Daily Bible Readings 10/2/2021

Reading #1 – Numbers 24

Reading #2 – Psalms 129

Reading #3 – Job 31                                           

Reading #4 – Matthew 25

Reading #5 – 1 Peter 2

 

Notes

Numbers 24 – Balaam’s Third Oracle. In the previous two oracles, Balaam used omens to come up with his oracle to Balak (1-9). Interestingly, the Lord G-d can use anyone or anything He chooses to get His message through even if it is the jawbone of an Ass. Balak, of course, did not like what Balaam had to say. In fact, he passed the blame off on G-d for Balaam not getting paid which was unnecessary because Balaam from a personal example what happens when you try to outwit G-d (10-13). Balaam’s last oracle to Balak would be the future events that would unfold for Balak and Moab (14). Moab would be crushed in the time of David a little over 510 years (15-19). The Edomites refused permission for the Israelites to cross over their territory and because of it, they too would be destroyed. Amalek was destroyed by Joshua and the Israelites (Exodus 17:13-15). I tried to get something on the Kenites (21-22) but could find very little credible information. I do know that some of the battles had already taken place and so the warning to Balak and the people of Moab this was a warning (23-25). The Blue Letter Bible expounds on the perceptions of both men, Balak didn’t get what he wanted “a weakened Israel” and Balaam didn’t get paid something he hoped to capitulate on.

Psalms 129 – They Have Afflicted Me from My Youth. The attacks the writer is talking about are all external. External attacks can be seen, felt, and prayed against (1-5). In the example of Balak, the attack was to be by the hand of Balaam. Because of people like Moses, the attacks were thwarted. In Egypt, the attack was by the hand of the taskmaster’s whip (Exodus 1). When our heart is in right standing with the Lord G-d and our eyes are on him, we can pray for G-d’s help and know that we will get what we need. Those who attack us unprovoked will lose everything they have stolen (6-8).

Job 29 – Job’s Summary Defense. As Job was giving his closing argument, looking back he wished he could be back in the days when life was at its best (1-6). People listened when this man spoke and people made way for him, got up from their seats, and offered the highest seat to him (7-13, 21-25). He not only spoke flowing words of wisdom, but he also met the physical needs which are faith and works in action (14-16, James 2:16-19). So what did he do wrong? The answer is, “Absolute nothing”. Remember, these were outward attacks and should have been seen as such.

Matthew 25 – The Parable of the Ten Virgins. The first two parables talk about being ready all of the time. The oil was the fuel to keep the lamp burning just as Aaron was in charge of being sure the lamps were lit all night long. The reason for burning the lamps at night was because the priests were in the temple at night and it was dark in there so the lamps guided their footsteps. In the same way, the light of Jesus burning in our hearts guides our footsteps should the lamp go out, our heart will be dark and we will lose our way (1-6, Exodus 27:20-21). The parable of the talents talks about using what we are given and investing the talent so that we will have something to show for the talent we received. If we do nothing with our talents except bury them or forget about them, what will bring before the High and Exalted G-d at the end of our age (14-30, Micah 6:6-8). The last point of Jesus’ message was “treating others as the Lord treats us and as we would like to be treated”. If we do not provide for others and pass off our Christianity by “Spiritual words”, what good is it? You might just as well have hit the person over the head with a stick and run away (31-50).

1 Peter 2 – A Living Stone and a Holy People. Peter is talking to the diaspora or, “the dispersed” Jews. Living for the Lord requires us to have an “inward conviction to serve the Lord” and the desire to grow deeper in Him. To do so requires us to deal with our “human notions” such as malice, envy, strife, impatience, fear, and doubt. We serve a Living G-d or the “Living Stone” which is the cornerstone, the one that holds the building together (1-5). In the OT, the Levitical priesthood was established because the people revolted against the Lord but the Levites stood their ground to serve the Lord. In the NT, Jesus is our High Priest and we are responsible for the tabernacle of our heart that is, what we put into it. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection set the foundation on which to build our lives. Jesus was part of the diaspora and he lived according to the Mosaic laws as they were written not as they were modified. Jesus was not what the people expected, he was what they needed and the same is said for us. So, either our life is predicated on the Word of G-d or it isn’t, either the rock is precious or odious depending on where we are in the Lord (6-8). The thing is, no matter where the world is or what it does, we are held to a higher standard (9-12). The part about scripture that people stumble over is how we are to treat people in authority. The world today is all about “Me and what I want” and, it treats people in authority like they were trash and this is abhorrent and a great tragedy (13-25). If we follow the pattern of the world, we will fall into the same trap and not get out of it.

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