Reading #1 – Numbers 32
Reading #2 – Psalms 91
Reading #3 – Proverbs 31
Reading #4 – Matthew 27
Reading #5 – Revelations 14
Numbers 32 – Transjordan Tribes. As the nation was on the precipice of crossing the Jordan to the new country, Gad, Rueben, and the half-tribe of Manassah wanted to stay in the place they perceived to be a good fit for them. OF the course perception on behalf of Moses was that honoring this request would cause the nation to wander in the desert for another 40 years. Proverbs says, “Through patience, a ruler can be persuaded and a gentle tongue can break a bone of contention” (Proverbs 25:15). By being patient and responding with respect, the tribes were allowed to stay providing they armed themselves and went before the tribes to fight for the new land. Because he knew his days were numbered, Moses wrote out the agreement for Joshua the newly appointed leader. 8 So Moses gave orders to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders of the clans of Israel. 29 He said, “The men of Gad and Reuben who are armed for battle must cross the Jordan with you to fight for the LORD. If they do, give them the land of Gilead as their property when the land is conquered. 30 But if they refuse to arm themselves and cross over with you, then they must accept land with the rest of you in the land of Canaan (28-30).
Psalms 91 – The Prayer of Moses (Continued). To dwell in the shelter of the Most High refers to the attitude of worship. In G_d we find security just as Moses did. In the fortress of G_d, we find the strength to face the obstacles that lie in front of us. Finding strength in G_d is not imply that our battles will magically disappear rather, it implies that He will watch over us and keep us safe no matter what we face. Moses knew what it was like to fight a wall of rejection and he knew what it was like to feel all alone. At Meribah, he caved into human response and it caused him to be disqualified from leading the people into the new land. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers (2-4). Moses wasn’t speaking accolades for the listening ear, he was confessing where his strength came from and the hope he had for the future of his nation. If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet (9-13)! Following Moses, the nation would endure a time of great testing and would be these words that would encourage the nation. Today as we face our battles, we can apply these words to our life.
Proverbs 31 – The Sayings of King Lemuel. The king had received pearls of wisdom from his mother as he was ascending the throne. We are not told who this “king Lemuel” is as none of the kings were called that name. Yet, if the words “King Lemuel” were removed, it could apply to anybody and in any circumstance. If we applied these words to our life, we would see with our own eyes how valuable this piece of wisdom is. The woman is a valuable gift and, if taken proper care of, she will be an asset to the marriage union (http://thisdaygodsway.org/2016/06/16/the-ten-cow-wife/). Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise (30-31).
Matthew 27 – The Crucifixion. Judas had handed Jesus over to be crucified and when he found himself over his head in regret, he tried to return the money as though it would exonerate him. The leaders who gave him the money in the first place and, before Judas offering to hand him over, were going to kill Jesus. Now the wheels were put in motion and all Judas could do was to watch in horror as the events he did not expect occurred. Jesus’ statement against Judas was like a dagger to the heart (John 19:11). The leading priests picked up the coins. “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury,” they said, “since it was payment for murder.” 7 After some discussion, they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. 8 That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood (6-8).
Revelations 14 – The Lamb and the 144,000. And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. 7 “Fear God,” he shouted. “Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water (6-7).” Imagine being John all alone on a deserted island sort of like Elijah on the mountain top. In ministry, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the work that lies ahead and feeling like you are in a battle against the world. The Devil says “you are all alone” yet, G_d says “hold my hand” and I will guide you along the journey.”