(Leviticus 20, Psalm 25; Optional Romans 8:28-39, Proverbs 19:10-14)
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
Christ is Risen! Fell another day behind in these devotionals while celebrating the resurrection of Jesus while living out life in this pain-filled fallen world, but SO GREAT to spend time with “my people” celebrating our Risen Savior!
LEVITICUS 20 – Feel the weight of how many of these sins were punishable by death under the Jewish theocracy. Remember that there’s no provision for long-term imprisonment. There was either provision for restitution and a way to be restored to the community, or you could be “cut off” (which seems to cover a range of things – sometimes execution, sometimes maybe exile from Israel), or you were executed.
America used to have similar laws, at least in some states. I’m quite sure that some places executed for adultery (see Lev 20:10), incest (Lev 20:11-12), and homosexuality (Lev 20:13). And that’s fully within what God delegated to government (see Rom 13:1-7). If a government correctly wants to protect the foundations of society by using capital punishment where God told Israel to use capital punishment the church should help out in at least a couple ways… 1) We should share the Gospel to those soon to be executed, pointing out that Jesus took the ETERNAL punishment they’re headed for but can be rescued from if they turn to Jesus. 2) We should help insure that the government JUSTLY applies the death penalty (for example NOT working especially hard to execute their political enemies while allowing their political friends lots of leeway).
If a government drops the death penalty from these sins (as America has done), we should not work to restore the death penalty. Instead we should use the opportunity to witness to the folks that are now still living. We should be careful NOT to get lax about calling folks away from the sin, though. Note that in 1 Cor 6:9-11 a few of the things in that list of sins are listed in Lev 20 as having the death penalty. And now JESUS has paid the penalty and those sins no longer define them (and compare THAT truth to Lev 20:26).
The church itself is not to literally execute members who sin (God Himself sometimes does this, though – see Acts 5:1-11 and 1 Cor 11:27-30). We ARE, however, commanded to take sin seriously by calling one another to repentance (Lk 17:3-4) and cutting off fellowship (excommunication) from any that refuse to repent (Matt 18:15-17, 1 Cor 5).
Lev 20:26 – The POINT / SUMMARY of the whole chapter (and this whole section in Leviticus).
PSALM 25 – David the Psalmist is very aware of :
1) His enemies / troubles (Ps 25:2, 15, 17-19, 22)
2) His sin (Ps 25:6-8, 11, 18)
3) God’s goodness
A) He will make sure His people are vindicated (Ps 25:1-3, 5, 15, 16-22)
B) He teaches His people (Ps 25:4-5, 8-10, 12-13)
C) He forgives sin (Ps 25:7, 18)
D) He does what He does because of who He is –
1. “the God of my salvation” (Ps 25:5)
2. the God of “mercy” and “steadfast love” (Ps 25:6-10)
3. “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way.” (Ps 25:8)
4. “For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great.” (Ps 25:11)
Ps 25:12, 14 – I’ve written “F” next to v 12, 14 as I’m tracing the vital theme of proper FEAR OF GOD through the Bible. Notice all the BLESSINGS linked here with fearing God. This is NOT a cringing, shrinking fear!
Ps 25:16-17 – Balance to v 13. Ps 25:13 lets us know that the life of a believer is rescued from many consequences that a lost person whose sin will often bring devastation. But v 16-17 remind us that there are still lonely and sad times in the life of a believer, too! The answer is always to turn to God Himself (see v 18-21).
Optional Rom 8:28-39 – Rom 8:28 – Don’t miss: 1) this beloved promise is ONLY for those that belong to God. 2) God’s definition of “good” is in v 29 – conforming His people to be more and more like Jesus!
Rom 8:37 – Notice that “IN” all these terrible things there’s ABUNDANT victory for those who belong to God! Yes, FULL and complete victory and no more suffering ONE DAY (see Rom 8:18-25). But even NOW we can have huge victory!
Optional Proverbs 19:10-14 – Prov 19:11 – Importance of being SLOW TO ANGER. This verse is a balance to Matt 18:15 – there are many offenses we should just overlook. But if you find yourself dwelling on it, then you should follow Matt 18:15.