LEVITICUS 4:1-5:19 | MARK 2:13-3:6 | PSALM 36:1-12 | PROVERBS 10:1-2
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This was all very serious business. The committing of sins — intentional or unintentional — and the atonement thereof. There is a long set of instructions for addressing the type and manner of atonement possible by way of various animal sacrifices. Beyond this, there were a host of rules to determine and deter one from becoming “unclean”.
Such was the way in which the Hebrew people observed the Law—for centuries this is what they knew to be Truth, and they spent their entire lifetimes attempting to observe these laws. And if and when they failed, they followed the highly detailed instructions to make atonement—via a sin offering, a fellowship offering, or the like.
Now, turn to our reading in the Book of Mark, and compare and contrast this to the man called Jesus who came along several centuries later and appeared to flout the Law—the great Law handed down by God to Moses and accorded the most sacred place in the Ark of the Covenant which was further housed in the Temple in Jerusalem. And here comes this man Jesus who eats with unclean sinners, who doesn’t appear to think too much about the practices of fasting, and certainly doesn’t observe the Sabbath. What manner of man is this? And beyond all this, he asks the most inconvenient questions.
He asks, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?”
Next, we’ll turn to the Psalms, and find David’s psalm for the day is one of high praise to the goodness of God. He reminds himself and the generations to come of God’s eternal qualities. He says:
5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
7 How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Finally, a verse from the Book of Proverbs, in which Solomon, wise king of Israel seems to state a self-evident truth in these lines:
A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.