~ Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54 ~ Mark 11:1-26 ~ Psalm 46:1-11 ~ Proverbs 10:23
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Old Testament - Today we wrap up Leviticus and transition into Numbers! Congratulations on staying the course through the book of Leviticus! Have you Learned to Love Leviticus this past month?? :) Commentary on Leviticus chapter 27 by Bob Deffinbaugh titled "The Value of a Vow" is at bible.org at this link. Numbers is an amazing book! I encourage you to reflect on words “Obedience” and “Disobedience” as we read through the book of Numbers. We’ll read much about both of these words in this book. And – I think as we read about both Moses’ and the Israelites Obedience and Disobedience, we will see many parallels in our own lives today. We have an opportunity with the book of Numbers to reflect upon where we have been both Obedient and Disobedient to God in our lives. We also have the opportunity to reflect upon the fruits and blessings of Obedience and the consequences of Disobedience – in Moses’, the Israelites, and our lives today. I hope you are ready to experience the book of Numbers!
~The Book of Numbers~
Date: 1420 or 1220 B.C.
Content: This book deals with the journey of Israel from Mt. Sinai to the edge of Canaan and the Israelites’ preparation to enter the Promised Land. Because of sin and unbelief, however, they were not allowed by God to claim their inheritance but were condemned to wander in the wilderness for forty years. After the forty years they slowly made their way back to Canaan – this time ready to obey God’s commands. After winning some important battles to the east of the Jordan River, the Israelites prepared for the entrance into the land itself.
Theme: The book shows the continual faithfulness of God and the unbelievable sin of man. Israel rejected God but God remained true to his word, in leading the people through the wilderness and providing for their needs. In the New Testament the Christian life is likened to a wandering in the wilderness with the promise of a heavenly Canaan before us. (Above commentary is from “The One Year Bible Companion” pp. 2-3) Excellent commentary on the Book of Numbers is at this link.
Today in Numbers chapter 1 verse 1 we read: “The LORD spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt.” You’ll definitely notice as we read through the book of Numbers that God speaks to Moses, and through Moses to Israel. This fact is stated over 150 times and in more than 20 different ways in the book of Numbers – all the way from this first verse above until the very last verse of Numbers in chapter 36 verse 13 – “These are the commands and regulations the LORD gave through Moses to the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.” The Israelites were dependent on Moses at that time to hear from God. How do you hear from God in your life today? Do you believe that you are hearing from God as you read the Bible? Do you believe that you can hear from God during times of prayer? Do you believe that today you can hear from God through your faith in Jesus and in your participation in the body of Christ, the church? Are you hearing from God today? Do you want to hear from God today?
New Testament - Today in Mark chapter 11 we read about Jesus' Triumphal entry in Jerusalem! This entry is an important transition point in Jesus' ministry, in large part because it is the last week of Jesus' life, which inaugurates Passion Week. But also because Jesus' ministry will now be focused in the confines of Jerusalem, the Holy City. Jesus' triumphal entry is a deliberate Messianic action and the clue to its understanding is found in Zechariah chapter 9 verse 9: "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." Hosanna in the highest! (Hosanna is a Hebrew expression meaning “Save!” which became an exclamation of praise). Commentary on Mark chapter 11 readings for today by Bob Deffinbaugh titled "The Triumphal Tragedy" is at bible.org at this link.
Today we read in verse 17: "Jesus taught them, "The Scriptures declare, `My Temple will be called a place of prayer for all nations,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves.""
Below is a great image for Mark 11:25 in today's readings:
Psalms - Today we read Psalm 46, which is an incredible Psalm! This Psalm represents a song of hope celebrating the certain triumph of God’s kingdom – even in the midst of times of severe trouble. This Psalm served as the inspiration for Martin Luther’s famous Hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Just after 9/11 I saw emails and posts on the internet floating around with the entirety of this Psalm. I would encourage you to keep this Psalm in your “back-pocket” as a Psalm to meditate upon whenever you personally might be going through times of severe trouble – or whenever our world might be going through times of severe trouble. Near the end of Psalm 46 in verse 10 we read a tiny little verse that I think is the key to this Psalm – “Be still, and know that I am God.” If you are going through a time of trouble in your life right now, will you take some time to meditate upon Psalm 46 and in particular verse 10?
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs chapter 10 verse 23 we read: “Doing wrong is fun for a fool, while wise conduct is a pleasure to the wise.” This is one of those convicting Proverbs for me, as I have found myself on both sides of this coin. In my past, I’ve had fun in doing wrong. And in recent years I have found wise conduct to be a pleasure. As I’ve walked along the Way of following Jesus, I do know that I’m spending more time than ever enjoying wise conduct – thanks to the grace of God. However, this Proverb still makes me really examine how I am living my life today. Have I really stopped finding pleasure in doing wrong? Are there still some subtle ways perhaps that I am having fun doing wrong? Am I still acting foolishly at times? How about you? How does this Proverb speak to you? Have you found yourself on both sides of this coin? What does wise conduct look like to you in your life today? Will you seek to live a life of wise conduct? I believe we cannot live this life of wise conduct solely on our strength. Will you pray unceasingly to God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to give you the grace and strength to live a life of wise conduct?
Worship God: Based on my Psalm 46 reflections above, here's Steve Green in 1987 singing an incredible acapella version of Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress is our God:"
Is God your mighty fortress? Click here and be strengthened!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you will be still today. Pray that you will seek God in the stillness. Pray that you will know without a doubt that Jesus is God.
Comments from You & Question of the Day - Back to Psalm 46 verse 10 - “Be still, and know that I am God.” What does it mean to you to “Be still, and know that I am God?” Do you believe that being still during times of trouble can draw you closer to God? Will you be still today before God? In this stillness will you seek to know that He is indeed God? Even in the midst of whatever might be troubling you, will you seek to know that I AM is your God? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
Love, Trust and Obey Jesus,