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bible reading apr 16

Bible reading for April 16 -- Leviticus 20; Psalm 25. 

"You shall be holy to me, for I the LORD am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine."  (Leviticus 20:26) 

Called to be different. This chapter addresses child sacrifice, sexual perversions, and occultism. Things don't change -- these sins that characterized Canaanite culture are also rampant in our postmodern society.  Preborn babies are routinely killed, and even newborn children are left to die. Every sexual perversion is celebrated. Paganism and occult practices have gained widespread acceptance. The Israelites then, and believers now, are not to turn a blind eye to the destruction of precious human life (20:4), but to work to save unborn and newborn lives. 

When nature vomits. "You shall therefore keep all my statutes and all my rules and do them, that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out" (20:22; cf 18:25, 28). This graphic picture is of a land spewing out its nauseating inhabitants. Certainly, this is metaphorical, a personification of the land, but even the Apostle Paul speaks of nature "groaning" in expectation of the revelation of God's children in the new creation (Rom 8:20-22). The point is this: not only does the Lord condemn such sinful practices, but in a sense even creation itself is revolted when people pervert God's created order.     

"Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way." (Psalm 25:8) 

The addict's psalm.  For a number of years I served as a volunteer pastoral counselor at an alcoholic and narcotic rehab facility. This psalm seemed to resonate with so many of the residents in treatment. In fact one client said to me, "I think this is the Addict's Psalm."  Why did he say that?  It's a psalm about getting your feet on the right path (25:4, 10).  There are images here that addicts relate to: sins of youth, great guilt, shame, troubles, and having one's feet entangled in a net (25:15). And there is great hope here, too: the Lord instructs sinners in his way; if we would humble ourselves and be teachable, we will find our feet on a good and solid path; and our "souls shall abide in well-being" (25:13). But really, this psalm is for everybody who has felt the addictive power of sin.  It may not be substance abuse -- it may be gossip, worry, lust, anger, ingratitude, materialism, envy, unbelief, or any net that has entangled our feet (25:15).  The solution is the same: confession, repentance, trust in the Lord and his forgiveness, a willingness to put our feet back on God's path, and having an ongoing teachable spirit. And God then promises us that we shall experience his covenant faithfulness and friendship: "The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant" (25:14).

Credit: photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash. 
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. 
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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