Category Archives: Daily Bible

Dangerous Holiness

I came across an interesting verse:

“This is where the priests will cook the meat from the guilt offerings and sin offerings and bake the flour from the grain offerings into bread. They will do it here to avoid carrying the sacrifices through the outer courtyard and endangering the people by transmitting holiness to them.”

The part that says to avoid carrying the sacrifices through the outer courtyard and endangering the people by transmitting holiness to them is what caught my attention.

I’m not going to exegete this; there are plenty of folks out there who can do that for you. What struck me was the tantalizing possibility of a holiness that was deadly. Just like the story of Uzzah touching the ark, Ananias and Sapphira lying about land or Simon the sorcerer wanting Spirit power, divine holiness is dangerous, very dangerous.

Like a lineman working on a high voltage line, you have to become a part of the power; if you try to hold on to the natural while grabbing the supernatural, you may find yourself in trouble.

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Seasons

I really like the change of the seasons.

While living in Brazil, after one year there, I realized that there hadn’t been a change. That became a bout of homesickness — I missed the leaves changing color and the nippy chill in the air. I missed the sprouting of the leaves and the warmness returning. I was so excited when I made my first trip back to the U.S. that I would be there during the transition from winter to spring.

Funny how life is the same.

It seems that the second Davidic king knew of what he spoke.

Playing hide and seek with God

Ok, I’ll fess up… that crazy story in Exodus 33 yesterday has messed me up.

[As an aside, have you noticed how often what I read in the Word messes me up? Sheesh!]

What happened? Why didn’t Joshua leave? Why didn’t God leave? Why did Moses leave? What went down in that tent?

Joshua is called a “young man.” This episode takes place early in the meanderings of Israel in the desert. Not long before, Moses had gone up the mountain and played secretary to God’s dictation of what we call the 10 commandments, come back down and found Aaron and the other folks doing a golden calf two-step.

Bad scene. God took to calling them “stiff-necked people” and was ready to wipe the desert floor with them.

Fast forward a few days. Moses sets up the first recorded tent meeting so he could have closer access to the Almighty (I’m sure that climbing up a mountain multiple times was getting tough… Moses was 80 years old after all!).

And that set the stage for Joshua’s hide and seek contest with God.

Josh obviously wanted more of God. Or he was so overwhelmed by God’s presence that he couldn’t move.

I sense that it was the former.

How long did he stay there? Are verses 12 forward the conversation that Moses had with God and that Joshua was privey to? This is where Moses asked to see God’s “glory” and the stage was set for God to pass in front of him.

What must have young man Joshua thought? He’s not called “young man” again. In fact, he takes on a different persona.

He was changed in that tent. He went seeking and found perhaps what he didn’t anticipate.

He found more than he was looking for.

I think I want to play hide and seek with God…

EXAMEN.me

Came across a fascinating site called EXAMEN.me.

Here is the concept it presents:

EXAMEN.me is a simple-to-use web site that fosters your personal interaction with God. This modern approach to ancient devotional practices guides you to examen your life as you meditate on scripture, pray, and journal all of your reflections. No matter where you are in your pilgrimage with Christ, EXAMEN.me will help you interact with God.

Dubious, I did a quick drive-by site check.

It had me by the second screen of the “tour.”

The core of EXAMEN.me is to foster your personal interaction with God. This happens as you enter into an Examen. Each Examen could last 5 minutes or 1 hour. It is your choice!

I’m in… at least for a week. Gonna drive it around the block a few times and see how she handles.

I’d love to hear anyone else’s feedback.

Love hurts

And you: You will honor my covenant, you and your descendants, generation after generation. This is the covenant that you are to honor, the covenant that pulls in all your descendants: Circumcise every male. Circumcise by cutting off the foreskin of the penis; it will be the sign of the covenant between us… That way my covenant will be cut into your body, a permanent mark of my permanent covenant... Then Abraham took his son Ishmael and all his servants, whether houseborn or purchased—every male in his household—and circumcised them, cutting off their foreskins that very day, just as God had told him.  Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised.

Genesis, Verizon style

It is enlightening and entertaining reading through the Bible in another language.

I’m going through the Bible on a daily basis in Portuguese this year and I’m continually amazed at how a turn of a phrase can give you a whole new insight on what a passage is saying.

Abraham is in the midst of a visitation from Jehovah Almighty. He is told that he is going to be blessed with a son and that this son is going to do fantastic things. With his face on the floor, knowing that God can’t see it, he smiles and laughs silently. It appears he thinks he misunderstood what God just said because obviously that isn’t possible. So, he comes up with a logical explanation and thanks God for blessing him with Ishmael.

In Portuguese it is then stated like this: “What I said was…”

He then, in rapid fire sequence, lays out a series of incredible blessings that Abraham is going to receive through this son Sarah is going to give him. Once he finishes, God “rose up and left” while Abraham is still face down in the dirt.

In other words, “Dude, you don’t have a clue what I’m getting ready to do through you!”

Can you hear me now?

Giants, floods and killing your brother’s wife

Sometimes you read for distance, sometimes for content, sometimes for divine revelation. Then there are times where all three merge and you just sit there dumbstruck, awed by what the Spirit just did.

I’ve always been fascinated by the account of the nephilim in Genesis 6. I find it impossible to read the text and not think about its implications. Noah and the flood is another, especially since the nephilim and the flood are intrinsically bound. Mix in a bit of the Sermon on the Mount for flavor and you cook up an interesting dish.

Satan has tried from the beginning to disrupt God’s plan. God wants us to participate with him in defeating Satan. He doesn’t “need” us in the normal sense of the word, but he does want to honor us by allowing us to have a part in the affair. By our measurements, the Enemy is unstoppable; by God’s it is frighteningly simple.

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
……………………………………………………………..–Matthew 6:30-34