151.) Numbers 1 and 2

November 30, 2009
Today we begin the book of Numbers!

Today we begin the book of Numbers!


“Origen, the early-third-century church father, wrote a series of sermons on the book of Numbers.  Even then this fourth book of the Old Testament was neglected in relation to other biblical books, as Origen acknowledged:

When the Gospels or the Apostles or the Psalms are read, another person joyfully receives them and  gladly embraces them . . . But if the book of Numbers is read to him, he will judge that there is nothing helpful, nothing as a remedy for his weakness or a benefit for the salvation of his soul.  He will constantly spit them out as heavy and burdensome food.

In a long series of sermons on Numbers, Origen sought to show that this popular impression of Numbers was misguided and untrue.  For Origen, the book of Numbers was filled with insight, wisdom, and spiritual sustenance for anyone with a hunger for God’s guidance through the wilderness journey of life.”

–from Numbers, by Dennis T. Olson


Numbers 1

The People of Israel Are Counted

1. Census Bureau logo

1The people of Israel had left Egypt and were living in the Sinai Desert. Then on the first day of the second month of the second year, Moses was in the sacred tent when the LORD said: 2-3I want you and Aaron to find out how many people are in each of Israel’s clans and families. And make a list of all the men twenty years and older who are able to fight in battle. 4-15The following twelve family leaders, one from each tribe, will help you:

Elizur son of Shedeur from Reuben,

Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai from Simeon,

Nahshon son of Amminadab from Judah,

Nethanel son of Zuar from Issachar,

Eliab son of Helon from Zebulun,

Elishama son of Ammihud from Ephraim,

Gamaliel son of Pedahzur from Manasseh,

Abidan son of Gideoni from Benjamin,

Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai from Dan,

Pagiel son of Ochran from Asher,

Eliasaph son of Deuel from Gad,

and Ahira son of Enan from Naphtali.

16-17Moses and Aaron, together with these twelve tribal leaders, 18called together the people that same day. They were counted according to their clans and families. Then Moses and the others listed the names of the men twenty years and older, 19just as the LORD had commanded. 20-46The number of men from each tribe who were at least twenty years old and strong enough to fight in Israel’s army was as follows:

46,500 from Reuben, the oldest son of Jacob,

59,300 from Simeon,

45,650 from Gad,

74,600 from Judah,

54,400 from Issachar,

57,400 from Zebulun,

40,500 from Ephraim,

32,200 from Manasseh,

35,400 from Benjamin,

62,700 from Dan,

41,500 from Asher,

53,400 from Naphtali.

The total number of men registered by Moses, Aaron, and the twelve leaders was 603,550.

1. stars in sky

Genesis 15:2-5 (New International Version)

But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit  my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.”  He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”


1. Revelation angels

Revelation 7:1-8  (NIV)

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.  Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea:   “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”  Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.



For the census:  a counting song!  Barenaked Ladies sing “7 8 9” (read that, 7 ate 9)!  With thanks to Steve Meyer.


47But those from the Levi tribe were not included 48because the LORD had said to Moses:

49When you count the Israelites, do not include those from the Levi tribe. 50-51Instead, give them the job of caring for the sacred tent, its furnishings, and the objects used for worship. They will camp around the tent, and whenever you move, they will take it down, carry it to the new camp, and set it up again. Anyone else who tries to go near it must be put to death.

52The rest of the Israelites will camp in their own groups and under their own banners. 53But the Levites will camp around the sacred tent to make sure that no one goes near it and makes me furious with the Israelites.

54The people of Israel did everything the LORD had commanded.

Numbers 2

Instructions for Setting Up Israel’s Camp

2. Israel camp

1The LORD told Moses and Aaron 2how the Israelites should arrange their camp:

Each tribe must set up camp under its own banner and under the flags of its ancestral families. These camps will be arranged around the sacred tent, but not close to it.

3-4Judah and the tribes that march with it must set up camp on the east side of the sacred tent, under their own banner. The 74,600 troops of the tribe of Judah will be arranged by divisions and led by Nahshon son of Amminadab. 5-6On one side of Judah will be the tribe of Issachar, with Nethanel son of Zuar as the leader of its 54,400 troops. 7-8On the other side will be the tribe of Zebulun, with Eliab son of Helon as the leader of its 57,400 troops. 9These 186,400 troops will march into battle first.

10-11Reuben and the tribes that march with it must set up camp on the south side of the sacred tent, under their own banner. The 46,500 troops of the tribe of Reuben will be arranged by divisions and led by Elizur son of Shedeur. 12-13On one side of Reuben will be the tribe of Simeon, with Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai as the leader of its 59,300 troops. 14-15On the other side will be the tribe of Gad, with Eliasaph son of Deuel as the leader of its 45,650 troops. 16These 151,450 troops will march into battle second.

17Marching behind Reuben will be the Levites, arranged in groups, just as they are camped. They will carry the sacred tent and their own banners.

18-19Ephraim and the tribes that march with it must set up camp on the west side of the sacred tent, under their own banner. The 40,500 troops of the tribe of Ephraim will be arranged by divisions and led by Elishama son of Ammihud. 20-21On one side of Ephraim will be the tribe of Manasseh, with Gamaliel son of Pedahzur as the leader of its 32,200 troops. 22-23On the other side will be the tribe of Benjamin, with Abidan son of Gideoni as the leader of its 35,400 troops. 24These 108,100 troops will march into battle third.

2. good.shepherd

Psalm 80:1-2 (NIV)

Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock;
you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth

before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
come and save us.


25-26Dan and the tribes that march with it must set up camp on the north side of the sacred tent, under their own banner. The 62,700 troops of the tribe of Dan will be arranged by divisions and led by Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 27-28On one side of Dan will be the tribe of Asher, with Pagiel son of Ochran as the leader of its 41,500 troops. 29-30On the other side will be the tribe of Naphtali with Ahira son of Enan as the leader of its 53,400 troops. 31These 157,600 troops will march into battle last.

32So all the Israelites in the camp were counted according to their ancestral families. The troops were arranged by divisions and totaled 603,550. 33The only Israelites not included were the Levites, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

34Israel did everything the LORD had told Moses. They arranged their camp according to clans and families, with each tribe under its own banner. And that was the order by which they marched into battle.

"Four Hearts"  by American artist Jim Dine

“Four Hearts” by American pop artist Jim Dine

Song of Solomon 2:4   (NIV)

His banner over me is love.


Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images courtesy of:

numbers.  http://static.open.salon.com/files/numbers1250985368.jpg

census bureau.  http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/dcblog/Census%20Bureau.jpg

stars in the sky.   http://laastro.com/NGC6366-Short-LRGB-A1-50per.jpg

angels on the earth.    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_TkKZZyzUvio/SObxhkEcD1I/AAAAAAAABYY/NDILlsJxVP0/s400/revelation+7-1+four+Angels+holding+back+the+wind.jpg

camp arrangement.   http://www.biblenews1.com/wmap/Israelcamp.gif

Shepherd of Israel.   http://www.jesuit.org.sg/graphics/prayer/homilies/good.shepherd.jpg

Dine.  http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/612uZ4n%2B8tL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

150.) Psalms 19 and 20

November 27, 2009

19. outer space

Psalm 19

God’s Glory in Creation and the Law


“The creation is quite like a spacious and splendid house, provided and filled with the most exquisite and the most abundant furnishings.  Everything in it tells us of God.”

— John Calvin (1509-1564)


1The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.


Genesis 1:1 (King James Version)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.


19. earth_rotation

“How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory!
How plainly it shows what he has done!”
— Psalm 19:1, Today’s English Version

“At this latitude, I’m spinning 836 miles an hour round the earth’s axis; . . . In orbit around the sun I’m moving 64,800 miles an hour.  The solar system as a whole, like a merry-go-round unhinged, spins, bobs, and blinks at the speed of 43,000 miles an hour along a course set east of Hercules.  Someone has piped, and we are dancing a tarantella until the sweat pours . . . I close my eyes and I see stars, deep stars giving way to deeper stars, deeper stars bowing to deepest stars at the crown of an infinite cone.”

–Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


2Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.

3There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;

4yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,

5which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy.

6Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.

19. SunMoonStars

a poem by Joseph Addison, published in 1712

The spacious firmament on high,
with all the blue ethereal sky,
and spangled heavens, a shining frame,
their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun from day to day
does his Creator’s power display;
and publishes to every land
the work of an almighty hand.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
the moon takes up the wondrous tale,
and nightly to the listening earth
repeats the story of her birth:
whilst all the stars that round her burn,
and all the planets in their turn,
confirm the tidings, as they roll
and spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though in solemn silence all
move round the dark terrestrial ball?
What though no real voice nor sound
amid their radiant orbs be found?
In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
and utter forth a glorious voice;
for ever singing as they shine,
“The Hand that made us is divine.”


7The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;

8the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;

9the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

10More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.

19. honey-comb-l

Psalm 119:103 (New International Version)

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!


11Moreover by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

12But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.

13Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.



“Psalm 19” by Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739).  Played on the great organ at St. Bavo Cathedral in Holland by organist Diane Bish.


Psalm 20

Prayer for Victory

1The Lord answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you!

2May he send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion.

3May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices. Selah

4May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans.


Isaiah 26:8 (New Living Translation)

Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws;
our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.



“My Heart’s Desire” by the Newsboys.

I lift up my voice
To the King, King of Glory
I hold out my hands
To the One who is worthy
I long for Your presence
I long, Lord, I need Your touch

Come, O Lord, and fill up my life
With the light of Your presence
This is my heart’s desire
O Father, come and let Your Spirit abide
I long for your presence
This is my heart’s desire

I long to be washed
In the well of Your mercy
I long to be warmed
By the fire of Your glory
I long for Your presence
I long for Your healing touch

It’s my desire
Lord, it’s my desire
Lord, You’re my desire
I want to feel Your presence
I want to feel Your presence, Jesus


5May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

6Now I know that the Lord will help his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories by his right hand.

7Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God.

Some trust in

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:  but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”  — Psalm 20:7 (King James Version)

8They will collapse and fall, but we shall rise and stand upright.

9Give victory to the king, O Lord; answer us when we call.


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

outer space.  http://www.bibledesign.com/designs/Psalms-19vs1_1024.jpg

earth’s rotation.   http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/images/earth_rotation.jpg

sun, moon, stars.   http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa180/Golden3000_photo/Eons%20Uploads/SunMoonStars.jpg

honeycomb.  http://img4.southernliving.com/i/2009/04/honey-sugar-substitute/honey-comb-l.jpg

Roman chariot.  http://www.estatevaults.com/bol/chariot-roman.jpg

149.) Psalm 18

November 26, 2009
Red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

Red rocks of Sedona, Arizona — “The Lord is my rock!”

Psalm 18

Royal Thanksgiving for Victory

1I love you, O Lord, my strength.

2The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.



“I will never be afraid — God Is My Rock!”  Sung by GLAD, a Christian a cappella group known for their tight harmonies and intricate arrangements with classical and jazz overtones.  With thanks to Carole McCutcheon.


3I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so I shall be saved from my enemies.

4The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of perdition assailed me;

5the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.

6In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

18. Burns - Jonah

Jonah 2:5-7 (New Living Translation)

“I sank beneath the waves,
and the waters closed over me.
Seaweed wrapped itself around my head.
I sank down to the very roots of the mountains.
I was imprisoned in the earth,
whose gates lock shut forever.
But you, O Lord my God,
snatched me from the jaws of death!
As my life was slipping away,
I remembered the Lord.
And my earnest prayer went out to you
in your holy Temple.”


7Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.

8Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.

9He bowed the heavens, and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.

10He rode on a cherub, and flew; he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.

11He made darkness his covering around him, his canopy thick clouds dark with water.

12Out of the brightness before him there broke through his clouds hailstones and coals of fire.

13The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice.

My alma mater

My alma mater, and my mother’s, and my husband’s — and now one of our sons is there.

14And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.

15Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

16He reached down from on high, he took me; he drew me out of mighty waters.

verse 16 -

verse 16 – He drew me out of mighty waters.

17He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me.

18They confronted me in the day of my calamity; but the Lord was my support.

19He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

20The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.


“Cleanliness is next to godliness.”  John Wesley, 1778.

21For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

22For all his ordinances were before me, and his statutes I did not put away from me.

23I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt.

24Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.


Romans 6:18 (New International Version)

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.


25With the loyal you show yourself loyal; with the blameless you show yourself blameless;

26with the pure you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you show yourself perverse.

27For you deliver a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.

18. Love_is_Kind

Proverbs 3:34 (Contemporary English Version)

The LORD sneers at those

who sneer at him,

but he is kind to everyone

who is humble.


28It is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.

29By you I can crush a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.

Coco Crisp leaps (almost!) over the wall.

Coco Crisp leaps (almost!) over the wall.

30This God—his way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all who take refuge in him.


from Edges of his Ways, by Amy Carmichael:

Psalm 18:30 — As for God, His way is perfect.

God is love, so we may change the word and say, As for Love, His way is perfect.  This has been helping me.

One of the ways of Love is to prepare us beforehand for any hard thing that He knows is near.  Perhaps this word will be His loving preparation to some heart for a disappointment, or for some trial of faith, something known to others, or some secret sorrow between the Father and His child.  As for Love, His way is perfect.


31For who is God except the Lord? And who is a rock besides our God?—

32the God who girded me with strength, and made my way safe.

33He made my feet like the feet of a deer, and set me secure on the heights.

34He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

35You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand has supported me; your help has made me great.

verse 35 (English Standard Version) -- You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.

verse 35 (English Standard Version) — You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.

“Thy gentleness hath made me great.”
–Psalm xviii.35.

The words are capable of being translated, “Thy goodness hath made me great.”  David gratefully ascribed all his greatness not to his own goodness, but to the goodness of God.  “Thy providence,” is another reading; and providence is nothing more than goodness in action.  Some render it, “Thy help,” which is but another word for providence; providence being the firm ally of the saints, aiding them in the service of their Lord.  Or again, “Thy humility hath made me great.”  Still the idea is the same.  David ascribes all of his own greatness to the condescending goodness of his Father in heaven.  May this sentiment be echoed in our hearts while we cast our crowns at Jesus’ feet and cry, “Thy gentleness hath made me great.”  How marvellous has been our experience of God’s gentleness!

from Morning and Evening, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon


36You gave me a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.

37I pursued my enemies and overtook them; and did not turn back until they were consumed.

38I struck them down, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet.

39For you girded me with strength for the battle; you made my assailants sink under me.

40You made my enemies turn their backs to me, and those who hated me I destroyed.

41They cried for help, but there was no one to save them; they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.

42I beat them fine, like dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

43You delivered me from strife with the peoples; you made me head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me.

18. flags of many nations

Isaiah 55:3-5 (New International Version)

“I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.

See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of the peoples.

Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,

because of the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”


44As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me; foreigners came cringing to me.

45Foreigners lost heart, and came trembling out of their strongholds.

46The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation,

47the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me;

48who delivered me from my enemies; indeed, you exalted me above my adversaries; you delivered me from the violent.

49For this I will extol you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to your name.

50Great triumphs he gives to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.


“Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.”

Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul.
Thank You, Lord, for making me whole.
Thank You, Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation, so rich and free.


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

red rocks of Sedona, AZ.  http://z.about.com/d/gosw/1/0/2/1/SedonaVista.jpg

“Jonah in the whale”  by Antonia Burns.  http://www.artfully1.com/13954cd0.jpg

Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.  http://athletics.wheaton.edu/images/2007/6/26/logo.jpg

lighthouse and wave.  http://www.ccn-online.org.uk/uploaded_images/lighthouse%20wave-705034.jpg

wash hands.  http://adweek.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/hands.gif

Love is kind.  http://img2.allposters.com/images/WIL/8272_Love_is_Kind.jpg

baseball.  http://cache.boston.com/images/bostondirtdogs//Headline_Archives/BDD_CC_4.3_bgml.jpg

soldier holding dying child.  http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2009/02/03/article-1134976-02849E480000044D-147_468x311.jpg

flags of many nations.  http://dailyfilibuster.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/500x500_e56d1470b63c8b8ac2a05855d0d4799e1.jpg

Thanksgiving table cartoon.  http://morningcoffee.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/thanksgiving.gif

148.) Leviticus 27

November 25, 2009
votive candles

votive candles

Leviticus 27:1 – 34   (NRSV)

Votive Offerings



  1. Given or dedicated in fulfillment of a vow or pledge: a votive offering.
  2. Expressing or symbolizing a wish, desire, or vow: a votive prayer; votive candles.

–The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.


27)  The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: When a person makes an explicit vow to the Lord concerning the equivalent for a human being, 3the equivalent for a male shall be: from twenty to sixty years of age the equivalent shall be fifty shekels of silver by the sanctuary shekel. 4If the person is a female, the equivalent is thirty shekels. 5If the age is from five to twenty years of age, the equivalent is twenty shekels for a male and ten shekels for a female. 6If the age is from one month to five years, the equivalent for a male is five shekels of silver, and for a female the equivalent is three shekels of silver. 7And if the person is sixty years old or over, then the equivalent for a male is fifteen shekels, and for a female ten shekels. 8If any cannot afford the equivalent, they shall be brought before the priest and the priest shall assess them; the priest shall assess them according to what each one making a vow can afford.

27. humanvaluechart

9If it concerns an animal that may be brought as an offering to the Lord, any such that may be given to the Lord shall be holy. 10Another shall not be exchanged or substituted for it, either good for bad or bad for good; and if one animal is substituted for another, both that one and its substitute shall be holy. 11If it concerns any unclean animal that may not be brought as an offering to the Lord, the animal shall be presented before the priest. 12The priest shall assess it: whether good or bad, according to the assessment of the priest, so it shall be. 13But if it is to be redeemed, one-fifth must be added to the assessment.

27. cow and sheep

14If a person consecrates a house to the Lord, the priest shall assess it: whether good or bad, as the priest assesses it, so it shall stand. 15And if the one who consecrates the house wishes to redeem it, one-fifth shall be added to its assessed value, and it shall revert to the original owner.

27. monopoly-house

16If a person consecrates to the Lord any inherited landholding, its assessment shall be in accordance with its seed requirements: fifty shekels of silver to a homer of barley seed. 17If the person consecrates the field as of the year of jubilee, that assessment shall stand; 18but if the field is consecrated after the jubilee, the priest shall compute the price for it according to the years that remain until the year of jubilee, and the assessment shall be reduced. 19And if the one who consecrates the field wishes to redeem it, then one-fifth shall be added to its assessed value, and it shall revert to the original owner; 20but if the field is not redeemed, or if it has been sold to someone else, it shall no longer be redeemable. 21But when the field is released in the jubilee, it shall be holy to the Lord as a devoted field; it becomes the priest’s holding.

22If someone consecrates to the Lord a field that has been purchased, which is not a part of the inherited landholding, 23the priest shall compute for it the proportionate assessment up to the year of jubilee, and the assessment shall be paid as of that day, a sacred donation to the Lord. 24In the year of jubilee the field shall return to the one from whom it was bought, whose holding the land is. 25All assessments shall be by the sanctuary shekel: twenty gerahs shall make a shekel.

27. field in Russia

26A firstling of animals, however, which as a firstling belongs to the Lord, cannot be consecrated by anyone; whether ox or sheep, it is the Lord’s. 27If it is an unclean animal, it shall be ransomed at its assessment, with one-fifth added; if it is not redeemed, it shall be sold at its assessment.

28Nothing that a person owns that has been devoted to destruction for the Lord, be it human or animal, or inherited landholding, may be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the Lord.

29No human beings who have been devoted to destruction can be ransomed; they shall be put to death.

30All tithes from the land, whether the seed from the ground or the fruit from the tree, are the Lord’s; they are holy to the Lord.

Ten percent of red color

Malachi 3:10 (New International Version)

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”


31If persons wish to redeem any of their tithes, they must add one-fifth to them. 32All tithes of herd and flock, every tenth one that passes under the shepherd’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord. 33Let no one inquire whether it is good or bad, or make substitution for it; if one makes substitution for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy and cannot be redeemed.

34These are the commandments that the Lord gave to Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.


YOU HAVE MADE IT! — all the way to the end of Leviticus!  Congratulations!  I hope you have learned something through these chapters about God’s love for his people and his concern for holiness in every detail in our lives.  The song “You Are Mine” speaks to us in our current daily situations, but note the echoes of Leviticus as you listen.


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

votive candles.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/galleries/prayeraids/images/1.jpg

human value chart.  http://www.jerrypettit.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/humanvalue.png

animals.  http://images.replacements.com/images/images5/china/C/department_56_little_town_of_bethlehem_no_box_P0000149993S0207T2.jpg

house.  http://media.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/real_estate/s_monopoly-house.jpg

field of grain in Russia.  http://www.admlr.lipetsk.ru/rus/g/vyst/004.jpg

10%.    http://duplexchick.com/files/2009/04/10-percent.jpg

147.) Leviticus 26

November 24, 2009
Leviticus 26:12

Leviticus 26:12

Leviticus 26:1 – 46   (NRSV)

Rewards for Obedience

26)  You shall make for yourselves no idols and erect no carved images or pillars, and you shall not place figured stones in your land, to worship at them; for I am the Lord your God.

2You shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.

3If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, 4I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land.

6And I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid; I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword shall go through your land.

26. Jacobsen peaceful

Psalm 29:11 (King James Version)

The LORD will give strength unto his people;
the LORD will bless his people with peace.


7You shall give chase to your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8Five of you shall give chase to a hundred, and a hundred of you shall give chase to ten thousand; your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

9I will look with favor upon you and make you fruitful and multiply you; and I will maintain my covenant with you. 10You shall eat old grain long stored, and you shall have to clear out the old to make way for the new. 11I will place my dwelling in your midst, and I shall not abhor you. 12And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people.

26. Good Shepherd Hospital

Mark 2:17 (New Living Translation)

Jesus told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”


13I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more; I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.

26. mummy-holding-a-baby

Psalm 3:3 (New American Standard Bible)

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.



“It Is You”  —  words and music by Australian musician Peter Furler, of the Newsboys, a Christian pop rock band.


Penalties for Disobedience

14But if you will not obey me, and do not observe all these commandments, 15if you spurn my statutes, and abhor my ordinances, so that you will not observe all my commandments, and you break my covenant, 16I in turn will do this to you: I will bring terror on you; consumption and fever that waste the eyes and cause life to pine away. You shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down by your enemies; your foes shall rule over you, and you shall flee though no one pursues you.

18And if in spite of this you will not obey me, I will continue to punish you sevenfold for your sins. 19I will break your proud glory, and I will make your sky like iron and your earth like copper.

"Iron Earth Copper Sky"

“Iron Earth-Copper Sky” photograph by Eren Ozkapici, 2005.

20Your strength shall be spent to no purpose: your land shall not yield its produce, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.

21If you continue hostile to me, and will not obey me, I will continue to plague you sevenfold for your sins. 22I will let loose wild animals against you, and they shall bereave you of your children and destroy your livestock; they shall make you few in number, and your roads shall be deserted.

23If in spite of these punishments you have not turned back to me, but continue hostile to me, 24then I too will continue hostile to you: I myself will strike you sevenfold for your sins. 25I will bring the sword against you, executing vengeance for the covenant; and if you withdraw within your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into enemy hands. 26When I break your staff of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven, and they shall dole out your bread by weight; and though you eat, you shall not be satisfied.

27But if, despite this, you disobey me, and continue hostile to me, 28I will continue hostile to you in fury; I in turn will punish you myself sevenfold for your sins. 29You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. 30I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars; I will heap your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols. I will abhor you. 31I will lay your cities waste, will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing odors.

26. ArchofTitusTempleTreasures

Psalm 74:3-7 (New International Version)

Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,
all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.

Your foes roared in the place where you met with us;
they set up their standards as signs.

They behaved like men wielding axes
to cut through a thicket of trees.

They smashed all the carved paneling
with their axes and hatchets.

They burned your sanctuary to the ground;
they defiled the dwelling place of your Name.


32I will devastate the land, so that your enemies who come to settle in it shall be appalled at it. 33And you I will scatter among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword against you; your land shall be a desolation, and your cities a waste. 34Then the land shall enjoy its sabbath years as long as it lies desolate, while you are in the land of your enemies; then the land shall rest, and enjoy its sabbath years. 35As long as it lies desolate, it shall have the rest it did not have on your sabbaths when you were living on it.

36And as for those of you who survive, I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall though no one pursues. 37They shall stumble over one another, as if to escape a sword, though no one pursues; and you shall have no power to stand against your enemies. 38You shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall devour you. 39And those of you who survive shall languish in the land of your enemies because of their iniquities; also they shall languish because of the iniquities of their ancestors.

26. praying_man

2 Chronicles 7:14 (English Standard Version)

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.


40But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their ancestors, in that they committed treachery against me and, moreover, that they continued hostile to me— 41so that I, in turn, continued hostile to them and brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, 42then will I remember my covenant with Jacob; I will remember also my covenant with Isaac and also my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43For the land shall be deserted by them, and enjoy its sabbath years by lying desolate without them, while they shall make amends for their iniquity, because they dared to spurn my ordinances, and they abhorred my statutes. 44Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not spurn them, or abhor them so as to destroy them utterly and break my covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God; 45but I will remember in their favor the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, to be their God: I am the Lord.


26. kitten sees lion


We make our decisions, and then our decisions turn around and make us.
–R. W. Boreham

What a choice put before the Israelites:  to obey or not to obey.  What decision could you make today that would help you grow more and more into the person God wants you to be?


46These are the statutes and ordinances and laws that the Lord established between himself and the people of Israel on Mount Sinai through Moses.



26. pottery

See a portion of this chapter of Leviticus  (vs. 3-9, 33-37)  from the Dead Sea Scrolls!



The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

verse 12.  http://www.harrydesign.com/imagis/typo/leviticus26.gif

“A Peaceful Kingdom” by Florida artist Maryanne Jacobsen.  http://www.maryannejacobsen.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/peaceful_kingdom.jpg

Good Shepherd Hospital in Swaziland.  http://steganography.tripod.com/africa/gsh/gsh.jpg

mom holding baby’s head.  http://www.babyphotospictures.com/thumb/mummy-holding-a-baby.jpg

Ozkapici.  http://gallery.photo.net/photo/3202167-md.jpg

Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum — the lampstand may have been taken from Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem.  http://www.ebibleteacher.com/images/ArchofTitusTempleTreasurestbn011901.jpg

praying man.  http://rcf.renewalchurch.org/cutenews/data/upimages/praying_man.jpg

kitten sees lion.  http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/askville/5880747_9088679_mywrite/kitty.jpg

archaeology pottery.  http://www.archaeology.org.il/Upload/news/images/pottery.jpg

146.) Leviticus 25

November 23, 2009
"Year of Jubilee"  by Debora Colquohon

“Year of Jubilee” by Debora Colquohon

Leviticus 25:1 – 55   (NRSV)

The Sabbatical Year

25)  The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying: 2Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, the land shall observe a sabbath for the Lord. 3Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in their yield; 4but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of complete rest for the land, a sabbath for the Lord: you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. 5You shall not reap the aftergrowth of your harvest or gather the grapes of your unpruned vine: it shall be a year of complete rest for the land. 6You may eat what the land yields during its sabbath—you, your male and female slaves, your hired and your bound laborers who live with you; 7for your livestock also, and for the wild animals in your land all its yield shall be for food.


Psalm 24:1  (New International Version)

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.



“The Sabbath Song,”  by Loretta Weinberger.  Have a blessed and peaceful Sabbath — every seven days and every seven years!


The Year of Jubilee

Sound the trumpet!

Sound the trumpet!

8You shall count off seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the period of seven weeks of years gives forty-nine years. 9Then you shall have the trumpet sounded loud; on the tenth day of the seventh month—on the day of atonement—you shall have the trumpet sounded throughout all your land.

"Proclaim Liberty throughout All the Land unto All the Inhabitants thereof" -- Leviticus 25:10

“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the Land unto All the Inhabitants thereof” — Leviticus 25:10 (on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia)

10And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you: you shall return, every one of you, to your property and every one of you to your family. 11That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you: you shall not sow, or reap the aftergrowth, or harvest the unpruned vines. 12For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you: you shall eat only what the field itself produces.

13In this year of jubilee you shall return, every one of you, to your property.

14When you make a sale to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor, you shall not cheat one another. 15When you buy from your neighbor, you shall pay only for the number of years since the jubilee; the seller shall charge you only for the remaining crop years. 16If the years are more, you shall increase the price, and if the years are fewer, you shall diminish the price; for it is a certain number of harvests that are being sold to you. 17You shall not cheat one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God.


Proverbs 12:3 (English Standard Version)

No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved.


18You shall observe my statutes and faithfully keep my ordinances, so that you may live on the land securely. 19The land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live on it securely. 20Should you ask, What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we may not sow or gather in our crop? 21I will order my blessing for you in the sixth year, so that it will yield a crop for three years. 22When you sow in the eighth year, you will be eating from the old crop; until the ninth year, when its produce comes in, you shall eat the old.

23The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants. 24Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land.

25If anyone of your kin falls into difficulty and sells a piece of property, then the next of kin shall come and redeem what the relative has sold.

25. Boaz gives wheat to Ruth

Ruth 2:19-20 (New Living Translation)

“Where did you gather all this grain today?” Naomi asked. “Where did you work? May the Lord bless the one who helped you!”

So Ruth told her mother-in-law about the man in whose field she had worked. She said, “The man I worked with today is named Boaz.”

“May the Lord bless him!” Naomi told her daughter-in-law. “He is showing his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband. That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers.”


26If the person has no one to redeem it, but then prospers and finds sufficient means to do so, 27the years since its sale shall be computed and the difference shall be refunded to the person to whom it was sold, and the property shall be returned. 28But if there is not sufficient means to recover it, what was sold shall remain with the purchaser until the year of jubilee; in the jubilee it shall be released, and the property shall be returned.

29If anyone sells a dwelling house in a walled city, it may be redeemed until a year has elapsed since its sale; the right of redemption shall be one year. 30If it is not redeemed before a full year has elapsed, a house that is in a walled city shall pass in perpetuity to the purchaser, throughout the generations; it shall not be released in the jubilee. 31But houses in villages that have no walls around them shall be classed as open country; they may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the jubilee.

32As for the cities of the Levites, the Levites shall forever have the right of redemption of the houses in the cities belonging to them. 33Such property as may be redeemed from the Levites—houses sold in a city belonging to them—shall be released in the jubilee; because the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the people of Israel. 34But the open land around their cities may not be sold; for that is their possession for all time.

35If any of your kin fall into difficulty and become dependent on you, you shall support them; they shall live with you as though resident aliens. 36Do not take interest in advance or otherwise make a profit from them, but fear your God; let them live with you.

fear your God

A photographic print by Atlanta artist Mark Lawrence, titled “Leviticus 25:36.”

37You shall not lend them your money at interest taken in advance, or provide them food at a profit. 38I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, to be your God.

39If any who are dependent on you become so impoverished that they sell themselves to you, you shall not make them serve as slaves. 40They shall remain with you as hired or bound laborers. They shall serve with you until the year of the jubilee. 41Then they and their children with them shall be free from your authority; they shall go back to their own family and return to their ancestral property. 42For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves are sold. 43You shall not rule over them with harshness, but shall fear your God.

44As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that you may acquire male and female slaves.

The Bible contains

verse 44:   I’ll bet the Canadians don’t read Leviticus that way!

45You may also acquire them from among the aliens residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. 46You may keep them as a possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property. These you may treat as slaves, but as for your fellow Israelites, no one shall rule over the other with harshness.

47If resident aliens among you prosper, and if any of your kin fall into difficulty with one of them and sell themselves to an alien, or to a branch of the alien’s family, 48after they have sold themselves they shall have the right of redemption; one of their brothers may redeem them, 49or their uncle or their uncle’s son may redeem them, or anyone of their family who is of their own flesh may redeem them; or if they prosper they may redeem themselves. 50They shall compute with the purchaser the total from the year when they sold themselves to the alien until the jubilee year; the price of the sale shall be applied to the number of years: the time they were with the owner shall be rated as the time of a hired laborer. 51If many years remain, they shall pay for their redemption in proportion to the purchase price; 52and if few years remain until the jubilee year, they shall compute thus: according to the years involved they shall make payment for their redemption. 53As a laborer hired by the year they shall be under the alien’s authority, who shall not, however, rule with harshness over them in your sight.

54And if they have not been redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children with them shall go free in the jubilee year. 55For to me the people of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.



A song about victory in the Year of Jubilee!  Paul Wilbur sings “The Shout of El Shaddai.”


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

Colquohon.  http://www.insideartshow.com/gallery/2004/Colquohon_Debora/Year_of_Jubilee.jpg

sounding the trumpet.  http://www.shalomsouthwest.com/images/RoshHashanah/B473-JU-RO-Styled-.jpg

Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.   http://onward.justia.com/seo-images/1005_libertybell.jpg

Boaz gives grain to Ruth.  http://www.preceptaustin.org/Ruth%203%20Boaz%20gives%20wheat%20to%20Ruth.jpg

Lawrence.    http://imagecache5.art.com/p/LRG/18/1899/T8H9D00Z/mark-lawrence-leviticus-2536.jpg

Uncle Leviticus mug.  http://rlv.zcache.com/leviticus_25_44_mug-p168894257436200659qzje_400.jpg

145.) Leviticus 24

November 20, 2009
Bread and incense before the Lord

Bread and incense before the Lord

Leviticus 24:1-23   (NRSV)

The Lamp

24)  The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly. 3Aaron shall set it up in the tent of meeting, outside the curtain of the covenant, to burn from evening to morning before the Lord regularly; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. 4He shall set up the lamps on the lampstand of pure gold before the Lord regularly.

Jesus said . . .

Jesus said . . .



“Burn in Me”  by Paul Wilbur.


The Bread for the Tabernacle

5You shall take choice flour, and bake twelve loaves of it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf. 6You shall place them in two rows, six in a row, on the table of pure gold. 7You shall put pure frankincense with each row, to be a token offering for the bread, as an offering by fire to the Lord. 8Every sabbath day Aaron shall set them in order before the Lord regularly as a commitment of the people of Israel, as a covenant forever. 9They shall be for Aaron and his descendants, who shall eat them in a holy place, for they are most holy portions for him from the offerings by fire to the Lord, a perpetual due.

Jesus said . . .

Jesus said . . .


Matthew 12:1-7 (Contemporary English Version)

One Sabbath, Jesus and his disciples were walking through some wheat fields.  His disciples were hungry and began picking and eating grains of wheat.  Some Pharisees noticed this and said to Jesus, “Why are your disciples picking grain on the Sabbath? They are not supposed to do that!”

Jesus answered:   You surely must have read what David did when he and his followers were hungry.  He went into the house of God, and then they ate the sacred loaves of bread that only priests are supposed to eat. Haven’t you read in the Law of Moses that the priests are allowed to work in the temple on the Sabbath?  But no one says that they are guilty of breaking the law of the Sabbath.  I tell you that there is something here greater than the temple.  Don’t you know what the Scriptures mean when they say, “Instead of offering sacrifices to me, I want you to be merciful to others”?  If you knew what this means, you would not condemn these innocent disciples of mine.


Blasphemy and Its Punishment

10A man whose mother was an Israelite and whose father was an Egyptian came out among the people of Israel; and the Israelite woman’s son and a certain Israelite began fighting in the camp. 11The Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name in a curse. And they brought him to Moses—now his mother’s name was Shelomith, daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan— 12and they put him in custody, until the decision of the Lord should be made clear to them.


24. Jesus-Is-Lord

Psalm 138:2 (New International Version)

I will bow down toward your holy temple
and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.


13The Lord said to Moses, saying: 14Take the blasphemer outside the camp; and let all who were within hearing lay their hands on his head, and let the whole congregation stone him. 15And speak to the people of Israel, saying: Anyone who curses God shall bear the sin. 16One who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death; the whole congregation shall stone the blasphemer. Aliens as well as citizens, when they blaspheme the Name, shall be put to death.


Mark 14:61-64 (New Living Translation)

But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

Jesus said, “I Am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses?  You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?”

“Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!”


17Anyone who kills a human being shall be put to death. 18Anyone who kills an animal shall make restitution for it, life for life. 19Anyone who maims another shall suffer the same injury in return: 20fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; the injury inflicted is the injury to be suffered. 21One who kills an animal shall make restitution for it; but one who kills a human being shall be put to death.


24. eye for eye blind

Lex Talionis

One of the purposes of the law is to provide an equitable retaliation for an injured party.  The extent must be defined and restricted.  These verses, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” give us the principle of a punishment equal to, or fitting for,  the crime.  The Latin phrase lex talionis is often used to refer to this principle.


22You shall have one law for the alien and for the citizen: for I am the Lord your God.

23Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel; and they took the blasphemer outside the camp, and stoned him to death.

24. stoning

The people of Israel did as the Lord had commanded Moses.


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

bread on the table before the Lord.  http://www.mishkanministries.org/images/TableofShewbread2.jpg

light of the world.  http://dimlamp.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/i-am2.jpg

bread of life.  http://dimlamp.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/i-am1.jpg

“Jesus is Lord.”   http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_xO-dVZY1Xk8/RhsVXuUzu2I/AAAAAAAAAPc/sNgzL2Ot1zE/s400/Jesus-Is-Lord.jpg

“Christ before the High Priest”  by Gerrit van Honthorst, 1617 (National Gallery, London).  http://www.lib-art.com/imgpainting/4/6/12464-christ-before-the-high-priest-gerrit-van-honthorst.jpg

stoning.  http://www.missiontoisrael.org/images/capital.jpg

Gandhi quote.  http://www.carryabigsticker.com/images/btn_eye_eye_275.gif

144.) Leviticus 23

November 19, 2009

23. festival book

Leviticus 23:1 – 44   (NRSV)

Appointed Festivals

23)  The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: These are the appointed festivals of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations, my appointed festivals.

The Sabbath

3Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work: it is a sabbath to the Lord throughout your settlements.


Hebrews 4:9-10 (New International Version)

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.


The Passover and Unleavened Bread

Passover star of David

4These are the appointed festivals of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall celebrate at the time appointed for them. 5In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover offering to the Lord, 6and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. 8For seven days you shall present the Lord’s offerings by fire; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation: you shall not work at your occupations.

The Offering of First Fruits

"Sheaves of Wheat"  by Vincent Van Gogh

“Sheaves of Wheat” by Vincent Van Gogh

9The Lord spoke to Moses: 10Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you and you reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11He shall raise the sheaf before the Lord, that you may find acceptance; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall raise it. 12On the day when you raise the sheaf, you shall offer a lamb a year old, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13And the grain offering with it shall be two-tenths of an ephah of choice flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord; and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14You shall eat no bread or parched grain or fresh ears until that very day, until you have brought the offering of your God: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your settlements.

The Festival of Weeks

15And from the day after the sabbath, from the day on which you bring the sheaf of the elevation offering, you shall count off seven weeks; they shall be complete. 16You shall count until the day after the seventh sabbath, fifty days; then you shall present an offering of new grain to the Lord.

23. Pentecost

Acts 2:1-4 (New Living Translation)

On the day of Pentecost[a] all the believers were meeting together in one place.  Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.  Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.  And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

a.  The Festival of Pentecost came 50 days after Passover (when Jesus was crucified).


17You shall bring from your settlements two loaves of bread as an elevation offering, each made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of choice flour, baked with leaven, as first fruits to the Lord. 18You shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, one young bull, and two rams; they shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, along with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of pleasing odor to the Lord. 19You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of well-being. 20The priest shall raise them with the bread of the first fruits as an elevation offering before the Lord, together with the two lambs; they shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21On that same day you shall make proclamation; you shall hold a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. This is a statute forever in all your settlements throughout your generations.

22When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien: I am the Lord your God.

23. aliens cartoon


The Festival of Trumpets


shofar: a ritual instrument often made from a ram’s horn — used to call an assembly or to signal sacrifice

23The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 24Speak to the people of Israel, saying: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of complete rest, a holy convocation commemorated with trumpet blasts. 25You shall not work at your occupations; and you shall present the Lord’s offering by fire.


Matthew 24:31 (English Standard Version)

And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.



Hear the sound of the shofar!


The Day of Atonement

26The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27Now, the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you: you shall deny yourselves and present the Lord’s offering by fire; 28and you shall do no work during that entire day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the Lord your God. 29For anyone who does not practice self-denial during that entire day shall be cut off from the people. 30And anyone who does any work during that entire day, such a one I will destroy from the midst of the people. 31You shall do no work: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your settlements. 32It shall be to you a sabbath of complete rest, and you shall deny yourselves; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening you shall keep your sabbath.

23. Jesus on the Cross

The Day of Atonement

This day is so important that a whole chapter of Leviticus is devoted to it — remember chapter 16?  And Hebrews chapter 9 clearly explains how this day points to Jesus Christ and the work he did on the cross.


The Festival of Booths

33The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 34Speak to the people of Israel, saying: On the fifteenth day of this seventh month, and lasting seven days, there shall be the festival of booths to the Lord.

35The first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. 36Seven days you shall present the Lord’s offerings by fire; on the eighth day you shall observe a holy convocation and present the Lord’s offerings by fire; it is a solemn assembly; you shall not work at your occupations.

37These are the appointed festivals of the Lord, which you shall celebrate as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord offerings by fire—burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each on its proper day— 38apart from the sabbaths of the Lord, and apart from your gifts, and apart from all your votive offerings, and apart from all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord.

39Now, the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the produce of the land, you shall keep the festival of the Lord, lasting seven days; a complete rest on the first day, and a complete rest on the eighth day. 40On the first day you shall take the fruit of majestic trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41You shall keep it as a festival to the Lord seven days in the year; you shall keep it in the seventh month as a statute forever throughout your generations. 42You shall live in booths for seven days; all that are citizens in Israel shall live in booths, 43so that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

23. sukkah

Nehemiah 8:13-17 (New International Version)

On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the scribe to give attention to the words of the Law.  They found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in booths during the feast of the seventh month  and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: “Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make booths”-as it is written.

So the people went out and brought back branches and built themselves booths on their own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of God and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate of Ephraim. The whole company that had returned from exile built booths and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great.


44Thus Moses declared to the people of Israel the appointed festivals of the Lord.


23. celebrate stamp

–by Robert C. “Dag” Johnson in Stones of Remembrance

God in His gracious wisdom has always encouraged His people to celebrate the significant events of their lives.  He consistently nudges us to remember our experiences and accomplishments in relation to His sovereign grace.  These nudges may come at unexpected times or in our more reflective hours.  Each seeks to focus our attention on His loving provision.  How often the children of Israel were reminded to establish markers of remembrance in their historic journey.

Celebrations are some of the most important events in our passage through life.  Without them the true meaning of our days here on earth is obscured.  We can diminish life to mere existence, living in a world without a true sense of color or dimension.  Celebrations are essential to our understanding and appreciation of one’s value and worth.  They fuel our dreams and aspirations–they memorialize our commitments and achievements.  They may be personal or cultural, provincial or universal, prosaic or profound, but all are to be enjoyed, relished, and remembered.  Births, marriages, graduations, reunions–all are reminders to celebrate.  Remembering is the avenue for our realization that celebration is one of God’s greatest gifts to us.



A perfect song for every celebration — and every day is a gift to celebrate!   “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation.”  Sung by Fernando Ortega.


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

Book of Jewish Festivals.  http://www.judaicadepot.com/images/book2lg.jpg

Van Gogh. http://www.tfsimon.com/vincent-van-gogh-sheaves-of-wheat.jpg

Pentecost.  http://calvarylutheran.info/Pentecost.jpg

Prayer Pups cartoon.  http://www.prayerpups.com/comics/2008-09-04-aliens.jpg

blowing the ram’s horn trumpet (shofar).  http://www.helperin.com/images/300dpi/press_shofar_300dpi.jpg

Jesus on the cross.  http://motorcyclingintheusa.com/PhotoGallery/Inspirational/Jesus%20on%20the%20Cross.jpg

booth.  http://subversiveinfluence.com/images/blogposts/sukkah.gif

“Celebrate!” 41-cent stamp.    http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/2007stamps/definitives/downloads/2007celebrate41_600.jpg

143.) Leviticus 22

November 18, 2009

Psalm 96:8 — “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.”

Leviticus 22:1 – 33   (NRSV)

The Use of Holy Offerings


“We Give Thee But Thine Own”
by William W. How, 1823-1897

We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be;
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.

May we Thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive
And gladly, as Thou blessest us,
To Thee our first-fruits give!

To comfort and to bless,
To find a balm for woe,
To tend the lone and fatherless,
Is angels’ work below.

The captive to release,
To God the lost to bring,
To teach the way of life and peace,
It is a Christlike thing.

And we believe Thy Word,
Though dim our faith may be:
Whate’er for Thine we do, O Lord,
We do it unto Thee.


22)   The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2Direct Aaron and his sons to deal carefully with the sacred donations of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to me, so that they may not profane my holy name; I am the Lord.

22. offering-plate-3Say to them: If anyone among all your offspring throughout your generations comes near the sacred donations, which the people of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he is in a state of uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from my presence: I am the Lord.

4No one of Aaron’s offspring who has a leprous disease or suffers a discharge may eat of the sacred donations until he is clean. Whoever touches anything made unclean by a corpse or a man who has had an emission of semen, 5and whoever touches any swarming thing by which he may be made unclean or any human being by whom he may be made unclean—whatever his uncleanness may be— 6the person who touches any such shall be unclean until evening and shall not eat of the sacred donations unless he has washed his body in water. 7When the sun sets he shall be clean; and afterward he may eat of the sacred donations, for they are his food. 8That which died or was torn by wild animals he shall not eat, becoming unclean by it: I am the Lord.

9They shall keep my charge, so that they may not incur guilt and die in the sanctuary for having profaned it: I am the Lord; I sanctify them.

10No lay person shall eat of the sacred donations. No bound or hired servant of the priest shall eat of the sacred donations; 11but if a priest acquires anyone by purchase, the person may eat of them; and those that are born in his house may eat of his food. 12If a priest’s daughter marries a layman, she shall not eat of the offering of the sacred donations; 13but if a priest’s daughter is widowed or divorced, without offspring, and returns to her father’s house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s food. No lay person shall eat of it.

14If a man eats of the sacred donation unintentionally, he shall add one-fifth of its value to it, and give the sacred donation to the priest. 15No one shall profane the sacred donations of the people of Israel, which they offer to the Lord, 16causing them to bear guilt requiring a guilt offering, by eating their sacred donations: for I am the Lord; I sanctify them.

Acceptable Offerings

17The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 18Speak to Aaron and his sons and all the people of Israel and say to them: When anyone of the house of Israel or of the aliens residing in Israel presents an offering, whether in payment of a vow or as a freewill offering that is offered to the Lord as a burnt offering, 19to be acceptable in your behalf it shall be a male without blemish, of the cattle or the sheep or the goats. 20You shall not offer anything that has a blemish, for it will not be acceptable in your behalf. 21When anyone offers a sacrifice of well-being to the Lord, in fulfillment of a vow or as a freewill offering, from the herd or from the flock, to be acceptable it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it. 22Anything blind, or injured, or maimed, or having a discharge or an itch or scabs—these you shall not offer to the Lord or put any of them on the altar as offerings by fire to the Lord. 23An ox or a lamb that has a limb too long or too short you may present for a freewill offering; but it will not be accepted for a vow.

Animals with physical anomalies, such as this three-legged goat . . .

24Any animal that has its testicles bruised or crushed or torn or cut, you shall not offer to the Lord; such you shall not do within your land, 25nor shall you accept any such animals from a foreigner to offer as food to your God; since they are mutilated, with a blemish in them, they shall not be accepted in your behalf.

22. steers

. . . or animals which had been castrated, such as the steers pictured above, were useful for food or for service in agricultural areas, but were not acceptable for sacrifice to God.


26The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27When an ox or a sheep or a goat is born, it shall remain seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be acceptable as the Lord’s offering by fire. 28But you shall not slaughter, from the herd or the flock, an animal with its young on the same day.

29When you sacrifice a thanksgiving offering to the Lord, you shall sacrifice it so that it may be acceptable in your behalf.


Psalm 107:22 (New International Version)

Let them sacrifice thank offerings
and tell of his works with songs of joy.


30It shall be eaten on the same day; you shall not leave any of it until morning: I am the Lord.

31Thus you shall keep my commandments and observe them: I am the Lord. 32You shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel: I am the Lord; I sanctify you, 33I who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord.



“You Are Lord.”  Written and sung by Micah Stampley.


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

offering watercolor picture.  http://redbooks.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/00000000000000000.jpg

offering plate.  http://growingyourchurch.com/images/offering-plate-with-money.jpg

goat.  http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2019/2534114695_a2f1e74aea.jpg?v=1212097513

Anhay Hereford steers.  http://www.anhay.com/userimages/steers.jpg

142.) Leviticus 21

November 17, 2009
Priests on the Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem

Priests on the Via Dolorosa in the Old City of Jerusalem.  The tower in the background is the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.

Leviticus 21:1 – 24   (NRSV)

The Holiness of Priests

21) The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: No one shall defile himself for a dead person among his relatives, 2except for his nearest kin: his mother, his father, his son, his daughter, his brother; 3likewise, for a virgin sister, close to him because she has had no husband, he may defile himself for her. 4But he shall not defile himself as a husband among his people and so profane himself.

5They shall not make bald spots upon their heads, or shave off the edges of their beards, or make any gashes in their flesh. 6They shall be holy to their God, and not profane the name of their God; for they offer the Lord’s offerings by fire, the food of their God; therefore they shall be holy.

7They shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled; neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband. For they are holy to their God, 8and you shall treat them as holy, since they offer the food of your God; they shall be holy to you, for I the Lord, I who sanctify you, am holy.

"Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life." --Proverbs 6:25-26

“Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.” –Proverbs 6:25-26

9When the daughter of a priest profanes herself through prostitution, she profanes her father; she shall be burned to death.

10The priest who is exalted above his fellows, on whose head the anointing oil has been poured and who has been consecrated to wear the vestments, shall not dishevel his hair, nor tear his vestments. 11He shall not go where there is a dead body; he shall not defile himself even for his father or mother. 12He shall not go outside the sanctuary and thus profane the sanctuary of his God; for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the Lord.

13He shall marry only a woman who is a virgin. 14A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, a prostitute, these he shall not marry. He shall marry a virgin of his own kin, 15that he may not profane his offspring among his kin; for I am the Lord; I sanctify him.

16The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 17Speak to Aaron and say: No one of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the food of his God. 18For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, one who is blind or lame,

21. parking cartoon

or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, 19or one who has a broken foot or a broken hand, 20or a hunchback, or a dwarf, or a man with a blemish in his eyes or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. 21No descendant of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord’s offerings by fire; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God. 22He may eat the food of his God, of the most holy as well as of the holy. 23But he shall not come near the curtain or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries; for I am the Lord; I sanctify them.

24Thus Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the people of Israel.



What are you learning about the need for personal holiness as you are reading through Leviticus?

The priests of Israel were to be, in every detail of their lives, “holy to the Lord.”  Peter says in 1 Peter 2:9 (Amplified Bible) —

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, God’s own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

So through Christ, all of us are priests — all of us are called to be “Living for Your Glory.”  This song is by Tim Hughes, who is the Director of Worship in an Anglican church in London.


The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:

priests.   http://highlight.co.il/upload/Christian%20priest%20in%20religous%20ceremony,%20Via%20Dolorosa,%20Jerusalem.JPG

San Francisco red light district.   http://images.askmen.com/blogs/news/san-francisco-red-light-district.jpg

cartoon.  http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/mba/lowres/mban120l.jpg