Month: February 2017

Numbers 17-19

Numbers 17:5
And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you.”

The Lord will pick those whom He chooses to lead. Once that choice is made, leaders must be obedient to do all that He says. The perfect example of how to lead effectively is demonstrated by the Lord Jesus who was a servant leader. In John 13:14, Jesus said, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Godly leaders are to demonstrate a willingness to wash the feet of others.

Numbers 18:12
“All the best of the oil, all the best of the new wine and the grain, their firstfruits which they offer to the Lord, I have given them to you.

As I read this verse, I am reminded of how incredibly good the Lord has been to me. He has blessed me with so much, not that there aren’t painful snd difficult things that I go through, but I find that when I focus on Him I am reminded of how very good He is to me. No matter what I am going through, I trust that He will work it for good and that there is something in the midst of every situation to be thankful for.

Numbers 18:21
21 “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.

The word tithe means ‘a tenth’. Traditionally, Christians are encouraged to give a tithe, a tenth of their income to the work of the Lord. Such a gift is not mandatory which I believe was God’s intent. He wants us to give our gifts to Him cheerfully. Paul exhorted, in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Giving of our money to the Lord’s work is something I believe every Christian should do. It is one thing that the Lord encourages us to test Him in. Malachi 3:10 tell us, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.” I don’t fully understand this spiritual truth, but I have put it to the test and I have found it to be absolutely true.

Numbers 19:22
Whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the person who touches it shall be unclean until evening. ’”

When you mix something that is impure with something that is pure, you contaminate that which was previously pure. This is a plain and simple spiritual and physical truth. This is why God who is pure, cannot have fellowship with man who is by nature impure, until something is done to make us pure. Jesus took care of that for us. Praise the Lord!

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Numbers 15-16, Mark 6

Numbers 15:25
So the priest shall make atonement for the whole congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them, for it was unintentional; they shall bring their offering, an offering made by fire to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord, for their unintended sin.

There is such a thing as ‘unintentional sin’, sin that is a grievance against God but you were not aware of it at the time. The important thing to understand about such a sin, is that though it was unintentional, it still must be atoned for. This is why Jesus’s death was so essential. He died for the sin of the world, intentional and unintentional. The reality is that all sin separates us from God, and must be dealt with before we can have a healthy relationship with the Lord. Jesus is the only One who can get the job done.

Numbers 15:39-40
And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, 40 and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God.

This was according to the old covenant, however under the new covenant, which Jesus introduced, we have the Holy Spirit to remind us of the things God has done for us. The key is to listen! Whenever I am tempted with the distractions of this world, the Holy Spirit immediately reminds me of what the Lord did to save me and it quickly gets me back on track. I love the Holy Spirit for this!

Numbers 16:3
They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “ You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”

There will always be people who are jealous of you for one reason or the other. The important thing in not letting this get to you and causing you to sin against those individuals, is to be confident that you are doing what the Lord has told you to do. You will never be able to satisfy all of the people all of the time, the most important person to always seek to satisfy is the Lord.

Numbers 16:8-9
Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: 9 Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them;

We must seek to be content in whatever the Lord has us doing at any given time. If there is more He wants us too do, He will tell us. Otherwise, we need to joyfully serve whereever He has us serving.

Numbers 16:31-32
Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.

The whole idea of what seems to us to be incredibly severe consequences, is that God is not to be reckoned with. I appreciate the severity of God’s judgment as a reminder of His mercy and grace towards us today. This should never result in a cheapening of His grace. As we live in His mercy, we must seek all the more to honor Him in every area of our lives.

Mark 6:6
And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.

I marvel at the unbelief of people, and it gives me a heart of gratitude that the Lord didn’t allow me to wander any longer than I did. I am so grateful He revealed Himself to me!

Mark 6:18
Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”

People will respond to the truth in one of two ways; either with anger over what you are saying, or with joy that you have saved them from sin. We mustn’t let their response determine whether or not we will speak the truth.

Numbers 12-14, Mark 5

Numbers 12:9-10
So the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and He departed. 10 And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper.

The Lord does not take jealousies lightly. He Himself is a jealous God but will not share His glory and what He knows is best with anyone else. There are serious consequences when we are upset over His choices in who should represent Him and how. We must be content in whatever manner He would have us serve.

Numbers 12:13
So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “Please heal her, O God, I pray!”

One sign of a great leader is humility. Here we see Moses praying for those who were trying to undermine his authority. This is a good example to all of us. There will always be those who think they can do a better job than we can. The important thing is that we are doing everything the Lord had told us to do.

Numbers 13:27-28
Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there.

There are always the ‘neverthelessors’ in our lives, those people who shake our faith in the promises of God. We will see, that rather that stand on the promises of God, they listen to these people who focused on the giants rather that the One who was greater than any obstacle, the One who had told them to go into the land in the first place.

Numbers 14:2
And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!

How quickly they forgot the things that God had done in their lives. May it never be with us!

Numbers 14:29
The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above.

The children they professed to be concerned about, will be the only ones, apart from Joshua and Caleb, who will enter the promised land. I want to be like Joshua and Caleb, always trusting in what God says and never what I think. These were brave and faithful men!

Mark 5:6-7
When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”

Demons have absolutely no power over Jesus, none. They are subject to the authority of Jesus. James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!” don’t think for one minute that you any other born again Christian can be possessed by a demon. Darkness and light cannot cohabitate, the Light always dispels the darkness.

Mark 5:15
Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon- possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

I love how Jesus takes people who are out of their minds and gives them a right mind!

Mark 5:22-23
And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.”

There comes a point when all religious intellectualism falls short. It is only Jesus who can bring life and when people come to the end of themselves, Jesus is always ready to step in. Oh that more people would come to the need to cry out to Jesus. He is always ready to answer such a cry.

Mark 5:34
And He said to her, “ Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

What great faith this woman had! Oh Lord give me this kind of faith.

Numbers 9-11

Numbers 9:2-3
“Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time. According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it.”

This was the second Passover, the first being just before they left Egypt. It was to be a reminder of God’s faithfulness to have delivered them from Egyptian bondage. They were to keep it once every year at the same time each year. Jews still celebrate the Passover to this day. For us, it represents the faithfulness of God to provide the ultimate sacrificial lamb in Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Numbers 9:22
Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey.

As I think about the variation of number of days the cloud would remain, I am reminded of the importance of doing whatever the Lord tells us to do, whenever the Lord tells us to do it. We tend to be creatures of habit and rather than be open to what the Lord wants us to do, we try to fit Him into our timetable. The sooner we learn to accept the Lord on His schedule, the sooner we will enjoy and appreciate the things He wants to do in our lives.

Numbers 10:2
“Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps.

The first ‘high tech’ communication system!

Numbers 10:35
So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said: “Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, And let those who hate You flee before You.”

We mustn’t forget that the Lord is always our defense. This would be a good prayer for us pray every time we leave our homes. We have a very real enemy, the Devil, who is always looking for ways to take us down. When we walk in the belief that the Lord is on our side, we have the boldness to face everything that comes our way.

Numbers 11:1-2
1 Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp. 2 Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the Lord, the fire was quenched.

It is important to guard our hearts from complaining against the Lord. By His mercy and grace we don’t have to worry about fire coming down and consuming us, but nevertheless, we mustn’t complain. We must trust that the Lord knows what He is doing at all times. Whenever we do find ourselves complaining, we must immediately ‘cry out’ to the Lord, asking His forgiveness.

Numbers 11:15
If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now—if I have found favor in Your sight—and do not let me see my wretchedness!”

Even Moses had bad days!

Numbers 11:19-20
You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 20 but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the Lord who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?” ’”

We need to be careful what we ask for. The only way I know that food can come out of our nostrils, is when a person vomits. The picture we get here is that they ate meat until it made them physically sick. We must learn to be content with the things the Lord provides for us…without complaint.

Numbers 7-8

Numbers 7:2
Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of their fathers’ houses, who were the leaders of the tribes and over those who were numbered, made an offering.

These offerings represented obedience to the Lord and a desire to honor him with their lives and in their worship.

Numbers 7:89
Now when Moses went into the tabernacle of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice of One speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the Testimony, from between the two cherubim; thus He spoke to him.

Imagine being able to speak with God in the manner that Moses did. We must seek to speak with the Lord in the same manner, as we enter into our prayer closets each day. We should have that special place where we can sit before Him with the expectation that He wants to speak to us. As we wait upon Him, He will minister to our hearts.

Numbers 8:3
And Aaron did so; he arranged the lamps to face toward the front of the lampstand, as the Lord commanded Moses.

As I read this, ‘as the Lord commanded Moses’ I think about the importance of obedience to always do what we are commanded to do. God spoke to Moses from above the mercy seat. He speaks to us today from the Word. It is important as we read the Bible, that we do what it says. In Luke 6:46 Jesus says, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”

Numbers 8:24-25
“This is what pertains to the Levites: From twenty- five years old and above one may enter to perform service in the work of the tabernacle of meeting; 25 and at the age of fifty years they must cease performing this work, and shall work no more.

When the lord declared that the Levites would be His, He was referring to them being His for the work of ministering in the tabernacle and all the came with it. They were to be set apart for this work specifically from the age of 25-50.

Numbers 5-6, Mark 4

Numbers 5:2
“Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, everyone who has a discharge, and whoever becomes defiled by a corpse.

Sin keeps us out of the camp, until Jesus brings us back in. Praise His glorious name for that!

Numbers 6:22-26
22 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: 24 “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’

I love this blessing. It brings me comfort and great encouragement to meditate upon the blessings of the Lord towards me. They are numerous. They keep in me in His care and in His graciousness. They bring me peace like nothing else.

The Hebrew word for peace is ‘shalom’. Halley’s Bible Handbook tells us, “It does not mean quite the same as our word ‘peace.’ It is not merely absence of war or conflict (although it includes that) or a peaceful feeling. Rather, it means wholeness, well-being, harmony.” The Lord brings us wholeness, well being and harmony like nothing else can.

Mark 4:2
Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:

A parable is a story which illustrates a spiritual truth. It is not a fable in the sense that there is no truth to it, but rather a story whose point is to reveal spiritual truth. Jesus taught in parables in order that those who were truly interested in truth, would seek to understand the parable.

Mark 4:20
But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

I love this parable. There are three scenarios. The first three describe a person who is never born again. The fourth describes a person who has been born again but for various reasons, produces varying amounts of fruit, ‘some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred’. I believe that we determine how fruitful our lives are going to be, based on our obedience to the Lord. I want to be a man who produces a ‘hundredfold’. Lord, teach us how to be fruitful in our lives!

Mark 4:38
But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

It is a very foolish thing to ever think that the Lord doesn’t care about us. Even when we go through difficulties in our lives, He is seeking to draw us ever closer to Himself. It is through the storms in our lives that this comes about. We must stay out of His way and let Him bring us through such storms in the manner He desires.

Numbers 3-4

Numbers 3:9
And you shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are given entirely to him from among the children of Israel.

Aaron and his sons were to be given to the work and service of the Lord. As I read this text and see how they were to be given ‘entirely’, I am reminded that this is how we are to be given over for the Lord’s service. He wants all of us. Being a partial or part-time Christian is never an option.

Numbers 4:15
And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them; but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. “These are the things in the tabernacle of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry.

It is clear that God regards holy things in such a way that a defiled human could not even tough them. The consequences for violating this, for not taking it seriously was dire. We serve a holy God who demands that He be regarded as such. There are consequences when we fail to acknowledge this truth or take it lightly.

Numbers 4:20
But they shall not go in to watch while the holy things are being covered, lest they die.”

When I think of the holiness of God I think of Hebrews 10:31, It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. We are able to come before God in all of His holiness because Jesus had made us holy. If it were not for Him, we would be in a heap of trouble, never able to come to God. I love Jesus so much for that!

Numbers 4:49
According to the commandment of the Lord they were numbered by the hand of Moses, each according to his service and according to his task; thus were they numbered by him, as the Lord commanded Moses.

It is apparent in these verses that our God is a God of order. He has a set way of doing things, things that He expects us to follow. Anyone who thinks that God is this ‘anything goes’ type of god, they haven’t read the Scriptures. His attention to detail doesn’t disturb me, it makes me realize how involved he wants to be in my life.