Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 28 Reviewed

**A quick disclaimer about this blog...
     If you happen to stumble across this blog at this point in time, there are a few things I want you to know. Right now, I'm reviewing my 30 days of reading. Most posts are jumbled to say the least. They are mostly quick thoughts, unedited, of what stood out to me in each day's passage. Also, keep in mind, my thoughts usually have something to do with being "at ease," or being "at peace," because that's the theme I looked for specifically as I read this time! **

John 21 - Acts 28

     The first thing that stood out to me in the book of Acts was the statement, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved," (Acts 4:12).
  • Ethiopian Eunuch
     What I am learning right now firsthand in the way of discipleship is how important explaining can be. It is imperative that someone read the scriptures for themselves, but very helpful, especially at first, to have come alongside and help explain. Especially before that person is able to hear clearly God's Holy Spirit, the ultimate explainer :)
     The Eunuch flat out asked for help, and so Phillip "opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him," (Acts 8:34). I love that it says he opened his mouth, first of all!!!
     That is the first step in most cases. Or, perhaps, opening a blank email :)
  • Peter and Cornelius
     Such a wonderful, enlightening passage as I search to know more about what it is to be clean or unclean before the Lord. So important! Peter comes to understand, as I long to, "that God is not one to show partiality," (Acts 10:34). Amen!
  • Continually Joy-Filled
     What a complete description of a ministering life. Succinctly: "And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit," (Acts 14:52 emph mine).

     God has been showing me lately how judgmental my heart is. So this verse, in particular speaks to me, "Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our father nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are," (Acts 15:10-11 emph mine). Except that I have tended to place judgment on people who aren't even disciples. Just in my heart. Without them even knowing. Yucky :(
  • Paul on Trial - Just Tell it Like it is
     "And Agrippa said to Paul, 'You are permitted to speak for yourself.' Then Paul stretched out his hand and proceeded to make his defense: 'In regard to all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that I am about to make my defense before you today," (Acts 26:1-2 emph mine). He considered himself fortunate! Ha! Perhaps because he was about to give his "defense," he was really just about to tell God's truth, and evangelize!
     He just went ahead and told his whole tale, and concluded with quoting from the prophet Isaiah! And, "Let it be know to you therefore, that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen," (Acts 28: 28).

Day 27 Reviewed

**A quick disclaimer about this blog...
     If you happen to stumble across this blog at this point in time, there are a few things I want you to know. Right now, I'm reviewing my 30 days of reading. Most posts are jumbled to say the least. They are mostly quick thoughts, unedited, of what stood out to me in each day's passage. Also, keep in mind, my thoughts usually have something to do with being "at ease," or being "at peace," because that's the theme I looked for specifically as I read this time! **

Luke 18 - John 20

  • Zaccheus 
     To obey what the Lord has called each of us to do in our own lives. That is key. And Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much," (Luke 19:8). And Jesus said to him, "Today, salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham," (19:9). Zaccheus did not have a repentant heart because Jesus told him to repent. He had a repentant heart because Jesus asked him to come near, to dine in his home.
  • John
     The first thing I marked in John wasn't until the 9th chapter! Anyway, my notation in the margin was, "God gets the glory!" Let's see why...
As (Jesus) passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?' Jesus answered, 'It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him," (John 9:1-3).
      How powerful! So that the works of God might be displayed in him! So that we could see that regardless of the cause, the Lord's will is for healing, to the glory of His Name!
     At the end of the chapter, He says something marvelous..."FOR JUDGMENT I CAME INTO THIS WORLD, THAT THOSE WHO DO NOT SEE MAY SEE; AND THOSE WHO SEE MAY BECOME BLIND," (9:39).
     I love paradoxical reality!!!

Day 26 Reviewed

**A quick disclaimer about this blog...
     If you happen to stumble across this blog at this point in time, there are a few things I want you to know. Right now, I'm reviewing my 30 days of reading. Most posts are jumbled to say the least. They are mostly quick thoughts, unedited, of what stood out to me in each day's passage. Also, keep in mind, my thoughts usually have something to do with being "at ease," or being "at peace," because that's the theme I looked for specifically as I read this time! **

Mark 10 - Luke 17

     In Mark, when Jesus is questioned by the high priest, He is asked flat out if He is the Christ, the "Son of the Blessed One?" (Mark 14:61). He answers simply, "I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven," (14:62). How many live today as if this claim is as crazy as some tried to treat it then?

  • Luke
     Mary, Mary! "For nothing will be impossible with God," (Luke 1:37). Amen!! And the words I long to embody as a woman of the Covenant: "Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to YOUR WORD," (1:38 emph mine)

     Lineage. There's something to be said about the Divine Hand in creating generation after generation with no mistake, hiccup, or interruption on down through Christ's lineage. I think about how sons and daughters come about today. Some "wanted," some desperately prayed for, some out of less than optimal circumstances. I can't help but imagine it was like that all the way down the line, but somehow (actually it's no mystery how - but still blows me away!!) everything lined up. My not in the Bible over chapter 3 was: "God did this."


     Simon, James, and John were just trying to run a business and make ends meet. The Lord shows up and prospers them in an instant. Still, He tells them of even greater things he wants to do in and through their lives. They don't hesitate. They follow! (Luke 5:11).

     Something I'm interested in is the law. the Torah. Yes, I know we are not under the law, but the "New Covenant," but the Messiah did not wipe away the law, He taught from it and fulfilled it, but what are the implications for us as He still calls us to follow His commands? Matthew chapter 6 gives a good overview of this. "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men," (6:35 emph mine).

     Martha, Martha :) "you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one," (10:42). Only One. One. Only. Lord open my eyes to the One. 

     "Watch out that the light in you may not be darkness," (11:35). Because the lamp of the body is the eye. The eye. Oh what am I putting in front of my eye? I know well what I've been putting their lately. "When your eye is clear, your whole body is full of light (11:34). I can't say that I've been, ahem, full of light, lately. Something to consider :)

      DO NOT BE AFRAID. "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom," (12:32).

     And, (do not be afraid) on that day..."let not one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house go down to take them away; and likewise let not the one who is in the field turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life shall preserve it," (17:31). So many thoughts, such simple words My Messiah. Let them sink deep and ponder.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 25 Reviewed

**A quick disclaimer about this blog...
     If you happen to stumble across this blog at this point in time, there are a few things I want you to know. Right now, I'm reviewing my 30 days of reading. Most posts are jumbled to say the least. They are mostly quick thoughts, unedited, of what stood out to me in each day's passage. Also, keep in mind, my thoughts usually have something to do with being "at ease," or being "at peace," because that's the theme I looked for specifically as I read this time! **

Matthew 10 - Mark 9

  • Matthew

     Matthew chapter 10 stood out to me as "Discipleship Training." I should refer to this when attempting to be an effective disciple as well as trying to guide someone in the Way.

     The next thing that stood out here in the New Testament was to see truth with ease. To keep truth easily accessible so that it does not become hidden or convoluded. Not to stray far from the truth. Make sense? "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light," (Matthew 11:28-30).

     Be at ease, God will judge, God will divide. "Allow both (tares and wheat) to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, 'First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn,'" (13:30).

     Like Solomon, seek understanding. Understanding brought this woman from the outside in. And in what way am I different than her? Not hardly! She was a Canaanite and He was the One sent to the lost sheep of Israel.  "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table," (15:27). Jesus called her faith great and her daughter was healed.

     It's easy to follow the rules and look good on the outside. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness," (23:27).

     I had a sense that it was good to use our gifts the way of the expensive perfumes. "'For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.' But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, 'Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me,'" (26:9). This may be presumptuous on my part. Something to ponder.

     To the accusations, "He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so that the governor was quite amazed," (27:14). Be at ease. If it's God's work, He will accomplish His will. Even if I don't understand. They mocked Him...spat on Him...beat Him on the head...took His robe off...took Him away to crucify Him. Chapter 27.

  • Mark

     The Lord is showing me this one repeatedly lately: "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it shall be measured to you; and more shall be given you besides," (Mark 4:24). The first part especially, and I'm not even close to having the full understanding.

     Even in fear and trembling, tell Him the whole truth, and be made well, be at peace, be healed of your affliction. "Who touched Me?" "But the woman fearing and trembling aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth," (5:33).

     You (me!) use your resources! I will multiply! (like fish and loaves 6:37-44).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 24 Reviewed

  **A quick disclaimer about this blog...
     If you happen to stumble across this blog at this point in time, there are a few things I want you to know. Right now, I'm reviewing my 30 days of reading. Most posts are jumbled to say the least. They are mostly quick thoughts, unedited, of what stood out to me in each day's passage. Also, keep in mind, my thoughts usually have something to do with being "at ease," or being "at peace," because that's the theme I looked for specifically as I read this time! **

Micah 3 - Matthew 9 
  • Micah
      "Though all the peoples walk each in the name of his god, as for us, we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever," (Micah 4:5).

     "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8).
  • Habakkuk
     "The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places," (Hubakkuk 19).
  • Zephaniah
     "Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth who have carried out His ordinances; seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of the Lord's anger," (Zephaniah 2:3).

     "Behold, I am going to deal at that time with all your oppressors, I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will turn their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you in, even at the time when I gather you together; indeed, I will give you renown and praise among all the people of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes," says the Lord (3:19-20).
  • Haggai
     "Is the seed still in the barn? Even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree, it has not borne fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you," (Haggai 19).
  • Zechariah
     "As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; this very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you," (Zechariah 9:11-12).
  • Malachi
     "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may me food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes," says the Lord of hosts. "And all the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land," says the Lord of hosts, (Malachi 3:10-12).

     "But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. And you will tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing," says the Lord of hosts, (4:2-3).

~~~~~~~~~~THE NEW TESTAMENT~~~~~~~~~~

  • Matthew
2:15 - "Out of Egypt did I call My Son," A way (The way!) was made

3:3 - People get ready, "Make ready the way"

3:12 - clear the threshing floor and gather His wheat

4:2-4 - Man shall not live on bread alone, but on EVERY WORD

4:10 - Be gone, Satan, and he left...

4:17 - Repent, Kingdom's at hand

4:20 - immediately the left their nets

5:18 - nothing of the Law shall pass away till all accomplished

5:25 - Make friends quickly with the opponent before you arrive (settle out of court!)

........Do you notice, things are moving quicker, it's not easier to obey, but harder, but there is a new way to fulfill the demands........

5:28 - You sin just by looking adulterously!

6:14 - Forgive, Be forgiven

6:33 - SEEK FIRST...

7:28-29 - Amazement at authority, unlike the learned (AUTHORITY WILL BE KEY)

8:3 - I am willing; be cleansed

8:9 - I, too, am a man under authority (GREATEST faith in Israel)

8:16 - cast out spirits with a WORD, healed ALL who were ill

8:17 - Isaiah 53 - TOOK infermities, CARRIED diseases

8:26 - Save us Lord! Why timid? Little faith...



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 23 Reviewed

  **A quick disclaimer about this blog...
     If you happen to stumble across this blog at this point in time, there are a few things I want you to know. Right now, I'm reviewing my 30 days of reading. Most posts are jumbled to say the least. They are mostly quick thoughts, unedited, of what stood out to me in each day's passage. Also, keep in mind, my thoughts usually have something to do with being "at ease," or being "at peace," because that's the theme I looked for specifically as I read this time! **

Daniel 4 - Micah 2
  • Nebuchadnezzar
     I thought it was nice when the king acknowledges the King ;) "Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride," (Daniel 4:37).
  • Hosea
     A book of compassionate pleading. Like the man towards his wayward wife, I love this book!!
"Come, let us return to the Lord, For He has torn us, but He will heal us. He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth," (Hosea 6:1-3).
  • Joel
     The answer, as in Esther...God knows!!! :)
"'Yet even now,' declares the Lord, 'Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping, and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments.' Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, and relenting of evil. Who knows whether He will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him..." (Joel 2:12-14).
  • Amos
     "Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria, the distinguished men of the foremost of nations...those who recline on beds of David have composed songs for themselves," (Amos 6:1,4,5). I'm not sure I get it? Didn't David compose songs for God and not himself? Is Amos calling David lazy or wrong?
     "Nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob," declares the Lord, "For behold, I am commanding, and I will shake the house of Israel among all nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, but not a kernel will fall to the ground.
  • Jonah
     "Who knows, God may turn and relent, and withdraw His burning anger so that we shall not perish?" Jonah knew, he saw. But was not quite at ease, haha, even till the end when he was sitting by his pathetic little tree. Oh Jonah, I've known your turmoil. We were so silly!
     "Do you have a good reason to be angry?" God says!! Ha!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 22 Reviewed

  **A quick disclaimer about this blog...
     If you happen to stumble across this blog at this point in time, there are a few things I want you to know. Right now, I'm reviewing my 30 days of reading. Most posts are jumbled to say the least. They are mostly quick thoughts, unedited, of what stood out to me in each day's passage. Also, keep in mind, my thoughts usually have something to do with being "at ease," or being "at peace," because that's the theme I looked for specifically as I read this time! **

Ezekiel 21 - Daniel 3

     "O Tyre, you have said, 'I am perfect in beauty,'" (Ezekiel 27:3). A city (not unlike a man), can become complacent with his high and secure status. But inevitably, their demise, "Now that you are broken by the seas In the depths of the waters, you have become terrified, and you will be no more," (27:34, 36).
     Ezekiel too continues to speak those same, assuring words over Israel from the Lord, "When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and shall manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they will live in their land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will live in it securely; and they will build houses, plant vineyards, and live securely, when I execute judgments upon all who scorn them round about them," (Ezekiel 28:25)...
     .....OH Father, Father, Father! All for your ONE GREAT PURPOSE..."Then they will know that I am the Lord their God," (28:26).
     "As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God," declares the Lord, (34:31).
  • The Holy Name
     God's name is Holy. I don't know very much about His name yet, but I intend to learn more! What I know thus far, is, His name is a BIG deal. His name is Holy, His name is peace, His name is healing for the nations. His name is protection, His name is provision. So it makes sense when He must tell the people, Israel...
"But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went...It is not for YOUR SAKE, O House of Israel, that I am about to act, but for MY HOLY NAME, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. And I WILL VINDICATE THE HOLINESS OF MY GREAT NAME...(so)...I will SPRINKLE CLEAN WATER ON YOU, and you will be clean; I will CLEANSE YOU FROM ALL YOUR FILTHINESS...I will give you a NEW HEART and put a NEW SPIRIT within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances," (Ezekiel 36:21-27, emp mine)...
     ...And I will BLESS you on and on and on and on...but not for your sake, but because GOD is GOOD. That is such a lame way of putting it. Ha! I wish I could express more! :) I can only feel it well up inside of me!
  • Daniel
     Just barely getting into him today. We'll start with this. Daniel - another neat guy acknowledging God's power. About dream interpretation he states, there is no man who can (though he himself can), "however, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days," (Daniel 2:28).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 21 Reviewed

  **A quick disclaimer about this blog...
     If you happen to stumble across this blog at this point in time, there are a few things I want you to know. Right now, I'm reviewing my 30 days of reading. Most posts are jumbled to say the least. They are mostly quick thoughts, unedited, of what stood out to me in each day's passage. Also, keep in mind, my thoughts usually have something to do with being "at ease," or being "at peace," because that's the theme I looked for specifically as I read this time! **

Jeremiah 45 - Ezekiel 20

  • Moab
     "Moab has been at ease since his youth; He has also been undisturbed on his lees, Neither has he been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile. Therefore he retains his flavor, and his aroma has not changed," (Jeremiah 45:11)...sounds good so far?
     "'Therefore behold, the days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'when I shall send to him those who tip vessels, and they will tip him over, and they will empty his vessels and shatter his jars. And Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence,'" (45:12-13) hmmm...?

     Let's talk about complete peace and ease. Total resoration:
     "'In those days and at that time,' declares the Lord, 'search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I shall pardon those whom I leave as a remnant,'" (Jeremiah 50:20).  NONE shall be FOUND.

     Did find anything in the Lamentations

  • Ezekiel
     "And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh," (Ezekiel 11:19). And of course...He will be their God, and they will be His people! Love this verse! I've experienced this verse! Praise God, He has removed my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh!!

     An interesting, brief, summation of the history of His people Israel...Sad, and poignant too...
"As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water for cleansing, you were not rubbed with salt or even wrapped in cloths...No eye looked with pity on you...When I passed by you and saw you squirming in your blood, I said to you while you were in your blood, 'Live!'...I made you numerous like plants of the field...I bathed you...I clothed you...I adorned you...Then your fame went forth among the trusted in your beauty and played the sacrificed (sons and daughters) to slaughtered my, I have stretched out my hand against you to diminish your rations and I delivered you up to the desire of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines," (Ezekiel 16).
      God said He must now gather, judge...and at the end of the WHOLE deal, says He will yet establish His covenant with them! This makes me want to cry!...And says things like, "On the high mountain of Israel I shall plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit, and become a stately cedar. And birds of every kind will nest under it; they will nest in the shade of its branches," (17:23). Might I be one of those birds?

     A reassuring thought - "Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked," declares the Lord God, "rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?" (18:23). Yes, Lord! "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord God. "Therefore, repent and live," (18:32).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 20 Reviewed

     **A quick disclaimer about this blog...
     If you happen to stumble across this blog at this point in time, there are a few things I want you to know. Right now, I'm reviewing my 30 days of reading. Most posts are jumbled to say the least. They are mostly quick thoughts, unedited, of what stood out to me in each day's passage. Also, keep in mind, my thoughts usually have something to do with being "at ease," or being "at peace," because that's the theme I looked for specifically as I read this time! **

Jeremiah 11 - Jeremiah 44

     Jeremiah confirms what other prophets have implored of the Israelites..."Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is in the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit," (Jeremiah 17:7-8). Nor cease to yield fruit!!! Yeah!! I love those pictures of bounty :)
     And the famous, "I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope," (Jeremiah 29:11). BUT WHY?? "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile," (29:12-14).
     For real.
     Listen to this: "Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, declares the Lord," (31:20 emph mine).
  • The Days Are Coming!!!
     But really, they have come!
     "'Behold, days are coming,' declares the Lord, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,' declares the Lord. 'But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,' declares the Lord, 'I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.'
     'And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they SHALL ALL KNOW ME, from the least of them to the greatest of them,' declares the Lord, 'for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.' (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
     They'll have "one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good, and for the good of their children after them," (32:39).
     And it will be "an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me,"(32:40).
     And He will "rejoice over them to do them good," (32:41).
     And He will "faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul," (32:41).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 19 Reviewed

Isaiah 43 - Jeremiah 10

     **A quick disclaimer about this blog...
     If you happen to stumble across this blog at this point in time, there are a few things I want you to know. Right now, I'm reviewing my 30 days of reading. Most posts are jumbled to say the least. They are mostly quick thoughts, unedited, of what stood out to me in each day's passage. Also, keep in mind, my thoughts usually have something to do with being "at ease," or being "at peace," because that's the theme I looked for specifically as I read this time! **

  • Forgiveness
     We're getting closer and closer to the New Testament, New j e s . . .  :) but for now, prophecy and foreshadowing, rich and thick.
     Isaiah 43:26 - "I, even I am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins." And then, "Put me in remembrance; let us argue our case together, state your cause, that you may be proved right." God goes on to say that their first forefather sinned, but He loves them unconditionally, He still wants them to come close. Close enough for repentance and willingness to work through this deal together. And then, total forgiveness, total restoration.

  • Foreshadowing of our Peace - Isaiah 53
     I want to type out the whole entire thing, but I'm not going to. What I need to do is to memorize it, soon. It is that good. A perfect picture of things to come - well, now, things that have already come, to the glory of God!
"He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 
Surely our griefs HE HIMSELF BORE, And our sorrows HE CARRIED; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was PIERCED THROUGH FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, He was CRUSHED FOR OUR INIQUITIES; the chastening for OUR WELL-BEING was upon Him, And by His scourging WE ARE HEALED...He Himself bore the sin of MANY..." (Isaiah 53:2-5, 12 emph. mine...but basically, read the whole thing!!!)
     Isaiah 55:1,2 -  "Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat...Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance." YES!!

     Isaiah 55:10:11 - "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and make it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall my word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."

     Something God mentions a number of times throughout the Word so far is that God will satisfy all our needs as we satisfy others.
     Isaiah 58:10-11 - "And if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness, and your gloom will become like midday. And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places., and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail..."

     I have questions about Isaiah 65:17...Is this for now, or for future? Mental note for me to return to :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 18 Reviewed

Isaiah 3 - Isaiah 42

     We are making a lot of decisions in a short amount of time right now, there are scriptures we've already gone through, that I'm going to cling to! I love this command to Isaiah...
     "And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy," (Isaiah 8:12). You are not to fear what they fear!! What does the world fear? Ha! What do they not? Market collapse, financial devastation, sickness, disease, discomfort, name it! "And He is to be your fear, And He is to become your dread," (8:13). I know this sounds strange, but I believe it means...why fear what the world fears, if God is far above it. If we should dread or fear anything, it should be Him, who is strong enough to bring death to death itself!! "And He shall become a sanctuary," (8:14). He is the safest place to be.

     Did I mention He is destroying death?! God told His people that they had made a pact with death! He says: "Because you have said, 'We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception,'" (Isaiah 27:15).
     Therefore, God said:
Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. And I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the level; Then hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, And the waters shall overflow the secret place. And your covenant with death shall be canceled, And your pact with Sheol shall not stand; When the overwhelming scourge passes through, Then you become its trampling place. 'As often as it passes through, it will seize you." (Isaiah 27:16-18).
      The choices are God's side or death's side.
      Look. to. Him. And be in refuge, safe, secure...
"Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts; Your eyes shall see Jerusalem an undisturbed habitation, A tent which shall not be folded, Its stakes shall never be pulled up Nor any of its cords be torn apart. But there the majestic One, the Lord, shall be for us A place of rivers and wide canals, On which no boat with oars shall go, And on which no boat with oars shall go, And on which no mighty ship shall pass -- For the Lord is our judge, The Lord is our lawgiver, The Lord is our king; He will save us --- Your tackle hangs slack; It cannot hold the base of its mast firmly, Nor spread out the sail. Then the prey of an abundant spoil will be divided; The lame will take the plunder. And no resident will say, 'I am sick'; The people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity," (Isaiah 33:20-24).

     And finally, good, solid prophecy!
Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break, And a dimly burning which He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not be disheartened or crushed, Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law," (Isaiah 42:1-4).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 17 Reviewed

Proverbs 8 - Isaiah 2

     More of the "paradoxical" coolness of God. "There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered," (Proverbs 11:24-25, emph. mine). Of course we see this sort of thing all throughout the gospels when Jesus Christ comes and begins teaching, and fulfilling the law. But this is early wisdom of Solomon. God surely did give him the understanding he prayed for!!
     I've been noticing especially passages about "bearing fruit," and "becoming fruitful." This one, for example, "A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his words," (Proverbs 12:14). I'm becoming more and more aware of the power of the mouth, the tongue, words, etc!! How interesting and how true -- that what we say can actually have a profound effect on the outcome of our lives.
     "A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones," (Proverbs 14:30). I love the wisdom of God. It is so unnatural to how I am tempted to think. Yet, so proven!! There is scientific study after scientific study that tells us this same thing :) They may phrase it something like, Lowering stress level reduces heart attacks, etc.
     Another good one, Oooooh so proven in marriage, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger," (Proverbs 15:1). Oh how well things go when I cling to this truth!!
  • Proverbs 31
     The peace a woman can bring to the house! A woman has such control over the level of peace her household experiences, I can truly attest! I honesty LOVE this scripture. Not because it is some unattainable standard that I compare myself to, but because it is a beautiful example of the types of things that bring peace to a home...
Her worth is far above jewels...her husbands heart trusts in her...she does him good, not evil...she works with her hands in delight...she brings her food...considers and buys in business...strengthens not afraid...makes coverings...SMILES AT THE FUTURE...the teaching of kindness is on her tongue...
     I love it! I don't want to be her, I want to be me! The awesome woman God created me to be, not missing out on any of the benefits or good things God has planned! (Remember Ps. 103??) I can live out of that place in my household and the world.

  • Ecclesiastes
      I really don't have much to say about Ecclesiastes except for that Solomon makes it clear there is no peace to be found pursuing vain pleasures of the world. My husband and I sat through about half of a terrible, pop-culture movie last night at the theater before we walked out. The characters in the movie could very well be summed up as Solomon does by, CHASING AFTER THE WIND! Fleeting passions, fleeting pleasures. I have a hard time even calling them pleasures, because I have a hard to time believing they can be that pleasurable in the end, when they leave the pleasure seekers more empty than before. It doesn't matter which thing I speak of: alcohol, sex with who/whatever...that's really all I can think of. ha. And how sad! Only two "pleasures" that aren't even pleasures! What else? Maybe food? Lewd games? Talking about gross things? Dirty Jokes? They all seem to go back to alcohol and sex...
     ok ok ok I digress. "So, remove vexation fro your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting," (Eccl. 11:10). I guess you could consider these things, at least what pop-culture media calls, the 'prime of life.' Yuck yuck yuck. Prime nothing.
     You want prime passion, read the Song of Solomon and embrace God's love for his bride (church) as a man embraces his wife. This is the real stuff!

     I am my Beloveds and He is mine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 16 Reviewed

Psalm 94 - Proverbs 7

     PS 94 - Look what causes relief from the days of adversity: learning God's law! (94:12-13). 

     PS 97 - Again we see Righteousness...Righteousness and justice are the very foundations of His throne! I understand this to mean that is where He begins!! (97:3).

     PS 103 - Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name...And forget NONE of His benefits...who PARDONS all your iniquities, who HEALS all your diseases...who REDEEMS your life from the pit...who CROWNS you with lovingkindness and compassion...who SATISFIES your years with good things... Praise the Lord!!!

     PS 104 - Even the earth "is satisfied with the fruit of His works." (104:13).

     PS 113 - He makes the barren woman "abide in the house"!!!! As a joyful mother of children :)

     PS 119 - God's word sets things right! They are a "delight...conselour...reviver...strengthener...I shall run in they way of Thy commandments, For Tho wilt ENLARGE my heart," (119:24-32) I think I need my heart enlarged!! His commandments ARE righteousness (119: 172).

     PS 127 - "Unless the Lord builds the house," it is done in vain! For He is able to do, even as we sleep! (127:1-2). And children -- what God says about them is so different than what the world says :) (127:3-5).

     PS 132 - The Lord has chosen Zion as his resting place forever. (132:13-14) In fact, He has desired it!! Does HE rest in US?? hmmm.

and the PROVERBS...Basically their entire theme is LAW (WORD) OF THE LORD = EASE/PEACE= j e s . . .  :)

...more to come

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 15 Reviewed

Psalm 37 - Psalm 93

More good psalms!

     PS 37 - (Love the verbs in this one, notice:) trust, do good, dwell in the land, cultivate faithfulness. Delight in the Lord, and He will give the desires of your heart. Rest, Wait patiently, Cease from anger, forsake wrath, Do not fret (37:1-11).
     And this one speaks to me about being at ease, "Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked...the Lord sustains the righteous," (37:16-17).

     PS 38 - Neat imagery about giving NO place to dis-ease or worry, "they devise treachery all day long. But I, like a deaf man, do not hear; and I am like a dumb man who does not open his mouth. Yes, I am like a man who does not hear, and in whose mouth are no arguments. For I hope in Thee, O Lord," (38:12-15). Sounds like even a little foreshadowing of the cross!

     PS 40 - HE brought me out of the pit, HE set my feet upon a rock, HE put a new song in my mouth...and people will see and and trust because of this (40:1-3).

     PS 44 - no trust in human strength or means, God saves, period (44:6).

     PS 45 - I have started noticing the word righteous all over the pages of the psalms! I love the word righteous! Righteousness - such a misunderstood word too. It has nothing to do with how good a person is, or how good a person looks, acts, talks ect. It has everything to do with ones standing with God. Those who have been set at ease, made right, are righteous!!
     "Thous hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness (which has more to do then, with being separated from God, having gone ones one way) Therefore God, Thy God, has anointed Thee With the oil of joy about Thy fellows. All Thy garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made Thee glad. Kings' daughters are among Thy noble ladies; At Thy right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir," (45:6-9). Wasn't planning on writing it all out, especially the end, is so flowery. But awesome! (Wow have a come a long way in my thinking of what is awesome, ha!) The oil of joy - oil makes things flow, easy, like the anointing, like...J e s . . . Oh, I know we'll get there, but I can hardly wait!
     Please read verses 13-17 too. More flowery goodness :)

     PS 46 - no fear despite changing earth and mountains moving. ok. (46:1-3). Cease striving and know that I'm God, (46:10).

     PS 49 - Let's revisit what Job know at the beginning!! "No man can by any means redeem his brother, Or give to God a ransom for him -- for the redemption of his soul is costly," (49:7-9). Who can pay such a price!!!!???

     PS 51 - Another note, is that I feel like David somehow understood sin, and justification a little bit. Maybe I already mentioned that, but I'll say it again. "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done what is evil in They sight," (51:4). "Restore me to the joy of Thy salvation," (51:12). And this incredible insight: "For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise," (51:16-17) He must have known God to know that God desire more than just sacrifices of offerings, but his heart!!!

     PS 54 - So he says easily, "Willingly I will sacrifice to Thee," (54:6).

     PS 61 - David expounds on this. He believed that praise (the offering of his heart) was his best sacrifice, "Let me dwell in Thy tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of They wings...So I will sing praise to Thy name forever, That I may pay my vows day by day," (61:4,8). How cool is that?? Pay his vows by singing!!

     PS 65 - David understood how/why to be NEAR (ascloseaspossible) to God! "How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee, To dwell in thy courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house," (65:4).

     PS 73 - Again, don't be deceived by what appears to be the "easy way," "As I saw the prosperity of the pains in their death...body is fat...not plagued like mankind...set their mouth against the they are destroyed in a moment," (73:3-20).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 14 Reviewed

Job 21 - Psalm 36
     To wrap up Job...
     Job knows he's not at ease, at peace in the world as most would consider it. Yet, he gives some great insight as to that. He compares the two:
     "One dies in his full strength, being wholly at ease and satisfied; His sides are filled out with fat, and the marrow of his bones is moist, while another dies with a bitter soul, never even tasting anything good. Together they lie down in the dust, and worms cover them," (Job 21:23-26).
     He goes on to explain his idea that knowledge of God and his wisdom is better than any earthly security!!! Praise God! In chapter 27, he points out there is no point for a godless man who is totally secure in the riches of life, but if God has cut him off, his riches will do him no good. He will meet his end, and when he does, he riches will dissipate for him. In fact, "He may prepare it, but the just will wear it," (Job 27:17). Also, "Where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living. The deep says, It is not with me. Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it, nor silver be weighed as its price," (Job 28:12-15). This is what Solomon, the richest man ever, understood!!!
     In Job 29, Job recalls when he lived the life of ease. He was not a stranger to it. "When my steps were bathed in butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil..." (29:6 and read on). "But now," he says into chapter 30, and goes on to explain it not being the way it was.
     Into chapters 33 and 34, some neat things came together for me. I made a connection to my earlier thought on Job's friends. See, what they were saying was good, to a point. That's why it made sense to me!.........
     BUT, IT WAS A PAT ANSWER. They were all just speaking out of their you-know-what's. They may have been saying good things, that were true in a lot of situations, but these things were not timely or accurate in Job's situation, because, obviously, they were not speaking wisdom from God. None of these people were seeking God about Job. They were speaking from their own puffed-up positions and erroneous thoughts that probably had worked in 100's of other situations. Big deal. Case in point, one buddy, Elihu says to Job, "Wait for me a little, and I will show you that there is more to be said on God's behalf. I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker," (Job 36:2-3). GREAT!!! More to be said on God's behalf! Ha! He claimed to be speaking for God, but like he said, he was surely ascribing the knowledge to God, but definitely not attaining the knowledge from God!!!...
     As God confirms, "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2). Yeah! Speak God! Tell them finally!
     And Job is proven right. The Lord says, "My wrath is kindled against (the friends) because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has," (Job 42:7). "And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning," (Job 42:12).

     SOOOO much good stuff in here. Finally felt like I was marking examples on every page!!
     PS 1 - Meditating, thinking, speaking! Praying, rehearsing the Word of God - this person will be like "a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers," (1:3 emph. mine).

     PS 4 - I can rest in perfect peace, God keeps me in safety (4:8). 

     PS 9 - a stronghold (9:9).

     PS 17 - satisfied with God completely (17:14-15).

     PS 18 - a shield (18:30).

     PS 19 - restorative (19:7).

     PS 23 - We've heard it before! Eat it, digest it, memorize it, speak it, live it! It's that good!!!
     green pastures, restoration, fearlessness, prepared table before enemies, overflow, followed by goodness!!!

      PS 25 / 26 - trust, patience (25:21), (26:1).

     PS 27 - secure in danger (27:3,4,14).

     PS 28 - true strength, rest and be carried! (28:7-9).

     PS 30 - Not by us, by God's true favor (30:6-7).

     PS 31 - refuge, ransom! (31:1,3,5,8)

     PS 32 - peace is sin being covered!!! David saw this!? (32:1-2,10)

     PS 33 - true strength (33:17).

     PS 34 - closeness to God and His Word = LIFE (34:1, 9-14,22).

     PS 35 - continuously prospering safe place! (35:27-28).

     PS 36 - sight (36:9).



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 13 Reviewed

Nehemiah - Job 20

     Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites (priests) were reading and explaining the law to the people and "translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading," (Nehemiah 8:8). I like this. Not only did they read the law, but they explained it in a was (hopefully) the people could actually grasp it, and do it!
     Well, amazingly enough, when the people went beyond just hearing the law to actually understanding it, they saw their need for God and were moved to repentance! Basically, the law did what it was designed to do -- draw people to repentance and to the heart of God! The people were weeping in repentance.
     "This day is holy to your Lord God," Nehemiah told them, "do not mourn or weep. Go eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength," (Nehemiah 8:9-10).
     The proof that they understood was that they actually went and did what they had been told to do! Imagine that! They heard, listened, and obeyed. Momentous.

  • Esther
     God's goodness and faithfulness is not dependent on us. His goodness will prevail whether we agree or not. However, if we agree, how much better for us! And so we have Esther. When her uncle, Mordecai, informs her that the fate of her entire nation may be in her hands, what did she think? If it was me, I'll tell you what I would think...
     Now I've never been in her place, obviously. But I have been in a place where I was in a key position to make some sort of change or bring something about in a way no one else really was. It's like that moment when you spot a problem (or someone alerts you to it) and you glance from one side to the other to see who is going to step up and take care of it. Personally, as a former 'don't-make-any-sort-of-waves' kinda girl, I hated the feeling of knowing it was, grr, me.
     Mordecai adds, "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14). I know myself. I know I would have been completely annoyed at him. Good thing Esther was queen and not me. She may not have been excited, but she took a deep breath, trusted God, and stepped up.
  • Haman 
     A perfect portrait of someone completely not at ease or at peace. Haman was repulsed at the very sight of Mordecai (a Jew) being in the king's court to begin with, purely because of the hatred Haman held in his heart. (Esther 5:13)
  • Mordecai
      To make a long story short, Esther saves the Jews, Haman dies in the gallows, and Mordecai, the Jew "was second only to King Ahasuerus and great among the Jews, and in favor with the multitude of his kinsmen, one who sought the good of his people and one who spoke for the welfare of his whole nation," (Esther 10:3). God's great plan is awesome, and completely un-thwartable :)
  • Job
     Quite possibly the oldest book written in the Bible, already dealing with sin, separation, and being at peace with God. I'm still sorting through what I got from Job, but wow, my eyes were definitely opened to some new things!!
      First of all, Job walked as closely to God as he knew how. So when the crud started to hit the fan, he continued to bless the name of God. (Job 1:21, Job 2:10)
     Still, he could feel that something was not right. He didn't feel at ease, there was a separation between him and God, and he didn't like it. "Can mankind be just before God?" (4:17, also 10:7, and 12:4 - very interesting phrasing!)
     Job's friends (everyone always ridicules them), but there responses to Job seem right to me at first (chapter 8). They told him to repent of his sin, and get right with God. Makes sense, I thought.
     But Job knew that it was more than a transgression he had committed (because he willfully had committed none). He knew he was simply guilty. Imperfect before a perfect God. Again he says, "How can a man be in the right before God?" (9:2). It's almost as though he understood the concept of a sin nature long before the concept was presented in history.
     Job did grasp God's sovereignty. He understood that it was by God that anyone ascended to his rightful place, not by man..."He makes counselors walk barefoot, and makes fools of judges. He loosens the bond of kings, and binds their loins with a girdle. He makes priests walk barefoot, and overthrows the secure ones..." (12:16 and on).
     I think it's possible Job knew in his heart that one needed a personal relationship with the living God to be at ease: "O that a man might plead with God as a man with his neighbor!" (16:21).
     And even (by God's spirit?) makes the proclamation, "And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth," (19:25).
     Pretty insightful stuff from this Job. For now, I conclude that somehow, Job knew that sin (the condition and not just the action) separated us from God, I dare say even beyond the saving power of repentance, people's offerings of sacrifice, and obeying the law.

Day 12 Reviewed

2 Chronicles 7 - Ezra 10

  • Solomon
     Ooooh, let's talk about Solomon for a while, shall we!? I have really enjoyed reading about this man! As I mentioned before, he had such a heart for his people, and for wanting them to KNOW the true and living God!! It's almost like God and Solomon were a team, desiring the repentant hearts of the people.
"My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now my eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually." (2 Chronicles 7:14-16)
     Solomon was at ease in his heart with his God and wanted all the people to live in that same peace and blessing.
     As Solomon was having the majestic, intricate temple built, he was visited by the Queen of Sheba who had heard about his "fame." When she came to Solomon, "she spoke with him about all that was on her heart," (2 Chronicles 9:1).
     All that was on her heart! What a neat way of putting it! What did this mean? It makes me think that something about what she had heard about Solomon moved her emotionally. Perhaps she wanted the peace and ease of living she saw being experienced by Solomon, and felt compelled enough to ask him for real answers. Whatever it was, Scripture says that, "Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from Solomon which he did not explain to her," (2 Chronicles 9:2).
     Nothing was hidden from Solomon which he did not explain! Solomon was confident in his God and ready and willing to share the wisdom with anyone who would inquire! What joy! What blessing!
     I feel like this sometimes. I love to share God's thoughts, desires, and intentions with people who are curious. I want them to know, understand, and experience Him! To reap the harvest of blessing in their life!!
     Solomon proves that he truly has this desire for people to know God: his people, Israel, but then, beyond that, anyone, who would seek Him out!!
     The queen calls him blessed and -- this next part amazes me -- she actually blesses him with more!! Spices, expensive stone, gold...she adds to his abundance!! And of course, the king puts it all to good use :)

  • Snippets of the Kings
     To King Jehoshaphat it was said, "Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's...stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf," (2 Chronicles 20:15-17). And then..."And the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God gave him rest on all sides," (2 Chronicles 20:29-30).
     King Uzziah "continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding though the vision of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him," (2 Chronicles 26:5).

     "And thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah; and he did what was good, right and true before the Lord his God. And every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered," (2 Chronicles 31:20).  

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 11 Reviewed

2 Kings 24 - 2 Chronicles 6

  • Jehoiachin
     I just couldn't skip over this, even though the details are a little spotty for me, there was something here too cool to miss.
     I had to do a little additional research to find out more about Jehoiachin, because the books at this point in the Bible jump around from story telling to history, and some is out of order, making it a little harder to follow for a first timer.
     Jehoiachin was a king. He reigned only for 100 days, and was succeeded by his uncle. According to what I looked up, he was the last heir to the Jewish throne! Interesting. He was taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, and imprisoned for 37 years, until a (new?) king, Evil-merodach redeemed him.
     "And Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and had his meals in the king's presence regularly all the days of his life; and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life," (2 Kings 25:29-30).
     This struck me as an awesome thing to have said about one's life! Quite simple, but awesome! I won't dwell too much. But to add a detail like, "changed his prison clothes," spoke volumes I think. We know that we have gone to from slave to free in Jesus Christ, but have you changed your prison clothes? Do you wear a garment of praise, of righteousness, of peace, of servitude? Do you sit in the king's presence regularly and allow him to provide for you? Something I need to consider!!
  • Record Keeping  (1 Chronicles)
     The lists of recorded generations in the Bible amazes me. I know my parents and grandparents, but beyond that I've never met anyone who came before me. I think I do have a little family history recorded somewhere, but nothing to the extent of generation upon generation! Sometimes I'm tempted to feel like it's just me. Like I didn't really come from anything...but just as recorded here, I come from generations upon generations! I am just the last down a loooong line right now. Gives a little perspecitve, hm? :)
  • David passing the Torch
     Along those lines, a quick generational blessing. David tells his son Solomon, "Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake  you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished," (1 Chronicles 28:20). Such a great lesson, to look for what God has set aside for us to do and even pass that annointing/ blessing on to the next generations, empowering them let God work mightily through them, bearing fruit, in peace, with ease.
     Solomon, for one, picked up this torch and kept it ablaze. He worked on the temple with gusto. Not only was it superb in it's building mechanics, but also in it's dedicated purpose. Solomon prayed and interceded fervently for the people and their interaction with God surrounding the temple. I mean, his prayers were so inspiring, they could be a model for intercession today!! His hearts cry was that through their sin and repentance, and through anyone's interaction with the temple, even foreigners, that they would come to know the true, living God! (2 Chronicles 6).
     It's no wonder he had such powerful prayers, after asking God humbly and earnestly for wisdom and understanding to lead his people well!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 10 Reviewed

1 Kings 15 - 2 Kings 23

     I know I had never read the books of Kings all the way through before!
     I love when in the midst of a long story (many of which I followed decently well), there is some short, quick, golden nugget I can grasp on to. The ones that the Holy Spirit highlights, because they are intended not just for the historical Israelites, but for God's people in all times!
     In 1 Kings 18:21, Elijah, a prophet says, simply, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." And I love how my bible says next, "And the people did not answer him a word." What could they say? There wasn't a lot of room for interpretation there. Pretty simple! Easy. Pick your side. Ha. Love it!

  • It's Easy for God!
     God longs to act on behalf of his people, and it's so easy for Him! He so desires for his people to turn to Him and seek Him for any and all provision, and so ready to provide it for them. In 2 Kings, when his people needed water, God wanted to be their provider. Perhaps He wanted to show them that they needed Him even for their most basic, fundamental need. In fact, pure water is probably one of the only things in life that we truly need!  
     So, the prophet Elisha brings the Word of God to the people, saying, "Make this valley full of trenches...You shall not see wind nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, both you and your cattle and your beasts. And this is but a slight thing in the sight of the Lord; He shall also give the Moabites into your hand," (2 Kings 3:16-18).
    A slight thing!! This was easy for God! A piece of cake!
     You need it.
     You ask Me.
     Here you go!  
     But it's interesting that God didn't provide any rain - just water. This way, the people would have to acknowledge that it was God who provided it! Where else would it have come from?
     I like the last line, too: Oh, by the way, I'll also subdue another one of your enemies. Me! I will do this for you!

  • 2 Kings 4 Story
     I enjoyed this story of God tending to a needy widow. To me it's a great example of a reference point of how to start receiving God's provision.
    1. Ask for it - She asked the prophet to help her take care of her sons
    2. Present God with what you have - "What shall I do for you?," replied Elisha. "Tell me what you have?" And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil." (4:2)
    3. Do what God says to do next - Elisha tells her to employ help of family and friends, borrowing all the vessels she could, go home, and start pouring the oil.
    4. Be at ease, as you watch God work!! - "So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons; they were bringing the vessels to her and she poured. And it came about when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, 'Bring me another vessel.' And he said to her, 'There is not one vessel more.' And the oil had stopped." (4:5-6). So, she sold the oil to pay for a debt, provide for her sons, and live.
     This is still God today! He still acts on behalf of His people who ask Him. Why He doesn't make Himself more obvious sometimes, I wonder? Perhaps He is obvious. Perhaps it's my dull perception :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 9 Reviewed

2 Samuel 12 - 1 Kings 14

     So far, I've pretty much gathered that people were at peace / ease with God, themselves, others, the land, etc., when they trusted God and were obedient in all things - that is, right in their actions.
  • David
     Well, King David brings to light some questions for me regarding this theory.
     David seemed a bit rocky in doing right by God. But what always seemed right was his heart. Is heart more important than actions?
     David was a repentant man and acknowledged when he did wrong. When his lust overcame him, and he stole another man's wife, and was finally approached by the prophet Nathan about it, he says without any argument, "I have sinned against the Lord," and the prophet replies, "The Lord has taken away your sin, you shall not die." That did not mean there were not consequences for his actions. David himself determined there should be actions against anyone who sins against God and his fellow man in this way.
     Then suddenly, it seems, David is restored to loving intimacy with his God, bears another son with Bathsheba, now (rightfully) his wife. Solomon - for whom God clearly demonstrates his love and favor.
  • Absalom
     I don't have a whole lot to say about this particular son of David and their saga together, but I found it interesting and worth noting. What a terrible situation for David to have one son rape a daughter, another son kill that brother, and then try to forcefully take over David's reign. I'm sure David fretted about what to do. In the end, all was made right, and Solomon succeeds David, possibly one of David's finest 'accomplishments.' On his death bed, David tells his son to:
 "...keep the charge of the Lord your God to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, commandments, his ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn..." (1 Kings 2:3)
  • Solomon
     Oh Solomon, the man who sought first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and was given everything! ..."So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil," (1 Kings 3:9) and God gave in abundance!
     ..."So Judah and Israel lived in safety, every man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the day of Solomon," (1 Kings 4:25).
     His own palace was plush, and...
     He was chosen to build the very dwelling place of God!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 8 Reviewed

1 Samuel 6 - 2 Samuel 11

     Well, Hannah's baby turns out to be a great judge of Israel, apparently, because it was written that:
"the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines (an enemy) all the days of Samuel. And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and Israel delievered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. So there was peace between Israel and the Amorites." (1 Samuel 7:13-14)
     and, "Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life." (7:15)

     When Samuel was nearing the end of his life, the people started begging for a king. More than just a judge, they wanted someone to be in even more control of their affairs. Samuel hesitated, knowing this was not was God wanted for them. He knew God wanted to be their only "king." He knew that no man could serve them adequately in that role. He knew that it would ultimately compromise their freedom. But, God said, if that's what they want, that's what they'll get, but it will not bring them peace. Quite the opposite. Basically, God said that a king (being merely human), despite good intentions, would end up doing things that were in his own best interest at the peoples' expense. But, they didn't listen. They wanted to be like all the other nations!
     I understand this. Sometimes I think it will bring me peace if someone else will just make all my decisions for me. If someone will tell me what to do, I will have it easy. I won't have to think for myself, and make my own mistakes. The only problem is, the person who's telling me what to do, is NOT GOD! And if they're not even consulting with Him, then they are feeding me their own humanistic ideas, sure to fail. Harsh, but true. Now, I do obey my authorities, because God commands it! But the Lord God is still king over me!

     Fact is, God wants a direct relationship! Not through a medium, judge, king, or consultant. He wants trust and obedience, rather than sacrifice and constant atonement. Samuel says to King Saul:
     "Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king." (1 Samuel 15:22-23)
      Like I mentioned before, the people understood being at ease when their sins were forgiven (essentially when a priest - a man - had taken care of it for them). God was leading them to see that it would be through a relationship with Him - their God - that they would ultimately be at peace, at ease, and their sins be forgiven.

  • The ease of the way God does things Offends people!
     One last thing, just because I thinks it's cool - and how could I leave out David and Goliath? I love Goliath's initial reaction to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" HA! Goliath is so insulted that David thinks he even has a chance of survival! David says, "You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted," (1 Samuel 17:45).
With ease. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 7 Reviewed

Joshua 22 - Samuel 5

     The Promise of God is so Huge a theme in Scripture!
     Even this early in the book, we can see that it stands for each generation anew - Praise God!
     This is particularly good news, because there are some promises that I am preparing to stand on right now, and seeing God bring up his promises, and renew them to generation after generation gives me faith that they most assuredly, without doubt or waiver, are just as much for me!
     The generation that entered the Promised Land was a whole new generation that the one that started out in the Wilderness 40 years prior. To this new generation, Joshua speaks for God saying, "And I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant," (Joshua 23:13).
     Along with these continuing promises, God is constantly having to warn each new generation not to fall into the same transgressions as their fathers. "Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord," (Joshua 23:14). God wasn't being a Dictator...He was showing them the way to be at peace.
  • Judges
     The first thing I noticed about the judges, is that there was a direct correlation between the leadership of the judge, and the consequences for the people.
     Simply stated, a judge who followed God's commands, and encouraged the people to do the same brought peace on the land. A judge who did not, brought dis-ease, captivity, and shame.
     Quick examples:  
     Othniel. God's Spirit was on him, obeyed God, God gave him his enemies, and "the land had rest for 40 years," until he died and the people again started doing evil and lived under captivity. (Judges 3:9-14)
      Ehud. God raised up Ehud in response to the peoples' cries for help in captivity. Ehud killed the king of their captors, encouraged the Israelites faith in God, and so they were able to defeat their enemy, "about 10,000 Moabites, all robust and valiant men; and no one escaped," (3:29). And God said the land was undisturbed for 80 years...until Ehud died and again, the Israelites returned to doing evil. (Judges 3:15-4:1)
  • Ruth 
     Ruth!!! I love this book. Well, of course I hate the fact that three women lose their husbands, but I love the peace, and life of ease Ruth pursues as she doesn't fret, but stays close to her God and her Godly family. That fact is so powerful to me, Naomi is not only her mother-in-law, but her Spiritual mother, a much deeper bond!
     Ruth 3:5 - "All that you say, I will do," Ruth attentively tells her mother-in-law, as Naomi is guiding her into a new romance! What lovely, at-ease, and peaceful women!
  • Hannah
     A woman after my own heart. Infertility issues are nothing new, and God was, is, and will remain the sole author of birth.
     Only to be honest, I find Hannah's behavior at the beginning of the book a little off-putting. Mostly because I don't want to look at her and be reminded of my own poor behavior, and lack of faith in God.
     She continues to lament over her desperate situation until God finally says, enough. Eli, the priest seeing her crying in the temple says simply, "Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of him," (1 Samuel 1:17).
     I have to believe that peace is the key here. That is the major thing that had to change in Hannah's heart. From being in distress to being at peace.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 6 Reviewed

Deuteronomy 20 - Joshua 21

     There is a depth to the book of Joshua that I'd like to go back and study more later. For now, I don't feel like I have a whole lot to say about it, because it carried on a lot of similar themes we saw in the previous books. (Hopefully this in not a cop-out on my part)
     My dad was talking to me this morning, and was saying how he believed that in times past, (before we had civil society -- whatever that means) it was simply an animalistic, dog-eat-dog world, and the bigger man or larger force would come out on top. Apart from God, this might be true. But with God, it's just not the case, as we've already seen.
     Again, in Deuteronomy 20, we see God proving this.
"When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you...for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies to save you."     (Deuteronomy 20:1, 4)
      God promised that He would fight FOR them! Another verse, I believe somewhere in Deuteronomy, that I memorized a while ago said a similar thing. It told the Israelites that the enemy they saw today, they would never see again, all they had to do was WATCH as God destroyed it! That definitely spoke to me, at the time, about the enemies in my life (not necessary people) but things in my life I would have gladly never seen again. And you know what? He did it! He even destroyed all those enemies in my life, as I, personally, believed on this verse.
     Another key I noticed in the above verse is, "fear." God told them simply, not to fear, as He says all throughout His Word! It has to be one of the most repeated phrases! Why? Because fear completely undermines confidence in God. When fear is let in, thoughts came too, like "I don't know, maybe we can't do this." Well, it was never them who were going to do it in the first place, it was God through them. So, that decision that they can't do it, is the one that actually comes to pass!!
     One more proof from the end of today's reading, that God is worthy of our confidence is this. (By the way, at this point, the Israelites have made it to the promised land, and were being given each their portion, and they were once again at rest. God had subdued their enemies on every side). So it was said: "NOT ONE of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed; ALL CAME TO PASS." (Joshua 21:45, caps mine) Simple as that!!!

     God is worthy of my confidence! Glory be to Him!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 5 Reviewed

Numbers 21 - Deuteronomy 19

     Sometimes, the path just seems blocked. I've prayed about it, and I've prayed about it, I decide to do it. And I fall flat on my face. What happened?

  • Balaam and Balak (and that awesome donkey!)
     I love this story!! Balak comes and offers Balaam tons of money to curse the Israelites. Balaam prays about it and God tells him no, he shall "not curse the people, for they are blessed," (Numbers 22:12). So, Balak comes back and offers even more tons of money. Balaam prays about it again (ha!) and God seems to give him the go ahead.
     On the way, the donkey that Balaam is riding starts wigging out. The donkey runs off into a field, then he squishes his rider up against a wall, then he just sits down under Balaam and refuses to go on! Balaam has been striking this donkey each time he acts strangely (understandably). But finally, the donkey opens his mouth and SAYS, "What have I done to you?" Oh, my.
     And they actually carry on a little diatribe. Turns out the donkey has actually been seeing an angel of God that's been blocking his path. God opens Balaam's eyes so he can finally see it too. Finally, they are allowed to proceed, but Balaam is reminded to speak to the Israelites exactly what God tells him to.
     What he speaks over the people, of course, turns out to be a whopper of a blessing, much to Balak's chagrin.

     So it might not directly relate to my topic. But what stood out to me was that Balaam's way was NOT easy. Well, God did not want him to go in the first place! I don't believe that even Balaam had peace in his heart about going, just a lot of excitement about what he could do with all the cash. He was enticed by dollar signs, so God said, Fine. If you want it that bad, go for it. But we're gonna do this my way. I'll show you my displeasure, and in the end, my will - what I want (in this case, the Israelites to be blessed) will still be accomplished. And so through greed, disobedience, and even Balak's intent to curse, the Israelites were blessed!!! What kind of God this must be!

  • Oh The Places They Went!
     Numbers 33 is a list of more than 40 different places the Israelites moved to during their 40-year camping trip.
     I've been married 3 years, and I thought the fact that we moved about twice a year was tough. And I basically know the routine of where I'm going -- the Israelites were being led. They didn't have an itinerary or a road map. They generally had no clue where they were going next. I can't say that I would not have "grumbled and complained."
     Oh, but to be able to trust God and move on each day in faith!! How much different might their journey (and mine) be? God had even promised them He was leading them someplace great! He was not leading them to death, or even on a pointless, wild goose chase. He was teaching them how He wanted them to live there (God's way) because they would not only live, but truly live and prosper! Moses speaks God's word to the people of Israel:
     "See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to posses it. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him?"
     I love the last part!
     Finally, they are getting to the promised land, not by obedience of their own, but by the promise of God. He continues to plead with them to obey Him, only for their own good. The words God speaks through the prophets threaten to bring tears to my eyes and sadness to my heart. Because, I can hear Him speaking the same thing to me as I go about my days.
     First He describes breathtakingly abundant life they can have: the water, the springs, the crops, figs, pomegranates, olive oil, honey...they shall LACK NOTHING, He says! Surely I could be at ease if I understood I lacked nothing!
     But please, He says, Don't forget me then.
     Don't misunderstand, God is not lonely. He is the only one who can handle our mess, and keep us straightened out.
     This He speaks to me:
"When YOU have eaten and are satisfied, and have built GOOD HOUSES and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart becomes proud, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery...Otherwise, you may say in your heart, 'MY power and the strength of MY hand made this wealth.' But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers,"  (Deuteronomy 8:10-18, caps mine)
     Lord, Blessed be Your Name! The impossible is true: According to your Promise, I lack nothing.        Hope you heard from Him today :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 4 Reviewed

Leviticus 18 - Numbers 20

  •  Jubilee
     God made so many provisions for these Israelites! It's amazing how specific He was, accounting for all sorts of loopholes or circumstances they may find themselves in!
     One of the biggest provisions was Jubilee.
     Leviticus 25 talks about the year of rest. God set it aside as a sort of "Sabbath year." For six years, the people who work, and during the 7th, they would let the land rest. Then, they would simply rely on the fruits of their labor from the previous year to sustain the during that one.
     Then, every seventh seven years (so every 49 years,) there was to be a period call Jubilee, in which debts were canceled, property was returned to it's original owner, and slaves were freed! What a concept! It was a sort of "reset button" year.
     But, alas, the Israelites did not ever experience this peaceful, year of ease. WHY? They just didn't do it! They didn't follow God's command to observe the Jubilee, for whatever reason, and denied themselves the benefit, enjoyment, and reward of it!?

  • Manna
     God was supplying the peoples' every need while they were in the wilderness. No question. Personally, when my needs have been satisfied, I have begun to get dissatisfied by my unmet wants. So, they had food, but now they needed (wanted) variety. They were tired of eating the same boring food day in and day out and accused God of being uncaring. "We were better off in Egypt!" they even spat at Him.
     I guess when you get bored and comfortable, the fading memory of brutal slavery, mistreatment and persecution somehow don't seem as bad as bland cereal. Hm.
     So God said, You want meat? I'll give you meat..."You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you," (Numbers 11:19-20).
     Uh oh. God is funny! (but not when it happens to us)

     One of my favorites quotes from the day was when Moses says, "Why then are you transgressing the commandment of the Lord, when it will not succeed?" (Numbers 14:41). Yeah! Why you blind Israelites?
     Alison, why then are YOU transgressing the commandment of the Lord, when it will not succeed?
     I was tired. I was lazy.
     I thought it wouldn't really make a difference this time. One more time.
     I thought my way wasn't really that different from God's.
Did you hear? NOT going to work! NOT going to succeed! Why are you even wasting your time?

Lord, You are my success. You cause me to prosper. In the land of my enemies, I will be victorious. Amongst the unclean, I am made clean. If you say rest, than it truly is better to rest than to work. What you provide is better, more perfect, more effective, more what I need, than what I think I need.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 3 Reviewed

Exodus 24 - Leviticus 17

     When I chose my topic to focus on as I read through the Word (being "at peace," or "at ease,") I was particularly interested because I wanted to experience this more in my own life. I thought I could gain insight by looking at what God had to say about how this is possible.
     Well, so far, what I noticed about the people early in the Old Testament, is that none of the people who went through their life with ease did it because their life was easy. None had easy circumstances. None had a hardship-free existence. Quite the opposite!! Most of the people we've discussed so far had terrible circumstances a lot of the time! Or, I should say, terrible in my limited viewpoint of wanting an easy life!
     The key sounds trite, but, oh wow, if I truly implement this in my life, what miracles (and true peace) could I experience!? The fact is, they TRUSTED God. They BELIEVED Him and took him at His word, no matter the facts, circumstances, or whatever kink was thrown in their plans.
     I have *cough, cough* been know to flip out over the slightest changes in my plans.
     I've never been asked to sacrifice a child.
     Or work decades of hard labor to earn my spouse.
     Or had my siblings be so jealous they sold me as a slave.
     Or been asked to babysit an entire NATION.
     So, I guess I could say I've had it...e a s y :)
     In our world today, most people tend to run from hard circumstances. To achieve "peace," many people, myself included probably think of fleeing to a deserted beach island where they can leave bills and income tax behind. At the very least, they think Starbucks green tea and a massage while those pesky kids are at school or day care.
     I joke. But, I'm convinced (not because I've achieved it but...) this cannot compare with trusting God, and obeying Him despite all. Oh, don't get me wrong, there were tons of people in the Bible (and all through history, duh) who did the fleeing thing. Funny thing is, they never achieved the peace, or ease they sought.

     Another thought I want to mention (and may expound on later) is something that clicked as I was reading through Leviticus, and (not) comprehending every single word.
     That is, people in the Old Testament (and under the Old Covenant, before Jesus,) sought being at peace/ ease with God, by fulfilling the requirements of the Law, because that's what they were told to do. So, they were made right by sacrifices atoning for their sins.
     Now if a person sins...then he will bear his guilt...Or if he touches human uncleanness...Or if a person swears thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good...He shall also bring his guilt offering to the Lord for his sin which he has committed

     Basically, there was a list of countless things that qualified as sins, or being unclean. There was an equally long list of things one had to specifically do to be made right.
     This was huge for me, I'll talk more about it later. For now, just remember: People were at ease when their sins were atoned for (and this was a CONSTANT PROCESS - sin, atone, sin, atone, sin, atone)

     ...and I can't help but saying, looking forward, THANK GOD FOR JESUS!!!