March 2 – Previewing Baal

Leviticus 25:47-27:13
Mark 10:32-52
Psalm 45:1-17
Proverbs 10:22

Leviticus 26:1-4 — As a follower of the historical-grammatical method, I want to know what the biblical authors meant when they wrote the text. To do that I need to understand what their challenges and situation was. Moses is warning the Israelites how they are to behave in the land.

The Israelites are:

  • Prohibited from making idols
  • Mandated to keep the sabbaths, and
  • Promised that God would bless with rain, increase, and fruit.

They had a choice (Joshua 24:15) between Baal and the LORD. Interestingly, Baal was the god of fertility and rain. The Israelites would be tempted to worship Baal for fertile crops, but God would withhold the rains creating a famine, until the prophets of Baal were slain (1 Kings 18).

Interestingly, Baal’s fertility came in seven-year cycles. But the LORD says if you trust Him with observing the Sabbaths (both the seventh day of rest, and the seventh year of rest), He will give you rain, increase, and fruit, so much that “you shall eat your bread to the full.” Not only will they have physical blessing, but “I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people.”

Leviticus 26:14, 18, 21, and 27 — Obedience brings blessing, disobedience brings judgment. As the old hymn goes:

When we walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Mark 10:34-41 — Jesus unveils His master plan – His trial, death, and resurrection. But His disciples are busy planning on where they’re sitting when the Kingdom comes, and they get upset with each other for not asking first.

Mark 10:46 — Another gospel song is based on this verse:

One sat alone beside the highway begging
His eyes were blind the light he could not see
He clutched his rags and shivered in the shadows
Then Jesus came and bade his darkness flee

When Jesus comes the tempter’s power is broken
When Jesus comes the tears are wiped away
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay

Psalm 45:6 — This verse is quoted in Hebrews 1:8 as applying to the Son. In verse 2 of this psalm, God is referred to in the 3rd person, while in verse 6 He is referred to in the 2nd person.

Proverbs 10:22 — A great comfort to those who need comfort and provision.

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