Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday, May 1: Numbers 9-11, Revelation 18 ~ Elizabeth

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 9-11 and Revelation 18

Yes, I know I'm a day late, and late in the day too. Thursday got away from me and yesterday I had a sick kid home from school. Hopefully this is the only time I ever post this late. Sorry.

In our Numbers passage for today, we see that the census, instructions, and consecrations of chapters 1-8 took place over about 2 weeks. Israel would now observe its second Passover before leaving Sinai.God commands Moses to celebrate Passover anew as a memorial of His great deliverance. All people were to participate, even if they could not observe the event on the same dates. God reveals His grace in the Passover and in the exceptions He allows for its observance. Just as He continually sought the good and unity of Israel, He seeks our good and unity in the services of His precious Word, which describes our creation, redemption, and sanctification as His people through faith in Christ, our Passover Lamb. At God’s directive, the Israelites move away from Mount Sinai. God’s providential care is evident. The pillar of cloud/fire symbolizes His gracious hand over His covenant community. Today, God continues to care for His people, sustaining them on the journey of faith through His means of grace.

Blasts on the silver trumpets signal the time to move, but they also serve the purpose of calling leaders of the entire community to assemble at the tent of meeting. God ordains an Israelite theocracy with Himself as King. In mercy, God leads His people toward the land promised long ago. Scripture teaches that a trumpet blast will also signal our call to heaven on the Last Day. The Israelites march to the Promised Land; the ark of the covenant leads the way. The Lord deals gently with His people by providing constant guidance and sound leadership.

The grumbling begins only three days into the journey. Perhaps aching muscles or sore feet cause their discomfort. God provides guidance to the Promised Land and manna to eat on the way; in return for His love, He receives grumbling. Sometimes, obeying God causes pain and suffering. When tempted to grumble, think of Christ at Gethsemane and how He turned His pains into prayers. Meditate on how He willingly submitted to the Father’s will for the sake of our salvation. Earlier, we learned of Moses’ helplessness as Israel’s leader-one man amid a throng of rebellious people. Mercifully, God grants 70 elders to help Moses. Like Moses, you may at times feel frustration and become angry with the Lord. Thanks be to God, He is “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”. In His mercy, the Lord provides for you and calls you to repentance and faith through His faithful servants.

In our Revelation reading, John describes the collapse and judgment of Babylon, the great oppressor of the innocent and exploiter of the weak. As modern, Western Christians hear the charges against Babylon, they note that some strike very close to home, especially greed and an addiction to luxury. The Church must remember where its true treasures are to be found. Whoever has Jesus can look forward to enjoying eternal splendor and joy in heaven.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Numbers 12-14; Revelation 19 


Pamela said...

I think our human nature causes us to always want what do don't have. All the Manna we can eat....lusting after meat. All the heat of summer... we wish for the cold of Winter. The grass truly would appear to be greener on the other side. I think the passage from Revelation speaks so clear to this desire for what we do not have:

“The fruit for which your soul longed
has gone from you,
and all your delicacies and your splendors
are lost to you,
never to be found again!”

The things we often long for are the things that will fade away in eternity. May we long after the things that are eternal rather than temporary.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Definitely a human tendency to think the grass is greener on the other side (or the good old days). But the truth is that the grass is greener where you water it. Again, we need to focus on Jesus, the source of all goodness, and consciously cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

I love the thought of the pillars of fire and cloud guiding the Israelites, that would've been amazing to see!

Conrad said...

Something I was thinking about while reading about the Israelites journey, is that it took 40 years to do something that maybe could have been done in a few weeks. It took this long as a punishment to the Israelites from God.

Rather than moving forward in faith, they wanted to go back to Egypt. How is our journey? Are we relying on God's power to carry us through, or are we giving n to fear?