Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 30

Chillings Assessment

July 30 – Today’s Readings – Jeremiah 7-9 and Psalms 30

Chapter 7 is chilling in its assessment of religious people who do not live out their confession of faith. They go to the temple; they offer sin offerings and fellowship offerings and they say in their hearts that because they have done these things they will be “safe”. The problem is that they then go out and LIVE contrary to what they did and said in their worship. “Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, ‘We are safe’, safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 7:9-11)

He watches me too – The Spirit of God watches over me with great jealousy so that I can be kept from sin and keep turning my heart back to Jesus. Let’s not get all confused about this. If you are born again of the Spirit of God, you will want to do right and to live a life of integrity. Its religious people who have not been born of the Spirit that God is addressing here. Just because people attend Church does not mean they know Jesus. Hypocrites are those who know about the Lord and give assent to Him but have not experienced the miracle of new birth and therefore continue to live in sin.

On another note, Chapter 8:21-22 reads, “Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?” The “balm” Jeremiah is speaking of is actually sap or resin from a Balsam tree that was used as a healing ointment in Old Testament times. Gilead is a “type” of the modern day Church. To properly understand this verse then, we have to read, “Is there no healing in the Church?” This is what Church needs to be – a place of healing for people’s emotions, spirits and bodies. When people come into Church let it never be said that we were too busy about our own affairs to care for them and see them healed.

Ezekiel 47:12 “Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

Malachi 4:2 “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.”

Questions:

1. Give an example of a time when you felt God’s “jealous” love keeping you from sin.
2. Give an example of how The Church can be a place of healing.

Worshipers

February 6 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 28-30 and Psalms 36

Today I want to spend a minute in Chapter 30 where five sanctuary items are described: – the altar of incense and the incense to be burned on it – the atonement money – the washbasin and the anointing oil.

The Old Testament “altar” always speaks of a place that is set aside for worship – either for God or some man-made god. The incense used at God’s altar was a one-of-a-kind concoction that the priests were instructed to burn during worship. In our own lives and “Altar Experience” may involve shutting ourselves away in a place for prayer and meditation but this is not always the case. Some think of “the altar” as a place near the front of a Church where people go when they really need God’s attention. What is more likely, however is that “the altar” has to do with a regular prayer or worship time set aside for the Lord. If you’re like me, you find yourself reading and praying at all different times of the day or night but then setting aside special extended times just to be intimate with God and get instruction from the Holy Spirit. This is my altar – it’s the act of blocking out the business of life so that I can focus on what matters – staying constantly on fire for God and keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. The “incense” that we use in prayer is a very carefully prepared concoction as well. There is no other incense like it – it requires the ingredients of humility, thankfulness, praise, worship, supplications, and holiness all marinaded in a generous portion of the Word of God.

The atonement money in the old covenant was very symbolic of being “counted” or “numbered” for God and being consecrated to Him. No one can be more “atoned for” than the other because in God’s economy, we all consecrate ourselves in the same way and it costs us all the same – everything we have – but usually He only asks for 10% or so. This too must be done on a regular basis.

The basin for washing has to do with repenting and being clean before we can really worship. This happens initially in baptism but it must also happen on a moment-by-moment basis – each time the Holy Spirit reveals sin in our lives. Did you ever wonder about all the traditional creeds by which churches entered into ”worship” – these approaches all included repentance! They formalized this concept and made sure that when the church got together, repentance was included in their approach to God.

The anointing oil too was made in a very special way. It was to be used on the head (not the body) of the priest each time he entered into worship. The head of the body houses the soul (mind, will and emotions) of a person. There is only one way for the soul to be ready to worship God. Jesus said those who worship God must worship in Spirit and in Truth. Think about it – we desperately need the anointing of the Holy Spirit if we are to learn how to truly worship God. Don’t ever be shy about praying in the Spirit when you worship – it stirs the anointing of God and allows you freedom in your worship – (just don’t be so loud as to distract others from their worship). This is the act of having anointing oil poured on our heads.

Questions:

1. Can you think of other “modern day” applications that can be taken from Moses’ Tabernacle?

2. Comment further on how these Temple objects relate to your life.

God “Speaks” To A Godless Nation

January 30 – Today’s Readings – Exodus 7-9 and Psalms 30

Plagues! Wow this is really intense. Did you ever wonder why all this stuff was happening in Egypt?

Yes, yes – I know – God wanted to deliver His people – but aside from that, I think God wanted to speak to Egypt (and the then-know world as well). He was also ready to pass judgement on all the nations living in the land of Palestine. Think about it. How was the Lord going to get the attention of the Egyptians and give them a revelation that was an all-powerful and all-knowing “Living God” was able to set people free?

He first had to confront their “gods”, bring down their economy and radically alter the sinful culture that epitomized this super-power. Most scholars believe that Egypt was one of the strongest nations on earth at the time of the Exodus. They were self-sufficient, proud and very powerful. God literally set it up so that all Egyptians from the greatest to the least would see the glory of God and come to a knowledge of God.

So – though God had a plan for Israel, He also had a plan to reveal Himself to Egypt – so that all the nations would hear of the miracles that had taken place at the hands of Aaron and Moses.

He still confronts people and nations with hard hearts and lets them know that there is a God to be reckoned with. In our day and hour, God usually reveals Himself through His loving servants – but I’ve know people who were “smacked with a two by four” so that God could get their attention. We often believe that everything is about us. We interpret all the happenings around us as though God is doing something for us alone. Ponder this – half the World lives in near-complete economic disaster and all we can think about is whether we will purchase a Kia or a Ford! Perhaps God uses things like hard economic times to get people to quit relying only on their own wisdom. Maybe He uses “hard times” to draw individuals to Himself. This is not to say that God creates hard times only that He uses opportunities including hard times to reach a people with love and grace. I don’t know about you, but I would gladly suffer hard times if it meant that lost souls would be drawn to God because of it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we became so sensitive to God’s voice that we would respond the instant He speaks? There is no need for us to be “confronted” by the Lordthe way Egypt was if we have our spiritual ears open. May we be guided by the slightest glance of His eye today! I don’t want to have any “plague” experiences because of the hardness of my heart.

Questions:

1. Has God ever used a “difficult thing” to get your attention? Tell us about it!

2. Give an example of how “hard times” have drawn you closer to God.

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