Numbers 2:1-3:51 + Mark 11:27-12:17 + Psalm 47:1-9 + Proverbs 10:24-25
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Old Testament - Today in Numbers chapter 2 we read about the organization of Israel's camp! For some reason I really like these types of chapters - chapters where we get what may seem at first glance to be "just a bunch of details" and maybe we even ask occasionally, "what's the point?" For me, the details are the point! I don't know about you, but I'll confess this here and now on the blog - I'm a bit of a packrat. :) Seriously. And not only that - but I have seasons of crazy disorganization in my house and in my life. And I of course remember the old adage, "cleanliness is next to godliness...." :) And yes, I guess I can at times feel guilty about my disorganization. But, for some odd reason just this past few weeks I've been on an organization kick. The homestead has been getting a serious cleaning. I'm getting rid of stuff that I really really don't need to keep. And then I read chapters like this in Numbers, and I realize that God is a God of order. He likes things organized. And I think we as followers of God do well when we get things organized in our lives too - our housekeeping, our finances, how we spend our time, etc. Now, don't hear me say that you should be obsessive compulsive about order... :) But... I am seeing amazing benefits in my life of being organized. A good overview of the camp in Numbers chapter 2 is in this image below:
New Testament - In Mark chapter 12 we read Jesus’ profound Parable of the Tenants, which exposes the planned attempt on Jesus’ life. At the end of the parable Jesus quotes from Psalm 118 verses 22 & 23 when he says in Mark chapter 12 verse 10: “Haven't you read this scripture: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”” I have heard some awesome sermons on this verse – about how our Christian lives should be based upon and aligned with the true foundational Cornerstone – and that cornerstone being Jesus Christ. Do you believe that Jesus is the cornerstone of Christianity? Is Jesus the cornerstone of your life? Do you align your life with Jesus’ teachings? Do you live your life based on being in alignment with the true Cornerstone – the only Cornerstone – Jesus? Will you pray to Jesus that He will be your Cornerstone now and forever?
Today we also read about Jesus' teaching of giving Caesar what belongs to him, and I came across this very cool image below, which shows a silver denarius coin that was from Jesus' era with Tiberius Caesar's image & name stamped on it. The wording on this coin below reads from right to left: "TI (BERIUS) CAESAR DIVI AUG (GUSTI) F (ILIUS) AUGUSTUS" - which reads translated: "Tiberius Caesar, august son of the deified Augustus". Jesus could have been holding such a coin as below when he said in verses 15 through 17 - "Show me a Roman coin..." When they handed it to him, he asked, "Whose picture and title are stamped on it?" "Caesar's," they replied. "Well, then," Jesus said, "give to Caesar what belongs to him. But everything that belongs to God must be given to God." This reply completely amazed them."
Commentary on our Mark chapter 11 & 12 readings today are at bible.org at this link and at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 47 is an awesome Psalm! I can almost hear and feel music and a drum beat as I read this Psalm today! This Psalm was used in later Jewish synagogue liturgies for Rosh Hashanah, the New Year Festival. This Psalm has also been used by the Christian church in the Celebration of Jesus' ascension, in particular with emphases on verse 5 - "God has ascended with a mighty shout. The LORD has ascended with trumpets blaring." Do you hear and feel the music as you read this Psalm? Verse 1 sets the stage so very well for verse 2 in the image below - "Come, everyone, and clap your hands for joy! Shout to God with joyful praise!"
Proverbs - Proverbs 10 verse 25 is a verse for each of us to meditate upon a bit - "Disaster strikes like a cyclone, whirling the wicked away, but the godly have a lasting foundation." Do you have a lasting foundation? Do you have a Cornerstone?
Below is an image from Proverbs 10:24 in today's readings:
Worship Video: Today's readings in Mark reminded me of the song "Cornerstone:"
Is Jesus your Cornerstone? Click here and meet the Cornerstone!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Mark 12:17 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you would give your heart, mind, soul and strength to God today, and not to worldly things.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on my OT reflections today, are there any other closet packrats out there that will fess up in the Comments section below?? :) Or any former packrats / disorganized folks that can give us some advice in the Comments below on how you got orderly? Do you think that God is a God of order? Should we be a people of order? 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,
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Hmmm Mike, >>And I of course remember the old adage, "cleanliness is next to godliness...." :) >> Well there is one little problem here whose standard of cleanliness and godliness are we to measure by? Jesus certainly knocked the Pharisees out of the water with his rebuke of their cleanliness rituals. It might be an old adage but is that adage true?
Is there order here? Yes there is order, God’s order and everything regarding the Temple, the camp and the placement of the tents of the tribes and their “fighting” men and the people following also speaks to me about the plan and purpose of God. Everyone is given a plan and has a purpose designed by God. But the choice is ours whether to work the plan God has given us or to work the plan we want to pick up. I believe we enter chaos when we pick up our plans instead of God’s.
The redemption of the firstborn sons foreshadows Christ, as the Firstborn of God, redemptive work upon the earth. Except Christ work is so very deep and broad that there only need be one of Him for all of us.
This entire section is about authority and submission to an authority. The question is whose authority is being submitted too? The religious leaders question Jesus, demand from Jesus who has given him authority to disturb their “business” franchise in the Temple. Jesus’ response to them challenges their authority to question Him about His authority.
The leaders response to Jesus show that they are week leaders, afraid of the people and week leaders may have positional authority but they lack spiritual authority.
The farmers didn’t want to submit to the owner’s authority over his fields that they worked in the owner’s physical absence. His authority comes by right of ownership not by what they think is fair or unfair.
The trick question the Pharisees tried to put to Jesus about taxes, again is really about authority. If they truly believed that Jesus “…sincerely teaches the ways of God,” why would they even ask Him a question about paying taxes? They through, wrongly, that submitting to God was mutually exclusive. If you submit to God you cannot submit to earthly authority. Jesus shocked them by letting them know that the things of God and the things of man are not one and the same.
The only thing I can speak of is to add to Mike’s comments with an encouragement, “Rap on, Rap on!! Just make sure you give it a beat that you can dance to.
Fears and hope, both will bring to pass what is in the heart. The question becomes what is the state of my heart, what kind of soil have I prepared and will it bring to fruition deadly fears or life-giving hope? Wickedness or godliness, there is probably just a thin line that divides one from the other and it all has to do with the state of the heart and our dealing honestly and truthfully with what is there.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | March 03, 2023 at 07:57 PM