A Discharge of Blood: Leviticus 15 meets Luke 8

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 15

Yesterday I wrote about the Levitical laws about leprosy and Jesus healing the leper… Now we come to Leviticus 15, the Levitical laws about bodily discharges and menstruation and other discharges of blood. Ugh.

I’ve never been a leper, but I’ve had plenty of times of menstruation over the past thirty-plus years!

First I was reminded of Genesis 31:34-35 which takes on a whole new depth of meaning in light of these laws – which hadn’t yet been given, in writing at least. “Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.”

But then I was reminded of the woman who had suffered with a discharge of blood for twelve years. You can read her story in Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8.

And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.

Luke 8:43-47 ESV

How lonely she must have been. How desperate for healing. Twelve years is a long, long time. And how terrified she must’ve been that she might get in big trouble for touching the rabbi.

Yet, Jesus was not angry with her for touching Him. Rather He spoke these tender words to her,

“Daughter, your faith
has made you well; go in peace.”

Luke 8:47

Are we tender like that with those who need healing – or do we join in ostracizing them and putting them outside the camp?

Do we go to Jesus and grab hold of the fringe of His garment when we need healing ourselves?

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, there are men and women in our midst who need healing. Help us to see their need and respond tenderly to them. Help us to introduce them to Jesus, the only one who can heal them. Father, we all need healing in various areas of our life – healing from bitterness, healing from emotional pain, healing from physical ailments. We come to You, the Great Physician, and lay all of our needs at Your feet. Help us to reach out to You and cling tightly to You. It is in the Almighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Touch the Hem – Sam Cooke

Keeping the Fire Burning

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 5:14-7:38

“The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it;
it shall not go out. The priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and he shall arrange the burnt offering on it and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings.
Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually;
it shall not go out.”

Leviticus 6:12-13

The Lord is faithful. Day after day. Night after night. Morning after morning.

He pours out His blessings upon me. He fills my lungs with breath. He causes the earth to continue to spin and the birds to continue to sing. Where would I be without Him?

I need Him every hour. In the highs and lows, on the mountain tops and in the valleys, in the darkness of nights and on the brightest of mornings, His praise will ever be on my lips.

Pray with me.

Heavenly Father, Let me not let the embers of faith grow cold in my heart. Help me to fan them into flame. Help me to abide in You and let Your Word abide in me. Let me not forget that I need You every hour and every day. Let my love for You not grow cold. Remind me of the love I had at first – the passion and hunger and deep gratitude that I felt when I first met my Savior. Make me a bright, burning fire, pointing the world to You. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Sins of Ignorance

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Levititus 4:1-5:13

The Lord here provides specific directions for how to atone for unintentional sins, sins of ignorance.

This reminded me of so many other passages, like Paul’s beautiful testimony from 1 Timothy 1:12-16

“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”

Listen to Jesus’s words when He was being crucified,

“Father, forgive them,
for they know not what they do.”

Luke 23:34

But what about when you continue willfully in sin? How about those who have heard the gospel again and again and yet they choose to turn their back on God?

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Hebrews 10:26-31

Rather than questioning what God will do with those who have never heard the gospel, we ought to ask ourselves these two questions:

  • Am I prepared to meet God?
  • Have I been faithful to share the good news with the people that I know?”

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, I, for one, am not ignorant. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Even when I was darkness, running away from You, You had written Your law on my heart. I knew that it was wrong to lie. I knew that it was wrong to say hateful things about other people. I knew that it was wrong to slander and gossip. I knew it, but I did it anyway. Thank You for saving me while I was yet a sinner. Thank You for sending Jesus to die in my place, to be the sacrificial lamb who died outside the camp, who bore my sin and shame. Now let me take this knowledge and share it with others, so that they will not meet You in ignorance. I pray also for those who have heard the truth and have willfully rejected it, who are intentionally running away from You today. Please, Lord, save them! Draw them to Yourself. Send Your Word, Your angels, and Your children into their path. May Your courts be filled with people from every tribe and tongue from around the globe. In the Name of Jesus Christ, the only Name that saves, Amen.

The Priest and the Offering

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 1-3

In these chapters, I see again and again the role of the priest in all of these detailed offerings. A person cannot make these offerings themselves. They must go to the priest who will sacrifice the animal and throw its blood on the altar and burn it. They can’t do it themselves. They have to go to the priest.

Some churches have taken this to mean that people must now continue going to a priest, that they cannot go directly to God, but that is in absolute contradiction to the Scriptures.

For there is one God and there is one mediator between god and man,
the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

Jesus Christ Himself is our great and perfect priest. He is both the priest and the offering. We can – and we must – go directly to Him.

Let’s pray!

Heavenly Father, Thank You for sending Jesus to earth to be our perfect High Priest, our Mediator and our Lamb without blemish. May we confess our sins directly to Him, the only priest able to forgive us completely. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

With Unveiled Face: Exodus 34 meets 2 Corinthians 3

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 34:1-35:29

“When Moses came down
from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain,
Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.”

Exodus 34:29 ESV

His face was shining, not because he had just married the woman of his dreams, or because he was holding his newborn son, or because he’d successfully led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, but because he had literally been in God’s presence.

I know that my face will not physically shine from my time with the Lord and meeting with Him in glory … but how I wish for my countenance to radiate the joy, peace, and hope that comes from having communed with God that day.

“Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear– but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

1Peter 3:3-4 ESV

“Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?

For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.

Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:7-18 ESV

Heavenly Father, May my face radiate Your glory. May my countenance reflect the joy that fills my heart. Let Your glory flow out of me, that people would see YOU when they look at me. To the glory of Your Name we pray. Amen.

Without You

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 33

Please get out your Bible and read Exodus 33. It’s such a rich chapter of the Word. I’d love to spend a week just studying its 23 verses.

The LORD said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ I will send an angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; but I will not go up among you, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.”

Exodus 33:1-3 ESV

How would I feel if I heard these words?

How would you feel?

Well, here’s how the Israelites reacted –

When the people heard
this disastrous word, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments.

Exodus 33:4 ESV

Lord, no news is good news if You’re not in it. If You won’t go with me, I don’t want to go. I don’t just want Your gifts. I want You. You are the center of my life. You are the purpose of everything that I do. You are my strength and my shield, my fortress, my rock. I want to walk with You – whether in the garden or in the valley or in the desert. I want to see Your glory. Hide me in the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ, who was pierced and broken for me, who shed His blood for me. In His Name I pray. Amen.

Rock of Ages by Chris Rice

Holy Priests Living for a Holy God: Exodus 28 meets Revelation 5

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Exodus 26-28

“Then bring near to you
Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the people of Israel,
to serve me as priests—Aaron and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother,
for glory and for beauty.

Exodus 28:1-2 ESV

I loved reading Exodus 28 about the special garments the Lord commanded for Aaron and his sons to wear as His chosen priests. It reminded me of the special armor that we are charged to wear in Ephesians 6:10-20. And I was especially reminded of this throne room scene that John described in Revelation 5.

Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:1-10 ESV

Heavenly Father, you have made us priests by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are no longer our own. We have been bought with a price, a costly price. I pray that we would serve you all the days of our life, living holy and godly lives, dressed in the righteousness of Your Son, the only One who is worthy. In His Name we Pray, Amen.

Is He Worthy – Highrock Church Choir

The Blood that Covers

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 24

And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar.

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.”

And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Exodus 24:6-8 ESV

I imagine myself as one of those people, standing there in shock as Moses sacrifices those animals, throwing half of their blood onto the altar but saving half of it in a basin.

I imagine myself wondering, “What’s he going to do with all that blood he’s saving in that basin?”

Then, I imagine myself listening to Moses reading a long list of rules of what I should and shouldn’t do – that I must not ever curse or hit my parents, that I must be careful to make restitution to my neighbor if I ever lose or damage something that I borrow from him, that I must be kind to the stranger dwelling in my midst, and so on and so on. So many more rules given by a holy, holy God.

I would hear Moses read all those warnings about the consequences of these sins – many times that consequence being death – and I’d really, really want to obey.

I’m sure that I would’ve shouted with the crowd, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!” I would want to obey God. I would.

And then I imagine my shock as Moses puts his hand into that basin full of blood and proceeds to throw it, handful by handful, cup by cup, upon me and the people standing on either side of me, behind me and in front of me.

I imagine the stench. The stickiness. The blood red stain on my garments.

Again, the wages of sin is death. Blood is such a physical sign and reminder of death.

These animals had given their lifeblood that I might enter into a covenant of blood with the holy Almighty God of the universe. And I’d want to obey.

But ultimately just being afraid of punishment, even punishment of death, is never enough to truly stop a person from sinning. It didn’t work on me as a kid and it didn’t work on any of my kids, either. (Well, I guess I never did threaten them with death…)

Punishment is definitely a deterrent and without it, an entire society can quickly get out of control. The rampant crime and immorality so prevalent in our culture today certainly bears witness to that, but it’s not failsafe. No threat of punishment, no matter how severe, can ever fully stop a person from sinning.

We think we can hide it. We think no one will find out. We act irrationally and impulsively in a moment, overcome by emotion. And we fall.

Thanks be to the Lord for the Messiah, the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ, the sinless Lamb who was promised before the foundation of the world. The One who was slain in our place, whose blood fully covers the sin of His children.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the blood. Thank You for the Lamb who was slain to take away the sin of the world, my own sin. Thank You for Your holiness that causes me to fear You, that I would not want to sin. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Divine Exchange by Charity Gayle

The Wages of Sin is Death – Exodus 21 meets Romans 6

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 21-23

Exodus 21:12 ESV — “Whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death.”

Exodus 21:15 ESV — “Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.”

Exodus 21:16 ESV — “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.”

Exodus 21:17 ESV — “Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death.”

Exodus 21:28-29 ESV — “When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.”

Exodus 22:19 ESV — “Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.”

Exodus 22:21-24 ESV — “You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.”

Romans 6:23 ESV — For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 5:24 ESV — Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Death. Death. Death. The wages of sin is death. We deserve death. Jesus, the innocent Lamb, was condemned to death alongside two justly condemned criminals. He paid the price for me. It is finished.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for sending Your holy, innocent, perfect Son to die in my place, to ransom me from my slavery to sin and rescue me out of the death sentence that had justly been charged to my account. All I can say is, Thank You. Thank You for the cross.

A Chosen Race, A Royal Priesthood, A Holy Nation, A People for His Own Possession: Exodus 19 meets 1 Peter 2

Read though the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 18-19

After many days traveling, the Israelites find themselves in the wilderness of Sinai and they camp at the foot of Mount Sinai where God meets with Moses. The Lord tells Moses to speak to the people of Israel these words:

“‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ “

Exodus 19:4-6a

These verses reminded me of 1 Peter 2 where the Lord extends this beautiful promise to all of His children, whether Jew or Gentile.

Though I don’t have the blood of Abraham running through my blood, I have the faith of Abraham running through my heart.

Turn there in your Bible as God speaks thus to all His children who have been born again by faith in Jesus Christ:

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

1 Peter 2:1-10 ESV

Let’s pray.

Oh, Heavenly Father, Thank You that You have called me up that I might taste and see that You are indeed good, so very, very good. Even though I once rejected that living stone, that stone of stumbling and rock of offense, Jesus Christ, Your Son chosen and precious, You intervened and changed the whole course of my life. Thank You for making me and each of Your children a vital member of the chosen race, royal priesthood, and holy nation that is the family of God. Thank You for giving me mercy, though I deserved Your wrath. Help my sisters and I to long for the pure spiritual milk of Your Word and to grow up into maturity, putting away all malice and deceit and hypocrisy, envy, and slander, and running full-strength toward You. We love you, Lord. In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.