Numbers 6:1-7:89 + Mark 12:38-13:13 + Psalm 49:1-20 + Proverbs 10:27-28
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Old Testament - Today in Numbers chapter 6 we read about the Nazirite laws! The Nazirite vows could be taken for as little as 30 days or as long as a lifetime. It was voluntary - except parents could take the vow for their children, making them Nazirites for life. Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist are all thought to have been Nazirites for life. Below is a painting by C.E. Brock of Samson and the lion from Judges 14:6 -
Today in Numbers chapter 6 verses 22-27 we will read the well known “Aaronic Blessing”, which I’ve underlined in the verses (and is in the image below) – “The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron and his sons, 'This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." "So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."” How does this blessing speak to you today? Have you heard this blessing prayed aloud before? Can you imagine this ancient blessing that has been prayed innumerable times in history being prayed over you today? Take a few moments to really meditate upon the 3 sections of the blessing. Do you notice that each section begins with God’s name? Do you believe that God can indeed bless you and keep you (favor & protect you)? That he can indeed make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you (be pleased & be merciful and compassionate to you)? And do you believe that God can indeed turn his face toward you and give you peace (give approval & peace to you)? It is also of note that this blessing “put God’s name on the Israelites and they were blessed.” Do you believe that God’s name is upon you today? Do you want God’s name to be upon you today?
Chapter 7 is the longest chapter in the book of Numbers, and certainly an amazing one. It is awesome to read about the presentation of offerings for the dedication of the altar over 12 days. At the end of this chapter we read in verse 89: "Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark's cover--the place of atonement--that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The LORD spoke to him from there."
New Testament - In Mark chapter 12 verses 41 through 43 today we read the powerful narrative of the Widow's Mite - "Jesus went over to the collection box in the Temple and sat and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two pennies. He called his disciples to him and said, "I assure you, this poor widow has given more than all the others have given. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has."" How does this narrative speak to you? When it comes to your time, treasure, and talents, do you give to God out of your surplus? Or do you give to God all that you have? What should we learn today from the widow about giving?
Psalms - Psalm 49 verses 1-3 are a fantastic teaching that the Word of God, the Bible, is for everyone, no matter what our lots in life may be - "Listen to this, all you people! Pay attention, everyone in the world! High and low, rich and poor--listen! For my words are wise, and my thoughts are filled with insight." Are you listening today? Are you paying attention to the wise words and insights of the Bible? Are you truly studying the Bible and then applying the Bible's teachings to your life? Then, verse 15 in this Psalm is beautiful: "But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of death." How about for you? Will God redeem your life? Like the parable of the lost sheep that we read about in Luke 15:3-7, has Jesus saved you from being snatched from the power of death?
Proverbs - Proverbs chapter 10 verse 27 teaches us - "Fear of the LORD lengthens one's life, but the years of the wicked are cut short." Below is a great image for Proverbs 10:28 from today's readings:
Worship Video: Based on reading the Aaronic blessing today in Numbers, here's the blessing sung as a duet. Beautiful!
Has the Lord blessed you? Click here to be kept forever!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on three verses of Scripture today: ""The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that God will bless you and keep you. Pray that Jesus will give you peace. Pray Numbers 6:24-46 for your family and neighbors today.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on Proverbs 10:27 above, do you agree that the fear of the Lord lengthens your life? Why or why not? Do you think fear of the Lord is a good thing? Why or why not? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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!
In the dedication of oneself to the Lord as a Nazirite (note in the Hebrew text, the English translation in the Tanakh, Nazirite is not capitalized), if someone defiles you by dying in your presence, you are required to present a “sin” offering as well as a guilt offering. This shows us how insidious sin is even when we are not participating in sin ourselves. The sin that is committed around us by others brings guilt upon us. So sin is not an individual thing, like yeast it spreads to those around us just because it is sin.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Every time the people gathered to hear what the Lord had spoken the people heard, 24 The Lord bless you and protect you; 25 the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace. God, because He made us, knows that it takes us hearing something over and over again before we believe it and this would “train” His people to understand His relationship with them. 27 In this way they will put My name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."
I was wondering why every tribe brought the exact same gift as they presented their gift to Moses after the Tabernacle was anointed and consecrated. But it makes perfect sense because God is not a respecter of persons so as long as everyone’s gift was the same, no one could claim a higher or lesser place in God’s sight based on what they gave.
Which leads into today’s Gospel reading.
Folks not only jockey for power and position by the number of alphabets they have behind their names (degrees), but in a great many churches, including mine, people parade their counterfeit-power by the colorfulness and the high-powered labels on their clothes. This is a very easy trap to fall into and Jesus address his disciples and those he taught to watch out for these trappings from people who behind close doors or out of the light of day manipulate people to gather up money and property that don’t belong to them and cover it up by pretending to be holy.
One of the things I find interesting about the widow that Jesus observed, it doesn’t say that Jesus ran or called after her so he could give her back her money. Jesus knew that there is a blessing in giving and He would have deprived her of that blessing if he had told her a) not to give, or b) given her money back to her. We need to encourage those who think they are poor because they lack monetary wealth to give to God because no one can out give God and it is in our giving that we receive.
Jesus foretelling of the end times is both a blessing and a stumbling block to people. There are those who know that the injustices they see will not last forever and they will be given an opportunity to proclaim Jesus’ name to the nations or ethnos. This will user in opportunities to spread the Good News or Gospel, which is our primary purpose however uncomfortable the situation may be. Then there are those who sit around talking amongst themselves trying to figure out how long or short His return will be based on how they read the political and environmental climate. The problem with that is there is so much time being spent doing this they are not following the command of Jesus, which is to “occupy until I return.” Talents are being buried and are not being put to good use because we are talking about the wrong things.
We use fear to try to get people into the Kingdom when they are suppose to come by faith (Hebrews 11:6)
This is a Psalm that tells it like it is. It seems to be something one would find in the Book of Proverbs, but here it sits in Psalms. If ever anyone needs to be reminded of the fragility of wealth, the frailty of intimidation and brute force, and the foolishness of human knowledge, one only need to turn to the Forty-ninth Psalm to get the straight deal.
And as we go into the reading of today’s Proverb we see that our love affair with the human trappings of man’s power, wealth, might and human knowledge comes with defense.
27 Fear of the LORD lengthens one's life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.
28 The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked are all in vain.
I think where we go wrong in this affair when we think that life is confined to breathing and walking on this planet earth in our earth suits. We forget that we are spiritual beings trying to master the human experience. Our longevity is not in question, what is in question is at what location we are going to spend the rest of our spiritual lives: Like real estate its, location, location, location.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | March 05, 2023 at 09:04 PM
I think this statement "Folks not only jockey for power and position by the number of alphabets they have behind their names (degrees)" is unkind in that it is made with a sweeping brush. We should not judge based on others' degrees, the cars they drive, or the clothing they wear - only by their heart and only God knows that.
Posted by: Dawn Foster | March 06, 2023 at 09:53 AM