Reading #1 – Numbers 12
Reading #2 – Psalms 72
Reading #3 – Proverbs 11
Reading #4 – Matthew 7
Reading #5 – 1 John 3
Numbers 12 – Aaron and Miriam Oppose Moses. “If there were prophets among you,
I, the LORD, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the LORD as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses (6-8)?” When it comes to our leaders, we must first learn to pray for them, uplift them, and care for them. Miriam, a prophetess, and Aaron, High Priest, had taken it upon themselves to criticize Moses based on his marriage to a Cushite which had not been a problem from the first day they left Egypt so why now? The answer, I think, comes from our pride. When we are not selected or listened to, we become angry and resentful, and, depending on our power of persuasion, we might enlist others sort of like what Satan did and failed. When Miriam ended up with a bad case of leprosy, it was a “warning shot across the bow”.
Psalms 72 – Blessings for the King. As citizens of the US and the Kingdom of God, it is our responsibility to pray blessings on our leadership. This prayer of David was an important part of the yearly worship. I think it should be an important part of our worship and prayer life because, when we pray for our leaders, G_d can turn even the vilest of mankind sort of like what happened in Babylon. Our leaders, like all of the citizens, are human and prone to their shortcomings. When we stop praying and start complaining, unanticipated issues will arise. 7 May the king’s name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise (17). When our leaders are blessed, the nation enjoys the fruit from it. Conversely, when the king is criticized and harassed, the nation is in confusion.
Proverbs 11 – Warnings and Advice. It is important to note, that G_d will never bless a nation that is in confusion. The reason He doesn’t is that “like a gold ring in a pig’s snout” (22), it looks good for a little bit, and then it will become as dirty as the nose. In the same way, when we start causing problems in our nation and our home, disaster will be the outcome and it will happen when we least expect it (28).
Matthew 7 – Warnings Against Criticism. Jesus’ warning to “Judge not lest you be judged” brings an indictment on those who chose to criticize instead of praying blessings. Criticism, although it can be positive, is a dangerous thing because, like a dagger, it divides people (Numbers 12). Prayer and petition need to be a constant part of our daily routine despite the moral climate of the nation or the attitude in the home. 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened (7-8). Be careful of who you listen to because you never know what their motives are (15). Agitators can influence those who do not think for themselves by words that strike a chord in our minds.
1 John 3 – Living the Christian Life. We are called by the name of Christ Jesus to live according to His precepts, not ours. Loving each other is not based on the condition, the situation, or even the political climate of the time. This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you (11-13). This does not stop us from addressing issues and getting a resolution nor does it mean that we need to overlook the glaring issues in our families and nation to keep the peace in our homes or nation.