Category Archives: Numbers

Numbers 19-21; Acts 19; Psalms 28-29

God gets the credit. He gets the honor. He gets the glory. It’s all his.

I think of times in my life where I exhausted myself in my own efforts to no great accomplishment or success. And then surrendered to the Lord, “I’ve done what I could do. It’s all yours.” He has shown up, time and again, and handled things he always had under control to begin with. He is patient and faithful to me. He is trustworthy in the waiting. He is transforming me and developing my faith. That is the faithful love of a father.

The people were thirsty and God would provide.

Moses and Aaron turned away from the people and went to the entrance of the Tabernacle, where they fell face down on the ground. Then the glorious presence of the Lord appeared to them, and the Lord said to Moses, “You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock (Numbers 20:6-8, NLT).”

I’m familiar with the story of God bringing water from a rock, and sometimes I read over things too quickly. But when I slow down, things stand out and things sink in.

So Moses did as he was told. He took the staff from the place where it was kept before the Lord. 10 Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. “Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So the entire community and their livestock drank their fill.

12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!” 13 This place was known as the waters of Meribah (which means “arguing”) because there the people of Israel argued with the Lord, and there he demonstrated his holiness among them (Numbers 20:9-13, NLT, emphasis added).

The majesty of Psalm 29 speaks of God’s power in thundering, splitting bolts of language. But he is in the quiet and unexpected of the everyday too. I praise you, God, for truth. You are my strength and shield. You fill my heart with joy. Oh, I trust you!

Praise the Lord!
    For he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and shield.
    I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
    I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. (Psalm 28:6-7, NLT)

I delight in the Lord and his goodness and glory. I praise him for the great things, for the small things, and for the details that almost escape notice. Lord, you are the way, the truth, the life. Thank you for giving me new vision. I am so grateful.

Courtney (66books365)


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Numbers 15-18; Acts 18; Psalm 90

I love the laws recorded in Numbers – they reflect the seriousness of God’s expectations in my life. The idea of obeying has never left the ways of following God – nothing is left to personal discretion. The work of obedience is a difficult and a careful one in my life. God has a reason for His call in my life even when I cannot see it. In some ways this screams faith to me.  I do know that God has higher aims for me, more than I can appreciate, and He does know what it will take for me to achieve them. I see His challenges as an opportunity to build strength and capacity so that I can succeed. At the end of the day I want to be holy.

So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God.  I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God.” – Numbers 15:40-41  ESV

When I read how Paul taught the church in Corinth how to be holy, he provided the concept that God designs us to follow Him. I have seen these in my own life. When God designed me He changed me, He put people in my life so that they could be changed and I could be changed even more, and most importantly, for me in the now, I believe He is designing me for what I cannot yet see.

And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,  for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” – Acts 18:9-10  ESV

For that reason I love the prayer that Moses prayed in Psalm 90, and especially this verse —

So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12  ESV

I really do want to be taught by God. I want to have a heart of wisdom. This verse reminds me of something Jesus said He would do. He promised me the Holy Spirit who would teach me all things.

Father, thank You for today. I am challenged so much to be what You want me to be. You ask me to be holy, I cannot do this without You. Make me into Your image, to love You, to obey You, to follow You. When life gives me opportunity to come to You as my Father with my needs, disappointments, struggles and failures, may I remember that Jesus has offered to walk with me and that I will accept His yoke so that I may place these burdens of mine on Him. I know He cares for me. I will glorify You always and am so thankful that in You I have my hope.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

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Numbers 12-14; Acts 17; Psalms 27

“They said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the Lord heard them. (Now Moses was very humble-more humble than any other person on earth.) “And the Lord said to them, “Now listen to what I say: “If there were prophets among you, I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” Numbers 12:2,6-8 NLT

What does it mean to ‘see the Lord as he is?’ Is it trusting in his goodness, even when life seems out of control? So often, I am like the Israelites and question his plan. I sit too long with the past, instead of moving forward.

“Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off in plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted against themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!”  “And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me. even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?” Numbers 14:3&4, 11 NLT

The Israelites wanted a new leader. But, their rejection did not detour Moses from pleading to the Lord on their behalf (Numbers 14:17). His humble spirit shown through. He might have been hurt, but he didn’t let his feelings get in the way of God’s call on his life. He trusted the Lord.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.” Psalms 27:1-3 NLT

Dear Father, thank you that you are not a God of confusion. But of clarity and peace. Help me to listen to your voice. And not be so quick to lose heart. Thank you for your faithfulness to me. Amen.

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” Psalms 27:13 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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Numbers 34-36; Luke 4

My wife and I are reintroducing ourselves to the television series starring the lawyer, Perry Mason. Reminds me how easy it is to judge and how critical it is for me not to.  I was always taught that my name was always a precious reputation but keeping that name is not always up to me. Just the idea that God knew I could be wrongfully accused and that He set up provision for these things makes me feel that my name nestled in the palm of His hand is the best place for me to be.

After you have crossed the Jordan River and are settled in Canaan,  choose Safe Towns, where a person who has accidentally killed someone can run for protection.  If the victim’s relatives think it was murder, they might try to take revenge.[c] Anyone accused of murder can run to one of these Safe Towns for protection and not be killed before a trial is held.  There are to be six of these Safe Towns,  three on each side of the Jordan River.  They will be places of protection for anyone who lives in Israel and accidentally kills someone. – Numbers 35:10-15  CEV

I grew up hearing stories of missionaries who shared stories of how angels came to the aid of those who were under attack.  Many quoted Psalm 91 and I am glad my mother made us kids memorize that Psalm at an early age. I have used it many times.  Satan tried to manipulate Jesus in the desert with the temptation of security and comfort in line with this whole idea.  Thankfully Jesus showed how to discern what real protection looked like.

The Scriptures say: ‘God will tell his angels to take care of you. They will catch you in their arms, and you will not hurt your feet on the stones.’” – Luke 4:10-11  CEV

I try not to put God to the test, but I have no fear when I walk a dark ally, or go across a vacant parking lot during the day or night.  Somehow I know it is not my time to go home and that God has a lot of work for me to do.  My wife says angels work on overtime when I leave the house.  I just preached a sermon on the Holy Spirit’s work as our Helper.  Fits right into this thought.  I believe our lives of peace come from leaving our hands in God’s – even when things are going terrible.  If I do not leave it in God’s hand, whose hand is big enough to hold it and keep it safe?

Father, I am thankful that You want to protect me and keep me safe.  I love the fact that You care for me very much.  Even so, there are days I start without You.  Forgive for those moments when I think my life is too important for You.

Erwin

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Numbers 30-33; Psalms 35; Luke 3

“These are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the Lord. And these are their journeys according to the starting points: They departed from the Ramesus in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day of the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians” Numbers 33:1-3 NKJV

The Israelites were on their way to the Promised Land.  I imagine Moses writing about their struggles, hardships, faith or lack there of.  “They departed”…What old ways am I still holding onto that could be leaving me stuck? I think about times that I can get complacent. I read over my journal entries and my hope is renewed over God’s faithfulness. Sometimes I have to look back to be able to move forward.

“Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, And stand up for my help. Also draw out the spear, And stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” Psalms 35:1-3 NKJV

David cried out to God to make right the wrongs committed against him. Things that could have hindered him, he gave to God instead and found freedom.

“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation. All my bones shall say, “Lord, who is like You, Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, Yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?” Psalms 35:9&10 NKJV

As I prepare my heart for Easter, I pray that I would be filled with wonder over what Jesus did for me.

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled. And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight. And the rough places smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Luke 3:4-6 NKJV

Dear Father, thank you for the victory I have in you. I pray for others who don’t know you, to know how much you love them. Enough to die on the cross for their sins. Thank you that you will complete the work you started in me. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Numbers 26-29; Luke 2

For some reason I have been drawn to the New Testament passages in this year’s readings. This one is particularly touching and profound to me. And this passage in Luke’s Gospel not only speaks to the birth of Jesus, but also His crucifixion. Also we have a grandson Simeon and I do think his parents named him that with this passage in mind. And before he was even born this passage always has brought tears to my eyes. It’s a great passage for Christmas and for this Lenten season.

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:25-35 [ESV])

Simeon had been told that he would not die till he saw the salvation of the Lord. Till he had seen the Messiah and here Jesus was. And Simeon said he could depart in peace because the greatest thing in the world had just happened to him. Wow! What an experience. He held and dedicated the God of the universe. What a privilege.

Then he mad a profound statement to Mary. That a sword would pierce Mary’s soul because of this little one. And 33 years later we see Mary standing at the foot of the cross and in torment she watches Jesus die for her and for us all.

What are you waiting for this Lenten season? Is Jesus on your list? You know that in Revelation 7 the Apostle John views heaven and sees people from ever tongue trip  and nation standing around the throne of God. There are presently 3,200 people groups that would have no representative in heave if Jesus came back today. So there is still much to do before He returns. What are you doing to hasten His return today?

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Numbers 8-11; Colossians 1

Dallas Willard has made a comment that it may be best to stay in one verse or chapter in the Bible and go deep there for a year instead of a cursory tree top reading of the entire work in that time frame. If he is right about that, this chapter is one that a person could spend a whole year in and still not plumb the depths of its meaning or applications in one’s life.

Just Friday I read Colossians through in one sitting. The leadership team from our church was away at a retreat and one of our core values is Valuing the Word of God.  So our pastor had us read this letter from the Apostle Paul through in one setting and then we discussed it as a team. We read it by ourselves and then came back and shared our thoughts together. Looking at my notes two things from chapter one really hit me.

First Paul shares that he is an apostle by the will of God. What are you? Who are you? What do you do each day in and day out? Is that God’s will for you? Do you look at your work as a sacred calling? I don’t think only apostles are in that role by the will of God. Certainly they are, but all of us have been called to where we are in this life through the will of God. Are you taking your job, responsibilities each day as the will of God? What changes if you keep that important truth in mind?

Second, Paul shares an interesting truth:

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven (Colossians 1:3-5a [ESV])

The Colossians were given excellent marks for the love they showed to other believers. And it was a result of the hope that was laid up for them in heaven. What a concept. Our love comes from the fact that our future — now and for all eternity — is secure in Christ. We are freed to love others because we no longer worry about our futures. We are safe in Jesus. When was the last time you meditated on that truth? Do it today!

Spend time thinking of and thanking God for your secure future that will go on for ever and ever. Then find a fellow believer to love on.

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