Leviticus 23-25, Proverbs 22, Mark 13 (NIV)

The worship of God by his people is a theme that spans the Bible from the beginning to the book of Revelation (Revelation 1:4-8, NIV). Here in Leviticus 23 and the beginning of 24 we find many special festivals for remembering and celebrating who God is and what the Lord has done for his people.  They are to build into the fabric of their life worship and celebration of the goodness of God.  We can consider and think about how we are doing in acknowledging the greatness, goodness, and glory of God throughout the week and in each day.  Do we worship the Lord often or somehow, just put that off?

Next in the rest of Leviticus 24 and 25 we read about blasphemy, which is about denying who God is and disparaging the Lord’s name and character.  The punishment was severe and provides insights/background on why the Pharisees and Religious leaders wanted to put Jesus to death.  They saw Jesus as a blasphemer and missed the Messiah in their midst.  They sought to kill him.

The Sabbath Year, every seven years, and the Year of Jubilee, every fiftieth year, are next.  These were to acknowledge the Lordship of God and provide a rest and gift to his people.  The Year of Jubilee is an acknowledgement by God that there will be injustice in the world and hardship so that a family loses their ancestral land over the forty-nine years cited. There was the opportunity for a new start, a fresh start by returning the land to its original owners.  It is interesting to note that Israel never celebrated the Year of Jubilee.  They never put this into practice.

In Proverbs 22 we find much wisdom as we do throughout Proverbs.  Wisdom comes from the Lord and there is much we can learn from God’s word to us in scripture.

2 Rich and poor have this in common:
    The Lord is the Maker of them all.

4 Humility is the fear of the Lord;

19 So that your trust may be in the Lord,
    I teach you today, even you.

Finally, in Mark 13 Jesus weaves together events/things that will happen in the near-future, during the lifetime of those he is speaking to and then in the far-future at the end of time when the “Son of Man” returns.

In 70 A.D. after a rebellion the Romans destroy the temple and level much of Jerusalem, which was devastating to the people and to Israel.  Some day Jesus will return and come again as Lord of all.  However, no matter how many books are written and time tables produced by “prophecy experts” we are given Jesus’ own words about his second coming, Mark 13:32-33,

 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.”

With disciples in every time we can pray, “Come, Lord Jesus, come.”  John in Revelation 21 gives us a glimpse into what the return of Jesus will mean.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”