Life’s Walls – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 3 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 13 – 16; Proverbs 2; Psalms 6 – 10

Read the “0302 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Good morning. Let me ask you a question: Is your God powerful enough to bring down a wall that you came up against? In our passage here we see that the Israelites came against sixty cities, all fenced with high walls, gates, and bars. There were also a great many unwalled towns too. Many times in our lives, walls spring up and block us: keep us from our goal. Moses told Joshua…

Have faith. God will fight for you. Let’s fast forward to Joshua at Jericho. If someone told you that you had to march around Jericho for six days, once each day; and then on the seventh day march seven times around, and shout so the walls would fall, you would look at them kind of strange. But Israel did it by faith in God, and the walls came tumbling down.

Wait for God. He is probably waiting for you to obey. Think about Naaman the leper. Naaman’s wall was his leprosy. What could he do?

Have faith, wait for God and…

Watch God work. Peter was chained up in prison. His problem was the prison walls: and his freedom was right on the other side of those walls.

The church was praying for Peter, and Peter saw first-hand God working. Sometimes God will test our faith. Sometimes we have to wait for God. And sometimes we have to just hold our place and watch God work. Our wall, or problem, can be our own worst enemy. Sometimes we have to ask the Lord to take it away. Paul said…

God gives us grace in dealing with our walls. Without the walls in our lives there would be no need for His grace to make the walls tumble down. Praise the Lord for the walls in your life.

Peace.


Posted in Devotions by with 3 comments.

In the Morning

 
Happy Leap Day!

Note – today is that extra day in the calendar that comes every four years in a leap year. There is no scheduled reading for today. Read your favorite passage or use the time to get caught up if you have fallen behind. For you second milers, however, there are quite a few extra passages to read as February is a short month.

Today’s Passage – read your favorite passage

(Second Milers read – Proverbs 29 – 31Psalms 141 – 145Psalms 146 – 150)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Ephesians 4:32

Read this morning’s Evening and Morning devotion by Charles Spurgeon.

“8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” (Psalm 143:8)

As I was reading through these second miler passages this morning, I noticed that the psalmist, David, had the same philosophy that many of us do when it comes to carving out some time early in the day to get alone with God and hear what He has to say to us. Really, you could say that these verses sum up the purpose of this devotional blog. We want to get alone with the Lord early in the morning, before all the cares of the day confront us, and we want Him to remind us of His lovingkindness toward us and to show us the way that we should walk in our day. These moments with God in the morning are very precious. At my house, the mornings are usually very peaceful. I am an early riser, and I love the quietness of the morning. I usually sit in my chair in front of the fireplace and do my devotions, along with my buddy Jack (our Corgi).

David certainly liked to spend time with God in the morning:

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” (Psalm 5:3)

“But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.” (Psalm 88:13)”

Jesus also was a fan of the early morning hours:

“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

The morning is certainly not the only time of the day that we should get alone with the Lord. David also said:

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psalm 55:17)

Paul stated that we should: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), which means all times of the day.

I once heard an evangelist say that we should get God on the phone in the morning and shoulder the phone throughout the day. 

I want to encourage you to find a time in your day when you can get alone with the Lord and listen to what He has to say to you. For many of us, it may be in those early morning hours, but for some, it may be another time in the day. Whatever works for you – just do it. It is amazing what a difference it makes in our lives when we take the time to hear His voice – in the morning.


Posted in Devotions by with 1 comment.

The Land Belongs to Israel

Today’s Passage – Numbers 34 – 36 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – 1 Corinthians 5 – 8;  Proverbs 28Psalms 141 – 145

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 89

Read a previous post from this passage – “The City of Refuge,” and Taking Care of the Preachers.

Read the “Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:)” (Numbers 34:1-2)

The map in the image above shows the original land distribution for the tribes of Judah as they entered into the land of Canaan after wandering through the wilderness of Sinai for forty years. Each of the colors on the map represent the various tribes of Israel, including the two half-tribes of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim. The sizes of the land portions was determined by the number of people within the tribe, which was determined by the census taken back in Numbers 26:

“53 Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. 54 To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him. 55 Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. 56 According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few.” (Numbers 26:53-56)

The only tribe of Israel that did not receive land was the tribe of Levi, which was the tribe that serve the nation as priests and ministers within the Tabernacle. They did receive forty-eight cities to live in, however, that were scattered throughout all of Israel within the land borders of the other tribes. See Numbers 35:2 – 3, and our previous devotion, Taking Care of the Preachers, for more information regarding the cities given to the Levites.

Compare the map above to the current land distribution within Israel in the map below. You will notice that much of the original land given to Israel by God now belongs to eh Palestinians. Israel has also lost all of the land to the east of the Jordan River. The Palestinians within Israel, along with the nations that surround Israel, are all Muslim nations, and many of them are Israel’s bitter enemies. Some of them do not recognize Israel’s right to exist at all and if they could they would wipe Israel off of the map completely. God’s sovereign protection and the support of Israel’s few allies, including the United States, are the only things that are preventing that from happening.

Though I have compassion for the Palestinians and other nations who all have a long history within and around the land of Israel and also have claims of their own regarding their right to be there, I will never take a side against Israel. God has promised a blessing to those who are a friend to Israel. When God gave His covenant to Abraham, which included both a seed (children), and the land, He stated:

“3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)

By the way, the covenant that God made with Abraham passed specifically to his son Isaac (not Ishmael), and through Isaac to Jacob, and then through Jacob to his twelve sons, the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel.

God has also made it very clear that He is not finished with Israel. Those of us who are dispensationalists believe that God will someday fulfill all of the past kingdom promises that He made to Israel. As a nation, Israel will someday realize that they were wrong about the the Lord Jesus Christ, their Messiah, who came to redeem them:

“10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10)

“7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:7)

“25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:” (Romans 11:25-26)

In the future Millennial Kingdom, Christ will rule from Jerusalem and the borders of Israel will extend even further beyond what was described here in the Book of Numbers (see Ezekiel 47:13 – 20 and the map below). 


Posted in Devotions by with 1 comment.

The Greatest Weapon An Army Can Have – The Saturday Morning Post

The First A-Bomb

Today’s Passage – Numbers 25 – 26 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Romans 5 – 8; Proverbs 24; Psalms 121 – 125)

Read the “0224 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Good morning. Six hundred and one thousand seven hundred and thirty is a great army to have. And Israel had it. But this army was no good to Israel unless it was armed. Israel was armed with the greatest weapon they could have against their enemies – God. All they had to do was obey the orders that God gave them, and He would take care of the rest. Jesus said…

It would be a terrible thing if you loose your only weapon that will defend you against your enemy.

You can see in the battle of Jericho that when Israel obeyed God. Israel did what God told them to do, and He brought the walls down (see Joshua chapter 6). Jericho was defeated. The next city was Ai, a small city, but one man of Israel sinned at Jericho. He did not obey God. When Israel went up against Ai, Israel lost 32 men, and retreated from the men of Ai. Ai was used by God as he would us Assyria to punish Israel for their disobedience. God pointed out to Joshua that there was sin in the camp. Joshua needed to take care of it. He did. And the next time Israel attacked, Ai was defeated (see Joshua chapters 7 and 8). You can have the greatest army in the world, but without God, it is nothing: it has no life…

Are you in God’s army. Does God’s Holy Spirit dwell in you. Will you allow God to bless you as you take a stand for Him? Remember…

Peace.


Posted in Devotions by with 1 comment.

The Red Heifer

Today’s Passage – Numbers 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click hereto view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 25 – 28Proverbs 22Psalms 106 – 110)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song –Proverbs 27:15

Read previous posts from this passage – Look to Jesus,” and “Keep Going Even When It Hurts”

“2 This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke: 3 And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face: 4 And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times: 5 And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn: 6 And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. … 17 And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel: 18 And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave: 19 And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.” (Numbers 19:2-6, 17-19)

For many years, I have heard Christians talking about the Red Heifer when discussing prophecies regarding the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Some claim that when the Temple is rebuilt and dedicated to the Lord that there will be a red heifer sacrificed as part of the ceremony. I do not really know about all that, but I was very surprised to find there was only one verse in the Bible that specifically mentions the red heifer, though it is discussed throughout Numbers 19. There is also a New Testament passage that refers to it:

“11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Hebrews 9:11-15)

Here is what we know about the Red Heifer from these two passages:

The Red Heifer was a symbol of Christ in that she was without blemish (see Hebrew 9:14 above and 1 Peter 1:19), and that she was to be slain outside the camp. Hebrews picks up on this idea as well:

“11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” (Hebrews 13:11-14)

The red heifer was to be slain and burnt outside of the camp along with cedar, hyssop, and scarlet (v. 6), and then the ashes were to be stored in a clean place where they could be retrieved when needed and mixed with water to make a “water of purification.” According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary: “Cedar was chosen because it is evergreen and aromatic, the hyssop because of its application of the blood at the Exodus (cf. Ps. 51:7; Ex. 12:22), and the scarlet wool because it symbolizes the blood itself”[1] These three items that were burnt along with the heifer were the same that were used in the purification of a person who had leprosy (Leviticus 14:4 – 6; 49 – 52; see also Psalm 51:7).

The color of the red heifer may also have been symbolic of blood. Wiersbe believes it could have been symbolic of the earth that man came from. He stated: “The red color may point to the blood being shed, but perhaps the color speaks of the red earth out of which the first man was made (Gen. 2:7). The name “Adam” comes from the Hebrew word adamah which means “red earth.”[2]

The slaying of this heifer was not for the same as a sin offering, but rather was for the removal of the contamination of sin. McGee likened it to when the Lord Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. His washing of their feet cleansed away the part of the disciples that came into contact with the filth of the world.

When our Lord Jesus Christ went into the Upper Room with His disciples, the first thing he did was to get a basin of water and wash the disciples’ feet. Now why did He do that? He tells Simon Peter the reason. “… If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” (John 13:8). If the Lord Jesus had not washed the feet of Peter, Peter could not have fellowship with Him.[3]

Specifically, this water of purification was used to ceremonially purify someone who came in contact with a dead body. As the Israelites wandered in that wilderness for forty years, a lot of people died. You will remember that anyone who was over the age of twenty when the spies went into Kadesh Barnea was not allowed to enter the Promised Land forty years later. The congregation of Israel was estimated to be over two million when they left Egypt, so it is entirely possible that over one million people died during their time in deserts of Sinai. That’s a lot of dead bodies.

Another interesting thing about this purification ritual is that it could be performed by any clean person, not specifically a priest (Numbers 19:18 – 19). The animal itself was slain by someone other than the priest, thought the priest was present and participated when it was done (Numbers 19:3 – 6). The person who mixed the ashes with the water was a layman as well (Numbers 19:9 – 10). The cleansing away of sin can only be done through the atoning work and power of our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ; but we who are saved (clean) can daily take part in cleansing and purging from the effects that sin has on us when we daily come in contact with it on this earth:

“9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

God wants us to be a holy, clean people. Christ provided the cleansing for sin when He shed his blood on the Cross of Calvary, but we need to stay clean from the effects that sin has on our lives:

“1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1 KJV)

Here is what has been speculated prophetically about the Red Heifer:

According to gotquestions.org:

To meet the requirements of the Old Testament law, a red heifer was needed to help accomplish the purification of the Israelites from uncleanness—specifically, the ashes of a red heifer were needed (see Numbers 19). Because red heifer ashes were necessary for the purification rites held at the temple, many have regarded the appearance of a red heifer today as heralding the construction of the third temple and the return of Christ.

According to rabbinical tradition, there have been nine red heifers sacrificed since Moses’ time. Since the destruction of the second temple, no red heifers have been slaughtered. The rabbi Maimonides (1135—1204) taught that the tenth red heifer would be sacrificed by the Messiah Himself (Parah Adumah, ch. 3, § 4). The Temple Institute, a group advocating the construction of a third temple, reports that five flawless red heifers from Texas arrived in Israel on September 15, 2022 (https://templeinstitute.org, accessed 9/22/22). Many people view this event as a fulfilment of prophecy, since the acquisition of a red heifer is a major step forward in plans for a new temple.

[1] Eugene H. Merrill, “Numbers,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 237.

[2] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Counted, “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor Pub., 1999), 81.

[3] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary, electronic ed., vol. 1 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997), 501.


Posted in Devotions by with no comments yet.

A Tithe of a Tithe

Today’s Passage – Numbers 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 22 – 24Proverbs 21Psalms 106 – 110)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 121

Read the “0221 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – Standing Between the Living and the Dead”

“25 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe. 27 And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress. 28 Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD’S heave offering to Aaron the priest. 29 Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it. 30 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress. 31 And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation. 32 And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.” (Numbers 18:25-32)

Did you know that the Levites who received their support from the tithes and offerings from God’s people, were also supposed to give a portion of that which they received back to the Lord. It was literally a tithe of a tithe. The Israelites presented their tithes to the priests, which was then distributed to all the Levites to feed their families. The Levites then took ten percent of what was given to them and offered it back to the Lord. It was actually then given specifically to the family of Aaron who served as the priests. Remember, the tribe of Levi was made up of three families: Kohath, Merari, and Gershom. These families had different responsibilities as servants within the Tabernacle (and later in the Temple). From the family of Kohath came Moses and his brother Aaron. Aaron and his sons were given the special distinction of serving as the priests within the Tabernacle.

This offering from the Levites was referred to a few times in vs. 27 – 29 as an “heave offering.” The “heave offering” (תְּרוּמָה – tᵊrûmâ) was first mentioned in Exodus 29:27 and is mentioned twenty other times after that. Bakers Encyclopedia of the Bible describes this offering as: “portions of the sacrifices and offerings set aside for the Lord and for the priests.”[1]

My thought this morning is that these servants of God who received their support from the offerings of God’s people were also expected to participate in the giving of offerings themselves. It almost seems to not make sense. If God is giving the money (or in this particular case, food) to the ministers from the offering, then why should they have to give it back to the offering. Maybe, they should only be given ninety percent of the tithe so that they would not have to go through the process of giving back the other ten percent. But God set it up this way for a couple of reasons:

  • There is great joy in giving.

“35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

People who are inside the will of God and filled with His Spirit receive tremendous pleasure out of giving to God. All of God’s people love to give, and God’s ministers are no different.

  • By giving back the Levites were being examples to the people.

In that great passage for pastors written by Peter, he exhorts them to be examples to the flock:

“1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:1-4)

It has been my observation that some preachers are a little stingy in their giving. I must confess that this is a “pet peeve” of mine. I have heard about preachers who did not give any offerings at all to their churches. Who am I to judge them their motivation in neglecting this basic duty, but I can judge the wrongness of the action itself. Preacher, if we are going to encourage the congregation to give, we had better lead the way in giving. By the way, preachers should not be stingy in other ways, either. Pick up the tab once in a while when eating out with church members; give a generous tip to the waitress; give gifts at Christmas and birthdays, etc.

  • Giving demonstrated their love for the Lord.

Paul told the Church at Corinth that their freewill offering for the poor saints in Jerusalem would prove the sincerity of their love for the Lord:

“1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. 6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. 7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. 8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:1-9)

  • Giving demonstrated their faith in God.

By participating in this process, the Levites were demonstrating that they believed that God was going to continue to meet every need that they had:

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38)

[1] Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Heave Offering,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 941.


Posted in Devotions by with 1 comment.

And When the People Complained…

Today’s Passage – Numbers 11 – 13 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 16 – 18Proverbs 19Psalms 96 – 100)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 92:1 – 4

Read the “0219 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.” (Numbers 11:1)

Boy, I hope that you enjoyed today’s reading as much as I did! Sometimes when we read these Old Testament passages, especially the chapters containing the genealogies, they can be less interesting and lacking of action, but that was certainly not the case for Numbers 11 – 13.

In Numbers 11, we have an account of the people of God murmuring and complaining, which is something they did often, and God hated it. Anyway, here in chapter eleven they are complaining about the manna that God provided for them everyday. Imagine not having to work for your food but simply going out every morning and gathering it up from off of the ground. We do not know exactly what manna tasted like but I’d bet it was good, and since it came directly from God as bread from Heaven, I can guarantee that it provided perfect nutrition. Yet, the people were tired of manna every day. Keith Green wrote a great song that described the frustration of the Israelites with their day to day wander in the wilderness and their lack of desire for manna. Here is a portion of “So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt:”

Well there’s nothing do but travel
And we sure travel a lot
‘Cause it’s hard to keep your feet from moving
When the sand gets so hot
And in the morning it’s manna hotcakes
We snack on manna all day
And we sure had a winner last night for dinner
Flaming manna souffle

Well we once complained for something new to munch
The ground opened up and had some of us for lunch
Ooh, such fire and smoke
Can’t God even take a joke? Huh? NO!

Oh, Moses, put down your pen!
What? Oh no, manna again?

Oh, manna waffles
Manna burgers
Manna bagels
Fillet of manna
Manna patty
BaManna bread!

I think the main reason that the people complained was because they were on a different timetable than God. I know I am. I want what I want, when I want it, which is usually immediately. The people liked the manna at first but they got tired of it. I am sure that God knew that they needed a little more variety in their diet but He wasn’t providing it as fast as the people wanted. So what did they do? They griped and complained. They wanted MEAT! And, they wanted it NOW! They more than desired it; they lusted after it. So, what did God do? He gave it to them in the form of quails. So many of them that they were piled up three feet deep in a large area surrounding the camp. They ate so much of it that it came out of their nostrils. They loved the quail that God provided at first but they would soon tire of it as well.

Why is it that God’s people get tired of the good things that He provides for them. Why is it that we always want more; we are never satisfied, never content.

In chapter twelve, we see that the complaints were not limited to just the lay people. Apparently Aaron and Miriam were upset about the fact that Moses had chosen an African wife. God was not pleased with their criticism either, and Miriam was stricken (at least temporarily) with leprosy.

Then in chapter thirteen, God sent twelve spies in to check out the land of Canaan. He didn’t want them to figure out how God was going to bring them in to defeat the Canaanites, He just wanted them to see how beautiful and abundant the land was so they could get a vision for what God had in store for them. Instead of coming back excited, they came back scared. They did not believe that their God was able to defeat the Canaanites and they, too, griped and complained.

When are we going to learn? Why can’t God’s people see that their cups are overflowing with blessings, instead of always viewing them as half-empty. Is this the way you see things? Do you tend to see the negative side of everything? Learn from all of these examples from Numbers 11 – 13. God is good and He is very good to His children. He has dealt with us far better than we could ever deserve.


Posted in Devotions by with 1 comment.

Wait Until I Pray

Today’s Passage – Numbers 8 – 10 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 13 – 15Proverbs 18Psalms 91 – 95)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Joshua One and Verse Eight

Read the “0218 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s reading – “Don’t Move

“And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.” (Numbers 9:8)

In our text today, a group of men come to Moses with a problem: they wanted to observe the Passover, but they were ceremonially unclean because they had come in contact with a dead body. Moses did not just give them an answer based upon what he thought would be right. He told them to wait until he prayed about it, and then he would give them God’s answer. The Lord determined that these men should wait exactly one month and then observe the Passover. The Lord also revealed to Moses that this would also be the rule for people who were on a journey when the Passover was being observed. They would just wait a month and observe it in the second month. 

A similar situation happened in Numbers 27. The daughters of Zelophehad had a question about their inheritance, but Moses did not give them his answer: “… Moses brought their cause before the LORD.” (Numbers 27:5)

My thought this morning is that we need to make sure the counsel that we give other people, and even the decisions that we make for ourselves, are all bathed in prayer. People come to me all of the time for advice, or perhaps to ask me about some new thing that they would like to do in their ministry within the church. Oftentimes, I tell them what I think they should do without first checking with the Lord. That is not a wise thing to do. I should have an automatic reply similar to what Moses said: “Wait until I pray about it.” Of course, we should also seek answers for them from the Word of God as well. Waiting to pray and seek God’s will will ensure that good counsel is given and bad decisions are not made. Take time to pray before you tell somebody else what they should do, and also before you do something yourself. 

“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:4)

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:18)

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6)


Posted in Devotions by with 4 comments.

Carry Your Burden – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Numbers 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 10 – 12; Proverbs 17; Psalms 86 – 90)

Read the “0217 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Good morning. Do you remember what you read in the Bible this morning? Being old, I have trouble too, remembering that is. Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit who will bring all things to light: He’ll help you remember when the time comes. After reading about the burden of the sons of Kohath, I thought about king David, and how we all mess up. Did you know the king had to write a copy of the Bible. Not only that, he had to read it daily…

So what happened here…

David should have known. David should have had the sons of Kohath carry the ark. The oxen wouldn’t have shaken it, and Uzzah would not have had to grab the ark to steady it. But David didn’t, and Uzzah died. Yes, David should have known that when we sin, it affects others. Adam and Eve. Eve believed the lie of the devil, but Adam knew the truth and willfully took of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…

When we sin, it affects others. Jonah, when he ran from God…

The captain lost the cargo he was carrying which equated to what may have been a small fortune. Because of Jonah’s sin, others suffered. How about Pharaoh? He hardened his heart and rebelled against God by not letting God’s people leave Egypt. As a result Egypt was ruined, and the people suffered with the death of their firstborn.

When we sin, it hurts others. Moses sinned, and was not allowed to enter the promised land when he smote the rock to get water, instead of only speaking to it. He ruined God’s picture of Jesus and how we can come boldly before the throne of grace.

God provided a way to forgive us through the Lord Jesus Christ…

When we sin, it affects and hurts others. Have you opened your eyes to see what your sin has done to others? The Lord will forgive your sin, but unfortunately, the results of that sin still remain. It is sometimes very hard to make up for the damage done to others. Just something to think about when you’re tempted to sin.

Peace.


Posted in Devotions by with 1 comment.

The Nazarite Vow

Today’s Passage – Numbers 5 – 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 7 – 9Proverbs 16Psalms 81 – 85)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm Sixty-One and Verses One – Three

Read the “0216 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – “The Lord Bless Thee”

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.” (Numbers 6:2 – 3)

Numbers 6 discusses the Nazarite vow. (Note – don’t confuse Nazarite with Nazarene. Jesus was a Nazarene from Nazareth in Galilee)

The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things:

  1. Abstinence from wine or anything from the vine, including grapes or raisins.
  2. Hair could not be cut.
  3. No contact whatever with a dead body, or even a dead animal.

This vow was a temporary vow of separation in most cases, though there were a few who were Nazarites from birth:

  1. Samson (Judges 13:5 – 7; 16:17) Samson violated his vow by breaking all three of the restrictions of the Nazarite vow. He went to the vineyards, He touched a dead body, and he cut his hair)
  2. Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11)
  3. John the Baptist (Luke 1:15 – though the Scriptures only mention that John would not drink wine or strong drink, but he was definitely separated unto the Lord).

When the Apostle Paul returned to Jerusalem after his third missionary journey, he may have been participating in a Nazarite vow by paying the offering for four men who were coming out of their time of separation (see Acts 21:24).

There was no mandate that anybody take part in this season of separation: it was the free-will choice of whoever desired to do it. The application that we can make concerning this vow is that during the time of this vow, the person was to be completely separated from sin and devoted to the Lord. That is a good thing for us to be at all times, but there may be seasons in our lives and ministries where we may want to refrain from certain entertainments and activities and, perhaps even, fast from food. During this period, we could also extend our time in prayer and Bible study.

According to Manners and Customs of the Bible:

This institution was a symbol of a life devoted to God and separated from all sin—a holy life (Numbers 6:2–21).

When the period of the continuance of the vow came to an end, the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary with three things.

  1. A male lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering.
  2. A ewe lamb of the first year for a sin-offering.
  3. A ram for a peace-offering.

After these sacrifices were offered by the priest, the Nazarite cut off his hair at the door and threw it into the fire under the peace-offering.

As to the duration of a Nazarite’s vow, everyone was left at liberty to fix his own time. There is mention made in the Scriptures of only three who were Nazarites for life, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist (Judges 13:4, 5; 1 Samuel 1:11, Luke 1:15). In its ordinary form, however, the Nazarite’s vow lasted only thirty and, at most, one hundred, days.[1]


[1] Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & Customs of the Bible (pp. 533–535). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.


Posted in Devotions by with 3 comments.