Apr 18, 2022

(Leviticus 22, Psalm 28-29; Optional Romans 9:6-18, Proverbs 19:20-23)

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LEVITICUS 22 – The continuing chorus and rationale for all these commands is “I am the LORD (Yahweh),” or sometimes the longer “I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.” Some of these (especially v 26-30) may cause us to wonder, but ultimately we have to trust the wisdom and goodness of God, and simply trust Him and obey. He has graciously made a way to have His presence among His people, but that is NEVER to be taken lightly or casually.

Lev 22:17-25 – Sacrifices must be without blemish, pointers to Jesus the Ultimate Sacrifice (Heb 9:14, 1 Pet 1:19).

Lev 22:31-33 – Summary of the chapter and really the whole book of Leviticus.

PSALM 28-29  – Psalm 28 – ANOTHER prayer song (remember that Psalms is the inspired songbook of the Bible) where David FEELS unheard by God in his hard time (note how he pleads with God to hear him in v 1, 2). But by the end, he rests on what he KNOWS is true about God – He DOES hear His people when we cry out to Him (v 6-7). And so David trusts, praises, and thanks God. And notice how his prayer BROADENS near the end. At the beginning it’s about him and his rough time and his enemies. But by the end, he’s praying for ALL the people of God. This is what should happen when we bring our needs to God. We bring our honest feelings to God, but then meditate on what we KNOW about God. Then we’re enabled to trust God with our concerns AND expand our prayer outward to the wider people of God.

Psalm 29 – Worshipping God as King over the storms in life.

Ps 29:1-2 – A call to worship God as King over the storms of life (compare v 10).

Ps 29:3-9 – A description of the storms in life. I think the fierce storm in v 3-9 may well be a literal storm where nature APPEARS to be wild and uncontrolled (but SHOULD remind us that the “voice of the LORD” is really in control). But this psalm is just as helpful if it’s a flood (see v 3, 10) of scary events where evil and pain LOOKS to be winning.

Ps 29:10 – Whether it’s a literal storm or symbolic of scary and sad events, v 10 gives the REALITY during the storms of life. Even when it FEELS like things are wild and out of control, God is NOT pacing nervously, wondering what to do. He is SEATED on His throne OVER the flood!

Ps 29:11 – A wonderful prayer for God’s people when in the storms of life – that God would apply the TRUTH of v 10 and give strength and peace to His people!

Optional Rom 9:6-18 – Rom 9:10 – emphasizing that God did NOT merely look ahead because He knows the future and decide whom to choose based on what they would do or decide, but to show His prerogative of unconditional election. As so much in Scripture, this should both humble AND encourage us. Humble us, because if God has saved you it’s NOT because of how good a person you are. Encourage us, because no matter how sinful / rebellious someone may seem to us, God delights in choosing surprising people to bring glory to His name! And we must never try to figure out who His elect are – that’s only for HIM, and NOT for us (see Deut 29:29). We are commanded to call lost people to be reconciled to God, and then when someone heeds that invitation, we let them know it’s all the sovereign mercy of God and not anything especially righteous in them.

Rom 9:14 – Questions like this (and v 19) only come up if you’re correctly reading the HUGE Scriptural emphasis on God’s absolute sovereignty. And notice that the answer is NOT: “You’re misunderstanding…,” but a sort of doubling down on the total (and good and wise) sovereignty of God (v 15-18).

Rom 9:16 – The human will IS certainly INVOLVED, but it’s NOT the foundational reality under our decisions. The FOUNDATIONAL reality is God’s sovereign choice. But we ARE still accountable for our very real decisions / actions (see Rom 9:19). The Bible does NOT fully EXPLAIN how these two truths fit together, but often clearly PRESENTS them together. God is TOTALLY sovereign, and yet (somehow) we’re still responsible for our real choices and actions. God gets all the glory for our good decisions / actions (see Gen 20:6, Phil 2:13, 1 Cor 15:10). But He gets none of the blame for our sin (Rom 9:19, Matt 26:24).

Rom 9:17-18 – Teaching about the total sovereignty of God sometimes leads people to say that we think God is arbitrary. But v 17 (among many other Scriptures) shows that God has good and wise PURPOSES in what He’s doing. He is NEVER arbitrary, though He usually doesn’t explain Himself to us (see the last several chapters in Job).

Optional Proverbs 19:20-23 – Compare Prov 19:21 to Rom 9:16 from earlier in today’s readings (and James 4:13-16).