Psalm 38 The Voice (VOICE)
A song of David for remembering.
This is one of a group of psalms known in later tradition as the penitential psalms, namely, psalms that confess sins and express confidence in God’s mercy. In this psalm a serious illness threatens the life of the worshiper.
1 O Eternal One, please do not scold me in Your anger;
3 Because Your anger has infected the depths of my being and stolen my health,
5 Now sores cover me—infected and putrid sores,
9 O Lord, You know all my desires;
12 Those who want me dead lay traps upon my path;
13 Like one who is deaf, my ears do not hear.
15 Still I wait expectantly for You, O Eternal One—
17 I am prepared for what may come; my time must be short;
21 Eternal One, do not leave me to their mercy;
Leviticus 5:1-13 The Voice (VOICE)
5 Eternal One: When anyone sins by hearing a public call to testify about a matter he has seen or knows something about, yet he does not speak up, then he is considered guilty and must be punished. 2 If anyone has physical contact with some impure thing such as the carcass of a ritually unclean wild animal, domestic animal, or even an insect—even if he is unaware of the incident—he has become ritually unclean and must accept the consequences. 3 If anyone has physical contact with some kind of human impurity, regardless of the form of impurity it is—even if he was unaware of it at the time—once he realizes it, he must accept the consequences. 4 If anyone speaks a careless vow to do something bad or something good or any careless vow for that matter—even if he was unaware of it at the time—once he realizes what he has done, he must accept the consequences. 5 Regarding any of these situations, when the guilty party realizes the offense, he must confess it. 6 He must present to Me an offering for his guilt as a remedy for the sin he has committed. This purification offering for sin must be a female lamb or goat from the flock. The priest will make atonement for the guilty person’s sin.
These are some cases where a purification offering for sin is required. It is important to note that sacrifice is not some magical cure for sin or its consequences. Before you come to God through the sacrifice, you must realize the error of your ways and confess it. Confession has always been act one of restoration.
Eternal One: 7 But if the guilty person is poor and cannot afford to offer a lamb, then he must bring to Me two turtledoves or two pigeons as a purification offering for sin. One of these will act as the purification offering and the other will be a burnt offering. 8 The guilty person must take them to the priest, and the priest will offer the purification offering for sin first. He will wring the bird’s neck but not separate its head from its body. 9 He will sprinkle some of its blood on the side of the altar and drain the remaining blood out at the base of the altar. This will be the ritual for the purification offering for sin. 10 Then the priest will conduct the ritual for the second sacrifice, the burnt offering, in accordance with the regulations. The priest is to make atonement to cover the sin of the guilty, and the guilty will be forgiven.
11 If a person cannot afford to offer two turtledoves or two young pigeons, he must offer four pints of his finest flour as the purification offering for sin. He should not mix it with oil or frankincense because it is an offering for the purification of sin. 12 He will give it to the priest, and the priest will take a handful of the flour as a memorial portion and offer it up as smoke along with the other fire-offerings presented to Me. The flour is a purification offering for sin. 13 This is how the priest will make atonement to cover the sin of anyone guilty of these things, and the guilty will be forgiven. The leftover flour belongs to the priest as in the grain offering.
Luke 17:1-4 The Voice (VOICE)
The theme of money and wealth has come up again and again. It’s what really motivates the Pharisees, it turns out. Money might be God’s top competitor. In the previous parable, Jesus turns the tables. The rich man, who represents what most people wish they could become, turns out to be the one who is hopeless in God’s judgment; he is rich in possessions but poor in compassion, and compassion is what God measures, not wealth. The kingdom of God, Jesus is making clear, calls rich people to stop working to increase their personal wealth portfolio; instead, it challenges them to join God by using their wealth and power on behalf of the poor.
17 Jesus (to His disciples): You can’t stop temptations to do wrong from coming. But how tragic it will be for the person who becomes the source of the temptation! 2 It would be better if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
3 So each of you needs to be careful. If your brother sins [against you],[a] confront him about it, and if he has a change of mind and heart, then forgive him. 4 Even if he wrongs you seven times in a single day, if he turns back to you each time and says he’s sorry and will change, you must forgive him.
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