(Leviticus 14, Psalm 17; Optional Romans 6:1-14, Proverbs 18:5-9)
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LEVITICUS 14 – This long, very involved and detailed process is what Jesus was referring to in Lk 17:11-19 when He told ten lepers to go show themselves to the priests. AS THEY WENT in obedience they discovered that they had been healed. Only one returned in grateful worship, but he was made WHOLE (not just physically, but spiritually / eternally).
Note the sin/guilt sacrifices involving the shedding of blood again (and God’s provision for ALL to be able to sacrifice – see v 21). There’s no indication that this was only if God clearly sent the skin disease as a judgment, so this is one more reminder that ALL sickness / suffering / death entered the world when sin did (Rom 5:12). And a reminder in all sickness that our GREATER problem is our sin. We need the cleansing that only God Himself can give!
PSALM 17 – A plea to God when believers are being unjustly attacked.
Ps 17:5 – Our decisions and actions really do matter, and that’s what is seen in THIS verse. But for the FOUNDATION and the ULTIMATE reason see Ps 18:27-36 (especially 18:36 in comparison with 17:5).
Ps 17:7 – A wonderful prayer for the persecuted church.
Ps 17:13 – Another IMPRECATORY PRAYER, where the psalmist pleads for God to subdue the wicked enemy. Note that when David (the psalmist) had a chance to get personal vengeance on king Saul he did NOT take it, even though he knew that God was going to make him the next king (see 1 Sam 24, 26). Compare 1 Pet 2:21-23 and Rom 12:17-21 where believers today are reminded to entrust our cause to God the righteous Judge who will get the proper vengeance in His own wise time.
Ps 17:14 – David’s enemies are focused on THIS WORLD (contrast Ps 16:2, 5, 8, 11). In my Bible, I’ve written a bracket around v 14-15 and the question “What satisfies me??”.
Ps 17:15 – Look up the words to the great old hymn “Be Thou My Vision.” This has been called by believers “The Beatific Vision,” and is a sweet reminder that the greatest Treasure of the universe is God HIMSELF. [Online you can read a beautiful sermon about this by searching “Charles Spurgeon The Beatific Vision”.]
Optional Rom 6:1-14 – Beginning to unpack the radical wonderful CHANGES that happen in a person when they trust in Jesus!
Rom 6:3-4 – When a person trusts in Jesus, God immerses them into Jesus and His death (so we are officially dead to sin – now we just need to ACT on that, by God’s help). And then God raises us (just like He raised Jesus from the grave) to walk in “newness of life”. This baptism is not mostly water baptism – it’s about immersing us in JESUS. But those of us with baptistic beliefs believe that water baptism is to visually represent these truths that God has done inside of a believer.
Rom 6:11 – The first command in the whole book of Romans (unleashing a whole row of commands in v 12-13 related to this), and notice it’s a thinking / considering command. God changes who we ARE first, then commands us how to ACT. The whole Christian life can be seen as increasingly (with God’s grace and strengthened by His Spirit) living out the reality of this verse!
Rom 6:13 – I’ve written in my margin some of the words from the children’s church song: “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see…” And it went through other members of the body: “be careful little feet where you go…little hands what you do…” And look up the words to the hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated”.
Optional Proverbs 18:5-9 – Pr 18:5 – Again, the importance to God in civil justice. But so different than a lot of what I’m seeing that sure looks like being partial to the wicked. V 6-8 all about our TALK. And v 9 one of many Proverbs warning of laziness.