We left off last time discussing Hebrews 9. Let's wrap this up! Here's what Hebrews 9 is getting at: We as humans contaminate and drive away God's presence. It is our nature. The sacrifice of bulls and goats was sufficient to cleanse this copy. It was sufficient so that we could have this copy, or this model, of God's presence in our midst. However, it was not sufficient to cleanse heaven itself, the real most holy place, the real tabernacle or dwelling of God. Only the blood of Christ can cleanse heaven itself so that you can go there.
Last time I ended with going through and a lite discussion of Leviticus 16. Today I will continue that and then I'll of pull this together so that it makes sense. If you're kind of floating after last time, you're probably right about at that point where you're going, "What on earth is going on? Lambs are dying and bloods flying, that's all I've got." Don't worry, we'll get there, we'll get there.
We ended last time discussing Leviticus 4 and the sprinkling of blood. So why are we sprinkling blood all over the place? Well, here's the thing. From an ancient Israelite perspective, life is in the blood. God is about life, people are about death. So if you're going to have a holy God living in the midst of an unholy people then God's house has to be cleansed with life, with blood. So that’s why you're sprinkling blood all over the place. The idea that life is in the blood, by the way, is reflected in Jesus' comment when he says, "Unless you eat my flesh, drink my blood, my life is not in you." You know you read that and you're kind of like, "What? That's obnoxious. What is he talking about?" I think that's John 6, but that's what he's talking about. Life is in the blood. Okay, so that's why we're sprinkling blood all over the place. Again, really weird to us you know, but they would view these things concretely and tangibly, and life is in the blood so you cleanse God's house with blood.
So then when you roll into the book of Exodus, there's a problem. At the beginning of the book of Exodus, the people are stuck in Egypt. They're in a land not their own, it seems like God is nowhere to be found, and they've been subjected to slavery. But God shows up and through a really amazing set of events, delivers them from slavery. And so they get freed from slavery, they wander around in the wilderness, and they end up at Mt. Sinai, okay? And this is where, this is Exodus 19, God shows up and he says, "All right, here's the deal. You all are free, you're delivered from slavery, I mean that's done, but if you want to be my people, we can work out this deal. I'll be your God, you as a nation will be my people. You will be my special treasure. You'll be a holy nation for me, a kingdom of priests, that is a kingdom of people who represent me to the world. And the idea is that I will show you what I care about. You will be my people. I will richly bless you, and you in turn will be a blessing to the nations, and all the other nations of the world will look at you and go, ‘Holy cow! Who's your God? You guys rock!’” That's the basic plan. And so the people are like, "Well, that sounds pretty good actually," and so the people are like, "Yeah, let's do it!" And God say, "Okay," and that's when you get the law. That's when you get the ten commandments in Exodus 20, more law in Exodus 21-23.
Grace is somewhat scandalous. I mean we sing "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound." We talk about how awesome grace is. We sing songs at church about God's grace, and his love, and all of that, but at the end of the day, grace is actually extraordinarily difficult for us to swallow, because grace at its core says, "Well there's nothing I could've done," and that's kind of a blow to our pride. It's difficult for us when we think about the great lengths that God went to in order to redeem us, in order to bring us into relationship with him, and it's like we want to have some part in making that happen. And we begin to think, "Well, if I do the right things, if I'm a good person, if I do my good works, that that is somehow going to help God be more pleased with me. I'll be more acceptable to God. It's like we want to help God in saving us. We don't have a good enough picture of the fact that there's not really anything we can do in that regard, in terms of helping God get us saved.
We continue from where we left off last time. The solution to the problem of a broken world begins with faith and obedience to God.
We continue this discussion from the last blog. We left off with Abraham and his heir.
Many of us struggle to seek God's heart. We would rather the Spirit of God just tell us what to do in any given time. And—this is awesome—we have scriptures to help. So for example, towards the end of the Gospel of John, Jesus is talking to his disciples. This is John Chapter 16. Jesus is about to go to the cross and so he's kind of giving his farewell speech to his disciples. He's telling them about stuff that is to come and they're kind of wondering, "What's he talking about? Where's he going? What's he doing?" Because to them it's like, "Hey, Jesus has been with us. He's talking like he's leaving but I don't know what's going on." And they're confused.
Examples of divination today
Okay divination... it's fun to talk about. I don't mean doing divination is fun. It's fun to talk about... so in the Ancient Near East, in the world around Ancient Israel there were diviners. They were essentially the equivalent of what we would call priests or people in professional god ministry who were diviners. Their job was to discern the will of the gods, and the main way they would do it would be by observing the world. They would observe the activities of people. They would observe the activities of nature, They would watch the stars, all kinds of different things, carefully observing, trying to hear the gods speak to them through those things.
Topics: Old Testament Bible In Context