Monday, February 8, 2016

On 2-14-16, Leviticus 23:15-22 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Feast of Weeks or Bountiful Harvest

Feast of Weeks
Bountiful Harvest
 Leviticus 23:15-22
February 14, 2016

Jed Greenough

We have talked about how God had a children to raise up in Israel, we have talked of how they and of course we all learn by example.  Even more recently we have talked how God in setting up these times to commemorate Him not only brought Him the glory He deserved but these commemorations also served to protect and to save them.

This week as we see yet another ordinance here called the Feast of Weeks we see a prescription that might seem a bit “fuzzy” or hard to understand due to all the details involved.  We should recognize though that by glorifying God with their first fruits the people of Israel were able to honor and acknowledge all He provided to them.

By not keeping all they have been blessed with, whether it be these sacrifices and offerings or in not harvesting every last grain from the field there was one more way they could gain insight into God.  The people learned again how to be holy.  They learned that God gives freely and so should they.  Honoring God and providing for the less fortunate was the way to live.

As with last week’s study this ordinance is not for us but it can serve to show how God thinks.  His ways are not naturally ours but just as the Christian should strive for sanctification so should they strive to understand Him.

If we in our way do not reap to the edges of our fields or glean all from them but save them for those in need we will learn just a tiny bit of what it is to give like God gives.  If we tithe even though we no longer have to of the first fruits of what we are given we will be honoring Him with our own ordinances which is even better because we are honoring Him in a true spirit and in truth.

If you are doing this already you know and can testify how right it is.  If you are not you must start and you will see that what I say is true.  Do not be afraid, do not be guilty about the thoughts of concern when you do it as this is natural.  But eventually the doubts will become few and it will be just as natural for you as breathing.

God wanted the children of Israel to do it for their own benefit and I guarantee you that you too will benefit but that won't be why you do it.  Your fellow man will be better because of you.  There will be more opportunities for those who minister, there will be more people fed, fewer people in need of clothes or shelter, and not nearly as many lonely souls.

At least as far as you are concerned there will be a balance in how you live, and you will have done it by choice.

For Discussion:

  1. Discuss ways you have given thanks for the bounty God gives you.
  2. Discuss tithing success and failures.
  3. Discuss different ways in today’s world that we can help others by not reaping the edges of our fields or gathering the gleanings in a manner of speaking.
  4. Read Ruth 2.
  5. Discuss how the people benefitted.

Upcoming Lessons

2-21-16     Day of Atonement or A Clean Slate     Leviticus 16:11-19

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

Monday, February 1, 2016

On 2-7-16, Exodus 12:1-14 will be our Adult Sunday School/ Uniform Series/ International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Passover or Free at Last

Free at Last
Exodus 12:1-14
February 7, 2016

Jed Greenough

Commemorate.  When you commemorate someone or something you celebrate that person or thing, you make memorials, you recall and respect this.  That is the instruction albeit with details that God gave to Moses for Passover.  

Now normally when you commemorate someone you do so with it being your idea.  You might have a celebration every year in remembrance of a grandparent or another important family member who has passed on or you might be celebrating an event by commemorating it like an anniversary.  But when you are gone the celebration of recognition ceases.  God however said this commemoration of Passover was to be for generations to come not to cease with the ones he was about to save from slavery.

This is important why?

  1. Israel might become slaves again.
  2. Israel by forgetting would fall to other “gods”.
  3. Israel would forget God.

So by instituting this remembrance God was glorified but by giving Him the glory Israel was also protected.  

It can be almost certain based on human nature that not all followed the instructions given here and were not spared by the destroyer.  It is also most certain that among those who survived many did not continue to keep the Passover.

Some would come back to it just as some come back to any faith.  Some would keep it because they were raised to and others would not because they were not.

We as Christians do not need to keep the Passover but we should use it as an example for ourselves in the things that we should commemorate.  We should meet together, we should be faithful to baptism and communion.

We can encourage others to come back to their faith, we can raise up our families so that they will commemorate Him as well.  Failure to do so will lead to becoming lost just as it did for Israel.  Falling again to the slavery of sin, falling to other “gods”, forgetting God.

We can bring glory to God and save ourselves at the same time.

For Discussion:

  1. Can you relate this to Christians who say they don’t need to go to Church?
  2. Discuss other ideas for the importance of Israel keeping the Passover.
  3. Discuss the idea that many may have failed to keep even the very first Passover.
  4. Read 1 Corinthians 11:27-32
  5. Discuss how Israel was strengthened by remembering Passover.
  6. Discuss how Christians are strengthened by meeting together, celebrating baptisms and partaking in communion.

 Upcoming Lessons

2-14-16     Feast of Weeks or Bountiful Harvest Leviticus 23:15-22

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved