Scripture: from verse 9
From the sacrifices made as peace offerings, he is to present Adonai with an offering made by fire; it is to consist of all the fat…
Observation: I’m not exactly certain what a peace offering was (and a quick internet search indicates that no one else is certain either) but the word peace is from the Hebrew shalom, which means not just peace but also wholeness and completeness and everything being right.
And someone who was making a peace offering (meaning he sought peace, perhaps? or was grateful for peace?) would bring an animal and slaughter it and the fat of the animal would be burned on the altar. (I’m doing the whole chapter as one post because the chapter is essentially the same information repeated three times, with slight variation depending on the animal in question.)
The fat burning reminded me of Isaiah 58:11, which in the KJV promises that the Lord will make our bones fat. If we follow God’s will and show His love to those around us,
Adonai will guide you continually;
He will satisfy your soul in the desert,
He will make your bones fat;
so that you will be like a watered garden,
and like an unfailing spring of water.
(That’s the KJV with some tweaks to modernize the language.)
We don’t need the fat of the animals, because God is our energy. We can give up sources of strength, confident in the knowledge that He is our peace. We follow Him and He makes us whole.
Application: Don’t worry. Don’t worry about the chances you pass by or the things you have to give up. God is your shalom, and He will make all things right.
Prayer: Father, thank you for knowing what I need and arranging for me to have it. Thank you for working behind the scenes and beyond my knowledge to make me whole. Help me to trust you beyond what my eyes can see. Amen.
Scripture: verse 24
Grace be to all who love our Lord Yeshua the Messiah with undying love.
Observation: This is Paul’s final salutation, as he prays for God to bless us. What caught my eye was the phrase “undying love.”
We talk a lot about how Gods love for us is perfect and endless and infinite. We can’t offer God perfect love, but we can offer undying love. We can choose to be faithful.
Elsewhere in the Bible it talks about people whose love has grown cold, through indifference to God and selfishness or fear of man or both. And obviously we are fallen humans and our love for God will not be perfect all the time. But we can choose to make God our priority, and to keep our love for Him alive.
At the ladies’ meeting yesterday, we talked a lot about shame. But shame only makes sense when we forget the facts of the matter. The fact that other people don’t like God says far more about them than it says about God.
The fact is, God is amazing. Powerful and wise and loving and perfect. Our love dies when we forget that.
Application: Remember who God is. Turn to Him for comfort when things are difficult, instead of rejecting Him in anger. Ask Him to show the truth of the situation. Because He will.
Prayer: God, I thank you that your truth is beautiful. I thank you that you are making all things perfect in their time. Please help me to see your beauty, even when I’m tired or distressed. Amen.
Scripture: verse 1
It is a consequence of this that I, Sha’ul, am a prisoner of the Messiah Yeshua on behalf of you Gentiles.
Observation: “This” refers to the second half of the previous chapter, about how Yeshua’s death makes the Gentiles welcome in the kingdom of God. God crowdsourced the kingdom of heaven, and He assigned Paul to help people get signed up.
The word that caught my attention is “prisoner.” Not worker, not employee, not even servant. Prisoner. One in chains.
The thing about being a prisoner is that there’s nothing else to do. Food and clothes are provided, your schedule is set for you, and there’s no point in worrying about impressing others because it’s not like you can date or be promoted anyway. (Well, that’s probably not as true today as it was then.) Paul set aside everything. He let God make all the decisions, and he rested in that.
Application: Not sure prison is for me, exactly 🙂 But it’s worth remembering that God is willing to handle all the hard stuff if I’m willing to obey Him.
Prayer: Father, thank you for being my warden, the one tasked with taking care of me. Help me to trust your judgement over my own. Help me to rest in the framework you’ve set up for me. Amen.