Daily Reading — Day 157

Today’s Readings: Leviticus 18, Jeremiah 46-47, Job 42, Romans 3

My Thoughts:

Leviticus 18

– 18:1-5, the preface for the laws regarding sexual relationships is a reminder that the people of Israel are to be holy to the LORD. They are not to act as the the surrounding nations.

– 18:21, it is interesting that this command is in the middle of several commands specific to sexual purity. From the ESV Study Bible, “The precise nature of the offering of children to this pagan god is uncertain. It may be that they are being given to the cult of Molech to train to be temple prostitutes, and that is why this passage is listed in a section dealing with sexual prohibitions. On the other hand, Roman authors describe the practice of sacrificing babies by fire in Carthage (a north African city founded by Phoenicians, who were part of Canaan), and thus this may indeed refer to this horrific custom.”

– 18:23-24, although this action may seem unthinkable, the LORD gave the command because it was needed. As verse 24 states, these were the sexual practices of the surrounding nations. As such, we should not be surprised if we find that this becomes a common practice again in the future.

– 18:28, the imagery that the LORD gives is that the wicked actions of the people made the land sick so that it vomited them out as expelling a poison.

Jeremiah 46-47

– Jeremiah prophesies poetically about the coming judgement upon Egypt. As the LORD gave Judah into the hands of Babylon, He will now give Egypt also. The judgement will be upon the rulers of Egypt, the Egyptian gods, and upon all who trust in them (including those of Israel who fled to Egypt) (vs 25). However, the LORD promises to keep a remnant in Israel even though her captors will eventual come to utter ruin. He will save His people, yet through discipline (vs. 28). Jeremiah further prophesies about the judgement that the LORD will bring upon the Philistines. In each account, the LORD is sovereign over these nations. It is clear that He chooses who will be empowered and who will be defeated.

Job 42

– 42:5-6, Job’s response is very similar to Isaiah’s in Isaiah 6.

– 42:7-9, It’s interesting that Elihu is not mentioned either positively or negatively. It seems that Job will act as a priest for his 3 friends. They will bring sacrifices to Job, and it will be on behalf of Job’s prayer that the LORD will accept them

– It is striking that the LORD apparently gives no explanation to Job as to the the original purpose for his suffering. Although his fortunes are restored (and multiplied), he is given no explanation to the original loss or to the the restoration.

Romans 3

– 3:1, this might be a reasonable question since Paul has said that circumcision is of no value without keeping the Law

– 3:2, This quick response is one that Paul will expound on further later. Essentially, the Jews do have advantage because (having the law, prophets, patriarchs, etc.) they are the most poised to understand and receive the Gospel.

– 3:3-8, Paul brings up a false argument, of which he basically regards as unworthy an answer. Some may say that since God looks more righteous (and therefore more glorious) against the backdrop of our unrighteousness, that our unrighteousness is therefore a good thing and should not be punished.

– 3:9-20, Although the Jews have a better foundation for receiving the Gospel, they still are no more righteous before God than Gentiles. All are under sin, and the Law cannot justify. Instead, the function of the Law is to mercifully prove to sinners that they are, in fact, sinners.

– 3:21-26, John Piper says that this might be the most important paragraph in the Bible. Here, Paul gives the most foundational explanation of the Gospel. Paul will argue that God shows mercy to sinners by grace alone. Some, then, might ask how God can be just if He is willing to forgive those whom He knows to be guilty (Proverbs 17:15). Paul’s answer is that because of the propitiation in the blood of Jesus, God is able to be Just (pouring wrath out on His Son), and Merciful (forgiving sinners), at the same time (Romans 4:5).

– 3:27-30, Since God has done everything necessary to show grace and uphold justice, His people have no basis for boasting. This means that God gets all Glory. This also means that all people are made right with God in the same way (whether Jew or Gentile). And, this means that the original intent of the Law will be upheld (rather than discarded) by those who have been made right as a gift of grace through faith.