Reading #1 – Numbers 25
Reading #2 – Psalms 84
Reading #3 – Proverbs 24
Reading #4 – Matthew 20
Reading #5 – Revelations 7
Numbers 25 – The Moabite deception. Of all the things we need to remember, one of the key items is “what we let into our lives.” Balak was unable to curse Israel, he felt inferior military wise. So, the next logical step would be to invite them to a welcoming party. Some of the people from Israel accepted the invitation and were taught about the “Mighty Baal” by it were caught in a trap. Because of their actions, 24000 in Israel died at the hand of the judges who were directed to put to death everyone who was caught worshiping the “Baal of Peor” (5). One man, Zimri a leader of the Simionites, was so brazen as to bring a Moabitess, Cozbi sister to the Tribal chief, into the camp under the gaze of Moses, Phinneas, and the leaders. When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly. He took a spear 8 and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear through the man’s body and into the woman’s stomach. So the plague against the Israelites was stopped, but not before 24,000 people had died (7-9). Cozbi was acting under the guidance of her brother and it cost her life.
Psalms 84 – Psalm of the Decendents of Korah. Korah and his family were swallowed into the earth because Korah, Dathan, and Abiram had rebelled against Moses the leadership (Numbers 16:1-40). So, it is praiseworthy that the Lord had not killed everyone who was from the family lineage otherwise, Moses would have been killed also. We are to find joy in our service and be content when G_d places us. A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked (10).
Proverbs 24 – How to Avoid Traps. Not all traps come with a spring door. As Christians descendants of Judaism, we see how people succeed in life although they live sinful lives. The admonishment of Proverbs 24 speaks to “opening your eyes and heart to see what the world says is “right”. Don’t envy evil people or desire their company. For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble (1-2). When the Moabites invited the Israelites to a party, they were like sheep about to get sheared. It is our responsibility to save lives for the Kingdom of G_d. If we do not speak up, then we become conspirators in rebellion though we knew nothing about it. Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die; save them as they stagger to their death. Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” G_d understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve (11-12).
Matthew 20 – Onward to Jerusalem. When we speak of the Kingdom of G_d, it is like describing “Jello” because it is something we cannot see but is a way of living. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him (Hebrews 11:6). In the Kingdom, nobody is better than anybody else and all who want to be leaders must learn to be servants. 5 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you, it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (25-28).”
Revelations 7 – 144000 were Sealed by the Spirit of G_d. In the closing days, many thousands were put to death for their belief in G_d and his Son Jesus. Killing these people served two functions, to spark fear for Rome and to encourage the believers to give up their posts. The churches that did not give up their posts nor run away, needed encouragement to fight the battle to the last man or woman. Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.”Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.“That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will shelter them. They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their (13-17 ).