Sunday, March 23, 2014

Leviticus 23

Today's reading in our daily plan is Leviticus 23. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • This chapter opens with God instructing Moses to tell the Israelites of feasts that they were to celebrate. This follows with details given for each feast. These feasts are also laid out in the books of Exodus and Numbers. (Numbers is the next book of the Old Testament we'll be going through on the weekends of our Bible study plan, so we'll be reading about more of these feasts.)
  • In verses 3-4 God instructs the Israelites to work for six days but to rest on the seventh and dedicate that day to the Lord. In the New Testament, Jesus makes it clear that the Sabbath was intended to be a gift to people, though some have turned it into a prison.
  • The Passover celebration was a reminder of what God had done for the Israelites in Exodus 12.
  • The Feast of Trumpets (verses 23-25) is today known as Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • If you've been reading through Leviticus on the weekends of our Bible reading plan, you know this book has been difficult and seems somewhat harsh. This chapter offers a reprieve. In it we find God commanding his people to rest and to party. He puts a weekly day of rest, and a bunch of annual celebrations into their calendar. What does it say to you that God makes sure his people rest and celebrate?

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Do you take a day each week to rest and focus on God? If not, what's keeping you from doing that? What changes do you need to make to start obeying God and experience his gift of rest?
  • Do you regularly celebrate in life? Do you especially make sure to celebrate who God is and the things he's done in history and in your life? What would help you to do better with this?