The beginning of 2009, I was led to study the Bible in a new way (to me). I have been writing down the Scriptures (starting at the Genesis 1), Word for Word, and studying as the Lord leads and time allows. This has been such a MAJOR blessing to me! God has revealed so many new, interesting and exciting things from His Word, that I always want to share. I haven't had time to blog, sooo ... I am going to attempt to marry blogging with my morning study. I hope I can, in some way, impart my blessings to you.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

LEVITICUS 25:23-24~The land belongs to the LORD!

It is a beautiful Fall morning here in the desert!  The sun is shining, everything is beginning to turn green again ... the birds are chirping and bathing in the mud puddles ...  the olives trees are so full of fruit, that the branches are bending to the ground.  What beautiful reminders of God's provision for every one of His creations!  If we would just  trust Him and do as He says ... as easily as the birds and the trees and the fields ... *sigh* ... What beautiful lessons we find in nature, about our Lord!

When we last met, we shared Leviticus 25:18-22The LORD had promised the children of Israel that ... if they obeyed Him and worked and rested as He had prescribed ... then He would bless them and cause their land to yield such an abundance in one year, that there would be enough to provide for everyone for the next three years!  What a faith building experience!  And how similar this lesson to the one in Malachi 3:10!

Welcome again, friends ... come on in ... get comfortable ... let's see what the LORD has in store for us today!

Leviticus 25:23-24 ~ The land shall not be sold forever; for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me, and in all the land of your possession, you shall grant a redemption for the land.

The land of Canaan had been divided up into 12 tribes.  In the tribes, it was divided again, among the families. The land was never to be sold out of the families.  What the LORD had given them was to remain theirs …forever!  He did allow them to rent or lease their land for a limited term, if a family's circumstances made it necessary.  But, the tenant or "buyer" had to be willing to let the owner redeem his land whenever he was able to.

Here, GOD announced Himself as the Rightful and Eternal Owner of all the land ... by virtue of His creation of it.  Well, that seems pretty obvious, even primitive peoples recognize this fact and all of nature is born knowing it!

However, in Israel today ... as in nearly every other nation ... wars are still being fought over the rightful "ownership" of the land!  In this Scripture, GOD makes it very clear and simple ... the land belongs to Him and is not to be sold permanently ... forever!  Basically, the land given to the family could only be "leased" ... temporarily!

Certainly, the blood shed and the lives lost over all of the land disputes, in the world, must be particularly displeasing to the LORD!  It seems to be in our "nature" to be territorial ... as with most animals on this planet.  But we have been endowed with a higher intellect and Spiritual understanding  ... and ... our Creator has given us very clear instructions!

I also believe that forever ... means just that ... forever!  I don't see any evidence that God has changed his mind on this issue.  I would be very interested to entertain your thoughts on this.

Many years ago, before I really knew God, or the Bible ... I had completed all the required courses to get my Real Estate license.  Just one day before my scheduled licensing exam, I was stopped in my tracks.  Quite suddenly, I became very aware that this was not what I was supposed to be doing!  I had an overwhelming sense that God was telling me ... the land was not mine to sell ... it belonged to Him!  That "gut feeling" never went away and I did not take the test.  Needless to say, I am much poorer, as a result of my decision. *sadly true*  But buying and selling real estate, is not the main issue here ... Eternal and Rightful ownership of the land is!  Let's move on to the second half of Verse 23.

Robot @ Museum of Northern Arizona ~ Just seemed to fit. :D
:23 b ~ for you are strangers and sojourners with Me,

The LORD reminds the Israelites, as He reminds us: we are (N.O.T.W.) not of this world, but in it, and He is in it with us!  He says, that we are sojourners (foreigners, travelers, guests), on His land, with Him.  This blesses me SO much!  We are visiting with Him, as His guest!!!  Emmanuel, God IS with us!!!

Does this not also infer that GOD, Himself is a sojourner on this land?  I am quite sure it does!  Jesus surely was!  He was only physically on the earth for 30 years!  When GOD walked in the garden with Adam, was it not for communion?  And when He walked with Enoch, was it not for fellowship? ... as for a visit?  His permanent home is in eternity, certainly not on this little planet!
The Israelites had God's Tabernacle among them, so for a family to completely alienate their part of the land would be to cut themselves off from their fellowship and communion with God!

The children of Israel had the cloud by day, the fire by night.  They actually heard the LORD'S voice, from Mount Sinai!  They witnessed His miracles in Egypt and at the Red Sea.  They experienced bread and meat falling from heaven and water spewing from a rock!  They saw physical evidence of His presence, in the court of the Tabernacle and all throughout their wilderness journey… yet … God had to remind them that He was traveling with them!!  I tend to wonder … how could they forget?!!!  Then, I realize how easily I can get distracted by this world! Sometimes I forget that He is traveling with me, as well ….

  1. The land given to the family, was not be sold nor deeded to another permanently (forever).
  2. All the mortgaged or leased land was to be on a temporary basis only ~ subject to redemption.
  3. If the family could not redeem their land, because of poverty, within the 49 years … then it was automatically redeemed and returned to its original owner, in the Year of Jubilee.
I notice that the LORD said: “ALL the land of your possession,” that would be everything the LORD has given us possession of … right?  Hmmm … what have I built with what He has given me?   Hay, wood and stubble, that will be returned to the earth?  Or eternal treasures, that will be redeemed to eternity?

Just as we are spiritually impoverished; we could never pay the price of the sin we were born into, much less those we have committed ourselves … so, we have been automatically redeemed by the Precious Blood of our Savior Jesus … and we will be returned to our Original Owner at the Grand Jubilee!!!  Oh, Hallelujah!!!   What an awesome day that will be!!!!

As Jon Courson points out in his Application Commentary, the LORD had a brilliant plan:
  1. Free enterprise was allowed for 49 years: the children of Israel could buy, sell and build estates.
  2. Compassion was commanded in the 50th year: all debts cancelled … all land returned to the original owner.
  3. Prevention of monopolization and exploitation.
This brings us back to a Global Jubilee … how different our world would be!!!  Global compassion every 50 years!  Wow!   If only we followed our LORD’s plans, instead of our own … If only I followed my LORD’s plans, instead of my own …

Isn’t the Living Word so rich and full???  Due to necessity, I am attempting to transition from hand writing my studies to writing them directly to the computer.  I see why the LORD specifically commanded the children of Israel to only take what they could consume in a day, while it was fresh.

During the transition, I have been gathering about the same amount as before … but it was proving to be too much; I could no longer finish it all, in one sitting … I am still trying to find the perfect measure.  The manna seems to expand on the screen and it takes me longer to prepare and serve it!  Hahaha  :D

Also, it seems that the fewer verses that I focus on the, the more I see … so I still end up with more!  I guess that is just how God’s Word is!   Awesome isn’t it?  If you have time to get down to it … each word is a lesson in itself … probably each letter as well … there is no bottom to the LORD’s treasure!

So what is your experience?  How do you measure your personal study time?  We would really like to know!  We are all sojourners together and we would all benefit by sharing, exchanging, and building on what the LORD has given to each of us!

May God bless your coming in and your going out.

Until next time, Do svidaniya!
до свидания
I am blessed every day
with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna
with all who come to my "tent."
Please, let me know if you have been blessed
by the way it was prepared for you this day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

LEVITICUS 25:18-22 ~ Promised Provision

Praise God, He has blessed us with a beautiful sunny, clear morning!  Bless His heart!  I hope you are enjoying the new mini series, Between-Meal Snacks.  I often find extra little nuggets of blessings, while doing my regular devotionals … I decided to put them out here for you to nibble on, too.  I’m actually not sure how to segue into this Morning’s Measure of Manna ... so ...

May I get personal, for just a minute?  We all know that the LORD wants us to believe Him and trust Him for literally everything, even the smallest of details, right?  For instance; I know, for an absolute fact, that the LORD is my Provision and my Provider, my Portion and the Supplier of all my needs.  But, do I always behave as if I believe it?  Do I relax and leave everything in His hands ... always?  Do you?  I sure don't intend to, but there are times that I get impatient and fret, or worse, move out on my own power!  We all know that never works!  The flesh does indeed war against the Spirit.

Which is why the LORD gives us the Old Testament ... to instruct us.

LEVITICUS 25:18-22
Wherefore you shall do My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; and you shall dwell in the land in safety.  And the land shall yield her fruit, and you shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.  And if you shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year?  Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: Then I will command My blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.  And you shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in you shall eat of the old store.

:18 ~ Wherefore you shall do My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; and you shall dwell in the land in safety.

First, we need to look at the previous verse, in order to find out, what the “wherefore” is there for!   Leviticus. 25:17 ~ “for I AM the LORD your God."

AHe reminded them of His authority and His power.
B.  He issued a three-fold command: (required actions)
  1. Do My statutes:
  2. Keep My judgments
  3. Do My judgments

C.  He gave them a three-fold promise. (natural consequences or reactions)

In Science and Physics, we learn:  Newton's Third Law of Motion:  "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."  The reaction is a natural consequence of the action.  Biblical Laws were given by the same Creator whose Laws of Physics govern the entire Universe!

Certainly, we are no longer bound by Old Testament Laws.  Jesus completely fulfilled all the requirements of the Law.  Absolutely, we live under His mercy and grace.  We will not be judged nor punished for breaking these laws.  Through the Blood of our Savior, we are forgiven and protected!  Hallelujah!

In this case, the LORD promised that the consequence of being obedient to His three-fold command would be a life of safety in the Land of PromiseNICE consequence!

:19 ~ And the land shall yield her fruit, and you shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety.

Now, the LORD adds 2 more consequences of their obedience and re-emphasizes His promise of safety within the land.
  1. The land shall yield her fruit. ~ There is something profound in the fact that the land yields her fruit, at His command!  Also, that even the land can be obedient ... hmmm ...
  2. You shall eat your fill. ~ This is a collective you.  Absolutely, no lack ... no one would go hungry.  Loving that!  Here is the answer to ending world hunger ~ Lev. 25:18! 
  3. And dwell in the land in safety. ~ Divine protection!!!  100% secure!  The LORD saw fit to mention this twice!  So, obviously it is particularly important to HimNotice the locator words within this command: "dwell in the land in safety."  Safety was inside ... not outside of the land of promise!  I never "saw" this before,  but we know that, over and over in the Scriptures, the LORD creates boundaries for our safety!  One more reason to stay in GOD's will ... His best blessings are in thereNOTE: there is much more treasure to be found here!

:20 ~ And  if you shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year?  Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase:

The LORD knew that the Israelites would question His program of allowing the land to rest every 7th year.  (a sound agricultural practice, still used todayWhy would they question God?  They had experienced His presence, power, and provision so many times!.  .    ... For the children of Israel, going a year without planting and harvesting, would again test their faith.  Not planting the 7th year meant that they would have nothing to eat at their usual harvest time!  Ha!  I just had an interesting thought, maybe they were afraid that they might get manna again!!  *snicker*

:21 ~ Then I will command My blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.

I find it interesting that God commanded His blessing on the Israelites, not the land, but it makes total sense.  He promised that His blessing would bring forth fruit for 3 years.  He commanded the land to yield the fruit of His blessing.  If He did not order them, there would be no fruitIf anything grew, in the land, they would not have been able to harvest it.I   picture the Dust Bowl ... that desolate, dry ground.
Dust Bowl Farm: Photographer: Dorothea Lang: June 1938
OK, so to break it down:  (I have to do this often, to make sure I am understanding correctly)
  1. The children of Israel were to follow the LORD's instructions
  2. Then, the LORD promised to command His blessing upon them, in the 6th year.
  3. They were to sow seed (from the 5th year) into the land.
  4. Then, GOD's blessing would bring forth fruit in the land, enough for 3 years.
  5. The land, in turn, would yield her fruit (that the blessing brought forth) for the people.
  6. Then the people were to gather the yield from the land, eat their fill, and store up the extra.
:22 ~ And you shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in you shall eat of the old store.

Here, the children of Israel were to have rested during the Sabbatic (7th) year, still eating from the abundance of their 6th year.  Then the LORD commands the children of Israel to again sow seed in the 8th year.  And they were commanded to continue eating from the storehouse ... until the new fruit came forth.

Wow, what a picture of the Old Testament and the New Testament!!!  Is this not what happened between Testaments???!!

Not only agricultural principles are pictured here, but financial, Spiritual, and I don't even know what all!

The LORD continues to blow me away ... there is SO much in each sentence of His, each WordThere is always something new, waiting to be revealed (oooo, waiting in the LORD's Storehouse?)  However, the Living Word is never old; it is always fresh and new!

The LORD says, basically, the same thing in Malachi 3:10, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the LORD of Hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing, until it overflows."  :11  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, says the LORD of hosts. :12  And all nations shall call you blessed: for you shall be a delight-some land, says the LORD of Hosts.

Which brings us right back to the core of what the LORD wants from us ... TRUST, which requires FAITH, which requires BELIEF.  And to the only place in Scripture where the LORD says to TEST Him!

I think this is a good place to camp ... The LORD has provided rich manna in these 5 verses ... we have much to digest.

May His Word nourish our bodies and our souls and be branded into our hearts!  May we apply the truths that He shows us in our lives.

Until the next time, Selamat jalan

I am blessed every day
with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna
with all who come to my "tent."
Please, let me know if you have been blessed
by the way it was prepared for you this day.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Between-Meal Snacks~Sevens~It's No Secret

See RecipeGirl for these cookies: 

Hungry for a little nibble of something tasty?  The subject today is 7's!  There are only 5 cookies.  But, cooked just right, they are about a perfect portion, for a snack.  Don't these look yum-mmy?  You can get the cookie recipe right here.  But, come right back!

It is your Spirit that we want to nourish .... our hope is that these spiritual "Between-Meal Snacks" will whet your appetite for digging deeper into the Scriptures!

This particular "appetizer" was prompted by notes in the Halley's Bible Handbook.

In Leviticus 25, while studying the laws about the sabbaths, sabbath years, and jubilees ... the repetition of the number 7 was quite significant.  So, I began to dig a little deeper.  Here are some of the things I found:

Halley's says: "7 is a favorite letter in God's alphabet. Used as often as it is, in the way it is, it must have some significance over and above its numerical value."

Symbolically, the number 7 is thought to stand for completeness

The Bible begins with 7 days of creation, and ends with a "book of sevens" about the ulitmate destiny of creation.

There are:
7 days in a week
7 notes in music
7 colors in the rainbow
There were 7 plagues on Egypt

The Levitcal System in the Old Testament was built on a cycle of  "sevens."
Every 7 days ~ a sabbath
Every 7 years ~ a sabbatic year
Every 7th sabbatic year (49th year or 7 sevens)~ followed by a jubilee year

The 7th month was especially holy ~ having 3 feasts
Feast of Passover ~ lasted for 7 days
At Passover ~14 lambs (2 sevens) offered each day
7 weeks between Passover and Pentecost
Feast At Pentecost ~ 7 lambs were offered
Feast of Tabernacles ~ lasted 7 days
At Tabernacles ~ 14 lambs (2 sevens) and 70 (10 sevens) bullocks, were offered each day

Jericho fell after 7 priests, with 7 trumpets, for 7 days, marched around its walls, and blew their trumpets 7 times on the 7th day.

Naaman dipped in the Jordan 7 times

7 baskets and 7 loaves
7 sayings of Jesus from the cross

The Book of Revelation was built around a system of "sevens"
7 letters to 7 churches
7 seals and 7 trumpets
7 vials and 7 candlesticks
7 stars, 7 angels, and 7 spirits
a lamb with 7 horns and 7 eyes
7 lamps and 7 thunders
a red dragon with 7 heads and 7 crowns
a leopard-like beast with 7 heads
a scarlet colored beast with 7 heads
7 mountains and 7 kings

As Halley's points out, "Whether this was of design, or just so happened, we do not know."

However, there is such a preponderance of sevens and multiples of 7 in the Bible.  Surely it must be by Divine Design.  What do YOU think? (oh, and there is much evidence, see below)

At first, this little snack seemed pretty filling.  But, as I "chewed" on the Living Word, I started getting hungry for more ...

Wow!  I found an excellent in-depth study ... that will "blow your socks off!"

I discovered a whole platter ... plus Milk!  I am honored to share it with you:

Just reading the article below, is bound to set you aglow with a fresh awareness and awe of God's ways!  God's Word that is SO delicious and amazing:

Mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm ..... all I can say, after that is:  "Thank You, Jesus!" 

We hope that you enjoyed it, as well!

Peace to you and love!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Between Meal Snacks

This is the inaugural post of Between Meal Snacks.  Here, I will share yummy morsels, spirtual "snacks," to enjoy between meals or anytime as a light refreshment.  Unlike earthly snacks, these certainly will not dull your appetite.  They are to be more like "appetizers" that will pique your appetite and make you hungry for more of God's Living Word.

Usually, these posts will be related to or inspired by a current study.  They are not intended to be a replacement for deeper, personal studies!  Word by Word, line upon line, precept upon precept ...  

As the Lord leads, here we go:

It is likely that most of you have noticed the "I AM" statements that run throughout the Bible!

Well ... one morning years ago, during my personal study time,  I distinctly "heard" the LORD "say" to me, "I AM is in here."  Now, I did not hear an audible voice.  But, you know how you "know-that-you-know" some things?  This was definitely one of those times!

I started underlining, in red ink, every I AM that I found in my Bible.  At first, I thought to myself: 'Is this a weird thing to do?'  Was I just messing up my new Bible?  The blessing soon became obvious.  WOW!  As I turned each page, the words, "I AM" seemed to jump out at me from everywhere ... in both Testaments!

What a mighty, powerful, faith-building exercise!  To this day, the LORD continues to reveal more and more, about His awesome name and nature, through His "I AM" statements.  Bless His heart!

Did you know? Out of only 37 verses in Leviticus 19 ... I AM THE LORD is repeated 15 times! Through these verses, He reminds us that:

1. He has the wisdom to establish the laws
2. He has the power to enforce them, as well.
~ Jon Courson's Application Commentary Old Testament, Vol 1.

challenge you, If you haven't already done this ... sit down with the LORD, your Bible and a red pen ... and see what He shows you

Got yummy tidbits from God's WordWe would all love it ... if you would share your snacks with us too!

Shalom, my friends ...

Leviticus 25:14-17 ~Jubilee~ Near or Far?

Here comes the sun!  At 0630 the temperature outside was actually under 100!  This is a day that the LORD has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it!

The last time we got together, we shared Leviticus 25:8-13,  The LORD enacted the Year of Jubilee, to be kept every 50th year following the (49th) 7th Sabbatic Year; giving the Israelites 2 years, in a row, of complete rest!  N.I.C.E!  Of course, they did have to work 49 years firstGod offered them a "Triple R" blessing, but they never took advantage of it.  We discovered how we can do, what they never did ... experience Jubilee in our own lives!

On today's "menu," we will find that all business was based on the number of years of potential profit between the Years of Jubilee.

Jon Courson explains, in his Application Commentary: if someone bought land 3 months  before a Jubilee Year, they would pay only a fraction of its value.  However, if they bought that same land 3 years before Jubilee, they would pay a little higher price.  And, if the next Jubilee was 49 years away, they would pay full price.

So, the property was obviously more valuable, the further away from Jubilee that you bought it.  Aha!  I am beginning to see some of God's purpose behind this concept this now!

Let's dig in:

Leviticus 25:14 ~ And if you sell ought unto your neighbor, or buy ought of your neighbor's hand, you shall not oppress one another:

Ought: 'that which comes from a sale' ~ 4465 Strongs Exhaustive Concordance.  The root word in Hebrew means 'merchandise.'  Oppress: 'to suppress, maltreat or do violence' ~ 3238 Strongs.

So, whether you sell anything to your neighbor or  buy anything from your neighbor, neither of you are to hold back (suppress) anything from each other nor take unfair advantage of one another.

:15 ~ According to the number of years after the jubile you shall buy of your neighbor, and according to the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto you,

The transaction was actually more like a lease, than a purchase.  The land had been divided among the 12 tribes, then divided further among the families.  Only under certain exceptions, could it be sold outright "in perpetuity," outside of the families.  So, every Year of Jubileeall property was restored to the family that originally owned it.

The price reflected the amount of time, that the buyer had, to gain a profit from the land.  The sooner after  the Jubilee Year that you made your 'purchase,' the longer you could retain possession of it, thus the price would be higher.

:16 ~ According to the multitude of years you shall increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years you shall diminish the price of it: For according to the number of the years of the fruits does he sell unto you,

Likewise, if the transaction was made close to an upcoming Year of Jubilee ... for instance, just  a few months before ... the price would be substantially lower, because you would only have the property for a short time.  So, the value of the land was based on how many years you could potentially gain profit from it.  Sounds like a really fair policy ... doesn't it?  Of course, it is God's plan ... it is perfect!

:17 ~ You shall not therefore oppress one another; but you shall fear your God; for I AM the LORD your God.

Click on photo to enlarge: "The LORD your God!"

The LORD obviously saw a need to repeat the command that He gave in verse 14.  This time, He backed it up, by reminding the children of Israel exactly Who He is and specifically to Whom they were accountable!  Strong words here! 

God, in His infinite wisdom, knows our sinful/ weaselly natures.  When He sees fit to repeat something, I try to pay extra close attention.  Because, I know that it must be especially important to HimIn this case, God tells us that He will definitely not take it lightly, if we mistreat one another for profit!!

The world, at large, seems to operate in complete contradiction to God's plan!  We hear stories in the news everyday.  A very large percentage of businesses are making their profits by mistreating others ... the elderly, the sick, the poor, the children ... even animals.  Our collective conscience seems to be glaringly missing! 

We would all do well, to heed the Lord's instructions to the Israelites!  Thanks to Jesus, we are not bound by the Laws in the OT, but we can certainly learn from them.  There will, one day, be a final accounting and I believe that day is getting very close!  It will be very dark day for some.  :( 

But, for Christians, what a joyous day!  The pièce de résistance ... the Extreme JubileeJesus will wipe our slates completely clean, foreverAll of our debts, trespasses and sins will be canceled and everything that binds us to this earth will be loosed ...  for eternity!  Hallelujah!!

That ultimate Jubilee, that Jesus came to proclaim, will take place in the Kingdom.  The closer that Extreme Jubilee seems to us ... the less valuable our material possessions will seem to be.

On the other hand, if I am all caught up in my possessions, my hobbies, my agenda ... that is a good indicator, that I may not be living for the Kingdom, the way I should be.  Am I putting too much value on those things, that are only temporary??  And what about my health?  These "tents," that we live in, are only temporary too!  Where do I invest my thoughts, time, money?

In Matthew 6:21 Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."  One thing is certain, the Lord wants to put His Kingdom in our hearts to a greater degree!  What do we need to do? Let it all go!!!!  We don't want the things of this world crowding out our Savior!!!  When we hear the heavenly Shofar of our Master calling us to the great Jubilee, we won't even think about earthly junk!!!  Oh my goodness .... what a awesome thing to look forward to!!!  I get chills thinking of it! 

Personally, I feel a real sense of urgency ... to do my letting go (I have a lot to let go of, too ... believe me) ... and to encourage others to do the same!  The "Extreme Jubilee" ... is getting close!!  WOO HOO!!!!  How exciting is that?!!!!!

We had better go get to work, while we can!  So ....

Until the next time ... au revoir!

I am blessed every day
with some new revelation of God's Word.
I will be sharing my measure of manna
with all who come to my "tent."
Please, let me know if you have been blessed
by the way it was prepared for you this day.