Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 47

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Welcome to Day 47 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Leviticus 26, 27; Acts 23 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

Leviticus 26 is simple math. If… and, but…

If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands… [edited just to hit the highlights].

4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit… 6 I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country… 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you. 9 I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.”

14 “But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you. 18 If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. 19 I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit.”

But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them… then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant.

Leviticus 27, Is like going above and beyond… to make a special vow. (Excerpts from Matthew Henry’s Commentary) The law concerning what was sanctified to God, persons (Lev. 27:2-8), cattle, clean or unclean (Lev. 27:9-13), houses and lands (Lev. 27:15-25), with an exception of firstlings, Lev. 27:26, 27. Concerning what was devoted, Lev. 27:28, 29. Concerning tithes, Lev. 27:30-34.

“The last verse seems to have reference to this whole book. Many of the precepts in it are moral, and always binding; others are ceremonial, and peculiar to the Jewish nation; yet they have a spiritual meaning, and so teach us; for unto us, by these institutions, is the gospel preached, as well as unto them, Heb 4:2. The doctrine of reconciliation to God by a Mediator, is not clouded with the smoke of burning sacrifice, but cleared by the knowledge of Christ and him crucified. We are under the sweet and easy institutions of the gospel, which pronounces those true worshippers, who worship the Father in spirit and truth, by Christ only, and in his name. Yet, let us not think, because we are not tied to the ceremonial rites and oblations, that a little care, time, and expense, will serve to honour God with. Having boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, let us draw near with a true heart, and in full assurance of faith, worshipping God with the more cheerfulness and humble confidence, still saying, BLESSED BE GOD FOR JESUS CHRIST.”

Acts 23, Paul is before the Sanhedrin… a diverse group of Jewish leaders that didn’t agree on the resurrection or angels and demons. (Sound familiar?) So Paul used that against them… which only worsened his situation. A plot to kill Paul is in place, but is thwarted by him getting an armed escort out of the city.

v 11 “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.” How cool is that?

O bservation

These chapters in Leviticus are about humility vs. pride. Obedience vs. unwillingness. Blessing vs. hardship.

(Did you note that a tithe (tenth part) is 10%, but to redeem your child, ox, house or land was “add a fifth.” 20%!)

A pplication

Humility, obedience, faithfulness are always, always, always a better idea than selfish pride and unwillingness to obey. Seems simple enough to me, obey and be blessed. Or not.

Do I want to walk in peace and blessing or experience hardship every step along the way? Hmmm… Let me think about that for a minute…

Obedience is not just an Old Testament theme… Jesus said, “Follow me…”

P rayer

Lord, help me to trust and obey… for there’s no other way… to be happy in Jesus. But to trust and obey.

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3 thoughts on “Day 47

  1. What do you think obedience looks like under the new covenant?

  2. Dan Talbott on said:

    In lev. 26 i see a few verses tell of Gods blessings for obedience, and the rest of the chap. tells of his punishment and chastisment. I sure can relate to this, so which do i want? To obey and KNOW GOD, or go my own way and be under his multiplied corrections. Well said Scott, trust and obey there is no other way.

  3. Obedience in the AD world boils down to: Luke 10:27 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Questions however, how do we love God with all our heart, soul and mind? I don’t think we can ever love God as much as he deserves and we often take Him for granted. The Japanese have a manufacturing philosophy called Kaizen, which means continuous improvement in processes and practices. I try to apply this to my worship as I try to constantly improve and increase my time of worship and prayer.

    Also, who is our neighbor? Jesus uses a Samaritan as the hero of the story of who is the neighbor. Samaritans were hated at that time, so it would seem that the neighbor that we should love is the _________. Some obvious options are Republican/Democrat, homosexual, poor/sick/needy, mother-in-law…

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