Service Times

Connect Groups - Sunday 9:10 AM

Morning Worship - Sunday 10:30 AM

April 17, 2018

April 17

Devotion

            It is a pattern we find repeatedly throughout Scripture: Obedience to our Lord’s commands brings promised blessings, while disobedience brings promised judgment or discipline, and certainly we see that here in Leviticus 26. The one thing we must be careful of is being so focused on the material, social, and political blessings of vv.4-10, that we miss the more important spiritual blessings of vv.11-13. After all, the temporary satisfaction of abundant produce, cultural prosperity, and political power should not even come close to comparing with the spiritual blessings of God’s personal, abiding presence, and His promise to free us from the yoke of slavery. At the same time, it is reassuring to know that the discipline brought on by disobedience is not an end in itself, because as vv.40-45 make clear, God’s purpose is to honor His covenant promise, not to the neglect of His holy standards, but through His holy standards.

            This means that when we go outside of His will, He disciplines us, in order that we would be repentant, so that He can restore His covenant relationship through forgiveness, and so that we can once again enjoy an intimate relationship with our Father. What a delight to know that our holy Father is so passionate for His children that He will not simply allow us to remain in our sin, but through loving discipline, which leads us to repentance, and gracious forgiveness He would restore the intimate communion we so desperately long for.

              

Leviticus 26-27 “Do not make idols for yourselves, set up a carved image or sacred pillar for yourselves, or place a sculpted stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God. 2 Keep my Sabbaths and revere my sanctuary; I am the Lord. 3 “If you follow my statutes and faithfully observe my commands, 4 I will give you rain at the right time, and the land will yield its produce, and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest, and the grape harvest will continue until sowing time; you will have plenty of food to eat and live securely in your land. 6 I will give peace to the land, and you will lie down with nothing to frighten you. I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword will pass through your land. 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword. 8 Five of you will pursue a hundred, and a hundred of you will pursue ten thousand; your enemies will fall before you by the sword. 9 “I will turn to you, make you fruitful and multiply you, and confirm my covenant with you. 10 You will eat the old grain of the previous year and will clear out the old to make room for the new. 11 I will place my residence among you, and I will not reject you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to live in freedom. 14 “But if you do not obey me and observe all these commands—15 if you reject my statutes and despise my ordinances, and do not observe all my commands—and break my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring terror on you—wasting disease and fever that will cause your eyes to fail and your life to ebb away. You will sow your seed in vain because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will turn against you, so that you will be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even though no one is pursuing you. 18 “But if after these things you will not obey me, I will proceed to discipline you seven times for your sins. 19 I will break down your strong pride. I will make your sky like iron and your land like bronze, 20 and your strength will be used up for nothing. Your land will not yield its produce, and the trees of the land will not bear their fruit. 21 “If you act with hostility toward me and are unwilling to obey me, I will multiply your plagues seven times for your sins. 22 I will send wild animals against you that will deprive you of your children, ravage your livestock, and reduce your numbers until your roads are deserted. 23 “If in spite of these things you do not accept my discipline, but act with hostility toward me, 24 then I will act with hostility toward you; I also will strike you seven times for your sins. 25 I will bring a sword against you to execute the vengeance of the covenant. Though you withdraw into your cities, I will send a pestilence among you, and you will be delivered into enemy hands. 26 When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will bake your bread in a single oven and ration out your bread by weight, so that you will eat but not be satisfied. 27 “And if in spite of this you do not obey me but act with hostility toward me, 28 I will act with furious hostility toward you; I will also discipline you seven times for your sins. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons; you will eat the flesh of your daughters. 30 I will destroy your high places, cut down your shrines, and heap your lifeless bodies on the lifeless bodies of your idols; I will reject you. 31 I will reduce your cities to ruins and devastate your sanctuaries. I will not smell the pleasing aroma of your sacrifices. 32 I also will devastate the land, so that your enemies who come to live there will be appalled by it. 33 But I will scatter you among the nations, and I will draw a sword to chase after you. So your land will become desolate, and your cities will become ruins. 34 “Then the land will make up for its Sabbath years during the time it lies desolate, while you are in the land of your enemies. At that time the land will rest and make up for its Sabbaths. 35 As long as it lies desolate, it will have the rest it did not have during your Sabbaths when you lived there. 36 “I will put anxiety in the hearts of those of you who survive in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a wind-driven leaf will put them to flight, and they will flee as one flees from a sword, and fall though no one is pursuing them. 37 They will stumble over one another as if fleeing from a sword though no one is pursuing them. You will not be able to stand against your enemies. 38 You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you. 39 Those who survive in the lands of your enemies will waste away because of their iniquity; they will also waste away because of their fathers’ iniquities along with theirs. 40 “But when they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers—their unfaithfulness that they practiced against me, and how they acted with hostility toward me, 41 and I acted with hostility toward them and brought them into the land of their enemies—and when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, 42 then I will remember my covenant with Jacob. I will also remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land abandoned by them will make up for its Sabbaths by lying desolate without the people, while they make amends for their iniquity, because they rejected my ordinances and abhorred my statutes. 44 Yet in spite of this, while they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject or abhor them so as to destroy them and break my covenant with them, since I am the Lord their God. 45 For their sake I will remember the covenant with their fathers, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God; I am the Lord.” 46 These are the statutes, ordinances, and laws the Lord established between himself and the Israelites through Moses on Mount Sinai. 1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When someone makes a special vow to the Lord that involves the assessment of people, 3 if the assessment concerns a male from twenty to sixty years old, your assessment is fifty silver shekels measured by the standard sanctuary shekel. 4 If the person is a female, your assessment is thirty shekels. 5 If the person is from five to twenty years old, your assessment for a male is twenty shekels and for a female ten shekels. 6 If the person is from one month to five years old, your assessment for a male is five silver shekels, and for a female your assessment is three shekels of silver. 7 If the person is sixty years or more, your assessment is fifteen shekels for a male and ten shekels for a female. 8 But if one is too poor to pay the assessment, he is to present the person before the priest and the priest will set a value for him. The priest will set a value for him according to what the one making the vow can afford. 9 “If the vow involves one of the animals that may be brought as an offering to the Lord, any of these he gives to the Lord will be holy. 10 He may not replace it or make a substitution for it, either good for bad, or bad for good. But if he does substitute one animal for another, both that animal and its substitute will be holy. 11 “If the vow involves any of the unclean animals that may not be brought as an offering to the Lord, the animal must be presented before the priest. 12 The priest will set its value, whether high or low; the price will be set as the priest makes the assessment for you. 13 If the one who brought it decides to redeem it, he must add a fifth to the assessed value. 14 “When a man consecrates his house as holy to the Lord, the priest will assess its value, whether high or low. The price will stand just as the priest assesses it. 15 But if the one who consecrated his house redeems it, he must add a fifth to the assessed value, and it will be his. 16 “If a man consecrates to the Lord any part of a field that he possesses, your assessment of value will be proportional to the seed needed to sow it, at the rate of fifty silver shekels for every five bushels of barley seed. 17 If he consecrates his field during the Year of Jubilee, the price will stand according to your assessment. 18 But if he consecrates his field after the Jubilee, the priest will calculate the price for him in proportion to the years left until the next Year of Jubilee, so that your assessment will be reduced. 19 If the one who consecrated the field decides to redeem it, he must add a fifth to the assessed value, and the field will transfer back to him. 20 But if he does not redeem the field or if he has sold it to another man, it is no longer redeemable. 21 When the field is released in the Jubilee, it will be holy to the Lord like a field permanently set apart; it becomes the priest’s property. 22 “If a person consecrates to the Lord a field he has purchased that is not part of his inherited landholding, 23 then the priest will calculate for him the amount of the assessment up to the Year of Jubilee, and the person will pay the assessed value on that day as a holy offering to the Lord. 24 In the Year of Jubilee the field will return to the one he bought it from, the original owner. 25 All your assessed values will be measured by the standard sanctuary shekel, twenty gerahs to the shekel. 26 “But no one can consecrate a firstborn of the livestock, whether an animal from the herd or flock, to the Lord, because a firstborn already belongs to the Lord. 27 If it is one of the unclean livestock, it can be ransomed according to your assessment by adding a fifth of its value to it. If it is not redeemed, it can be sold according to your assessment. 28 “Nothing that a man permanently sets apart to the Lord from all he owns, whether a person, an animal, or his inherited landholding, can be sold or redeemed; everything set apart is especially holy to the Lord. 29 No person who has been set apart for destruction is to be ransomed; he must be put to death. 30 “Every tenth of the land’s produce, grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man decides to redeem any part of this tenth, he must add a fifth to its value. 32 Every tenth animal from the herd or flock, which passes under the shepherd’s rod, will be holy to the Lord. 33 He is not to inspect whether it is good or bad, and he is not to make a substitution for it. But if he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute will be holy; they cannot be redeemed.” 34 These are the commands the Lord gave Moses for the Israelites on Mount Sinai.


Revelation 4 (CSB)

1 After this I looked, and there in heaven was an open door. The first voice that I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit, and there was a throne in heaven and someone was seated on it. 3 The one seated there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian stone. A rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald surrounded the throne. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones sat twenty-four elders dressed in white clothes, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 Flashes of lightning and rumblings and peals of thunder came from the throne. Seven fiery torches were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. 6 Something like a sea of glass, similar to crystal, was also before the throne. Four living creatures covered with eyes in front and in back were around the throne on each side. 7 The first living creature was like a lion; the second living creature was like an ox; the third living creature had a face like a man; and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is to come. 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the one seated on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before the one seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne and say, 11 Our Lord and God, you are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because you have created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.