The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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October 16

Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.

Reading 1 - 2Ch 7:5

"And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the people dedicated the temple of God" (2Ch 7:5).

Is it feasible to actually offer at that time so many animals as sacrifices? Perhaps Solomon simply "transferred title" of some of his vast herds to the Temple service itself.

Reading 2 - Eze 42:13,14

"Then he said to me, 'The north and south rooms facing the temple courtyard are the priests' rooms, where the priests who approach the LORD will eat the most holy offerings. There they will put the most holy offerings -- the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings -- for the place is holy. Once the priests enter the holy precincts, they are not to go into the outer court until they leave behind the garments in which they minister, for these are holy. They are to put on other clothes before they go near the places that are for the people" (Eze 42:13,14).

"If the Jews were a peculiar, a consecrated, a holy people, it may be said that their sanctity was concentrated in the temple -- the building which was 'holiness unto the Lord', and in the holy priesthood, set apart for the ministrations of the sanctuary. The angel who showed Ezekiel the temple of vision laid great stress upon this characteristic of the marvelous and symmetrical building. This ceremonial holiness is exhibited as affecting:

"It thus appears that everything connected with the position, the life, the ministrations, of the priests was marked by ceremonial sanctity.

"What was the purpose of all the arrangements described in this and other passages of Old Testament Scripture? Why was this artificial separation introduced into the religion and life of the Hebrew people?... It is evident that it was intended to convey to Israel and to mankind:

Reading 3 - John 8:6

"They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger" (John 8:6).

What does the finger of God do?

  1. It unleashes plagues upon Egypt (Exo 8:16-19).
  2. It writes the Law in tables of stone (Deu 9:10).
  3. It casts out demons (Luk 11:20).
  4. It creates the heavens (Psa 8:3).
  5. It writes out the condemnation of wicked rulers upon the wall (Dan 5:5).
The Finger of God makes commandments, punishes, heals, and creates anew. Christ's finger writing evokes many thoughts.

So... does the finger of God, THROUGH CHRIST HERE, do all these things in John 8? First of all, the finger that writes in the presence of the "accusers" of Israel could be accomplishing at least 3 of the 5 items above: (2) it could be writing the Law, as in: "THOU shalt not commit adultery... or murder... or steal, etc" -- the sins of each of those there assembled.

And (1 and 5) it could be writing out the judgments... even the plagues... that God would bring upon the wicked rulers of -- not Babylon and Egypt -- but Israel (!). And so, convicted by knowledge of their own sins and warnings of God's coming judgments, they slunk away.

Also, (3) is it possible that this woman was Mary Magdalene, out of whom Jesus cast seven demons (Mar 16:9; Luk 8:2), and who is also commonly assumed to have led a life of immorality before her conversion?

Finally, (4) all of Christ's work was with the purpose of developing the "new creation", his and God's: "a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness" (2Pe 3:13) -- in simple terms, men and women who through faith are forgiven of their sins and renewed or "re-created" in him. This he was doing with the woman, and possibly also with some of the men!

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