 2nd: Leviticus 1-3
Do you like spinach? What about brussel sprouts? How about Leviticus? It has lots of strange offerings and laws written in it. Much of it is foreign to our culture and our way of thinking and it’s sometimes hard to see how it is relevant to our lives today. But as spinach and brussel sprouts contain essential nutrients for our body’s growth and maintenance, so Leviticus contains some spiritual truths that can nourish our souls!
Leviticus was written by Moses as instructions for the Levites who would serve the Lord in the tabernacle. They were chosen by God to do the job of caring for the tabernacle and helping the Israelites with worship and prayer. Moses and Aaron were Levites. This book details what was required for those who served and how a sinful people must approach God in order to have fellowship with Him.
There were three voluntary offerings that could be brought by an Israelite in order to approach God. The first was the burnt offering which was to be an animal from the flock or herd. This animal must be perfect and must be slaughtered at the door of the Tent of Meeting. The sons of Aaron were to take blood and sprinkle it on the altar and then arrange the wood and the pieces of the animal on the altar to be burned. (Leviticus 1:3-8) All of it was to be burned as an offering to the Lord.
The second offering was the grain offering. It was to be offered with oil and incense and burned on the altar before the Lord by the priests. It must be without any yeast or honey and was seasoned with salt. (Leviticus 2:11-13) The third offering was the fellowship offering. This offering was for anyone who just wanted to have fellowship with the Lord. This was to be an animal without defect, offered in sacrifice. Here the fat, kidneys, and choice parts were burned and then some of the meat could be eaten in God’s presence in fellowship with Him.
God desires fellowship with each of His people. We can now approach God through Christ’s blood, which was the final offering needed for us. (Hebrews 10:19-23) He is pictured in each of these voluntary offerings as giving his blood (burnt offering) and body (meal offering) so that we might have fellowship with God.
Scripture reading for February 2nd: Leviticus 1-3
Yuk! Leviticus! What can we possibly learn from all this sacrificing of animals? Why all the blood and death? Why the burning of offerings? Why all the rules for priests and people on what and how they are to bring these sacrifices? Isn’t all of this a bit bizarre? How can we worship a God who would demand this from His people?
This might be your reaction to this book of Scripture. I know that I had a hard time getting into it at first myself. But after careful and prayerful reflection, it starts to add up. Sin causes death. (Genesis 2:16-17) Death spread to all men by Adam’s sin. (Romans 5:12-14) In preparing God’s people to have God live in their midst, they must have a blood sacrifice as a way to symbolically cover their sin and avoid death themselves. God provided the first blood sacrifice for Adam and Eve after they sinned. Before, they had used fig leaves, but God clothed them with bloody skins of animals. (Genesis 3:21) He was showing them the effects of sin each time they put their new “clothes” on.
Now, years later, in these rules in Leviticus, God is again visually helping His people to see how sin affects their lives. The Law makes us aware of sin. (Romans 3:19-20) These sacrifices offered made man aware of the cost of sin. The soul that sins must die! An animal could be offered as a way for sinful man to meet with his God. When offered according to God’s instructions in Leviticus, God would accept the sacrifice and be pleased. (Leviticus 1:9,17; 2:9) God is pleased because those who obeyed were using their faith in His Word!
Today, thankfully, we enjoy the final sacrifice for sin that was made for us 2000 years ago. Jesus Christ shed his precious blood on the cross of Calvary and declared: “It is finished!” (John 19:30) When we approach this same Holy God, we can come boldly before His throne any time day or night for prayer, fellowship, or forgiveness. (Hebrews 4:14-16) We do it by faith in the sacrifice of the body and blood of our Savior! (Hebrews 9:24-26) What a blessing to be free from the laws and sacrifices of Leviticus!
Read this today and take time to thank the Lord for what He has provided for us! Enter His gates today boldly by faith in Christ’s final sacrifice with thanksgiving in your heart! God will be smiling, Jesus rejoicing, and the Holy Spirit will encourage and comfort! This is true fellowship with a Holy God who is living inside of us!
“But now He (Christ) has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” Hebrews 9:26-28