“Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. ” (Leviticus 23:41)
This was designated at the time of the “Feast of Firstfruits.” It was a time of everyone bringing two loaves, made of two tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord. Presented with the bread wee seven male lambs a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. This was for the burnt offering, also was a drink offering. One male goat was sacrificed for a sin offering, two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. The priest is to wave the two lambs before the Lord as a “wave offering.”
Society must have guidelines for ongoing order. God’s people provide a continuing witness through their ongoing practices. The rhythm of the calendar must provide time to work and time to celebrate the fruits of our labor which God provides. Growing up, I remember hearing church bells and air horns blowing on the hours, to remind people to take a moment to pray a thanksgiving prayer to God, for all of our blessings. In agricultural communities, this is still a regular happening, and usually they also have community gatherings around plowing the fields, planting, and harvesting the crops, which goes back to the biblical times. Maybe you do too?!
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, way too often we tend to take the credit for our labor, and forget to thank God, for providing the soil in which we plant seeds, the fertilizer that will help the seedlings grow, the rains which are needed to help them build strong roots and the produce or plants (whether for vegetables or clothing, and then the weeding that must be done, to ensure the crops grow properly, finally the harvest time. God is involved in all of these parts of the growing process and He deserves our recognition and appreciation. Beloved, He is also involved in taking plants and making clothing and many other types of things, that we use daily in our lives. It is in Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Two thousand years ago, heaven touched earth and the rest is ‘His story!’”
“Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will life safely in the land. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety.” (Leviticus25:18–19)
One who lives a godly life can expect generally a peaceable life. One goal of God’s commands and moral limits is to establish a safe, peaceful social order. If you take a look around and do not see godly people, living peaceful lives, who do you think changed? If we do not seek God in our lives, then how can we expect to see peace all around us? Are we as a people obeying God, or are we obeying what feels good to us? If we don’t change our situation, how can we expect things to get better?
“Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and he stipulations and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and your may go in and take over the good land that the Lord promised on earth to your forefathers.” (Deuteronomy6:17-18)
Beloved, God’s laws establish an order must outsiders recognize as wise and desirable. They meet all standards of righteousness. Humans have no reason to criticize or change God’s social order. Certainly if we sin and go before God with truly penitent hearts, seeking His forgiveness. He has promised us and desires that we all live in peace within our neighborhoods, cities, states, and our country, but if we don’t make an effort to live according to His established commands for social order, then how can we expect it to happen on its own?
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“If you see your brother’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to him. If the brother does not live near you or of you do no know who whoit is, take it home with you and keep it until he comes looking for it. Then give it back to him. Do the same if you find our brother’s donkey or his cloak or anything h loses. Do not ignore it, ‘If you see our brothers donkey or his ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help him get it to its feet.” (Deuteronomy22:1-4)
If you think this is only about cattle, then you are sadly missing the point. It is about ethical living within a community, no matter where it might be. Ethical cohesiveness depends upon mutual respect and cae of property. Finder’s keepers is not a biblical attitude. We must respect and restore property belonging to others. We must also respect and restore anything that belongs to someone else. The right thing to do if it’s an animal, is to take it in and care for, while trying to contact neighbors to see if they lost the animal. The same is true for property belonging to someone else. You don’t just hide it in your garage, you seek to return it to its rightful owner.
Yes, when the motivation is to nurture others in he understanding of the kingdom of God and to bring honor to God. No, when the bending limits or alters our own sense of maturity in God. A fragile balance results, and constant vigilance to such a tension is necessary. We must avoid an attitude of condemnation and a feeling of guilt. We must seek to mature and help others mature. Above all, we must seek to avoid quarrels and divisions in God’s church. Church unity is more important than my freedom.
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Thank you, Elizabeth