Day 51 Leviticus 22-23

  It’s so fun to be doing this study with such a random group of people.. tied together through bonds made in different circumstances.. some from my distant childhood church, others I’ve never met but feel such close ties to because we’ve adopted children from the same orphanage and have prayed with one another through our separate journeys.  Some I don’t know at all before we started this, they are friends of friends of friends… Some I know quite well, my brother, my mother, and my mother in law.  This rag-tag group of people  is tied together simply by the desire to  read the bible in a year.  About once a week I look over the groups names and faces, all 116 of you (that blows me away) and I pray for you and thank God we can have this connection. I need them, without them, left to try this on my own, this study would have long since been forgotten, but because I offered to post the links daily, I know they need me and so I have been able to stay on task… the fruits of this labor greatly outweighs any burden.  This is because reading at the same time as others spawns the most amazing conversations.  Fellowship, ahh.  We were ment to talk and discover this together were we not?

   One of the most eye-opening conversations this week was with my Mother-in-law.  She worried she was being sacrilegious because as she slowly made her way through some description of an atonement ceremony she thought to herself: you rub the blood on the earlobe, the big toe, you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about.  I burst out laughing… but some thing clicked in my brain: What is all this about?  Stumbling across Psalm 119 yesterday really opened my eyes.  I don’t think when these instructions were being given the Israelites felt burdend by them.. like the author of the Psalm they delighted in the law… WHY?  because it drew them closer to God.  The heart of the matter is the HEART. It’s  the genuine desire to want to be near Him.  God is pure and he offered a path to purity to the Israelites through deliberate devotion to the law.  How do I then justify all  the labeling of unclean, death, and banishment.  Wow that’s tough for me to determine, but I think Israel was in the business of being God’s chosen people in mind, body,  heart and soul. You were either in or you were out. Without your heart being in it, the difficulty you met trying to follow these laws would be insurmountable.. but if you genuinely desired that closeness to God, my mind is beginning to understand SOME of what this is all about.

    Most importantly how does all this apply to me today?  In 1 Peter 2:4-5 it says” As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  So even though actual sacrifices are not taking place because of Christ’s sacrifice no sacrifice for sin is left, we still need to offer spiritual sacrifice in life as Christians.  Beth Moore puts it this way:  “God delights in the spiritual sacrifices of our praise (Heb. 13:15), our “temples” (Romans 12:1) and our faith (Philippians 2:17)”  It’s still about the heart!! With what attitude do we come to God, praise, thankfulness and comfort? Do we come to God as the single most important source of wisdom and comfort?  Our failures in life are usually a sign that we forgot to give God our whole heart… and like the sacrifices offered in the tabernacle we need to offer our spiritual sacrifices daily, again and again, rejoicing in the opportunity to be able to do so.  Am I offering Him praise in all of life’s circumstances?  Am I being a good temple of God?  Do I replace my anxiety with faith in Him?  The answers to those questions is and always has been what it’s all about… perhaps not the hokey pokey though.