Numbers 30:1-31:54 + Luke 4:1-30 + Psalm 63:1-11 + Proverbs 11:20-21
~ Click here to read today's Scripture on Bible Gateway ~
~ Listen to today's Scripture with Tom Dooley’s terrific NLT 1996 readings at this link or The ESV Bible: OT + NT + Psalms + Proverbs ~
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.
p.s. #2 - Download a schedule of our One Year Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
p.s. #3 - I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this One Year Bible Blog ministry today! Please also consider partnering with us by financially supporting this ministry. Thank you!
Upon reading this portion of scripture I began thinking of the following verses:
Proverbs 20:25 (AMP)
25 It is a snare to a man to utter a vow [of consecration] rashly and [not until] afterward inquire [whether he can fulfill it].
Ecclesiastes 5 (AMP)
4 When you vow a vow or make a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God has no pleasure in fools (those who witlessly mock Him). Pay what you vow.
5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.
6 Do not allow your mouth to cause your body to sin, and do not say before the messenger [the priest] that it was an error or mistake. Why should God be [made] angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?
How easy it is for me to open my mouth and utter some rash vow without thinking, This is so easy to do when you are amongst other “saints” in the church and they are standing around talking about what “work” they are either going to do for the church or God. Now wanting to feel left out the mouth opens and the foot goes in. Or I feel pressured to respond because I don’t want to look like a “bad” or “lazy” Christian.
The reading today plus the verse I copied in show us that God takes our vows seriously and no matter the amount of pressure we experience or excitement in the moment should cause us to utter a vow to God. This is a much needed reality check for me. If I’m to do something for the church or God it should be done with a joyous heart and not out of a feeling of pressured obligation.
Chapter 31 of Numbers is fascinating because God actually directed them to fight against the Midianites and because they obeyed not one life was lost. However, they didn’t fully listen to what they were told to do they spared some things that should not have been spared. However, again Moses came to the rescue. Even though Moses was told that after this battle, He would go the way of his ancestors, Moses’ heart always yearned for the best for his people. This shows me that our outlook on life must go beyond the current generation; we must have a heart for the generations to come. To have this attitude one must get out of selfishness and understand that this life on earth is about investing in the next generation and not consuming all the resources on self.
14 Moses was angry with the leaders of the army, the heads of thousands and the heads of hundreds, who had fought in the war.
15 He said to them, " Have you allowed all the women to live?
This interpreting of God’s Word to confirm to lustful desires will bring much harm to leadership and the nation from the time of this battle until now. God tells us to completely destroy something in that will impact our lives in the future but because we don’t understand the danger, we preempt God’s all knowing knowledge and replace it with our reasoning. Joshua and King Saul will feel the sting on not adhering precisely to instructions from the Lord. I think this modifying of God’s Word began when Moses and Aaron struck the Rock twice; instead of speaking to the Rock back in Numbers 20:8.
Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to be tested. We forget that the Holy Spirit may lead us into a time of testing. This testing is not to break us but to show us where the cracks are, if any. God knows what we will and will not do, it is we ourselves who have a distorted picture of what we are capable of doing. Just ask the Apostle Peter.
The three areas of testing that Jesus faced or the same three areas where we will be tested: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).
Take note that the second temptation, or testing, the Devil makes a statement that Jesus doesn’t rebuke. Is his, the Devil’s, statement truth or half-a-truth (half the truth is a whole lie)?
5 The devil took Jesus up on a high mountain. He had Jesus look at all the nations of the world at one time.
6 The devil said to Jesus, 'I will give You all this power and greatness. It has been given to me. I can give it to anyone I want to.
Hmmm, Satan is saying that all the power and greatness is his, or at least it use to be his before Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection took it away from him. Jesus didn’t tell him that he didn’t own it. Is that way the Apostle Paul called Satan, the God of this world? (2 Corinthians 4:4)
When Jesus withstood the temptations the text states that he went back to Galilee under the power of the Holy Spirit. What happens to me when I withstand temptations and testings? Since Jesus is my brother, the first born from the dead, it stands to reason that the same power available to Him should be available to me when I withstand pressure from the enemy. That is something I need to focus on when I am being tested.
We hear this over and over again, even secular folks quote this, but do we really understand the implications?
24 He said, 'A man who speaks for God is not respected in his own country. (NLT)
Or in King James language, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
While reading this Psalm it occurred to me that this first verse is the attitude I should have when I am, “Asking … Seeking … Knocking …”
1 O God, You are my God. I will look for You with all my heart and strength. My soul is thirsty for You. My flesh is weak wanting You in a dry and tired land where there is no water.
So often I look for answers for understanding scripture in all the wrong places. The answer is in this Word!
I did some studying on this particular passage especially since there is this view that God “loves” everyone and thus He is incapable of “judging” anyone as being bad or wicked, they are just misunderstood. But clearly the twentieth verse doesn’t say that. So either God is lying or man has distorted the Words of God.
When in doubt go to back to the Hebrew. The word translated “twisted hearts” in the NLT, is almost word-for-word in the Hebrew. Twisted in the NLT, or “forward” in King James, actually means, twisted, distorted, crooked, perverse, perverted. However the word translated “hate” in several translations yet in the King James the word abomination is used (is an abomination) in the Hebrew [a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable;
in ritual sense (of unclean food, idols, mixed marriages); in ethical sense (of wickedness etc)]
Since we have just gone through the Book of Leviticus, dealing with clean and unclean, we have a clearer understanding of what this actually means. Since God is a Holy God, uncleanness cannot stand before Him. So I believe who we use the word hate and what the Hebrew states may be slightly off; however, we get the picture of how much God “hates” the crooked and perverse way: just something to think about.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | March 19, 2023 at 09:23 PM