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Numbers 26:1-51

Mike you said, “They were flourishing in the desert. Hopefully this is encouraging to us today. If we are in right relationship with God, I believe our lives will clearly flourish in whatever circumstances we might find ourselves in - even if we are in the desert.”

After reading your statement I was reminded of a verse in Isaiah,

18 Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

20 The beasts of the field honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen, (43:18-20 Amp)

Throughout history it has always been under severe hardships when men rise to greatness. Maybe its because we are forced to look outside of ourselves after having tried everything in our own strength and failed, that we turn our focus to God and then and only then He makes “streams in the desert.”

I’ve heard it said that we are always looking for that mountain top experience, that-knock-you-off-your feet high that comes when we have an encounter with God. That feeling is indescribable and incredible, but it is in the valley where the fruit grows. It is in the valley where we get the sustenance to sustain us as we journey up to the mountain ‘cause food doesn’t grow up there. It is in the valley where we learn to live the full life God has planned for us so we can hang out on the mountaintop above the frost line, for a season.

Thanks Mike for giving that original image of flourishing in dry places. Come to think of it when there is no surface water we must send our roots way down into the earth, into God, the Father, where we will find Living Water but where our roots will attach themselves to the bedrock of faith.

Luke 2:36-52

The last two verses in this passage, fifty-one and fifty two, give us a clue about Jesus’ humanity.

Jesus was God but God had set aside His royalty and walked this earth as a man. I know that because of these two verses.

51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

1) Jesus subjected Himself to his mother and father, God doesn’t do that: they would subject themselves to Him if He walked this earth as God.

2) God doesn’t increase in wisdom because all Wisdom belongs to Him and came from Him. But this verse says that He increased.

3) Increasing in stature can refer to many things: physical growth, community standing, and importance. God is a “grown” as He is going to get and without Him this universe would not exist so He is already important.

4) God would not grow in favor with God and it wouldn’t matter if God grew in favor with man because whether or not God’s reputation grew with man God is still God.

I am not saying that Jesus is not God because clearly the scripture states, “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus) and the Word was God and Word was with God. (John 1:1) But He did set-aside His Identity, His power, His Divinity to become our Redemptive Lamb of God.

Psalm 60:1-12
This is an important Psalm and I just found that out because I read the note at the beginning before the 1st verse,
“For the choir director: A psalm of David useful for teaching, regarding …” The emphasis should be on the word “teaching.” This note goes on to say,
“…regarding the time David fought Aram-naharaim and Aram-zobah, and Joab returned and killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.”

There must be some great nuggets of “Truth” in these twelve verses that will yield some very valuable lessons in life and there probably needs to be some studying of the history of this battle Joab, David’s nephew and General, commanded and fought. Hmmm!

Proverbs 11:15

Guaranteeing a loan for someone you know is dangerous, much less a stranger. When you do this, especially when you don’t have the amount in question just lying around, you set yourself up to serve someone else’s choices. Ouch! It’s hard enough serving our own bad choices let alone a stranger’s.

Grace and peace,

OT - Mike and Ramona - have a different take on flourishing in Wilderness.

Flourishing should indicate a growth in numbers from last census. This census was around 2,000 light from previous count. We will see tomorrow that only Joshua and Caleb were in both body counts. Why? Because of the lack of faith on original try to enter Canaan, sin, disobedience and the death of all who originally left Egypt with Moses.

Siooo...what I see is God maintaining a viable Israelite contingent - establishing a new creation and getting rid of the old. (See a picture of Salvation here?) - God will monitor, provide and is faithful to His word to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

NT - From my first year as a Christian (age 49) have wondered in these passages - Did Jesus ever run into these teachers, from the temple, in his adult ministry? Did He recognize them? Did they remember that precocious boy? Wonder if any were in his disciple group, or were any in the early group of converts in Acts?

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