Tag Archives: alien

Isaiah 10:18-34

Scripture: verse 25

For in but a little while, My fury will end;
and My anger will have destroyed them.”

Observation:  Israel was being Israel, so God manipulated the Assyrians into attacking Israel as a form of discipline.  But Assyria, being Assyria, figured they were in charge and they could annihilate Israel if they wanted.  God is telling Israel not to be afraid of Assyria, because He wouldn’t be angry for long now that Israel is relying on Him again, and His anger would destroy Assyria before it ended.

This isn’t really in line with my understanding of how things should work, I admit.  I’m not particularly bothered about all the people who died in the process – God and I have already been through that and I think I kinda get how it works – but this seems like a really weird way of handling anger.

After all, I wouldn’t discipline my child through a third party.  And while I might blame the third party for getting out of hand, I wouldn’t forgive one person I was mad at and destroy the other.  Well, I don’t think I would.

I don’t really get why God did this the way He did.  One part – and it’s a big part – is that Israel turned to the Lord and Assyria did not.  Presumably God would not have destroyed them if they’d stopped attacking Israel.

But I know that the Lord is a strong tower, and those who run to Him are safe (Proverbs 18:10).  I have to trust Him to make the call that will protect us.

Application:  Trust God to protect you, even when you know you’ve messed up.  He still loves you.

Prayer:  Father, thank you for forgiving me when I turn away from you.  Help me to rely on you as I should.  Thank you for protecting me.  Amen.

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Leviticus 10:12-20

Scripture: verse 16

Then Moshe carefully investigated what had happened to the goat of the sin offering and discovered that it had been burned up. He became angry with El‘azar and Itamar, the remaining sons of Aharon…

Observation:  So we had the sacrifices to consecrate the priests, and then the priests were sent into the tabernacle to hang out with God for a while, and two of them did something stupid and prideful and got killed for their trouble, and Moses dealt with the bodies…and went right back to checking up on the sacrifices.  Which had also been screwed up.  (Most of the goat was supposed to be eaten.)

Which seems kinda hard-nosed, really.  We don’t typically expect people who recently lost a close relative to function normally, especially when the death was sudden and unexpected and traumatic, as this was.  Admittedly Moses had instructed them not to mourn, but after all, they’re only human.  (That was pretty much Aaron’s defense when Moses got angry, actually.  Moses accepted it.)

For that matter, Moses just lost his nephews, though admittedly being raised in Pharaoh’s court probably meant he wasn’t as close to them.

I’m not sure which direction to take this.  I don’t know whether Moses was being too demanding or not.  On the one hand, we are called to be holy and that means not being normal.  On the other hand, we’re only human, and Moses maybe needed to recognize that.

Really I think those are both true.  We are called to be holy, and that’s a standard we cannot reach.  But God loves us, and knows our weaknesses, and that’s why He gave us a way to be holy anyway.  Yeshua is the Way to the Father.  We can’t get there otherwise.

Application:  Strive to be holy – and also cut yourself some slack.  Most of all, rely on Yeshua’s righteousness and not your own.  His is better anyway.

Prayer:  Yeshua, thank you for being the Way for me.  Thank you for lifting me up when I fall down.  Amen.

Leviticus 10:1-11

Scripture: from verses 9 and 10

Don’t drink any wine or other intoxicating liquor… so that you will distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean.

Observation:  This was an order given to the priests: when they were in the tent of meeting being priests, they were to be sober.  It was given after two of Aaron’s sons performed a ritual not instructed by God and got killed for their efforts.

It is not easy to distinguish between the holy and the common.  It wasn’t then and it isn’t now.  From this distance, Aaron’s sons were doing something thoroughly stupid – but from their point of view, it was doubtless an obvious and holy thing to do.  I don’t know if they were drunk, but at least they weren’t paying attention.

So we need to pay attention.  We need to be aware that God’s plans are not our plans, and He may have different intentions for our plans than we do.

Application:  We are called to be holy.  That means that we have to let God use our time and energy in ways that may not seem obvious.  It means that we need to be aware that God’s glory can show up whenever and wherever He wants it to.  It means we need to look for His plans, not follow our own.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank you for filling my life.  Thank you for making things holy that were once common.  Thank you for making me holy.  Help me to follow your plans.  Amen.

Leviticus 6:1-11

Note: it appears the CJB may be using a non-standard verse numbering.  Or, more likely, the traditional Jewish and Christian chapter divisions are different and it follows the Jewish one.  At any rate, I am consistently using the Complete Jewish Bible.

Scripture: from verse 9

It is to be eaten without leaven in a holy place — they are to eat it in the courtyard of the tent of meeting.

Observation: Grain offerings, which are a form of voluntary worship, were not entirely burned up.  A handful was burned, along with all the incense included, and the rest was eaten by the priests as part of God’s provision for them.  But the fact that God gave it to them did not mean they could do with it as they pleased.  They had to be holy when they ate it.

God has given Hero and me a ton of blessings, especially financial blessings.  But we are not free to do whatever we want with them.  We have to use them the way God tells us to.  It’s part of being His child.

Holy means different, other, even alien.  It means not normal, not natural.  God’s gifts aren’t meant to be used in the ways that seem normal and natural to us at first glance.  That means different things in different contexts, but it’s always wise to seek His guidance in how to use things.  So we do.

In reality, it’s probably just as well.  I recently read Happy Money, which explores what spending decisions make people happiest.  What was interesting was how counter-intuitive our happiness is.  People were rarely able to predict what decisions would make them happiest after the money was spent.

So when God tells us to use our blessings in ways that don’t make sense to us – when He pushes us to invest in others, to spend time doing things we wouldn’t have expected, to eat unleavened bread in the holy place – it’s probably because He loves us.  And He loves us too much to miss the opportunity of making us happy.

Application:  Pray before spending, whether spending time or money or energy or whatever else He has given you.  God has a plan, and His plan gives you a future and a hope.  Follow it.

Prayer: Father, thank you for guiding us.  Thank you for blessing us and teaching us to bless others.  Help me to follow you closely and trust you implicitly.  Help me to be other.  Amen.