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Numbers 10:29-31..this verse stood out to me today.God led his people with a cloud so they certainly didn't need Hobab's experience in the desert.Hobab who wasn't part of God's people was wooed to be part of Israel and her blessings...just like we were wooed out of darkness with the promise of eternal life and peace.God really doesn't need us as much as we need him.I sometimes forget just how blessed I am to be part of God's family...and like the Israelites...many times I look at what seems to be missing in my life instead of looking at what God's blessed me with.He sure knew why he said "seek ye first the kingdom"cos when we keep our eyes on Him,all things work out for our good.
God bless you all

Numbers 10-11:23

Beware the “riff-raff!” Riff-raff will have you grumbling, whining, and not praying. When we are in our “hard” place of testing, can we truly say we are praying or in reality are we just “whining” when the crises come? The hard times are tests that come to reveal the cracks in our character to find out who we really trust. God already knows what we will do. It is we ourselves who need the reality check and when it comes do, we have reasons why we did not do what we knew to be right, or do we accept that there are cracks that need to be fixed?

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.
(Proverbs 24:10 AMP)


I believe this testing by God is to bring to pass a promise God gave to Moses back in the 32nd chapter of Exodus after the golden calf incident. God promised that those who sinned would have their sin visited upon them,

The next day Moses said to the people, You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin. So Moses returned to the Lord, and said, Oh, these people have sinned a great sin and have made themselves gods of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin--and if not, blot me, I pray You, out of Your book which You have written! But the Lord said to Moses, Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him [not you] out of My book. [Dan. 12:1; Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5.] But now go, lead the people to the place of which I have told you. Behold, My Angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I punish I will visit their sin upon them! [Exod. 23:20; 33:2, 3.] (Exodus 32:30-34 AMP)

I know that there are many times that I have failed the tests that come my way because I “grumble’ and “murmur” against God instead of praying to God. Many times I join the “riff-raff,” like a bunch of cows forming a herd and that is NOT GOOD!!.

It is only in the time of prayer in the “hard” places where we get God’s perspective on what is going on in our lives: murmuring only delays our answers and keeps us wandering in the desert making a two-week journey into a forty-year travail.

Lots for me to think about repent over then get up and go on.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Several years ago God gave me a song from this song, Psalm 51. Whenever, I begin to feel like David felt, I like to repeat these words. Let me share them with you:

V.1
Lord, restore to me the joy of thy salvation,
Fill me with your
Spirit now as then,
That I may grow in strength and dedication, and know the peace that flows from deep with,
Then fill me with the love that took my Savior from Heaven's glory to dark calvary,
Restore to me the joy of thy salvation,
That I may know thy true reality.

V.2
When I think about the joy of sins forgiven,
How He guides me with His tender hand and then,
He gives my life a richer, higher purpose,
To tell His story to earth's fallen man,
How can I not submit to His dear calling when He has given life abundantly,
Restore to me the joy of thy salvation,
That I may know thy true reality.

Chorus

Restore me Lord today,
Then lift me up I pray,
to be where I can see, where I can know the purpose of your plan,
When I can rest within your warm embrace and know the wonder of your grace,
Restore me, Lord, and make me wholly thine!

If these words can meaning to just one other person, I will feel blessed!

Sammy

In reading this section on complaining and grumbling against the Lord, and no doubt, against others such as Moses, I was reminded of something Mark Twain said about people who complain about their lot. He said, "Eighty percent of the people who hear your complaint don't care about you, and the other 20% are glad you have your problem." How's that for putting our complaints in perspective? May sound worldly but I found it convicting and helpful to just keep my own complaints and grumblings in check.

I thought the NLT version rendered God's attitude toward the Israelites' complaining well in Numb 11:18 "The LORD has heard your whining and complaints". Everything else aside it's enough to know that "The LORD hears..." If that's not an incentive to 'holy living' I don't know what is.

complaining is one thing the Lord has discouraged in my life, I have complained too much in the past. Mathew 12:36-37 tells us that we will be held to account for every word we utter - and will be judged by them. So let's give that sacrifice of praise, even if the tears are running down our cheeks. I heard a story recently of a christian man who was depressed, could not sleep, he put out to chairs and said to the devil "you can sit there and I will sit here and you can listen to me praise the Lord! An hour later the man went to bed and slept soundly.
Proverbs 10:31-32 is about words. The godly person gives good advice...the godly speak words the are helpful.
My prayer is that my words will be sound and glorifying to the Lord

In Numbers 11:21-22, Moses wonders where the meat will come from, even though God has told him that they will have "meat for a whole month." After all Moses has been through and all that God has provided, he still wonders how or if this can really happen. In verse 23, the NASB reads "The Lord said to Moses 'Is the Lord's power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not."

In my own life I often respond as Moses does...even though I can look back and see how good God has been and how He has blessed me and provided for me, I still sometimes look ahead and wonder "How can this happen? Will God really come through and provide for this need?" I pray that in a quiet moment I will hear Him say "Is the Lord's power limited?"

I recently sat in on a Bible study on this passage and the teacher compared the "manna" to God's Word and the "meat" to things of the world - things that we chase after and long for yet are things that never really satisfy.

I wonder when we complain and whine, if God doesn't just say "Okay, fine. You want meat, I'll give you meat. I'll give you so much meat it will make you sick." As we will see tomorrow, it ultimately killed them. They got what they asked for but missed out on what God really wanted for them.

I wonder what I've missed out on in my quest for stuff or things that pertain to the world ("meat") and how I've allowed those desires to eclipse my desire for God, His Word, and the things He has in store for me ("manna").

I couldn't help but notice that the people kept appealing to Moses, but not to God.

THANK YOU for referring me to this article on Psalm 51: The Necessity of Full Forgiveness
By: Allen Ross, Th.D., Ph.D.

* UNLESS ONE SEES PERSONAL SIN, THERE IS NO BELIEF THAT FORGIVENESS IS NEEDED.
* WHEN SIN IS SEEN AND ACKNOWLEDGED, THEN FORGIVENESS CAN BE GIVEN WHEN SINCERELY ASKED FOR
* REPENTANCE IS KEY TO ASKING FOR AND RECEIVING FORGIVENESS

The last point I made about repentance being KEY for receiving forgiveness needs to be repeated over and over. WITHOUT REPENTANCE AND SUBSTITUTIONARY DEATH, THERE IS NO FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

It is not that it is “up to us” to be perfect because we have sincerely and wholeheartedly decided to give up sin because we want to do God’s will.

We will never be “sinless” while on earth, for GRACE gives us plenty of opportunities to MATURE. But I am convinced God calls us to “sin less and less” as we grow “more and more” into the character of the Lord Jesus.

It fits our culture very well, that there is no “felt need” for repentance. It even goes father than that. It is not uncommon for American people to be OFFENDED at the suggestion that they might have to repent of sin. I am sure other cultures share many of the same qualities.

At the very least, they will mock those who are stating the need for repentance. In American society, people who are offended can move legislators to pass laws that make it a criminal offense to talk about the need for repentance because of sin.

~~~ WE NEED TO PRAY FOR OUR COUNTRY… and all countries as well.

Look at some of the descriptions of sin from Psalm 51 given from the website: Psalm 51: The Necessity of Full Forgiveness By: Allen Ross, Th.D., Ph.D.

* There are several words for sin in Psalm 51
è Transgressions – my rebellious acts
“The word is pesa‘ (pronounced peh-sha); a study of its usage will show that it is used in military contexts to describe open and intentional rebellions. David is not trying to cover his sin, but is naming it for what it is, a willful rebellion against God. The form is plural, because in his situation sin was compounded on sin.”
è Iniquity – going astray, possibly involving twisting of truth
“[This is a] noun ‘awon [which is] pronounced ah-vone… [this sin] could be premeditated or inadvertent...”

For myself, it seems clear that a sin that is premeditated would definitely involve a deliberate twisting of meaning, leading to a crooked path of life.

è My sin – missing the mark (or missing the center bull’s eye of the target)
“The verb behind the noun is hata’ (pronounced khah-tah), and it clearly means “to miss a goal, or a way.”
~~~

Of course, one would ask how can I avoid sin when truly and sincerely repented of? The quick answer is that I cannot, and I have to depend on the Life of Christ through the Spirit of Christ within me. “Greater is He Who is in me than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:4).

Or, as I like to paraphrase it for myself: ‘Greater is He Who is in me than anything OF the world.” The nature of the world cannot stay when I depend on the One Who is Perfect in His nature, and Who lives in me.

I John 3 (New King James Version)
8
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
9
WHOEVER HAS BEEN BORN OF GOD DOES NOT SIN, FOR HIS SEED REMAINS IN HIM; AND HE CANNOT SIN, BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN BORN OF GOD.
10
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: WHOEVER DOES NOT PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, nor is he who does not [PRACTICE THE] love his brother.

~~~

WE CAN TRUST THE AUTHORITY OF THE ONE WHO IS IN US BY HIS GRACE to give us the ability to resist sin, and then to go the next step to OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.

Romans 8 really highlights the inability of the believer to do God’s will by relying on his or her own strength. Yet, it also highlights the ability of the One Who is in us, and the power of “the Spirit of Life that is in Christ Jesus”. See below for my final comment.

Romans 8 (Amplified Bible)
2
For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.

3
For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], (LEVITICUS 7:37)
4
So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

~~~

Jesus came as a man, disguised like a secret agent onto enemy territory. He is fully human, and as such He is still the Perfect Man. Through His Perfect Humanity, we as the Church—with our spirits, souls and bodies members of Christ—are raised and seated with Him at the right hand of the Father.

Jesus came, according to Romans 8:3 above, “…in the guise of sinful flesh…”. Humanity was not evil originally evil, but only became evil through sin. The enemy used the deceit of pleasure ruling over the rule of truth to deceive mankind into giving the earth over to him as ruler.

Jesus was and is TRULY HUMAN as well as FULLY GOD. As a Man, He was able to completely resist sin AS OUR REPRESENTATIVE. As a Man, He was able to be the SACRIFICE as our SUBSTITUTE.

As our SUBSTITUTE, He took on our sins, sicknesses, griefs, and sorrows.
As our REPRESENTATIVE, He can literally come into our lives and LIVE HIS LIFE FOR US and THROUGH US that we cannot on our own.

FINALLY, I note that the cross reference to Romans 8:3 in the Amplified Bible is Leviticus 7:37. This is interesting, especially as we just finished reading through Leviticus. Below is the verse and comment.

Leviticus 7 (Amplified Bible)
37
This is the law of the burnt offering, the cereal offering, the sin offering, the guilt or trespass offering, the consecration offering, and the sacrifice of peace offerings

MY COMMENT:

There had to be A LAW of the burnt offering so God could have fellowship with people with judging them for their sin. A person who did NOT sacrifice offerings acted to his or her own peril or destruction.

How much more then, is THE Perfect Sacrifice of Christ, necessary for us today?

I close with a quote by C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity:

“Christianity thinks this dark power was created by God and was good when he was created, and went wrong. Christianity agrees with Dualism: that this universe is at war."

"But it [Christianity] does not think that this is a war between independent powers. [Christianity] thinks it is a civil war—-a rebellion, and that we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel. Enemy-occupied territory—-that is what this world is."

"Christianity is the story of how the rightful King has landed—-you might say landed in disguise-—and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage."

"When you go to church, you are really listening in to the secret wireless from our friends. That is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going..."

Vance

Psalm 51

When other Christians complain that they can not get in right frame of mind to pray - I ALWAYS suggest reading Psalm 51 and reflect on it.

It always helps to put me in the right frame of mind for approaching God in prayer.

Random notes:

Nazarites

The vow of a Nazirite was a voluntary vow which a man or woman could make for a specified period of time. The Mishna states that a Nazirite vow could last as long as 100 days, but the usual length was thirty days.
MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. 1997, c1995. Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments . Thomas Nelson: Nashville

Numbers 11

God has demonstrated himself over and over to Israelites - Parting of Red Sea, Priests consumed by fire, Cloud, fire, manna, more fire on outskirts of Camp. Along the way, He set up laws and demanded obediance. The punishments in some cases seem very extreme.

Given God's presence with the Jewish Nation, you would think the people would think twice about breaking his Laws. Speaks to the nature of man, that not even God's display of power and authority was enough to keep them obediant - ALL the time.

Mark 14:7
"The poor you will always have with you,.."
A sociological and economic truism. In the literal sense, you can not solve the problem of poverty by throwing money at the poor.

Exodus 12 (passover) -
Continuing vance's thoughts:
On the tenth of nissan, a lamb was chosen and brought into the house. The idea was to keep the lamb from getting blemished. Jesus was brought into Jerusalem (house)on that day.


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