Posts

Showing posts from September, 2016

A different side of idolatry

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
4 “ ‘Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God. - Le 19:4 Idolatry, one of the ten commandments and it got repeated here in Leviticus. As I was reading this verse, the self-identification of God after the command struck me. We do not turn to idols or make metal gods for ourselves, He is the LORD our God

Implicitly or explicitly, depending whether we catch the relationship, is that God established His relationship with the Israelites as their God and He even gave them His name so that they will not mistake or confuse Him with other gods. There is no excuse therefore for people who will be making metal gods or idols thinking that they are indeed worshiping Yahweh, the God who brought them out. It was similar to the incident of the golden calf.

What does this teach us then? Fi…

Prayer and Audacity

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.  Lk 11:5–8 There are two accounts of Jesus teaching the Lord's Prayer and one happens right before this parable in the book of Luke. Needless to say, the parable that follows right after the Lord's Prayer serves to elaborate on Jesus' point about pra…

The Servant of God 24/7

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually. 3 Outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, Aaron is to tend the lamps before the LORD from evening till morning, continually. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 4 The lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the LORD must be tended continually.  Le 24:1–4 The work of the OT priests in Israel is a daily routine stuff. There were sacrifices being done on a daily basis. And based on this passage, the duty of a priest is to keep the lamp in the tabernacle burning. It is a continual job. In fact, because the lamp may burn out anytime, it is more than merely a 9-5 job, it is a job/duty that sp…

Saltiness and Discipleship

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.  Lk 14:34–35 This passage follows after two parables about counting cost. Before the parables, Jesus talked about carrying the cross while following Him. The parables of building the tower and going to war with another king demonstrates the seriousness of counting the cost when we choose to follow Jesus.

The first parable of building the tower seems to imply that we need to count the cost so that we will be able to finish what we start out to do in the first place. The second parable of going to war with another king seems to mean that we need to count the cost so that we don't end up in failure. In the context of following Jesus, it is a call for us …

Encampment and God's Presence

Image
This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 2 “The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.” Nu 2:1–2 Today let's look at something more interesting. This passage talks about the encampment of the Israelites while they are in the wilderness. The arrangement of the tribes may not seem to have any significance, but this has to be seen visually:



If one notices, the encampment of the Israelites revolves around the Tabernacle and at the end of Exodus, we know that God's presence descended down to the Tabernacle once it was built. This means that at any one point, any tribe of Israel will be facing the Tabernacle, or to be more specific, God's presence. As a nation, God's presence became the center of the…

God and poor

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
“If, however, they are poor and cannot afford these, they must take one male lamb as a guilt offering to be waved to make atonement for them, together with a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with olive oil for a grain offering, a log of oil... Le 14:21
We are still at the regulations that God instituted for Israel at Mount Sinai. My thoughts today dwell on something that I have noticed for a long time in the regulations and especially in the regulations pertaining to offerings.

The thing is this - that God never makes it impossible for people to get their relationship right with Him. If the offerings are significant because they are the tools whereby the Israelites could make right their relationship with God despite their uncleanliness, then the different tiers of offerings within one category for …

Consequence of sins (not as you thought)

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 

14 He is to take some of the bull’s blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover.  Le 16:14
Atonement is a bloody affair. The regulations for the sin offering as stipulated in Leviticus pretty much illustrates the bloodiness of the whole thing. Imagine slaughtering a bull or a lamb and needing to take its blood and sprinkle everywhere. Somemore with the strict regulations, it is unlikely that someone with a strong OCD for cleanliness will be able to just go into the Tabernacle and clean up the blood after the sacrifices.

Considering that, on top of the sacrifice made on the Day of Atonement, there will be sacrifices made everyday, this means the whole altar area isn't exactly a very clean …

Idolatry and stuff

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
4 “ ‘Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the LORD your God. - Le 19:4 Idolatry, one of the ten commandments and it got repeated here in Leviticus. As I was reading this verse, the self-identification of God after the command struck me. We do not turn to idols or make metal gods for ourselves, He is the LORD our God

Implicitly or explicitly, depending whether we catch the relationship, is that God established His relationship with the Israelites as their God and He even gave them His name so that they will not mistake or confuse Him with other gods. There is no excuse therefore for people who will be making metal gods or idols thinking that they are indeed worshiping Yahweh, the God who brought them out. It was similar to the incident of the golden calf.

What does this teach us then? Fi…

Clean food equals to

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
44 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground. 45 I am the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.  Le 11:44–45 This passage takes place at the end of a list of regulations that God gave to the Israelites regarding the clean and unclean food that they are supposed to eat as a nation. Many people will ask why God specified such food to be unclean. Some may argue hygiene or health reasons. These people will refer to the Bible and argue that God has a specified diet for His people for health reasons and hence it can be shown that the Bible is so comprehensive that it actually even specified the diet we should eat (the same group of people will probably n…

Joy because of

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. - Lk 6:23 This particular episode happened after Jesus appointed the 12 apostles in the gospel of Luke and after a "crusade" of healing and witnessing with power. It repeated a version of the beatitudes similar to Matthew's but contrasted it with a few woes for other groups of people. In between is this verse, to exhort his disciples to leap for joy because their rewards are great in heaven.

Why should we rejoice? We sometimes rejoice because of our current circumstances, that it is pleasurable and happy. We sometimes rejoices because things are going our way. We find it difficult to rejoice because we are in pain, because we are suffering, because we are going through some tough times.

Sometimes, when we see other …

Going Elsewhere

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.  Lk 4:42–44
As we read in the Gospel accounts, there is a tendency for people to go after Jesus and hoard Jesus for themselves. It is almost similar to how modern Christians can sometimes just go for conferences after conferences by their favourite speakers and enjoy being in their presence. But the people in this particular passage missed one important point, that Jesus, and by extension His message, is not meant to be kept within but is meant to be proclaim from without…

Calling and Ministry, Age and Comparison

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph - Lk 3:23.
I think the issue of age always fascinates me in the stories of the Scripture. Moses was 40 when he left Egypt and was 80 when he was officially called by God. Technically speaking, he was 2/3 of his way into his life before he really stepped into God’s ministry and started serving him in the capacity that God has destined him to serve.

In the passage, Jesus was about 30 years old when he started his ministry. This means that, if the chronology in the gospel of John is correct, then Jesus should be about 33 when he was crucified. Essentially, this means that Jesus began serving God only when he was about 90% into his life on earth. That is the reason why I always feel amused when…

The Dwelling of His Presence in us

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 

34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
36 In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; 37 but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels. Exodus 40:34-38
The book of Exodus ends with the completion of the Tabernacle and how the presence of God fell among God's people in the Tabernacle. Note that the Scripture actually gave the exact specifications of the Tabernacle twice in …

Our call as (future) parents

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections.  38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. - Lk 1:38. This is the episode in Luke when the angel appeared in front of Mary and announced that she has found favour in the Lord, only to know also that she will be having a child when she was not married yet. She knew about the task that this child was going to undertake and willingly accept the calling that God has given to her and this particular child. A parallel episode happened just before this to Zechariah and Elizabeth, which actually parallel to other episodes in the OT, such as the birth of Samuel.

I focus on Mary’s and Elizabeth’s acceptance of God’s calling for their child in this episode. Extrapolating this, I am reflecting for the future here. What if, one day, given our godly parenting (…

That one term of covenant

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
15 “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. 16 And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same  Ex 34:15–16.
This was part of the covenant terms that God gave to Israel as they were camping at Mount Sinai and as Moses went up to the mountain the second time to receive the terms of the covenant. God did not want His people to ally themselves with the neighbouring countries and tribes as they were to remain holy and pure as God's nation. The yoke with people who will be bad influence to God's people is clearly shunned upon.

But this does n…

The LORD may not be your Lord

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, y Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD .” 6 So the next day the people rose early a…