Daily reading for Thursday, February 20, 2014

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Leviticus 9:7-10:20; Mark 4:26-5:20; Psalms 37:30-40; Proverbs 10:6-7 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Leviticus 9:7-10:20

Moses told Aaron, “Come to the altar and sacrifice an offering for sin and a burnt offering to make peace with the Lord for your sins and the sins of the people. Also make an offering for the people, to make peace with the Lord for them as the Lord commanded.”

Aaron came to the altar and slaughtered the calf as his own offering for sin. Aaron’s sons brought him the blood. He dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar. Then he poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar. 10 On the altar he burned the fat, kidneys, and lobe of the liver from the offering for sin as the Lord had commanded Moses. 11 He burned the meat and the skin outside the camp.

12 He slaughtered the animal for the burnt offering. Aaron’s sons gave him the blood, and he threw it against the altar on all sides. 13 They also gave him the burnt offering, which was cut in pieces and included the head. He burned it on the altar. 14 He washed the internal organs and the legs and laid them on top of the burnt offering on the altar.

15 He brought the people’s offerings. He took the male goat for the people’s offering for sin and slaughtered it. He sacrificed it to take away sins as he had done before. 16 Following the proper procedures, he brought forward the burnt offering and sacrificed it. 17 He also brought the grain offering. He took a handful of grain and burned it on the altar in addition to the morning burnt offering. 18 He slaughtered the bull and the ram for the people’s fellowship offering. Aaron’s sons gave him the blood, which he threw against the altar on all sides. 19 However, the fat from the bull and the ram (the fat from the tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys, and the lobe of the liver) 20 they placed on the breasts. Aaron burned them all on the altar. 21 However, he first took the breasts and the right thighs and presented them to the Lord as Moses commanded.

22 Then Aaron raised his hands toward the people and blessed them. He sacrificed the offering for sin, the burnt offering, and the fellowship offering. Then he came down from the altar. 23 Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people. Then the Lord’s glory appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the Lord’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar. When all the people saw this, they shouted and bowed with their faces touching the ground.

Improper Conduct for Priests

10 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu each took an incense burner and put burning coals and incense in it. Then in the Lord’s presence they offered this unauthorized fire. A fire flashed from the Lord and burned them, and they died in the presence of the Lord.

Moses said to Aaron, “This is exactly what the Lord said:

‘I will show my holiness among those who come to me.
I will show my glory to all the people.’”

Aaron was speechless.

Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Aaron’s uncle, Uzziel. He told them, “Come and take your relatives away from in front of the holy place. Take them outside the camp.” So they came and took them away to a place outside the camp, as Moses told them. The dead men were still in their linen robes.

Moses told Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar: “Do not mourn by leaving your hair uncombed or tearing your clothes. If you do, you will die and the Lord will become angry with the whole congregation. All the other Israelites may cry over the fire the Lord sent, but you may not. You must not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting or else you, too, will die, because the Lord has anointed you with his oil.” They obeyed Moses.

Proper Conduct for Priests

The Lord spoke to Aaron, “You and your sons must not drink any wine or liquor when you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a permanent law for generations to come. 10 Teach them the difference between what is holy and what is unholy, what is clean and what is unclean.[a] 11 Also teach the Israelites all the laws that I gave them through Moses.”

12 Moses told Aaron and his surviving sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take the grain offering left over from the offering by fire to the Lord. Make unleavened bread, and eat it next to the altar because it is very holy. 13 Eat it in a holy place because it is the part of the offering by fire to the Lord that belongs to you and your children. That is the command I received. 14 Also eat the breast presented to the Lord and the thigh that was given as a contribution. You and your sons and daughters may eat them in a clean place because they are your part of the fellowship offerings from the Israelites. 15 They will bring the thigh given as a contribution, the breast presented to the Lord, and the fat that is to be burned and present them to the Lord. These parts will belong to you and your children. This will be a permanent law, as the Lord has commanded.”

Eleazar and Ithamar Sacrifice the Offering for Sin

16 Moses tried to find out what had happened to the male goat that was supposed to be the offering for sin. To his surprise, it had already been burned. So he became angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s surviving sons. 17 He asked them, “Why didn’t you eat the offering for sin in the holy place? It is very holy and was given to you to take away the sins of the congregation and to make peace with the Lord for them. 18 Since its blood was not brought inside the holy place, you certainly should have eaten it there, as I commanded.”

19 Aaron answered Moses, “Today they sacrificed their offering for sin and their burnt offering in the Lord’s presence, and look what happened to me. If I had eaten the offering for sin today, would the Lord have approved?”

20 When Moses heard this, he was satisfied.

Footnotes:

  1. Leviticus 10:10 “Clean” refers to anything that is presentable to God. “Unclean” refers to anything that is not presentable to God.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Mark 4:26-5:20

A Story about Seeds That Grow

26 Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seeds on the ground. 27 He sleeps at night and is awake during the day. The seeds sprout and grow, although the man doesn’t know how. 28 The ground produces grain by itself. First the green blade appears, then the head, then the head full of grain. 29 As soon as the grain is ready, he cuts it with a sickle, because harvest time has come.”

A Story about a Mustard Seed

30 Jesus asked, “How can we show what the kingdom of God is like? To what can we compare it? 31 It’s like a mustard seed planted in the ground. The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds on earth. 32 However, when planted, it comes up and becomes taller than all the garden plants. It grows such large branches that birds can nest in its shade.”

33 Jesus spoke God’s word to them using many illustrations like these. In this way people could understand what he taught. 34 He did not speak to them without using an illustration. But when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

Jesus Calms the Sea

35 That evening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side.”

36 Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus along in a boat just as he was. Other boats were with him.

37 A violent windstorm came up. The waves were breaking into the boat so that it was quickly filling up. 38 But he was sleeping on a cushion in the back of the boat.

So they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to die?”

39 Then he got up, ordered the wind to stop, and said to the sea, “Be still, absolutely still!” The wind stopped blowing, and the sea became very calm.

40 He asked them, “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith yet?”

41 They were overcome with fear and asked each other, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”

Jesus Cures a Demon-Possessed Man

They arrived in the territory of the Gerasenes on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. As Jesus stepped out of the boat, a man came out of the tombs and met him. The man was controlled by an evil spirit and lived among the tombs. No one could restrain him any longer, not even with a chain. He had often been chained hand and foot. However, he snapped the chains off his hands and broke the chains from his feet. No one could control him. Night and day he was among the tombs and on the mountainsides screaming and cutting himself with stones.

The man saw Jesus at a distance. So he ran to Jesus, bowed down in front of him, and shouted, “Why are you bothering me now, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me.” He shouted this because Jesus said, “You evil spirit, come out of the man.”

Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

He told Jesus, “My name is Legion [Six Thousand], because there are many of us.” 10 He begged Jesus not to send them out of the territory.

11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on a mountainside nearby. 12 The demons begged him, “Send us into the pigs! Let us enter them!”

13 Jesus let them do this. The evil spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs. The herd of about two thousand pigs rushed down the cliff into the sea and drowned.

14 Those who took care of the pigs ran away. In the city and countryside they reported everything that had happened. So the people came to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. The man was sitting there dressed and in his right mind. The people were frightened. 16 Those who saw this told what had happened to the demon-possessed man and the pigs. 17 Then the people began to beg Jesus to leave their territory.

18 As Jesus stepped into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged him, “Let me stay with you.” 19 But Jesus would not allow it. Instead, he told the man, “Go home to your family, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been to you.”

20 So the man left. He began to tell how much Jesus had done for him in the Ten Cities.[a] Everyone was amazed.

Footnotes:

  1. Mark 5:20 A federation of ten Greek city states east and west of the Jordan River.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Psalm 37:30-40

30 The mouth of the righteous person reflects on wisdom.
    His tongue speaks what is fair.
31 The teachings of his God are in his heart.
    His feet do not slip.
32 The wicked person watches the righteous person
    and seeks to kill him.
33 But the Lord will not abandon him to the wicked person’s power
    or condemn him when he is brought to trial.
34 Wait with hope for the Lord, and follow his path,
    and he will honor you by giving you the land.
        When wicked people are cut off, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked person acting like a tyrant,
    spreading himself out like a large cedar tree.
36 But he moved on, and now there is no trace of him.
    I searched for him, but he could not be found.
37 Notice the innocent person,
    and look at the decent person,
        because the peacemaker has a future.
38 But rebels will be completely destroyed.
    The future of wicked people will be cut off.
39 The victory for righteous people comes from the Lord.
    He is their fortress in times of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and rescues them.
    He rescues them from wicked people.
    He saves them because they have taken refuge in him.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Proverbs 10:6-7

Blessings cover the head of a righteous person,
    but violence covers the mouths of wicked people.

The name of a righteous person remains blessed,
    but the names of wicked people will rot away.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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