Daily Encouragement

February 26 – Who is Molech?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 19:1-20:21
Mark 8:11-38
Psalm 42:1-11
Proverbs 10:1

Leviticus 19:2 — The theme of the Book of Leviticus is stated – if it sounds familiar, we’ve seen it often. “Holy” is used 95 times in Leviticus, and this is the second time we’ve seen the phrase “You shall be holy.”

Leviticus 19:28 — In debates about whether it is appropriate for Christians to get tattoos, this verse comes up often. The KJV does not use the word ‘tattoo’ because the word was not invented until 1769 when Captain Cook landed in Tahiti (the KJV was translated in 1611, 150 years earlier). Interestingly, almost all Bible versions in recent years translate ‘qaaqa’ (Strong’s Hebrew #7085) as “tattoo”. By the way, this is the only time this word is used in the Bible.

Leviticus 19:37 — Forty-five times in Leviticus you will find the phrase “I am the LORD.” In many cases, it seems to be the answer to “Why?” If you don’t like God’s answer to “Why?”, Joshua 24:15 deals with that.

By Joachim Menant – Glyptique Orientale, fig. 95 (p. 152);, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4664980

Leviticus 20:2-5 — Rarely in the Bible do we see commands that have the death penalty. Only 60 times in the Old Testament do we find the phrase “put to death.” This chapter contains more “death penalty” judgments than any other chapter in the Bible. Not only is the worship of Molech one of the few death penalty commands, but this is one of the few commands to “stone him” (in contrast to burning, beheading, or strangulation according to the Mishnah). “The people – many – shall stone him. Israel must unite to eliminate this plague.” By the way, we read about Molech yesterday in Leviticus 18:21, and we’ll read about Molech again when Solomon builds an altar for Molech (possibly on the Mount of Olives in 1 Kings 11:7). The worship of Molech seems to have been moved to the Hinnom Valley when 300 years later (in 2 Kings 23:10), Josiah finally destroys the altar. So why would people sacrifice to Molech?

A couple sacrificed their firstborn by burning the child on a metal idol of Molech, believing that Molech would ensure financial prosperity for the family and future children … Today’s Molech is the abortion industry, sacrificing babies for the idol of financial greed, veiled in the hopes of the development of new cures through biomedical research.

CHARLES PATRICK, SWBTS
By Charles Foster – Illustrators of the 1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us http://associate.com/photos/Bible-Pictures–1897-W-A-Foster/page-0074-1.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11785813

Mark 8:25 — Why did it take two steps for Jesus to heal the blind man? The best explanation I’ve found comes from ChedSpellman.com. Dr. Spellman is a professor at Cedarville University:

[Jesus] says “Do you not yet see or understand? Having eyes do you not see? and having ears do you not hear?” (Mark 8:17-18). Jesus is saying, Open your eyes and see what is right in front of you! His point is that, though they have physical eyes, they still are in some sense blind to who Jesus really is.

Seen in this context, Mark’s placement and record of this miracle is brilliant. They see a blind man, who Jesus then leads by the hand out of the city where Jesus heals him. The first time, the man can only see slightly, his vision is blurred. Then Jesus did it again, and the “man looked intently” and was healed and could then “see everything clearly”. This is essentially a parable that Jesus is acting out for his disciples….His point is that his disciples are blinded to who he really is though he is demonstrating his power to them day by day right in front of their eyes. Their understanding is coming, but it is coming in stages.

The passage following confirms Mark’s textual strategy. Right after this healing, Peter finally “sees” and confesses Jesus’ identity, that Jesus is “the Christ.” But then, Jesus begins to tell them that the Messiah must suffer, which they don’t fully understand. They see, but not clearly.

Mark 8:36 — This cartoon summarizes it well:

From Earl Martin – here’s a great way to memorize the verse:

Psalm 42:1 — This verse inspired the song, “As the Deer“.

Proverbs 10:17 — A great verse to teach your students and anyone that needs to be corrected.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

February 25 – Who Will Be Cut Off?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 16:29-18:30
Mark 7:24-8:10
Psalm 41:1-13
Proverbs 10:15-16

Leviticus 16:29-31 — An interesting challenge to the workaholic culture – “afflict your souls” by doing “no work at all.”

Leviticus 18:6 — In contrast to our minimalist clothing culture, God expects us to respect others with specific instructions.

Leviticus 18:22 — God’s standards may not be popular, but you cannot say they are not clear.

Leviticus 18:29 — What sins lead to the phrase “shall be cut off?” Rejecting circumcision is literally rejecting identification with Israel (Gen 17:14), eating leavened bread during Passover (Exodus 12:15 and 19), working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14), eating the Lord’s portion of the sacrifice (Leviticus 7:20 and 25), defiled eating of the peace offering (Leviticus 7:21), eating the blood (Leviticus 7:27), offering sacrifices independently (Leviticus 17:4, 9, and 14), committing sexual sins (Leviticus 18:29), profaning the sacrifice (Leviticus 19:8), incest (Leviticus 20:17), defiling the holy things (Leviticus 22:3), breaking Sabbath (Leviticus 23:29), skipping Passover (Numbers 9:13), and many more.

Mark 8:4 — The disciples saw Jesus feed 5,000 yesterday, but they struggled to see how He could feed 4,000 today.

Psalm 41:4 — Those who confess their sin and request mercy will see God answer (2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 25:16-18).

Proverbs 10:15 — Interesting the correlation to Proverbs 14:20.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

February 24 – The Day of Atonement

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 15:1-16:28
Mark 7:1-23
Psalm 40:11-17
Proverbs 10:13-14

Leviticus 15:25 — As we read these different maladies, some of them may draw our attention (e.g. women who have an issue of blood). It’s interesting because we read about a woman with this issue several days ago (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25–34; in a few weeks we’ll read about her again in Luke 8:43–48). The woman was forbidden from touching Jesus (Leviticus 15:11), so she sought to touch only the hem of His garment. Interestingly, just like the lepers, this woman would also need to offer a sacrifice (Leviticus 15:29). Makes you wonder what the priests thought when people came to offer their sacrifice, and upon being asked why, they said “Jesus healed me.”

Leviticus 16:2 — Aaron, the High Priest, was limited in his access to the LORD. The Day of Atonement is the day that he could come and offer atonement for himself, his house, and all the congregation of Israel (Leviticus 16:17).

William Holman Hunt’s The Scapegoat (1854-1856)

Leviticus 16:10 — The scapegoat or in Hebrew, Azazel, has entered Jewish mythology.

While there are different versions in the Book of Enoch, the Book of the Giants, and other pseudepigraphal books, the story is essentially that Azazel was the name of one of the fallen angels who sinned in Genesis chapter 6. As a curse on his sin, Azazel was forced to take the form of a goat-like demon. This myth is not supported by the Bible and is not compatible with what the Bible says about Azazel or the scapegoat.

GotQuestions.org

Leviticus 16:22 — The scapegoat was fulfilled in Jesus, our vicarious atonement, who takes our sins away (John 1:29, I John 3:5). How far did Jesus take them away? Psalm 103:12!

Mark 7:21-23 — Do any of these things occur in your life?

  • evil thoughts
  • adulteries
  • fornications
  • murders
  • thefts
  • covetousness
  • wickedness
  • deceit
  • lasciviousness
  • an evil eye
  • blasphemy
  • pride
  • foolishness

Check your heart – which spirit is controlling you?

Psalm 40:17 — It’s humbling to say you’re poor and needy. But God dwells with the humble (Isaiah 57:15).

Proverbs 10:14 — What’s a way you can lay up knowledge today?

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Daily Encouragement

February 23 – The Law of the Leper

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 14:1-57
Mark 6:30-56
Psalm 40:1-10
Proverbs 10:11-12

Means of Discerning Leprosy, Phillip Medhurst Collection of Bible illustrations

Leviticus 14:2 — The Law of the Leper is one of the most exciting Messianic Prophecies!

Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum states:

Although the priesthood had all these detailed instructions as to how they were to respond in the case of a healed leper, they never had the opportunity to put these instructions into effect, because from the time the Mosaic Law was given, no Jew was ever healed of leprosy. As a result, it was taught by the rabbis that only the Messiah would be able to heal a Jewish leper …

The three Gospel accounts that tell us about the healing of a leper are: Matthew 8:2-4, Mark 1:40-45 and Luke 5:12-16. Matthew and Mark merely state that the man was a leper, but Luke, who by profession was a medical doctor, gave more details.

To find out what Dr. Luke said about this leper, what the priests did with the leper, and how that influenced their response to Jesus’ teaching – read the rest of the article!

Mark 6:31 — We’ve read earlier about the sinfulness of wasting time, but that doesn’t mean all time has to be busy. Time does need to be stewarded, though – there are times that you need to relax, times you can invest in recreation with a friend, or times you should spend with your spouse. Make sure that you are the master of your time, and that time doesn’t run out on you before you can accomplish what God has for you!

Mark 6:48 — “… and he saw them toiling …” – Jesus sees you when you are toiling, struggling, ready to give up. Jesus may not be visibly present, but He is there! Interesting that if the disciples had not called out to Him (even out of fear), they may not have had His provision of relief!

Psalm 40:1 — The Northern Lights recorded a song based on verses 1-3.

Proverbs 10:11 — Is your mouth full of righteousness or wickedness?

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Daily Encouragement

February 22 – Why Is This in the Bible?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 13:1-59
Mark 6:1-29
Psalm 39:1-13
Proverbs 10:10

Leviticus 13 — I came across a sermon transcript, “Why is this in the Bible?” from First Presbyterian, Jackson, Mississippi. In summary:

The ceremonial ritual uncleanness of this passage ultimately points to … what? The problem of sin. And thus moral uncleanness and cleanness is being illustrated in ritual or ceremonial cleanness or uncleanness. And you remember what the psalmist says in Psalm 24:3: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully …”

What is that passage talking aboutIt’s talking about our own state of sanctification and the enjoyment of the presence of God, and that principle from Psalm 27 is illustrated in the ceremonial code. Those who are covered in sin, who are contaminated by the fall, cannot enjoy unhindered fellowship with God.

Mark 6:3 — “… the son of Mary …” – Jesus was in His own country (Nazareth), teaching in His synagogue, and the neighbors still implied that He was illegitimate, not the son of Joseph.

FreeBibleImages.org

Mark 6:26 — Herod was sorry he ‘had’ to execute John the Baptist, similar to Pilate’s ‘sorrow’ over ‘having’ to execute Jesus (Matthew 27:24).

Psalm 39:5 — ”Every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Think on this.”

Proverbs 10:10 — Haven’t heard the word ‘prating’ before? Vocabulary.com not only gives you a definition, but shows you usage examples in current literature.

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Daily Encouragement

February 21 – Dietary Laws … and We’re Not Talking the Atkins Diet!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 11:1-12:8
Mark 5:21-43
Psalm 38:1-22
Proverbs 10:8-9

Clean & Unclean Animals Chart from Yashraal.org, a group that holds exclusively to the Tanakh (Old Testament). This line of clean/unclean was removed in Acts 10:13.

Leviticus 11:4 — Welcome to the dietary law! Some people differentiate the Mosaic law into three types:

  • Moral Laws (universal to all people, e.g. Ten Commandments)
  • Civil Laws (explanations of the moral laws – “what if someone accidentally …”
  • Ceremonial Laws (laws relating to the Temple, specific to Israel)

CARM.org divides the 613 laws into 34 categories under these three categories; however, the lines do appear arbitrary at times.

A better system for analyzing the law is “dispensationalism” – the idea that God deals with different people in different ways at different times. It also means that God is not fair (“why can’t Joshua eat bacon if Noah could and Peter could?”), but He is just and has a plan! God replaced the 613 commands of the Mosaic Law with over 800 commands for the New Testament believer!

Speaking of bacon – here’s the overview of when people could and could not eat bacon:

Leviticus 11:44 — Even though the Mosaic Law doesn’t apply to our dispensation, the principle of the Ceremonial Law (showing the distinction between clean and unclean) is a picture of the distinction between holy and unholy. While God has removed the division between clean and unclean animals, He has not removed the distinction between holiness and unholiness. We are still required to be holy, because He is holy (Leviticus 20:7, 1 Peter 1:15-16).

Mark 5:22 and 35 — While Jesus had an adversarial relationship with the religious leaders, especially the Pharisees, individuals like the ruler of the synagogue had faith in Jesus. Groups of people are unlikely to follow Jesus, but thankfully individuals are always welcome.

Psalm 38:3 — Do you have no rest in your bones because of sin? A) Be grateful that your Father is rebuking you (Hebrews 12:6), and B) Repent from your sins (1 John 1:9).

Proverbs 10:8 — Continuing contrasts between wisdom and foolishness.

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Daily Encouragement

February 20 – Carest Thou Not that We Perish?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 9:7-10:20
Mark 4:26-5:20
Psalm 37:30-40
Proverbs 10:6-7

Leviticus 10:1 — We’ve seen over the last few days that God was clear in how He demanded worship. Here, two sons of Aaron disobeyed Exodus 30:9 and died.

Mark 4:38 — ”Carest thou not that we perish?” is a line in Master the Tempest is Raging.

Rembrandt, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Mark 4:41 — Ben Everson used this verse for his song “What Manner of Man Is This?

Mark 5:19 — This is the 4th time that Jesus says “Go” – even today we’re told to “Go and tell!”

Psalm 37:40 — How can we have deliverance and salvation? By works? Nope – trusting in the LORD!

Proverbs 10:7 — While the wicked may be in power now, their name shall rot.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

February 19 – The Last of the Levitical Offerings

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 7:28-9:6
Mark 3:31-4:25
Psalm 37:12-29
Proverbs 10:5

Leviticus 7:29 — We’re making our way through the offerings of Leviticus, and currently we are in the peace offerings. These are optional unlike the others. If you’re a bit overwhelmed by the offerings, Wayne Stiles has a one-page PDF overview that you can download to better understand what they are and why they matter. “The offerings in Leviticus served as God’s gracious provision for how one could regain and sustain fellowship with God.” I like his blog because he makes extensive use of Israeli geography.

Leviticus 8:17 — They were commanded to burn the bullock for the sin offering “without the camp” in Exodus 29:14. In the New Testament, Hebrews 13:12 explains how this command was fulfilled. The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has a good overview of the phrase “without the camp.”

Mark 4:21 — Hide it under a bushel? NO!

Psalm 37:23-24 — The chorus of “The Steps of a Good Man” from Mac Lynch of the WILDS comes word for word from Psalms 37:23-24. Another version is recorded by the wife of a pastor friend of mine.

Proverbs 10:5 — Compare to Mark 4:25, a passage we read just a few minutes ago. God rewards diligence!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

February 18 – More than Just a Regional Sensation

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 6:1-7:27
Mark 3:7-30
Psalm 37:1-11
Proverbs 10:3-4

Leviticus 6:1 — As we tour through the legal code of Israel, we are entering Contract Law. If someone makes an agreement, but then reneges on it, it is not only a sin against his fellow man, but also against the LORD (see Leviticus 6:6). Sin affects man and God.

Leviticus 7:26 — This command about not consuming blood is found in Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 3:17, 17:10-12, 14, 19:26; Deuteronomy 12:16, 23, 25; 15:23; Ezekiel 33:25; Acts 15:20, 29, 21:25 … so, by the time Jesus says in John 6:53-56 that we are to drink His blood, the people are confused.

Mark 3:7 — Yesterday, Jesus performed a miracle in the synagogue, but today He withdraws to the lake. Notice that He has crowds from many, many miles around.

Psalm 37:4 — The Herbster Trio song “Delight Yourself in the Lord” is based on this verse.

Proverbs 10:4 — While the Bible talks much about care for the poor, it also teaches that becoming rich is a blessing for the diligent. Especially because it gives the ability to give (Ephesians 4:28).

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

February 17 – Unclean Men Make Clean Men Unclean … Except …

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 4:1-5:19
Mark 2:13-3:6
Psalm 36:1-12
Proverbs 10:1-2

Leviticus 4:2 — Sinning through ignorance. Centuries earlier, Job was concerned about his children sinning in ignorance (Job 1:5).

Leviticus 5:3 — A “clean” person became “unclean” by touching an “unclean” person. The opposite was not true, however. The “unclean” person did not become “clean” by being touched by a “clean” person. The only exception happened 1,400 years later (Matthew 8:3)!

On a boat on the Sea of Galilee, Author’s Picture

Mark 2:13 — I had the opportunity to travel with Jimmy DeYoung to Israel, and we stayed by the sea side of Galilee.

Mark 2:17 — I’m glad that Jesus came to call me to repentance!

Psalm 36:7 — Lovingkindness – again we see the root word hesed. Discover the Word points out how this word is exemplified in Ruth 3:10: she chose to stay loyal to Naomi, an act of kindness, a choice of love. John MacArthur discusses hesed as well:

… the Hebrew word “chesed” is often translated “loving kindness”. That is the attribute of God that we want to focus on. God is possessed by an innate goodwill toward sinners, an innate kindness. God is by nature merciful, tender-hearted, compassionate. God withholds judgment. God grants benevolent favors because it is His nature. It is a reason to praise Him. It is a reason to honor Him. It is a reason to worship Him …

Proverbs 10:1 — We have moved from the introductory contrasts, to the pithy saying section. Twenty-six of the thirty-two verses in this chapter use “but” as a contrast, which is a key feature of antithetical Hebrew poetry.

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