Numbers 30:1-31:54 + Luke 4:1-30 + Psalm 63:1-11 + Proverbs 11:20-21
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Old Testament - Today in Numbers chapter 30 we read about the various complexities of vows, particularly related to women making vows. (and how their fathers or husbands can void them on day 1, etc.) Apparently the Jewish system and tradition of vows and what counts and didn't count got even more complex over the years between this chapter in Numbers and when Jesus was born. I love that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus simplifies the whole complex system of vows! Check out Matthew chapter 5 verses 33 through 37 where Jesus says: "“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one." Let's let our yes simply mean yes and our no's simply mean no's!
Below is an image for Numbers chapter 31 verses 11 & 12: "After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho."
New Testament - Today we read about the temptation of Jesus. This is a powerful narrative for each of us to consider. We all obviously face temptations in our life. Jesus faced temptations as well. The difference of course is that Jesus did not give into the temptations. He did not sin. I love the fact that Jesus combated the devil's temptations with the Word of God, the Bible. We each would do well to pay attention to how powerful the Word is in thwarting the devil's temptations of us today. Here's a very amazing image I found below, with a look at Jesus being tempted by the devil. Check out the cloud of temptation above him... the devil. Ever feel this cloud of temptation hovering above you? I know I have... And I know that faith in Jesus, calling upon Jesus' name, and bringing to mind the Word of God in times of darkness & temptation can send this cloud away from us!
Bob Deffinbaugh at Bible.org has 4 great commentaries on the temptation of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke at this link, and at this link, and at this link, and at this link. And his look at verses 14 through 30 in Luke chapter 4 titled "On Prophets and Popularity" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 63 is beautiful! So many amazing verses... The imagery in verse 1 is fantastic - "O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water." Do you earnestly search for God in your life? Each and every day? Does your soul literally thirst for God? Does your whole body long for God in this dry and weary land...
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 11 verse 20 today teaches us: "The LORD hates people with twisted hearts, but he delights in those who have integrity." I find it interesting that this Proverb talks about twisted hearts. I pray that our hearts are not twisted! If they are twisted at all, I pray we allow God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit, the great surgeons, to untwist us. Only They truly can!
Worship Video: Today's readings about temptation reminded me of the song "Lord I Need You" by Matt Maher. Here's a great live version:
Do you need God? Click here and be with Him forevermore!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that your soul is thirsting for God today. Pray that your body is longing for God today. Pray for ultimate and eternal satisfaction in God alone.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: When faced with temptation in your life, have you ever brought to mind the Word of God? Did this change things? Do you believe that the Word of God can help us combat temptation in our life? 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,
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
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