3/19/19 One Year Bible Recap

Could you pray for my household? We have been sick with various aliments for a month. Now Brock has the stomach bug I had. I told my friend Wendy yesterday that I was really close to slaughtering one of our goats, grabbing some Hyssop (where would I even get it?), some doves and some scarlet thread, to perform an OT cleansing ceremony. But as we have studied that would be totally out of context and I have no Levitical priests around to run the ceremony. So better if I just ask ya’ll to pray for us.

Numbers 28: 16—29:40

God, in His instruction, will always start with the basics and then move to the more complex.  This is also a theory we apply to studying the bible.  Don’t try to understand the complex until you fully understand the basics.  Today’s reading teaches the Israelites the more complex intricacies of the Festivals.  Passover really jumps off the page for me today because I just realized we are really close to the time of year that Passover is celebrated by those who observe Jewish Tradition.  We also realize the significance of Jesus being crucified (Easter) during Passover.  And that is the point! Remember, all of these festivals are meant to remind them of the facts about who God is, and their dependence on Him.  He provides the food, water, protection, the seasons to grow food, so they pause in their daily grind to remember that He is the reason they have what they do.  He is a God worthy of celebration.  

Luke 3: 23-38

Ah, the genealogy.  People have talked themselves out of believing in God because of the discrepancy in Luke and Mathew’s Genealogies.  I don’t think they were supposed to match up because they are proving two totally different things.  Mathew is writing to Jews to tell them that Jesus is the Messiah promised to Abraham, and follows that promised lineage so they will see that He is the one promised all those years ago.  Luke is writing to gentiles to show that Jesus brought salvation to all.  His genealogy shows that Jesus’ salvation goes past Abraham all the way to the Garden of Eden.  (Genesis 3: 15, to be exact)  Salvation came through the Jews, and when they rejected it (crucifixion of Jesus), it was offered to the gentiles.  (aka: the Church is born, but don’t get ahead of the story!) So Luke has to prove to the Gentiles that Jesus actually came to save everyone.  Therefore, his genealogy (under God’s inspiration) shows how Jesus is related to Adam, the father of us all.  Also, don’t get hung up on “Adam was the son of God”….all humans are his created sons and daughters.  

You may be perplexed at this point because yesterday Jesus claimed Joseph was not His father and yet today Luke says that, “Jesus was known as the son Joseph.”  He says, “known to be the father,” because he is attesting to the virgin birth. The virgin birth is important because He had to be born free of the sin curse of Adam.  BUT, in order to be the perfect sacrifice for all mankind He also had to be human.  So Luke is proving through this genealogy that He is the Son of Man as well as the Son of God. People “know” Him to be human because Joseph is raising him, and Mary gave birth to Him.  It’s a testimony to his human side.   Remember, God starts with the basics and works toward the complex.  If this is not making sense don’t throw away your faith, give God time to teach you!  Don’t forget that the Israelites had God leading them in a pillar of smoke, providing bread from the sky, and providing water from rocks and they still did not have faith in Him, we have to admit that sometimes it takes time to convince our stubborn human minds.

Psalm 62: 1-12

I love this Psalm.  If I could truly believe the truth of this Psalm I would be free of the need to retaliate when I am wronged.  He says, “I wait quietly before the Lord for my victory comes from him.”  Could you imagine how different life on earth would be if we all believed this?  If we believe that God is in charge of saving us and being our fortress?  If we believed that victory and honor came from God alone?  We probably won’t see that this side of Heaven because of our pesky sin nature, but we can practice it.  Life on earth is but a puff of air and we, who are empowered by the Holy Spirt, have the choice wait quietly before the God because power and unfailing love belong to Him.  

Proverbs 11: 18-19

This makes me think of all the get rich quick schemes.  The more I understand of God the more I see that He works in the reaping and sowing mentality.  You gotta put the time in, You gotta make the godly choices.  My friend Laura always tells me, “It’s a process!”  (I’m pretty sure she said she heard if from Christine Caine, but I could be wrong, so shoot me.)

3/17/19 & 3/18/19 One Year Bible Recap--two for the price of one!

Two for the price of one today because I had a stomach bug yesterday that had me questioning if I wanted to live to see today.  But alas here I am.  So lets get to work.  


Numbers 26: 1-51

God is proving to us that He is faithful to His word.  He has them count again to prove to us that no one from that first generation is entering the Land.  If you are so inclined then you can go back and compare.  I’m going to assume it is all checks out because I hated math in school and I have not grown to love it at this point.  (Doing my son’s 6th grade math homework makes me want to shoot myself in the face.) 

Luke 2: 36-52

Well, Anna is my new favorite bible character.  I’m not sure how I have missed her up to this point, but there she is today!  Think of this, an 84 year old widow that lives at the temple because of her devotion to the Lord and her urgency to see the Messiah.  This women no doubt was a nuisance to the Pharisee’s, something they put up with because they did not know what to do with her.  She certainly had no money to show off with like they did.  Her devotion was quiet, but it was the thing that put her in the way of seeing Jesus. And when she sees him, she praised God and told everyone who was “expectantly waiting for God to rescue Jerusalem,” about the baby. God used this woman to spread the word that the messiah had come.  Not the fancy Pharisee’s, this quietly devoted woman.  This speaks volumes to me because sometimes I feel like my small life does not honor God.  Like I’m not selling out stadiums because of my amazing speaking abilities.  I am doing my best to read God’s word everyday and love the people well who live in this house.  But then I read Anna’s story and think, “Well Lord, maybe I am exactly where I am supposed to be?” 

Can you remember the first time you lost one of your kids at a park, or the grocery store?  Can you imagine if you had been given the Messiah to raise and you lost HIM???  I just think they must have really been frantic.  Like “Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere,” should be in all caps with the scared face emoji, am I right?  But the point of this story is to let us know that at the age of 12, Jesus knew who his father was.  It was not Joseph, it is God.  Also, we know why they were traveling because of our OT study!  Remember all of Israel had to go to Jerusalem for the Passover.  

Psalm 60: 1-12

Psalm 60 is a teaching Psalm written by David.  The point of the Psalm is to remember that victory and defeat come from the Lord.  In David’s day, if they were losing it was because they were sinning in some way.  So they had to learn to repent so they could be restored to God’s favor.  

Proverbs 11: 15

I think another way of saying this is don’t secure a debt you are not comfortable losing.  You have to go in assuming the other person will not pay, and you will become responsible.  That is why it is better to just not do it at all!


The Lord has just shown us that He is faithful to His Word because not one person on this list was on the first list.  He said they would die in the wilderness and they did.  God=Faithful to His Word.  I love that the Lord records these daughters of Zelophehad.  God institutes order in families by making the man the head of family.  Otherwise everyone is fighting over who the boss is.  But we see here, if there is not head of the house, the property goes to the daughters.  Showing that they are legitimate property holders.  God also goes on to clarify other situations so that the land will stay in the nation’s possession.  

In verse 16 Moses uses a really cool name for God.  He says He is “the God who gives breath to all creatures.” When I dug a little bit more into this in the Bible Knowledge Commentary it said that what Moses is communicating there is that God is the giver of personalities!  So Moses is saying to God that because He is the God who gives personalities, He has to be the one who chooses the personality best suited to lead the people.  I just love that, and Joshua is the guy.  

Here God goes again, CLEARLY communicating to the people, what is required of them.  The daily offerings have been taught before.  The Sabbath offering is new information.  The offering on the first day of the month become the “New moon offerings”  They are learning these because this will characterize their agricultural life in the Promised Land.  

Luke 3: 1-22

We get to read about John the Baptist’s ministry today.  I love how simple his message is, just do the right thing.  Stop breaking the law by collecting more taxes than are actually required and having a giving attitude.  His baptism was an outward sign of inward repentance.  The baptism meant nothing if they did not live out what they said they believed.  

Psalm 61: 1-8

This was such a good reminder for me today.  My heart is overwhelmed and I need to cry to God for help.  Now for sure I understand that David probably wrote this because he was being chased down by some terrible army and that is not my lot life, however my heart is overwhelmed all the same.  You know just overwhelmed by what I have on my plate this week, and because I basically lost all of yesterday and probably most of today being sick.  Sometimes piles of laundry, dishes and unplanned meals can look like terrible armies trying to take you down, but I don’t want to be too dramatic.  

Proverbs 11: 16-17

According to this proverb respect is more valuable than wealth.  Also, this is the biblical testament to “what goes around comes around.”  The Buddhist’s did not invent karma, God told us it was true thousands of years before. 

3/16/19 One Year Bible Recap

Numbers 24: 1–25: 18

Balaam realizes the Lord is at work here and that He is more powerful than anything he has ever come into contact with.  So with that recognition the Lord can use him to deliver the oracles.  Bad news for Balak, and I cracked up when it said, “He clapped his hands and shouted....” 

I am just so struck by how clear God has been with His chosen people, and yet they choose to ignore His Commandments. He communicated to them that pagan worship of false God’s leads to bondage and death.  He has proven his character by providing manna from heaven, protection and has displayed His power to them.  And at the first chance they get, they jump head first into temple worship with temple prostitutes.  One leader, Zimri, is so brazen that he brings a prostitute back to the camp with him.  Actions like that show us that these peoples hearts have chosen to reject God and follow Baal (Satan).  Sin=Death.  Since they have made their choice God ends their life on earth, and they will be locked into their choice of rejection of God.  

This also makes me think of all the people now a days that say, “If I could just see the Lord do a miracle or if He just displayed His power so I knew He was real I would believe and do everything He says.”  Ah, no you wouldn’t, because we have learned that lesson from the Israelites.  There is something that keeps us from following the rules.

Luke 2: 1-35

I love that the first thing the shepherds do when the angels leave is high tail it to Bethlehem to check out the baby.  I also love the the party that is described when they go back to their flocks after having confirmed that the Messiah had come.  Also, don’t miss the fact that the first people notified where lowly shepherds whose hearts were tender toward the Lord.  (Not fancy religious leaders)

We have learned from our OT study that God allowed people who could not afford to sacrifice a lamb to sacrifice turtle doves or pigeons.  We also know exactly what Mary and Joseph are having to offer sacrifices for! (Purification and 1st born dedication.) Taking all this into account we can assume they are very poor and devoted to the Lord.  

I also love how God blessed Simeon by allowing him to see the baby. God used the people whose hearts we devoted to Him to spread the message.  

Psalm 59: 1-17

I was just saying to my friend Cheryl that the Psalms are the hardest thing for me to write about everyday.  Her thought is it’s because they are so personal, its like reading someone’s prayer journal.  I totally agree with her.  We are getting to read Davids most private thoughts and his interaction with God.  So, as I read through it today I tried to think about how I identified with David’s prayers.  I totally get him saying, “Wake up!  See what is happening and help me!”  This just shows us how he really believes God has to move for him to be saved, he can’t save himself.  I also love how David calls God, “Oh my Strength.”  

Proverbs 11: 14

A person making all the decisions with no one around from whom he takes advice is a dangerous person.  We are all safer together.  

3/15/19 One Year Bible Recap

Numbers 22: 21–23: 30

God gave permission for Balaam to go with the men in yesterday’s passage but now He is angry with him for going?  What gives?  I think it is because of Balaam’s heart posture.  In 2 Peter 2:15, Balaam’s character is described as “loving the wages of unrighteousness.”  If that is where Balaam’s heart is then it makes sense that on the journey God is going to teach him about who He is and why Balaam should obey Him. God will teach us even through a talking donkey.  If you have ever dealt with a donkey/horse/bovine you know how humbling dealing with them can be.  

Balaam engages the pagan practices of sacrifice to try to summon God’s presence.  We know, having just read Leviticus that if Balaam was really trying to worship God he would have gone down to the Israelites camp and asked Moses and the Levites to intervene.  But because God is on the move here to protect the Israelites, He answers Balaam anyway, despite the useless sacrifices.  I absolutely was laughing out loud this morning when Balak is like, “Well fine if you are not going to curse just go, but don’t bless them!”  

Luke1: 57-80

Elizabeth has here baby and they name him John.  Zechariah’s speech is restored and John grew up strong in the spirit.  So guess what?  Since those things came true (near predictions) we can take what Gabriel said about Mary having Jesus TO THE BANK!!  It is going to happen.  God even uses Zechariah to paint a more vivid picture of what John and Jesus will do in the coming years.  The line, “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace,” really stood out to me.  As I sit here and write this the sun has just come up over my neighbor’s house.  The light is truly beautiful and I feel in my soul how it saved me from the shadow of death.  

Psalm 58: 1-11

If you have been truly victimized on this earth, take comfort in this psalm because you can trust the God will not let injustice go unpunished in the end.  It is God’s fight and He always wins.

Proverbs 11: 12-13

I am really seeing how much power there is in our words.  We can build up our community or tear it down by what we choose to share.  I think we could all stand to share less, and listen more.  

3/14/19 One Year Bible Recap

Numbers 21: 1–22: 20

A cycle is developing before our eyes, but it is one we are probably already familiar with because it is already cemented in our own lives.  The cycle is: People start to complain, they rebel, the Lord disciplines them, They repent, the Lord saves them.  This cycle will characterize most of the following books in the OT.  I say this is familiar to us because this is the product of our sin nature.  We, at our heart level, just like the Israelites, don’t want what the Lord wants to give us.  So God takes us through the journey of sanctification so we finally sing like David in Psalm 57, “Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.  May your glory shine over all the earth.” He is so kind to convince us of His love, and faithfulness.  We will get to watch this unfold in the following books.  

Remember the people they are fighting, the Moabites and Ammorites, are the product of Lot’s incestuous relationship with his daughters.  They do not follow God.  Remember God warned them that the idolatry they prescribe to would enslave them.  They were so far from God that in His mercy, he brought death to end their enslaved life on earth.  They were set in their decision to ignore God.  When it says the Balaam seeks the Lord’s direction it is not because of his devotion.  It is because everyone knew that the Israelites where the Lord’s chosen people, (because of everything that was accomplished in Egypt) and they knew the best way to deal with a group of people was to talk to whatever gods they worshipped.  In this case it happens to be Yahweh, the only real God.  In God’s mercy for all souls, He told Balaam to leave the Israelites alone.  

Luke 1: 26–56

This passage came alive for me a few months ago when I read a book called “Giddy up, Eunice” by my dear friend Sophie Hudson. (Who is not actually my dear friend but would be if we actually met in real life.) I am going to draw on what she pointed out in her book.  The first thing Mary does is go to Elizabeth to see if she is pregnant.  This was the near prediction that Gabriel gave her, so if it is true the prediction about Jesus is true too.  And behold Elizabeth is pregnant.  I love that in the excitement, fear, anticipation, fear, joy, and experiencing God’s faithfulness, God gives Mary and Elizabeth each other.  They understand each other’s situation. Miraculously pregnant, with sons that will change the world.  One is the announcer, and the other the Savior of the world.  For Mary there was so many ways that she had to trust the Lord.  The main one being that she could be stoned for becoming pregnant during her betrothal.  I love the Lord for giving her Elizabeth to talk to, pray with and celebrate with.  Guess what?  He does the same thing for us.  When we need great faith, He gives great believing friends to encourage us on in faith.  

Psalm 57: 1–11

People like to try to juke me all the time by saying, “IF your God is so loving then why is there suffering in the world?”  Well, the cycle we see in Numbers and this Psalm point to the answer.  There is suffering so we will learn who God is and draw closer to Him until our heart sings, “Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!  May your glory shine over all the earth.”  In our sinful state our heart sings, “Why have you brought me out here to die?  I hate this manna you provide for me miraculously everyday!”  God delivers us from suffering so we will “Hide beneath the shadow of His wings.”

Proverbs 11: 9–11

I love this Podcast called Crimetown.  (The language is awful, so if that bothers you don’t listen)  It is about city’s in the US that have been taken over by corruption and organized crime. This proverb made me think of that podcast.  When corruption and wickedness take hold of city, crime reigns.  People really do celebrate when they die because they are finally free of it.  Godly people bring up right living.  

3/13/19 One Year Bible Recap

Numbers 19: 1–20: 29

The Israelites daily life was characterized by imagery that taught them about who God was and who they were in relation to God.  Sin = Death.  Therefore touching a dead body made them ceremonial unclean. In order to enjoy the benefits of living in God’s community, He had to give them a way to become ceremonially clean.  Chapter 19 describes this process.  

God tells Moses and Aaron to SPEAK to the rock, but in their frustration with these people who seem to only be gifted with ability to complain, they STRIKE the rock.  Remember, this community is characterized by imagery.  Moses speaking to the rock would have pointed to the fact that God provided the water.  Moses striking the rock points to Moses and Aaron having the ability to force water to appear.  The added layer is they also disobeyed God’s instructions.  We learned with the story of Miriam starting a rebellion, that God holds people in leadership positions to a different standard then those who are following them.  Because of their disobedience they never see the Promised Land.  It doesn’t seem fair, does it? The funny thing is God never promised things would be fair, He only promised more of Himself.  He is perfectly loving and perfectly just so I think it would behoove us to let go of things being fair and trust that God is acting in perfect harmony with His character.  

Oh and one more thing....That’s ok Edom, Israel will be back.......😜

Luke 1: 1–25

God is the bomb.  There are 4 gospels and each one tells essentially the same story, but each one is written by a different person, who emphasizes different things.  All are inspired by God, and protected by Him, but they all speak the story in a different way.  Luke, is my favorite.  Maybe that is my enneagram 1 showing?  It is more historical driven.  Luke has done research and laid out the story carefully to convince his friend, Theophilus, of the truth.  (Theophilus translates to “Lover of God”)  This gospel is also written to help Gentiles understand how to secure their salvation.  Luke lays out the fact that Jesus offered it to the Jews, they rejected Him so salivation has come to the rest of the world.  As we journey through this gospel lets remember who it is written to and why so we keep everything in the right context.  

We totally know what Zechariah is doing from our study of numbers!  Remember? God said to burn incense everyday and that the priest on duty was responsible.  That is Zechariah.  He is just going about his duties, and BAMB! Gabriel is there!  Gabriel tells him about John.  Unfortunately Zechariah doesn’t believe in what God can do, so God starts teaching Zechariah right away.  No speaking until the child is born is the near prophecy.  Remember if the near prophecy comes true, then you can take the far prophecy (everything he said about John’s life) to the bank!!  

Psalms 56: 1-13

David has been captured by the Philistines and writes this Psalm.  The line, “This I know; God is on my side!” leaves me in awe of their vibrant relationship.  The faith he has in God is based on their relationship.  God has faithfully taught David; through discipline, trials, joy, heartache; who He is.  

Proverbs 11: 8

Well this is good news!

3/12/19 One Year Bible Recap

And.... I am back.  I really did have plans to write while on the New York trip, but seriously I was an idiot for thinking that.  It was all I could do to shower at the end of day and get in bed.  I had the absolute best time with my girl.  I have so many topics to write about over on the weekly blog, so stay tuned!

This is a good spot for me to say that if you have fallen off the wagon as far as reading your bible goes, just jump back in!  Don’t give up because you didn’t do it perfectly.  It kills me that dates will be missing from the daily blog, but that is not what this is about is it?  I have to tell myself to get over it.  (Or have a friend tell me to get over it, thanks Ash!)  It’s about reading His word and developing the discipline it takes to read His word everyday!  It is about faithfulness, not perfection! Grab your bible and jump back in! 

The last few days of reading have been characterized by rebellion.  Rebellion to God’s word and out right rebellion to His authority.  We can see how the Israelites are becoming less and less impressed with the God who has saved them.  Likewise, we see how the Jesus is treated by the nation who is supposed to be waiting for Him.  They don’t want a savior who will come in and upset what they have going.  Let’s pick up the story again today.

Numbers 16:41–18:32

The nation of Israel has seen the Wrath of God because of rebellion and the very next morning they are muttering again.  This is how rebellion starts.  One person vents her complaints on another and so on and so on.  It is a cancer.  So many complaints should just be left unsaid.  What do they really have to complain about?  But God, because of His loving nature serves them another wonderful sign to show them that they need to follow Aaron.  He is so kind. 

God is so very clear with the Levites and the ordinances because He really does not want to have to serve them with His wrath.  They have to follow Him or they will die.  

Mark 16: 1-8 or 16: 1-19–Choose your own adventure.  

Just kidding!  I am sure you saw the footnote over the ending of Mark.  There have been studies, and investigations and people loose there mind over this.  I am going to cut to the chase and tell you where I land with it.  

The earliest manuscripts we have end with verse 8. Most all other manuscripts from the 5th century on include some sort of extended ending.  I think the ending at vs. 8 seems to go with how abrupt Mark is in the rest of his gospel.  However, the longer ending was included enough by early church fathers that it seems they felt like an addition needed to be included.  So because of the discrepancy DO NOT build your whole theology on these included/excluded verses.  Understand that the gospel for all intents and purposes ends at vs. 8 and read 9-20 as a clarification/unification with the endings of the other gospels.  Then, when you get to heaven ask Mark for yourself how he intended to end his gospel.  I am not joking.  We should not waste time worrying about the ending of Mark, souls are being lost that need to hear from us and they will not care about the ending of Mark.  

Psalm 55: 1-23

A psalm David wrote in response to being betrayed by a friend.  Is there any worse pain in the world?  You expect betrayal by an enemy, but the unexpected betrayal of a friend leaves a mark on us.  I was struck by the line, “We walked together to the house of God.”  They were so close.  In the end David does not retaliate but learns to trust the Lord in a deeper way.  God is the only one who will not disappoint you. 

Proverbs 11: 7

This proverb made me think of the Israelites bucking up against leadership.  If your hope is in your own abilities life on earth is as good as it gets.  If your hope is the Lord, life on earth is the jumping off point and it only gets better from here.  

3/8/19 One Year Bible Recap—on the road again......

Me and the Israelites are on the move. I am headed to NYC with my daughter for a Chior Trip. This group is all sitting around waiting for our flight and singing, tying new songs, and challenging each other sing offs. So yes, I am living my best Acca-mom life right now.

Numbers 10:1–11: 23

God is the God of order.  He has a plan for the people to follow so that travel is not chaotic.  I love this about His character because it calms my anxiety and reminds that if my thoughts are chaotic I need to go to the Lord so He can bring order to them.

And now, in the midst of a cloud leading the way, food that falls from the sky, protection from enemies, and a grandiose salvation from slavery, the Israelites start to complain.  In fact the word complain is a repeated word in the next section.  We get to start to study how sin nature interacts with God’s law.  The complaining gets so bad that Moses even prays that God will take this leadership away from him or kill him.  God does answer Moses but not the way he wants Him to.  He gives Moses some mid level managers to help shoulder the burden of these complaining whiners.  The Israelites are demanding better provision from the Holy God of the Universe.  The patient Yahweh starts to teach them who He is and who they are.  

Mark 14: 1-21

We continue on in the story that will leads us to the trial of Jesus.  I was so struck with the woman who uses her expensive jar of nard to anoint Jesus.  There is so much going on and everyone is getting ready for Passover, they are trying to find out who is going to betray Jesus, the Pharisees are trying to get Jesus in secret, Jesus is still teaching the disciples, and they are having to deal with the daily needs of having meals.  This woman comes in and worships Jesus.  It just made me think of all the times I am busy doing “good” things, that I forget to devote my most precious time to Jesus.  There will always be things needing to be done.  Jesus reminds us that devotion to Him trumps all of that.  I tell my girls: “If you are too busy to be in the Word, you are too busy.”   

Psalm 51: 1-19

Bible Knowledge Commentary said that this Psalm might be the Psalm most identified with through the ages.  It is the song of the hopeless sinner that needs God to forgive him and save him.  Repenting for our sin should be a huge part of our life with God.  I am so prideful that sometimes I think, “Geez, Lord? I don’t think I have anything to repent for.”  Jesus in His faithfulness goes, “Um, hold on there chickadee, what about (this or that)?”  And I go, “Oh, yeah, I forgot about that, will you forgive me?” And Jesus says, “YES!” Every time.  

Proverbs 10: 31-32

People will leave your presence up lifted if your words honor God.  People will leave your presence feeling icky if your words don’t honor God.  

3/7/19 One Year Bible Recap

Numbers 8: 1–9:23

After the consecration of the Levites, the Lord sent them into the Tabernacle to do their work.  I love how we have followed their training and preparation and now God turns them loose to do what they have been trained to do. 

I was struck this morning by the story of Moses saying, “Wait here until I have received instructions from the Lord.”  It just made me realize even though we who are reading this may feel like God has covered every aspect of life with the Israelites, He shows us here that it is still about a relationship and dependence on Him.  When you don’t know what to do, don’t make up something that sounds good to you, “Wait for instructions.”  Until you have them you have to do the next right thing.  My good friend Emily P. Freeman (who is not my friend at all but we would be friends if we knew each other) has a book coming out called “The Next Right Thing.”  This is an idea ruminating in my soul right now.  This scripture made me think of it.  We so want these rules to be clear so that we don’t have to go to God to get instructions.  Right? But “Waiting here for instructions” shows that our heart is dependent on Him.  That is the best place to be.  

Next the people learn submission to the Lord.  How do I know that?  Because if I was camping, and having to break camp and move when the cloud moved, you better bet your britches that if I got my tent set up and that dad-gum cloud moved the NEXT morning, I would consider not submitting to the Lord.  But He faithfully taught them to follow Him.  The awe they have for Him encourages them to follow Him.  He is the Lord who rescued them, is providing food and water for them and protecting them....They need Him!

Mark 13: 14-37

We get another account of what the tribulation will be like.  It starts with this “desecration standing where he should not be.” This is some sort of person that makes everyone believe he God, but reveals that he is actually with Satan.  This is such a bad time that when you see this desecration happening you will want to head for the hills without even packing.  And just when everyone living during the tribulation thinks that the time has come for everyone to die, Jesus will come.  There will be no question, you will know its Him. He will come with much cosmic upset and He will send out the angels to collect the people who have become believers during the tribulation.  

No one knows the exact time but we are urged to watch and be vigilant.  He says nothing about being scared, He warns against forgetting that He is coming back.  

Psalm 50: 1-23

This is so cool!  We get a picture of what God’s judgement of his people will be like.  He has two things to address with them.  

One is how they have just started going through them motions with the sacrifices.  They have forgotten why they are sacrificing to God.  He says “Do I need the bulls from your barns?”  He answers His own question by saying, “NO! I own the cattle on 1000 hills!”  Thankfulness is what He is after.  He wants them to learn how to be thankful through the sacrifices.  

He then address that they have thrown out the 10 Commandments.  “For you refuse my discipline and treat my words like trash.”  Yikes!  He tells them that giving thanks is a sacrifice that honors Him and keeping to His path will reveal the salvation of God to them.  

Proverbs 10: 29-30

This proverb made me remember how God told the Israelites to follow his commands or the Land would vomit them out.  Depending on Him and following His way leads to security.  

3/6/19 One Year Bible Recap

Well, I am back in the Land of the living.  I got a steroid shot yesterday so watch out!  I’m firing on all cylinders!  I still don’t have a voice but I can type.  (No snarky comments about me not being able to talk.) 

Leviticus 6:1 —7:89

The Vow of the Nazirite helps us understand how the non-priestly people of the Nation could consecrate themselves for a particular amount of time.  They would do this out of devotion to the Lord, think of like an overflow of thankfulness.  Or they would devote their children to this lifestyle, think of Sampson.  (If you don’t know Sampson, don’t worry we will meet him soon.)  

Look at the character of God here in this next part.  He tells Aaron that whenever they bless the people the Lord Himself will bless them.  He is so close to this nation and loves them so much that He will be there to bless them.  I just love how His loving character comes through there.  

Next is a kind of flash back to when the Tabernacle was anointed.  You see this because of the wording in the fist line of the section, “On the day Moses set up the Tabernacle…” We have a recording that includes a lot of NUMBERS (see the book of numbers has a lot of numbers in it).  Every tribe offered the same things.  The exact offering is recorded to show that the Tribes were ALL IN!  Moses then records that he spoke to the Lord in the Tabernacle and his voice was coming from the Mercy seat.  I think this shows us that the Lord accepted their offering and acknowledges that they have followed his instructions to a T.  

Mark 12:38—13:13

Giving to the Lord.  It is such a sticky subject.  It is the one area that I think shows our devotion to the Lord the clearest.  With the story of the widow Jesus is teaching us that the amount doesn’t matter the heart behind it does.  Think of it this way.  Lets say I dropped a check for $10,000 into the offering box.  You might be impressed by that.  If you found out I made $30,000 a year you would be really impressed right?  I would have just given 30% of my income away to the Lord!  But lets say my income is $2,000,000.  That is not as impressive because I only gave .005% of my income away.  What Jesus is saying here is giving is not the issue, it’s the heart behind it.  If you drop a big check but don’t feel the pinch is it really devotion to the Lord or is it showboating?  The Pharisee’s had this all wrong.  They like to float around and be big deals, but Jesus teaches us that the quiet act of the widow shows devotion.  Just to add one more thing because Jesse and I teach Dave Ramsey’s FPU and I can’t help but plug that and what it teaches.  Dave asks the question, “Does your budget reflect your beliefs?”  Like if I sat down and went through your budget would I know that you are believer in Jesus?  Ok, getting off the soap box now.  Calm down I am not going to look at your budget!

Mark records the Olivet Discourse.  Remember prepared people are not scared people.  We learned that back in Matthew when we read this last month.  Jesus uses the near and far prediction method to authenticate his message.  His near prediction is the Temple will be destroyed, his far prediction is that He will return. The Temple is destroyed in 70 AD, so we can take it to the bank that He is coming back.  What stuck out to me today was verse 9.  “When these things begin to happen, watch out!  You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers, but this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.”  BKC said that Mark recorded this specifically to encourage the Gentile believers who would be terrified to be arrested, it was to encourage them to trust the Lord.  However it also applies to us.  

I am sure you agree with me when I say the only thing it’s not ok to be these days is Christian.  This persecution of Christians for our beliefs is actually what will spread the Gospel!!  How cool is that?  God is so loving that He wants our persecutors to hear the message!  But look what Jesus left us to do!  We will stand before people who don’t agree with us and preach His message under His power.  YOU better make sure that your social media, your attitude, and your words don’t close the door to that opportunity.  What if you get to stand in front of Trump, Hillary, Pelosi, or any other “governors and kings?”  Will they listen to a word you have to say if you just lit them up on your Socials? Isn’t the issue really that souls need to be saved and the message of Jesus goes out?  Can you put aside your “rightness” and not shut the door to being the one that brings the message that truly saves? We are supposed to think about others as better than ourselves remember?  Ok, I am thinking the steroid shot I got is responsible for my soap boxes today. Lets move on before I lose all my friends.   

Psalm 49: 1-20

I love this psalm!  He tells us to listen carefully because he is going to solve a riddle for us.  The riddle is the age old question of why the wicked prosper.  He tells us its all a show because in the end the godly ones who were snatched out of the grave actually win.  He says people who boast of their wealth (meaning they don’t need God to save them) will die like animals.  This broken and sinful world is as good as it gets for them.  People who are saved by the Lord will rule over them all.  So, stay in your lane, don’t get hung up on the prosperity of the wicked.  God will not be mocked. 

Proverbs 10: 27-28

When our hopes line up with God’s hopes it results in happiness.  When we say I expect this to happen or I expect that to happen in a demanding wicked way, we get nothing.  Ask me how I know.  

3/5/19 One Year Bible Recap

Well I am still sick, but I went and got a steroid shot today so maybe by tomorrow I will be better.  I blame the Texas weather for my illness.  So lets hit the highlights today.

Numbers 4: 1–5: 31

My friend Ginger and I are doing a bible study together and just last week we were praising God because He is the God of order.  So reading through these instructions for moving the tabernacle made me think of how much I love the fact that our God is the God of order.  There is no panicked running around trying to figure stuff out.   You just do what He says and you are ok.  He even assigned specific people to specific jobs.  Everyone knew what they needed to do.  I love our God.  He will always bring order to a situation.  

So I’m sure you were scratching your head like I was at the adulterous women test.  Let us remember that the point of these rules and rituals were to make the Israelites unique.  They were to be set apart from the people around them.  They were to reflect God.  In this case this test is put in place to protect women.  In the pagan world if a woman upset her husband he could claim she cheated on him and have her killed with no witnesses.  In God’s camp there had to be witnesses of adultery for there to be consequences.  And if there where no witnesses the husband had to go before the Lord, not just kill her or beat her up or what have you.  God takes such a hard stance on adultery because he likens idolatry to adultery.  (Spoiler alert: in later books in the OT he will accuse the nation of Israel of adultery with idols.  Meaning they cheat on Him by going after idols.) 

Mark 12: 18–37

The Sadducees, religious leaders that believed most of the Pentateuch but then threw out what they didn’t agree with in the rest of the OT.  Proof that people have been picking and choosing what they want the Bible to say for thousands of years.  You can’t take one part without the others.  You have to remember that it is one story.  It is powerful and living and can change you from the inside out.  But if you hamstring it by only taking the parts you like, you take away all the power of the book.  

Verses 32-34 are unique to the book of Mark.  The teacher makes a profound statement.  “This [loving God and loving your neighbor] is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”  He was on to the Truth.  Somewhere along the way they substituted the sacrifice for the relationship with God.  This teacher was on the way to believing God.  Remember too that Mark is writing to the Gentiles (non Jews). He adds this statement so that the gentiles understand that sacrifices had there place but now Jesus has come to do what the sacrifices could not do.  

Psalm 48: 1-14

A psalm written in response to a time when God defended His city. It caused the inhabitants of the city to rejoice and praise God.  

Proverbs 10: 26

Well this is pretty self explanatory.  I am not an employer of any workers so to speak, but I do encounter workers at restaurants and I find myself wanting to say to them, “You are annoying as smoke in my eyes.”  I don’t say that because I am trying to be a kind person now-a-days.  

3/4/19 One Year Bible Recap

Numbers 2:1—3:51

The purpose of the book of Numbers is an instruction manual for the Israelites as to how to travel, set up camp, how the Levites would carry out their duties, and prepare to receive all that God had promised them.  In the 40 years that this book covers we are going to follow them as they learn to believe God’s promise and act out on it.  

Todays section gives us an idea of how many people are traveling.  This endeavor is absolutely divine.  There is no way to get that many people organized and headed the same direction without God’s intervention.   Here is a helpful diagram.


The dedication of the first born was something that would cause them to remember the fact that God spared their first born in the time of the Exodus.  God doesn’t get hung up on the fact that the numbers don’t match up perfectly.  He makes a way for them to remember the Passover by compensating the Levites for the 273 that don’t have a match.  

Mark 11: 27—12:17

Jesus is the master of all debaters.  He answered their question with a question, that if they answered, either way would incriminate the Pharisee’s.  Maybe because of the way Mark records this story, but I was so struck by the “rock and a hard place” situation the Pharisee’s have gotten themselves into.  They are concerned with what the people will think of them and they are concerned about admitting disobedience to God.  Jesus uses a parable to expose the dilemma they are in. 

They have a good thing going here.  They have abundance and power to kill the land owners (God) agents (Prophets).  They don’t want the owner (God) to come back because it will mess up this power trip of popularity they have going on.  They have substituted abundance and power for doing what God says.  Now they are more afraid of losing the good thing they have going than they are of displeasing God.  That is a dilemma we should never be in.  Obeying and listening to God should always be first.  If you lose friends over it, so be it.  My friend Cheryl told me one time, “It is easier to be afraid of people because we can see them face to face, we are not as afraid of God because sometimes He is not as real to us as the people around us.” That is when you cry out to Him to help you with your unbelief!  

The Pharisee’s try to get Jesus to jump into the same dilemma they have created for themselves.  They want Him to say something against God or against the government so they can trap Him.  We can trust that Jesus would not fall into that dilemma because obedience to God is what He loved.  He will not be like us and cow-tow to the people around us just because He can see them face to face and ignore God because He can’t see Him.  God was perfectly real to Jesus.  

Psalm 47: 1-9

Whenever you see the phrase “God is King over all the earth,” you are most likely reading a prophetic psalm about the future Kingdom of Jesus.  This is what it will be like when He comes back to rule.  

Proverbs 10: 24-25

As I was reading this morning I was battling being distracted by fears of something going on with one of my kids.  I was afraid for them and worried.  I read this proverb and it checked my heart.  “The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled; the hopes of the godly will be granted.”  It immediately turned my thoughts from fears for this kid into hope for this kid.  I started to believe God when He says, “the godly have a lasting foundation.”  My thoughts went from fear to hope because God is so kind not to leave me afraid.    

And just to keep it fully real, so you don’t get the wrong idea, I am going back to bed because I feel like I might have the plague.

3/3/19 One Year Bible Recap

Hey there!  My household has all gotten an upper respiratory thing and now it is my turn.  I’m not feeling too great so this is going to be more of a need to know recap, instead of a deep thought recap!  Feel free to leave any discussion points you think are worthy to mention in the comments!  

Leviticus 27:14—Numbers 1:54

WE MADE IT THROUGH LEVITICUS!!! The section wraps up with dedications and tithing of the herds.  And the conclusion reiterates who wrote it, when and for who just so there is no confusion.  

We started the book of Numbers.  So titled because it is the book that records a lot of numbers, seriously that is how it got its name.  More on the tomorrow.  For now just know that meticulous record was kept of the tribes and people.  

Mark 11: 1-26

Remember the fig tree got cursed because it was not producing the fruit that it should.  The temple got cleared out because they were not producing the kind of fruit they should.  They turned God’s Temple into a money making endeavor.  

Psalm 46: 1-11

In the midst of wars, kingdoms crumbling, natural disasters….”Be still, and know that I am God!  I will be honored by every nation.  I will be honored throughout the world.”

Proverbs 10: 23

This is the perfect description of being in your 20’s.  You still want to do wrong things, but you start to feel bad about it.  Then you wake up and realize you don’t want to have to live by the seat of your pants anymore and you start adult-ing. 

3/2/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 25: 47—27: 13

The Israelites have entered in to a covenant with God.  It is referred to as the Mosaic Covenant because Moses is the one who the information is given to.  Today we get the blessing and curses portion of the covenant.  

The blessings for obedience to the ordinances sound divine—because they are!  Harvests so large that it fills the grain houses to the point that some of the harvest from the last season is thrown out.  Never a lull in crops.  Health and wellness.  Protection from animals and enemies.  Everybody can get behind the blessings.  

However this same loving God who wants to bless them will also curse them for disobedience.  He will turn against them if they worship pagan gods.  He will send armies against them.  He will make the ground hard as bronze.  No rain, no harvest.  Illness will run rampant.  They will try to run but plagues will follow them.  And why does he do this?  Why does he punish so severely for disobedience?  Why doesn’t he just put them in the “timeout” chair and tell them to think about what they did?  The answer is in following verses that say, “And if, in spite of all this, you still disobey me, I will punish you seven times over for your sins.  I will break your proud spirit by making the skies as unyielding as iron and the earth as hard as bronze.”  He goes on from there to increase the curse if they do not relent and become obedient.  This is God’s mercy on them.  Remember He told them that worshiping pagan idols would enslave them and trap them.  God punishes those He loves to that they will come back to Him and be free of sin.  

He then tells us, “…then at last their stubborn hearts will be humbled…”  He also says that no matter the amount of disobedience He will never completely abandon them or reject them.  The covenant is based on His character, not theirs.  He will keep His promise that He made to Abraham.  And that is good news, because we are about to see just how disobedient Israel can be.  

Mark 10: 32-52

The disciples show that they are still not understanding what is going to happen when they get to Jerusalem.  In their minds, I’m guessing, they are thinking a brilliant entry, a quick take over and then Jesus on the great throne, with them all seated to His right and left.  This is not the kind of victory Jesus is about to have.  Jesus is about to become the servant for mankind, because He will become our sin on the cross.  The one, who has every right to the throne and to rule us all, will humble himself and become a servant.  Jesus will eventually be ruler of over all, but first He has to be a servant in order to be a leader.  

Psalm 45: 1-17

This was a psalm written to celebrate the marriage of the king.  It is also mentioned in Hebrews 1: 8-9 as a reference to Jesus’ eternal reign.  

Proverbs 10:22

Have you ever known someone who calls something a “blessing from God” but they had to break about 27 principles of the Lord to get it?  Like, “This boat is a blessing from the Lord!  I lied to the seller to get him to come down on the price and got such a good deal.  I had to get a loan but the rate was so much better than anything else I have financed!  I didn’t tell my (wife/husband) until I got it home because I didn’t want him/her to tell me no.”  This proverb says blessings from the Lord come with NO SORROW.  I think the idea here is that when you adhere to God principles, like the ones we are learning about in proverbs, things will be given to you that you do not have grab at or make happen.  

3/1/19 One Year Bible Recap

We made it another month!  Look at us go people!  It is a habit now for me, I drive myself insane until I get this written.  I hope you are finding your rhythm in it too.  This is how lives are changed—time in the Word.  

Leviticus 24: 1—25: 46

Alrighty then, coming in hot today with a stoning right off the bat.  Here is what I know about the Lord.  Physical death of our body is not His endgame.  Since the garden our physical bodies are only temporary.  Our spirit, however, is eternal.  That means the you-ness of you will last forever.  When you die your spirit can go two places; Heaven and be with the Lord forever or your spirit will experience a second death (separation for God) and it will go to hell forever.  There is no way around this.  God in all his infinite wisdom (that is so far beyond what we can know), knows when someone is ready for this “Heaven or hell judgement” of the spirit.  In the case we read today, this person blasphemed the Lord and God saw fit that it was time for his physical body to die and his spirit to be locked into the choice he made.  This guy chose hell in case you were wondering.  Now, that is a lot of deep thoughts for a Friday morning.  The OT is going to get a lot more brutal from here on out so I think it is import to square with God on this point.  Humans are so afraid of death that we covet life in this body to the fullest extent.  But this life is not the endgame.  The endgame is eternity and I for one want to be with this amazing Lord we are learning about and not in hell. (Spoiler alert: Jesus is the way to have eternal life with God) Questions?  Email me (nicely)!  sarah@thesarahgriffithblog.com

Mark 10: 13-31

Jesus is still battling the Disciples cultural view of things.  Children in this culture were the lowest of the low.  Jesus says that you have to have that kind of attitude to belong to the Kingdom of God. 

The rich man new He was missing something for eternal life. (This is what I was just saying about your spirit living forever)  He asks Jesus what he needs to do.  Jesus, as only he can, gets to the heart of the issue.  He says, did you follow the rules?  The rich man says, all puffed up, “to the letter since I was a kid.”  Jesus did not congratulate him on this because this in fact it is the wrong answer.  The correct answer is “I couldn’t keep those rules! I am a sinner in need of a Savior.”  This rich man is just looking for the thing that will really secure his eternity.  Jesus is moved by his neediness and loves him.  The one thing left to do is get rid of all your stuff and follow Jesus.  The man’s face falls.  Jesus asked for something the rich man was unwilling to give up, his “god” money.  His eternal security was wrapped up in following the rules and having money.  The commandments are not bad, they perfectly reflect God. Having money is not bad unless you worship it. It’s just that those two things can’t save you.  

The disciples are flabbergasted!  If the rich are not safe then who is? In the disciples day, and ours too, a lie Satan spins is that wealth = God’s favor.  That is just not true.  It is about who is at the center of your worship.  Money or Jesus? Rules or Jesus? 

Psalm 44: 9-26

God for whatever reason is causing the nation of Israel to go through some suffering.  We finish up this psalm today and in this section we see them begging for God do something!  To move and remember they are His people. Look at what they are claiming here.  You make us retreat, You have butchered us, you sold your people, you have made us the butt of jokes.  The psalmist knows that God is sovereign over victories and he is also sovereign over suffering.  This Loving, Saving, Good God will also allow suffering because suffering produces a stronger faith.  Look at how they know their need for Him in this suffering!  They are better for the suffering because they are closer to God. 

Proverbs 10: 20-21

Feel unheard?  Maybe it is because only the words of the godly are worth silver.  

Common sense, you gain it by being godly.  

Happy weekend! 

2/28/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 22:17—23:44

We start with the final instructions for the sacrifices.  They have to be perfect and without defect.   Remember this is all a visual aid to teach them about atonement.  Look what I found in the Bible Knowledge Commentary this morning: 

“Wenham argues that the sacrificial animals are “the priests of the animal world,” that is, as the Gentiles are symbolized by unclean animals, and Israel by clean animals, the priests are symbolized by sacrificial animals.” 

The Lord is specific because He is teaching them the most important thing, how to atone for their sin.  

The Lord concludes His instructions for Aaron with “do not bring shame on my name.”  If they keep His commands He will display His holiness among them.  He reminds them that He makes them holy and that He was their rescuer.  

The Festivals are important to understand because this is what forms the culture for the Israelites.  This is the flow of their year.  These Festivals were a call to remember what the Lord had done just like the Sabbath day every week.  The New Testament makes much more sense when you see the significance of Jesus being crucified during Passover or why Pentecost (7 weeks + 1 day=50, pent=50) is such a big deal to the Israelites. 

Mark 9: 30—10:12

The disciples did not understand about the “Son of Man being betrayed” because they were too busy planning who was going to be sitting next to Jesus on the throne.  They are puffed up because they had the authority to cast out demons.  So puffed up that they stopped someone else from using Jesus name to cast out a demon.  Jesus teaches them that if someone believes in Him (the Jesus of the Holy Bible, not a made up Jesus) they are on the team because they would not use his name and then turn around and bad mouth Him like the Pharisee’s.  

Salt in the bible is a purifier and preservative.  It kept things out that would cause something to rot.  A believer has the salt needed to withstand fiery trials and not compete to be first, but live in peace with other disciples.  Unbelief ends in such an awful fate that people should be willing to cut off whatever stops them from believing.  Put the scissors down, He is speaking in hyperbole.  He is trying to get us to understand the urgency of believing in Him. 

Psalm 44: 1-8

Well, looky here, this Psalm perfectly sums up the point of the festivals we talked about earlier.  The festivals caused them to slow down and remember what God had done and talk about it.  This psalm tells us that remembering what God has done is what gets us though the trials.  It is the salt that purifies us.  

Proverbs 10: 19

You know how you have a baby and you get so excited when they first start to talk.  You say things like “say mama!” or “say dada!” Then, once they get the hang of it, especially if you have a very verbal little girl, you can’t get them to shut up.  “Mama, let me tell you about this totally ridiculous thing that is going to take me 20 minutes to spit out while you are trying to get me dressed to get out the door, and because you are rushing me I will stop to cry because you aren’t listening.” (ps. because you rushed me I will also develop a stutter that will cause you much guilt later, love you!)  Anyway, this proverb made me thing of that.  Babbling will get you into trouble.  The wise keep their mouth shut more than they talk.  You don’t have to say everything that comes into your mind, listen more.  


2/27/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 20:22–22:16

If you were looking at this in a regular bible and not the daily bible you would see that we start today with the conclusion of yesterdays section.  Yesterday we had a whole list of rules and at the end of it God says you need to do all these things so the Land does not vomit you out (20:22).  He then gives them the command to discern (consider, think about) what will make them unclean.  They have to do this because He is Holy and He has chosen them to be His special people. 

The instructions then move into instructions for priests.  The priest cannot have any defects just like the sacrificial animals the people are bringing cannot have defects.  Remember this is not because God hates people with defects its because this is an elaborate visual aid for how to atone for sin.  The priest and the sacrifices have to be free of defects, perfect.  You can see that He loves them because tells the priests to allow them to eat the most Holy sacrifices.  Defects are a reflection of this broken and sinful world that was established in the garden Eden. 

Mark 9: 1-29

I absolutely love what Mark records from the Transfiguration.  He shares that Peter said, “He would build the shelters as memorials” because they were all terrified.  I also love that Jesus told them not to talk about this until after He is raised from the dead and they are like, “yeah, ok Jesus.” Then to each other they are like, “What is He talking about?”

The disciples are hung up on the wrong things.  They are wondering about things that the religious leaders are saying.  I love the Jesus points them to what they should be concerned about and tells that John the Baptist is the “Elijah” the religious leaders are waiting for.

I LOVE Jesus’ response to the father who says, “If you can.”  Jesus says, “What do you mean IF??”  I feel like He is saying, “Oh don’t worry about if I can do it, it’s totally you, not me.”  And look at what happens!  The father begs him to help him with his unbelief.  How great is God that will even help you believe in Him!  I love our Lord.

Jesus tells the disciples that they could not cast out the demon because it required prayer.  If you check out the foot note some manuscripts read “only by prayer and fasting.” This gives us the idea that the Disciples could not cast out the demon because they were not fully relying on the Lord.  

Psalm 43: 1-5

This psalm seems to be the dramatic ending of yesterdays song because it has the same refrain.  I love how his circumstances tell him God has “tossed him aside” but he reminds himself to put his hope in God.  

Proverbs 10:18 

Man! This proverb has my number.  I’m recalling so many times that I have been mad at someone in my heart and it has bubbled out to someone else in a slanderous way.  Or sometimes in a more sinfully subtle way like, “Oh we should pray for her because (insert salacious gossip done in the name of prayer).  Guess what?  That makes me a liar and fool.  The use of that semi colon is interesting.  I got this off of the Grammerly website: “The most common use of the semicolon is to join two independent clauses without using a conjunction like and.”  These two phrases are independent but putting the semi colon in joins them together.  My point is one phrase leads to the other.  You have to guard your heart against hatred.  Go to the person directly and work it out.  You deserve to be heard and as a Christian you are required to give them the chance to make things right with you and vice versa.  Don’t be the fool that talks to everyone but the actual person you have a problem with….ask me how I know!

2/26/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 19:1—20:21

Goodness, so many topics covered today.  I feel like this is a color commentary on the 10 Commandments.  This was for the people who said, “Yeah, but what about when (any conceivable situation) happens?  God covers how he wants them to deal with the poverty mentality (holding on to something incase you don’t get more) and institutes a welfare system that will actually allow people to keep their dignity while being provided for.  The main point in what He is addressing is that if they adhered to His commands they will be a unique (holy) nation with God at the center of their worship.  He is very clear about “spiritual prostitution, and seeking mediums to communicate with the dead.  And remember He is having to tell them not to do all these things because these practices are running rampant around them.  If no one was giving their daughters as prostitutes He would not have to tell them NOT to do that.  

I’m going to be honest here and tell you that I stopped short when I read that section about the man having sex with a slave. I circled “not a free woman” and started panicking that God was condoning having sex with slave girls because they “belong” to someone else.  I got scared that He was condoning rape of a slave girl because she belonged to someone else and had not been set free. And friends, this is the perfect example of the fact that we have to read things in context and allow the bible to define itself.  

I am programed to see the word “slave” and be repulsed, as I should be, because I am an American whose history includes a demonic slave trade and subsequent racial tension.  “Slave” in the bible is not talking about that kind of slavery.  How could it?  This book was written thousands of years before that horrid slave trade started.  Paul calls himself a slave of Jesus Christ in the NT.  A slave in the bible is someone who, because of his or her needs, put himself under a master.  That master was to treat him or her in a way that lined up with the commandments of the Lord.  In this passage this girl has been betrothed to another, and not yet freed from her economic obligation to her master.  So the man who has had sex with her must pay to set her free.  How did they escape death?  Because she was not actually married yet.  If one of them had been married they would both have been put to death.(20:10)

So did this girl get raped and the guy get away with it?  Is God saying that these slave girls are laying around available for any guy to do with what he wants?  I asked God all these things this morning.  He brought to my mind the rape of Dinah.  She was the daughter of Jacob.  She went to hang out with the Canaanite women and the kings son raped her.  Her family was so repulsed by what happened to her, the fallout was epic. (remember a whole town was circumcisized then murdered while they were recovering from their minor surgery)  And then I had to look ahead, I couldn’t help myself.  I searched Deuteronomy for “instructions on rape.”  Whew! I found Deuteronomy 22:25-27.  GOD DOES NOT CONDON RAPE. I read back over this passage from today and I noticed that there was no language like “forced” or “captured.”  These instruction are for two consenting people who had sex outside of the context God puts around sex.  The man is responsible for atoning for the sin.  See? When you read things in the bible that make you panic, you can’t redefine it so it’s palatable to you.  You have to let God teach you the context and let God define and color in what He means.  HE ALWAYS WILL.  

Do you remember when we were reading through Proverbs and if felt like God was hung up on wisdom.  We decided that when God teaches something in His word over and over we have to be alerted that this is something we will be prone to do in our natural sinful state.  Well, key in here because God is teaching the Israelites over and over about sex.  God is totally not holding back on having “the sex talk” with them.  Sex, and how it is used, is very important to God. 

Mark 8:11-38

Welp, I am already at 750 words so this post has officially gone from “recap” to “blog post.”  Thank you for reading if you still with me!  Yesterday we read how Jesus made the deaf hear.  Today we get too read about Him making the blind see.  This is the only two part miracle recorded.  I can’t help but think that is to teach the Disciples.  They are still not getting it.  In fact it is not until the end of this passage that good ol’ Peter finally calls Jesus the Messiah.  Of course just three verses later he is being rebuked for reprimanding Jesus, but whatever.  Jesus has to get them to see that His way is different from what they are expecting. Peter is just saying what they all are thinking. “Jesus, don’t talk about dying, we all know you are going to stomp in there and perform a hostile take over of the Roman government.” Jesus says my way is so much different than what you are expecting! You have to start looking at this from your human point of view!

Psalm 42: 1-11

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!  This should be our battle cry when we feel under stress.  Think about it!  When you ask God, “Why are you doing this to me?” His answer is, “So you will put your hope in Me!” 

Proverbs 10:17 

My favorite! Discipline!  NOT!  Seriously though, it is so healthy for us to have people around who will bump us back into play when we go out of bounds.  You have to put yourself under people in order for them to do this for you.  You have to be humble and listen.  If not you are rogue—ask me how I know.  

2/25/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 16: 29—18:30

So we start today with God laying down the law and order with the sacrifices.  This is to keep the sacrificial system holy.  Remember they are still being provided Manna everyday so they don’t need to be sacrificing their animals to eat.  This is also pagan worship prevention.  He is specific about the blood because blood was an important part of the worship of pagan gods.  He even tells them, “I have given you the blog on the altar to purify you, making you wright with the Lord. It is the blood given in exchange for a life, that makes purification (from sin) possible.” You can’t make it more plain than that.  

Because of the way the people in Egypt lived, (ignoring God and setting up a pantheon of fake gods) they received the plagues.  Because of the way the Canaanites live, (sexually immoral grotesque practices in the name of worshiping Molech) they are going to be vomited out of the Promised Land.  The Israelites are called to be different from these nations.  They are meant to be holy, and pure, otherwise the Land will vomit them out too.  

I also love the protection God puts around women in these verses.  Men could not just run around having sex with whoever they wanted to.  This pureness in the area of sex, also goes against the pagan worship.  God is very clear about what constitutes sexual sin in these verses. 

Children are also protected.  The Canaanites would offer their children either as sacrifices where they were burned alive or they would dedicate them as temple prostitutes.  The Israelite children were safe from that if their parents worshipped God only.  

Mark 7:24—8:10

I am tickled to death by Jesus saying, “Good answer!” to the Phoenician woman.  Jesus is trying to do his work with the Disciples here and He rebukes her for interrupting.  But she surprises Him (not really because He knows everything already) with a faith filled answer!  This is also a nod to the future where the Gentiles will receive what was meant to be accepted by Israel. (Belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior)

In the midst of Jesus just trying to get some peace and quiet a blind man who cannot speak is brought to Him.  This is totally my own thinking so don’t take this to the bank for anything, but words from Jesus’ mouth and spit from Jesus mouth is what healed this man so he could hear and speak.  It made me think that what comes out of Jesus’ mouth is what removes our deafness and makes us spread His message.  Look what happens after this?  He tells them not to talk about it but they can’t help but share the message!  

Psalm 41: 1-13

The Bible Knowledge Commentary said this Psalm teaches us that being merciful cause us to receive mercy from God.  That just really stuck with me.  

Also this is the last Psalm in Book I of the Psalms.  That is not a divine separation that is just how scholars make sense of all the different topics of the Psalms.  Book One is summed up by the last verse of this Psalm, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen!”

Proverbs 10: 15-16

You should not trust wealth to keep you safe, and you should not let poverty be the reason you sin.  If you always feel like you don’t have enough money it is because you are squandering it on the wrong things. 

2/24/19 One Year Bible Recap

Leviticus 15: 1–16:28

You lost me at “Any man who has a bodily discharge...”  I don’t even know how to comment.  What I do know is these regulations not only differentiated clean from unclean it also stopped diseases from spreading through the camp.  And that is all I want to say about discharges out of anyone’s body.  

The instructions for the day of Atonement are cool.  This was one day a year that the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood on the seat of atonement(aka, the Mercy Seat).  Ever wondered where the term “scapegoat” come from?  Well here you go.  The symbolism of the two goats is cool.  Their sin was atoned for by one, and one carried their sin away.  

Mark 7: 1-23

This is so cool how the timing off all this came together today.  In this section Jesus address how the Pharisee’s have left God’s word in favor of their own traditions (religion).  They did not want to follow the Law we are reading about in Leviticus so they changed it and honored their traditions more than Gods word.  They did not want to atone for their sins before a Holy God, they wanted to adhere to the rules that suited them and they changed the ones they did not want to follow.  You can’t change God’s Law.  Once you change it, it is now your law not God’s Law.  Doug talked about this a church today also!  I love when God drives a point home like that for me.  Doug talked about how religion is based on us jumping up and down in front of God trying to get Him to love us.  A relationship with God is believing that He is good and came down to have a relationship with us because of His Goodness.  Remember in the OT that the Israelites are atoning for their sin so they could have a relationship with God and remain in His presence.  Somewhere along the way the Pharisees forgot that they were supposed to atone for sin to have a relationship with God.  The religion trumped the relationship.  The problem with religion is that it actually makes us far from God, as quoted in the Isaiah passage.  The more you do to impress God the more impressed with yourself you become.  

Jesus tells them that the defilement they are all dealing with is in our hearts.  Oh yeah, I am going to go there......our defilement comes from the discharge of our hearts! EWWW!  It leads us to sin.  Food, rules or traditions can’t stop this discharge.  We need something (someone) to cleanse us of it.  That is what those Levitical laws should have taught them!

Psalm 40: 11-17

I love the end where David says, “As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts.”  This is David, a king, reminding himself that he is poor and needy.  This is the way to stave off our desire to step into religion and stay in a relationship.  

Proverbs 10: 13-14

This Proverb makes me think of what one of our professors at NTBI said one time.....”Discipline your kids, because if you don’t someone will, probably law enforcement.”