Reading #1 – Numbers 26:1-51
Reading #2 – Psalms 131
Reading #3 – Job 33
Reading #4 – Matthew 27
Reading #5 – 1 Peter 4
Numbers 26:1-51 – The Census of the New Generation. The census counted men from 20 years and older who could serve in the army which, in itself, numbered 601,730 men (51). So, when you add in the women and children, it raises the census to over a million people. In battle, manpower is an important variable but to the Lord, it is not. So, the incident with Korah and his band, the plague at Shittim (Numbers 25), and the death of those who refused to trust in the Lord were but a blip on the radar. The thing is, we are not that important so, if we won’t praise G-d and trust Him, the rocks and hills will cry out (Luke 19:40). In essence, we don’t hold G-d in the palm of our hands, He holds us. Don’t get me wrong, every soul on earth past, present, and future matters to G-d but the choices we make finish the story of our life. Korah and Dathan were swallowed up into the but their families did not end and their lineage would rise up to gladly do the tasks assigned to the clan (9-11). Judah’s sons Er and Onan were children of a Canaanite woman and had died in Canaan before the nation moved to Egypt (Genesis 38).
Psalm 131 – I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul. The one person we are given complete control over is ourselves. Becoming “Super Spiritual” is a pathway that leads to our collapse (1). The world may become upset and revolt but I am still under oath to the Almighty to serve Him with humility and honor. Learning to calm our hearts means we need to rest in the Lord and trust Him implicitly (2). Oh, the nation I live in, Hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore (3).
Job 33 – Elihu Rebukes Job. Elihu, the youngest man, arises to set the record straight. Pride is a dangerous thing, it leads its prey to the precipice and then compels him/her to jump off. People can stand up against several things but who can stand against pride? Job was offered the witness stand to contend against but, what good would it do? So, Job remained quiet while Elihu spoke (1-7). Remember, what Elihu is saying is partly true and partly false and this is where problems occur. G-d is indeed greater than man (12) but, like any good parent, He presents the facts but what we do with them will either keep us from the pit or push us into it (15-18). Indeed, how we die will be determined by the choices we make while we are alive (19-22, ). The thing is, there are anomalies in this world that we are powerless to explain like Job, children infested with cancer, and the young dying before the old our only explanation is “sinful choices made by others”. We have a Kinsman Redeemer and his name is Jesus the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace (23-28).
Matthew 27 – Jesus Delivered to Pilate. Pontius Pilate was the Governor of Judah and was charged by Ceasar for maintaining law and order (1-2). Judas having accepted the bribe was now stuck and the deed was done (3-10). Pilate desperately sought a way out of the mess he was in but Jesus would say nothing in his defense nor corroborate Pilate’s suspicions (11-14). The Pharisees and Sadducees wanted this man Jesus dead and to be sure he didn’t wriggle his way out, they talked people into asking for Barabbas to be released and Jesus crucified. In essence, the people in Judah that day implicated themselves and their lineage in the death of an innocent man (15-23). Jesus died on a tree outside the city limits on the hill called Golgatha. The thing is, no matter how sad or how glad the people may have been, it wasn’t the end of the story.
1 Peter 4 – Stewards of G-d’s Grace. As the 1st century was winding down, Peter was preparing the people for the days ahead. Because of all that lay ahead, Peter encouraged the people to live according to sound Biblical and Torah precepts (1-6). Nothing could indeed stop the events that would unfold but, each person was responsible for the condition of his/her heart (7-11). The difference between true and false Prophecy lies in the balance of presenting the situation and G-d’s call to His children to live Holy lives in the face of disaster (12-19).