(Leviticus 19, Psalm 23-24; Optional Romans 8:12-27, Proverbs 19:5-9)
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LEVITICUS 19 – Focused on reminding God’s people that they were distinct from the world around them – they belonged to holy God and must reflect His holiness. Many of these exact laws are fulfilled in Jesus, but the principle that we are called to be distinct from the world is definitely still valid.
Lev 19:15 – HUGE implications for biblical justice in our national conversation today!
PSALM 23-24 – Psalm 23 – This beloved Psalm has comforted so many believers, especially during dark times. But make sure that it’s truly for you – this is for those who follow God as their Shepherd. Of course, since we are sinners, none of us follows as well as we should (or deep down WANT to, if we belong to Him). But the sweet comfort of this psalm is for those who gladly own up to God as the Shepherd / Leader of our life. Those who can’t wait to “dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Ps 23:6).
Again, Jesus fulfills ALL the great pointers in the OT! He’s the perfect Passover Lamb of God (1 Cor 5:7, Jn 1:29), and He’s also the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11) who lays His life down for His sheep.
Ps 23:5 – Compare with the quiet confidence of Rom 8:37 – “…IN all these things (see the scary list in Rom 8:35-36) we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us.” We don’t have to wait for the full deliverance that WILL be the end of the story for all believers (that’s Ps 23:6) – there are hopeful glimpses of glory even in the presence of our enemies.
Psalm 24 – This psalm may well have been written to celebrate David bringing the Ark of the Covenant (the gold-covered box that held the 10 commandments and symbolized God’s presence) into the center of Israel’s life, once Jerusalem became the capital city. It also may have been used when one of the kings in David’s line (an “anointed king” representing Yahweh the King of kings) when he returned victorious from battle. And a Christian will see pointers to Jesus riding into Jerusalem as King (see notes at Jan 21 for Matt 21).
Ps 24:3-4 – NOT talking about sinless perfection (see the connection with the very not-sinlessly-perfect Jacob in v 6), but the person who worships the true God WILL have a clearly God-ward direction in their life.
Ps 24:5 – A believer gets “righteousness from the God of his salvation”. This is an OT statement of the right standing with God that is proclaimed for all that trust in Him. These TWO aspects of righteousness go hand-in-hand all through Scripture. Believers are PROCLAIMED righteous before God AND they DEMONSTRATE that through a life that stands out from the world around them.
Optional Rom 8:12-27 – Believers are beloved children of the living God! And yet, we still groan along with the rest of the creation in this post-Genesis 3 fallen world. UNTIL Jesus returns and the FULL measure of our adoption becomes clear. It’s as if the whole creation is on tip-toes longing for that time, along with those who belong to God! Until then it’s like labor pains (v 22) – intense struggle, but you know a sweet result is coming. Sometimes it’s so intense and painful we’re not even sure how to pray, but God’s Spirit helps us even with that (v 26-27)!
Optional Proverbs 19:5-9 – Biblical justice matters so much to God, He virtually repeats v 5 in v 9! Vs 8 – God uses a whole medicine cabinet of different motivations. One of them is that getting proper wisdom / understanding will make your life better! It’s certainly RIGHT, but it’s also SMART and HELPFUL!