DAILY DEVOTIONALS

Psalm 76

Psalm 76 Devotional by Pastor David Groendyk One common literary device in Hebrew poetry is called ‘parallelism’ where an author describes one thought in two different ways in back-to-back lines. Verse 1 of today’s psalm is a great example. The phrase “In Judah God is known” is parallel with the next phrase “his name is great in Israel.” God being known is synonymous with God’s name being great. God is made great when his people…

Psalm 75

Psalms 75 Devotional by Pastor Mark Hudson             This is not a Psalm that is well-known or as popular as Ps 23, 51, 73, 119, etc. but this is still a Psalm of great insight, warm-hearted devotion, and theology that both harmonizes with the entire Bible and makes us sit up straight and ponder deeply the majesty of God.             These were written as songs, a veritable hymnbook of the church.  Words matter in the…

Psalm 74

Psalm 74 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence            Asaph begins this psalm with a heart-wrenching question: “O God, why do you cast us off forever?”  Of course, the Lord had not cast off Israel forever, but it certainly did feel that way to the psalmist.  “Why does your anger smoke against us?” he said.  We don’t know all the specific sins that Israel had committed at this time, but it is clear that they had broken…

Psalm 73

Psalm 73 by Pastor David Groendyk Right above Psalm 73 in my Bible is a header that says BOOK THREE. The Psalms are broken down into five Books. The first three Books get progressively darker in tone until we get to Psalms 88–89 which are some of the darkest chapters in Scripture. Then the last two Books begin to pick up again as we see God respond to the problems and laments in Books 1–3.…

2 Thessalonians 3

2 Thessalonians 3 by Pastor Mark Hudson I would like to concentrate our attention to the section beginning  with chapter 3 verse 6.  The church in Thessalonica possessed definite opinions about the return of Christ.  Some of them were so convinced Christ was returning quickly that they stopped earning a living and fulfilling their financial obligations.  In one sense, it makes sense.  If a believer really thinks Christ is returning in the next few weeks…

2 Thessalonians 2

2 Thessalonians 2 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence                 Because Paul and Silas were forced to leave the city of Thessalonica early due to persecution (see Acts 17), they were not able to spend as much time teaching and equipping the saints as they would have liked.  And soon enough, false teachers had already filled the void seeking to mislead God’s people.  Paul had already written them at least one letter to continue teaching and encouraging…

2 Thessalonians 1

2 Thessalonians 1 by Pastor David Groendyk This second letter written to the church in Thessalonica bears many striking similarities to the first letter. Paul gives thanks for the Thessalonians’ faith, hope, and love in both letters (1 Thess. 1:3; 2 Thess. 1:3–4). He also commends them for their steadfastness amidst persecution in both letters (1 Thess. 1:6; 2 Thess. 1:4). We can tell that the persecution this church is enduring has not gone away…

Leviticus 27

Leviticus 27 Devotional by Pastor Mark Hudson We have read every chapter of Leviticus and some of you have read the devotions for every chapter.  Here is an attempt to remind you of some of the themes we have considered.  A word or phrase will start each paragraph. Each topic is worth a book-sized treatment.              Orderliness. Organization, even precision.  This is something we see throughout Scripture.  God brings order out of chaos.  God is…

Leviticus 26

Leviticus 26 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence           This is one of two places in the Law of Moses, along with Deuteronomy chapter twenty-eight, in which blessings are pronounced upon Israel for their obedience to the law and curses are pronounced upon them for their disobedience. They were told that if they kept God’s laws then He would give them their seasonal rains resulting in abundant crops and fullness of bread.  He would give them peace…

Leviticus 25

Leviticus 25 by Pastor David Groendyk If I could pick one word to describe this chapter, it would be ‘freedom’. In a few different ways we see how God sets laws in place “to prevent the utter ruin of debtors” by offering them freedom (Gordon Wenham). Debt is something of a hot topic right now. Just a couple days ago, I was curious about the US’s national debt, and I saw that it’s up over…

Leviticus 24

Leviticus 24 Devotional by Pastor Mark Hudson 24:1-9      Rules for the Tabernacle 21:10-23  Rules for Blasphemy Or 1          Introduction 2-9      Laws about the Holy Place             2-4      Lampstand             5-9      The bread of presence 10-23 The Case of Blasphemy             10-12 The offense             13-22 The judgment of God             23       Execution by the people             Commentators struggle to understand how this chapter fits with the surrounding chapters and book.  You will see…

Leviticus 23

Leviticus 23 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence          In ancient Israel, the Lord determined the calendar for His holy people to remind them that He is the only sovereign over time and space.  But he also gave them a number of feasts to remind them of how He had saved them and provided for them as their God, continually reiterating His covenant of grace with them and pointing them to the savior who was to come. …

Leviticus 22

Leviticus 22 by Pastor David Groendyk   The very end of the previous chapter explained how blemished priests were not allowed to offer sacrifices but that they were still allowed to eat of the sacrifices. Verses 1–9 of today’s chapter explain under what circumstances those certain priests couldn’t even eat of the sacrifices: ritual uncleanness. All of these ritual uncleannesses have been described earlier in the book. None of these are new. But the principle…

Leviticus 21

Leviticus 21 Devotional by Pastor Mark Hudson 21:1-9      Restrictions on mourning and marriage for ordinary priests 21:10-15  Restrictions on mourning and marriage for high priests 21:16-24  Physical impediments for priests               We see in Lev 21 and 22 the holiness, not of regular people, but the priests.  We commonly find that leaders are held to higher standards than others.  This should not surprise us since we intuitively factor that in to most leaders. …

Leviticus 20

Leviticus 20 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence   This chapter addresses a number of heinous sins in the sight of the Lord including: child sacrifice, fortune telling, cursing one’s parents, adultery, incest, homosexuality and bestiality.  The punishment for such sins in ancient Israel was severe indeed.  Those who transgressed God’s holy law in any of these ways were to bear their iniquity and to be cut off from God’s people.  In some cases they were to…

Leviticus 19

Leviticus 19 by Pastor David Groendyk   You may have found this chapter an unexpectedly interesting read today. By my count, I see quite explicitly at least nine of the Ten Commandments (vv. 3, 4, 11, 12, 16, 17, 20, 29) (the only exception being the tenth commandment—do not covet—which you can find implicitly throughout this whole chapter). This chapter also contains part of Jesus’ famous summary of the law: “You shall love your neighbor…

Leviticus 18

Leviticus 18 Devotional by Pastor Mark Hudson 1-5       Exhortation to avoid heathen customs 6-18     Unions regarded as incestuous 19-23   Canaanite customs (sexual) to avoid 24-30   Warning of the consequences of neglecting these rules             This chapter loosely resembles the covenant-treaty form (see Ex 20) 2          Preamble: “I am the Lord Your God” 3          Historical Perspective: “Egypt, where you have been living.” 4          Basic Stipulation: “Do my laws.” 5          Blessings: “He will enjoy life.” 6-23     Detailed…

Leviticus 17

Leviticus 17 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence              In the Presbyterian Church we seek to follow the regulative principle of worship, which, simply put, states that we ought only to do in worship what God commands and requires of us.  We do not have the freedom to worship God in any way we please.  God has revealed not only who He is, but how He is to be worshipped, thus any innovation on our part…

Leviticus 16

Leviticus 16 by Pastor David Groendyk   This is the most central chapter in the book of Leviticus. It describes the Day of Atonement. Once a year, the high priest would enter into the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and then offer a few sacrifices that would make atonement for all of Israel’s sin over the course of that year (v. 34). The crux of this yearly ritual is the two goats (v. 8),…

Leviticus 15

Leviticus 15 Devotional by Pastor Mark Hudson                 1              Introduction 2-18       Male Discharge                 2-12       Long term                 13-15                     cleansed by sacrifice                 16-17     Transient                 18                           and intercourse 19-30     Female Discharge                 19-23     Transient                 24                           and intercourse                 25-27     Long term                 28-30                     cleansed by sacrifice 31           Purpose of Law 32-33     Summary               It could be that the structure of this passage (chiasm – like an X) points us to the middle section. …

Leviticus 14

Leviticus 14 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence            Yesterday we learned about the laws of leprosy in determining whether or not a particular skin infection or eruption had risen to the level of making an Israelite unclean in the eyes of God.  Uncleanness did not necessarily imply that a particular sin was involved, but it always symbolized the need for purification and reconciliation with a holy God in order to enter into His presence.  We…