This last week we explored how Leviticus comes crashing into our current cultural context declaring our sin and resultant need, as well as the only pathway to true validation and acceptance in the face of such a possible crisis of identity. In addition to our weekly sentence summary of the book of the Bible from the folks over at the Bible Project, we were treated to this deeply encouraging truth seen in the book of Leviticus, and fulfilled in the Good News of Jesus:
We are far more sinful and flawed in ourselves
than we ever dared believe;
yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted
in Christ Jesus
than we ever dared hope.
It is the backdrop of Leviticus — with its thousands of priests and millions of sacrifices — that causes the beauty of the work of Jesus — the one priest, and the once for all sacrifice — to shine all the more brilliantly.
If you would like to continue exploring this section of The Whole Story found in Leviticus, the resources below are a great place to start:
- Review last week’s sermon on Leviticus.
- Download the Leviticus study guide here (scroll down the page a bit to ‘Related Resources’) to study on your own, or even better, as a family or in your community group.
- Click here to find a whole page of videos, milestones, study resources, and recommendations for further reading and study on Leviticus.
Every once in awhile, I will recommend a book that I find accessible and helpful for further study on The Whole Story. This week, that resource is Introducing the Old Testament: a short guide to its history and message, by Old Testament scholar, Tremper Longman III.
This is the first volume I pick up each week as I begin my preparation for the sermon. It is less than 200 pages, but what it may lack in overall length it makes up for with concise, insightful commentary on every book of the Old Testament, in just a few pages per book. For each book, Longman provides analysis on content, genre, and most helpfully, ‘Connections’ (how the book anticipates the Good News). He also ends each chapter with questions for review and discussion. And Longman doesn’t sacrifice scholarship while making this an accessible and enjoyable read — a tough balance to deliver on!
I highly commend it to you. It is available on Amazon, as well as at the Whole Story resource table in the lobby (beginning on Sunday, February 11th).
As always, please feel free to email me with questions or ideas for The Whole Story. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, when we will begin the next chapter of the drama by studying Numbers. Be sure to read it before you come!
Filled with joy because of the welcome and acceptance found in Jesus,
Day Thirty: Vistas of Wisdom
I am very near the end of this little writing experiment called “31 Proverbs.” While I’m unsure how helpful it has been to how ever many have read it, I know that the process of sitting down six days each week to read, ponder, and then ponder some more by plunking on a keyboard has helped me grow in my understanding of wisdom.
Day Thirty-Two: A Mother's Wisdom (part two)
Yesterday, we heard from what was likely King Solomon’s mother imparting worthy words of wisdom in the area of leadership. For the sayings of wisdom we find here are those “which his mother taught him” (Proverbs 31:1). And she now turns her attention to the search for a woman of virtue and noble character, suitable to be a wife and mother.
Day Twenty-Nine: Please—Quietly Hold Your Tongue
Anger. noun. “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” (New Oxford American Dictionary) As I entered day twenty-nine of Proverbs this morning, and came to 29:11, it struck me that this book has quite a bit to say about anger, strife, wrath, quarreling, fights, and rage. It is a theme that Solomon keeps coming back to, probably because he knows that it is a theme woven through humanity and history. Sometimes the best way to see a theme is to pull on that string so all the wisdom he has offered comes together for our observation. The accumulation helps us feel the weight of it.
Day Twenty-Six: A Morning Conversation With King Solomon
A conversation that happened this morning as I came upon a visitor in our fireplace room….
Day Nineteen: God Chose Her, Not You
The doctrine of God’s rule and reign in and over all things comes crashing into the human conception of the self-made man. We are tempted to think we have so much to do with our happinesses. But the wisdom found from James speaks a wakefulness into the pondering of our circumstances—the good gifts we have come not from our own hands, but by the grace and providence of our heavenly Father. And the wisdom of Solomon makes clear—one of man’s greatest gifts is something only God can give, an understanding wife.
Day Seventeen: The Great Gain Of Godly Contentment
We live in a world where the temptation is constant to believe the amount of our wealth and possessions directly translates to our joy and happiness. The Bible, once again, confronts our culture and holds out another possibility. Namely, “better” does not imply “more,” “bigger,” or “expensive.” It suggests that the reason you still haven’t found what you are looking for is because you’ve been searching in all the wrong places. Wisdom opens our eyes and hearts to deeper wells of contentment.
Day Fifteen: I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me
I always feel like somebody's watching me. And I have no privacy. Woh, I always feel like somebody's watching me. Tell me is it just a dream? So sang Rockwell in the dawning of my high school years back in 1984. All the cool kids were singing it at the time, and its the tune that sprang to mind when I read this similar sentiment this morning: Yahweh is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3, New Living Translation)
Day Fourteen: Death By Living
For those of us desirous to live a good life, we’ve known since the very beginning of this book that it begins with a healthy awe, reverence, and trembling before the God of the universe whose name is Yahweh (Proverbs 1:7). And here we are again reminded that this humble posture before the Holy One is a fountain overflowing with life.