(Leviticus 5, Psalm 3-4; Optional Romans 1:16-32, Proverbs 16:30-33)
Click the following link to see every day’s through-the-Bible readings and reflections. Once there, you can sign up on my “FREE daily email” page and get daily reminders in your inbox: www.2Tim3v16.wordpress.com
LEVITICUS 5 – Continuing in how to make things right when someone realizes they’ve sinned… God graciously made a way that ANY individual could have atonement made, no matter how little money they had. Vs 11 is a rare exception to Heb 9:22. But even here, so much blood is being shed (including some general offerings for the sin of all the people) that there’s STILL blood involved. AND the important principle that EACH INDIVIDUAL must take responsibility for their sin. Notice that even for the very poorest, there’s STILL a cost (that would definitely be felt if you’re desperately poor).
Lev 5:6 – A restitution made AND a penalty added. This would both make it more likely to remember the next time AND give in a helpful way at the same time. Compare Rom 13:14 – believers are to not let it be easy for us to keep sinning. What could be the application for us in making no provision for the flesh, but make it more difficult to sin again in this area / more likely that we’ll think about it and be more conscious next time??
Lev 5:17-19 – A great summary where we’re reminded that guilt has indeed been incurred (even when the person was initially unaware of their sin), but forgiveness is available! Compare and rejoice in 1 John 1:9 for the believer today.
PSALM 3, 4 – Reprinting my notes from earlier when I read these in the “Optional Psalm” section…
Psalm 3 – Note the historical setting in the title and reflect on the heart-rending pain this would have brought, increased by David’s knowledge that this is part of the long-term consequences of his sin with Bathsheba (see 2 Sam 11-12 for David’s sin and then consequences prophesied – especially 2 Sam 12:10-12; for the sad story of Absalom’s betrayal see 2 Sam 15-18). But even though this agonizing situation was happening as God’s correction, David properly cries out to God for help in the midst of his pain. And the Lord sustained him (Ps 3:5). David correctly turned himself and his cause over to God (see especially Ps 3:7) – see also Jesus’ example of doing this, recorded in 1 Pet 2:23.
Ps 3:8 – “Salvation belongs to the LORD.” – Many have called this the theme of the whole Bible. And in Psalm 3 we’re reminded that even when painfully aware of our sin and its consequences, God Himself is our only hope.
Psalm 4 – Many see this as a pair with Psalm 3. It was definitely during a tough time – David is crying out to God (Ps 4:1), people are discouraged, asking “Who will show us some good?” When discouraged like this, it’s so easy to turn AWAY from God. But David turns TO God, remembers how precious it is to belong to God (Ps 4:3), focuses on turning away from anger (Ps 4:4) and TRUSTING in God (Ps 4:5). He finds MORE joy in God than the wicked have when things seem to go well for them (Ps 4:7). And he RESTS in God (Ps 4:8). In times of distress may God help us trust in Him like this!
Optional Rom 1:16-32 – In this unpacking of the “good news” (see v 16 – that’s the literal meaning of “gospel”), God inspires Paul to start with what many see as bad news – the wrath of God poured out on sin (v 18ff). But God would not be the Righteous Judge of the universe if He didn’t take ALL sin seriously (including sexual sins that were so popular back in NT times as well as our times). Rom 1:18-20 is my go-to Scripture when someone asks, “But what about those who haven’t heard about Jesus?” Part of the answer is that there’s enough revealed in Creation to hold people accountable on the day of Judgment if they didn’t go looking to find out about the Creator. There’s NOT enough in Creation for people to actually be SAVED, but there IS enough so that all that can put thoughts together are “WITHOUT EXCUSE.” (I do think it’s implied here that babies, young children, and those who remain that level mentally are NOT among those who are suppressing the truth in in unrighteousness – see v 18).
Optional Proverbs 16:30-33 – Pr 16:31 is sweeter and sweeter encouragement as I age 😊Pr 16:33 – this is one of the main verses that explains why I’m so averse to talking about “luck”! Even things that APPEAR random are under God’s sovereign control. Also see Job 38:35 where each lightning bolt reports to God before it is sent out!