A collection of my personal Bible study notes. -- TYB
Introduction & Purpose
The Bible is God speaking to mankind. It is awesome that I can have this book in my hands. It has quite literally changed my life, yet I know so little about it. It is full of fine treasure and is worthy of continuous study until the day I go home.
No matter how many times I read the Bible, there is something new and fresh for my heart, spirit and mind to experience. This collection of notes is a result of wanting to keep a record of different things that I glean from the Bible at different times. For instance, I may have an Ephesians study dated May of 1997 and another dated December of 1997 each one exposing some item(s) that came to the forefront of my mind.
I make no claims to be "some great one" or world-class theologian; nonetheless, I am someone who wants to know the true God through the only way possible--His word. As I study and meditate upon the word of God, I try to think about things like:
Leviticus, 5-2-97 study notes
In the past, I've oftentimes been unexcited about reading Leviticus. When I embarked on this reading that old feeling was there but I was/am convinced that each book of the Bible is important, because God had them included. And so I read them. On this reading of Leviticus, I was richly rewarded, more so than ever before.
Key Verse: Leviticus 11:47, To make a difference between the unclean and the clean...
Related verse: Ezekiel 44:23, And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
Judging the Clean and the Unclean
The book of Leviticus contains many laws, procedures, and rituals governing life in Israel and worship of the Lord God. Certain animals were clean and could be eaten, others were considered unclean and could not be eaten.
There were clear-cut standards that were to be followed. In chapter 10, Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, offered a strange fire before the Lord that He did not command them to do. As a result, fire went out from the Lord and devoured them.
This makes me think about today. God has given us clear commandments in His word about how Christians are to deal with each other, unbelievers, apostates, false brethern, and many other things. I see with my eyes, the commandments of the Lord being ignored as if they were written in vain. In the church I formerly went to I saw this problem.
For instance, a person could come into the church, be there for a few Sundays and be asked to be an officer in the church. Yet the Bible says "lay hands suddenly on no man" and "try the spirits to see if they be of God". When my husband attempted to speak to these things, he was told that he had a "complaining spirit".
God's word teaches us the difference between the clean and the unclean. The difference between right and wrong. Leviticus is a strong reminder of this. It is good and right to have strong opinions about what is right and wrong in accordance with the Bible. Yet many of us exchange Bible warnings and admonitions for "tolerance".
God says, "If any man bring any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed"--why then do we call Catholics Christians? How can we say that Muslims and Buddhists worship the same God that we do? If the Lord says, "If any man that calls himself a brother be an idolater with such an one no not eat," how can we be chill with someone that prays to Mary, saints and a piece of bread?
I've been accused of judging and each time it has been by someone who took a verse out of context. Did not Jesus say, "Judge righteous judgment"? In Leviticus, we see that when God makes a difference between the clean and the unclean, He required that the people judge a situation to see whether it was clean or unclean.
A Living Sacrifice
In Leviticus, many types of offerings and sacrifices are described. The animal sacrifices were killed and their blood was spilt for the sins of the people. The sacrifices were burnt for a sweet smelling savour in the nostrils of God. These animal sacrifices foreshadowed Jesus Christ, the ultimate sacrifice. His blood was spilt for our sins once and for all on Calvary's cross.
God now asks every Christian to be a LIVING sacrifice:
Romans 12:1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
From Leviticus I learn about being a sacrifice--they were washed (I am washed in the blood and by the Spirit of regeneration), they were without blemish (I am to be holy), they were public (I am to be a witness), they were seasoned with salt (Matthew 5 says I am the salt of the earth), they died (Paul said, "I die daily". I must die to myself and live unto God through Christ)
I Am a Freed Prisoner Released from Spiritual Egypt (Lev. 26:13)
Leviticus 26:13, I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
Jesus came to set at liberty them that are bound. I was a slave to this old wicked world, letting it set the standard for my success or failure. I found that you can't win in this world. There will always be someone richer, smarter, more attractive, seemingly happier, healthier, etc. You will always try to measure up against others and seek a lasting peace that will not come.
Jesus came one day and opened my crusty eyes and took me out of the prison and freed me from the bondage of sin and pride so that I could live, move and breath in Him. I've been freed and I ain't going back!
God Just Wants to be Our God (Lev. 26:45)
Leviticus 26:45, ...I brought forth out of the land of Egypt...that I might be their God...
In kindness and good intention, the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt. The only thing He wanted was to be their God and for them to be His people. He just wanted a beautiful love relationship with the people. He gave them everything that they needed--food, clothing, land, His continual presence. Malachi 6:8 sums it up:
Micah 6:8. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
I just need to walk with Him. His word tells me that He will take me upon the high places of the earth, if I'll just walk with Him. I've tasted the Lord and seen that He is good. Help me, Jesus to stay with you, conform my desires unto Thine own.
The Blood is Important (Lev. 17:11)
This passage says that it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. This speaks to the importance of Christ's shed blood. Tony and I visited a church in April '97 that used different Bible versions. In Colossians 1:14, the phrase "redemption through his blood" was replaced with "redemption through Jesus Christ". This is a major error. The blood is what atones for the soul.
The Unclean Man (Lev. 13:44, 46)
The leprous man is utterly unclean. All the days that he has this plague, he is defiled and unclean. He shall dwell alone outside of the camp. This was not cruelty, it was to keep the other people from getting infected.
It is the same thing today. If there is a person who claims to be a brother who is living a life of uncleanness, we may counsel him, but until he repents and turns back to the Lord, we should have no fellowship with such. Paul says that even when we are counseling such a person, we need to take heed to ourselves lest you be tempted--infected. The New Testament gives abundant testimony to this fact.
Divination (Lev. 19:31)
Israel was not to regard those with familiar spirits or wizards. For us Christians, that means no Psychic Hotline, tarot cards, and checking horoscopes for our future. Jesus Christ is our provision and He truly knows what tomorrow will bring.
The Poor (Lev. 23:22)
The Israelites were not to glean every grain and every grape from their fields. They were to leave some for the poor, and the stranger.
Likewise, we should not keep every penny we earn for ourselves. Freely we have received from God's hand, freely we should give and not hoard.
I read of how employees at one restaurant called Sunday "hellday" because church people would come in and eat, leave a tract and no tip. This ought not to be. I used to wait on tables making $2.01 per hour. I needed tips in order to make just a little money for hard work. I oftentimes went home late at night, back hurting and perhaps $20 in my pocket. Remember people around you that don't have much, don't glean everything.