Saturday, November 4, 2023

November 4, 2023

Protesting about what God is doing in your life is a bad idea; don’t do it! God had protected the Israelites from the creatures in the wilderness desert, but once again, they complained about their food and water, so God released the creatures to do their thing. According to scripture, these creatures were flying, stinging, or biting serpents! You’ve got to wonder if only portions of the camp were part of the original complaining and didn’t see the results of the ones who complained before, but humans are hard-headed and can repeat their dissatisfaction; we all know certain personality types whose primary focus is complaining. Whatever the case, people were getting bitten by this poisonous creature and dying. So he told Moses to create an image of the creature and put it on a pole and stand it in the middle of the camp so that anyone who saw it would not die. It doesn’t seem that he drove the creatures from the camp but gave them the option of healing if they looked at the pole with the creature. I’m guessing that the emblem of the snake on a pole for doctors came about from this portion of scripture. 

It’s interesting that Jesus was lifted for all to see and became sin for us, much like we view a snake as sin. Jesus replaced that emblem, and it is our healing and the only way to avoid the eternity of death in hell. We still have to walk among the serpents and may get bit occasionally, but we have Jesus as our ultimate healer. Whatever struggle you are walking through right now, fix your eyes on Jesus; he is the author and finisher of our faith!

And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. Numbers 21:8

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Friday, November 3, 2023

November 3, 2023

One thing I'm learning from the study of the Pentateuch, Law of Moses, the first five books of the Bible is that God does not like to hear complaining, especially when your faith wavers. I'm also learning the amazing grace of God through Jesus Christ, our Savior! Numbers 20 jumps to around the 40-year mark of wandering in the wilderness, and Miriam dies. The people then complain about not having water. Moses and Aaron bowed before God; he gave them instruction to take Aaron's rod from the Tabernacle and speak to the rock for water. Here's where things go terribly wrong; instead of speaking to it, they said words they shouldn't have, almost acting like it was from them that the miracle of water came, "must we fetch you water out of this rock?" and then Moses struck the rock twice. God didn't tell them to do either. Shortly after, Aaron found out he was going to die, so they ventured to the top of the mountain, where his garments were passed on to Eleazar, his son. God didn't want him dying in the priestly garments. He was laid to rest on Mt. Hor. 

Use this as an example when you are going through a rough time; don't complain, don't blame God for your circumstances, and look for the action he is taking on your behalf. It's there; you just need to recognize what he's doing. Praise him in the valley, praise him as you ascend, praise him on the mountain top. It will go well with us to never utter a disparaging word about God; he is our everything! Love him with all your heart.

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. Numbers 20:12

Thursday, November 2, 2023

November 2, 2023

The Israelites were required to be cleansed with the ashes of a pure red heifer if they came near or touched the dead body of an animal or human. We often hear about the pure red heifer concerning the temple's rebuilding; it's mentioned in Numbers 19. It is specific to the unbelieving Jews because Jesus was symbolic of our red heifer; "Christ, as man, was the Son of Adam, red earth, and we find him red in his apparel, red with his own blood, and red with the blood of his enemies." Matthew Henry. There was another good reason that God used the red heifer as a symbol of purification for sin; in Egypt, they would sacrifice a red bull to their god, but never a female. God had to make a distinction to show who was in charge and to change their mindset from the Egyptian gods to his ways. 

One thing interesting about this particular sin is that you may not know you've sinned because walking over a grave could cause you to be unclean, and the only way to become clean was to wash with the ashes of the heifer that had been mixed with running water. How would you know? It makes so much sense why when Jesus came in contact with a dead person, he raised them to life; he did not even have unintentional sin. I guarantee you that every step Jesus took on earth was meticulously coordinated to avoid unintentional sin because he was our pure sacrifice. We were disgusting filth in the eyes of God before our salvation in Jesus; he purifies us from things we don't even know are sins. For this reason, we are under the New Testament covenant; the Old Testament law is not good enough to purify us from all sin; only Jesus has that distinction. 

But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean. Numbers 19:20

The calf in the picture would not be a pleasing sacrifice because of the white on his face; plus, it is a boy. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

November 1, 2023

Forgive me if I'm always talking about myself; my life is all I have experience with. I began writing a daily post, devotional, back in 2015. Little did I know that it would become a mix of devotional and wake-up calls to believers and others to get right with the Lord because the world was vastly changing, and look at where we are now! The world has gone insane! The one thing I cherish more than anything is my time with the Lord first thing in the morning, when I sit at his feet, learning and listening so that I might share a little bit of insight that I hear from him. It's the best part of my day, and he blesses me with the rest of my day to do whatever I please. It's like tithing my day; I give him a little, and he gives me a lot. 

As priests in God's kingdom, like the Levites who got no portion in the inheritance of the Promised Land, He is our portion, and that is how we are all living, but that's okay; he is enough. As an example, if you think you own a house or your land, you are mistaken. If you stopped paying taxes, how long would you get to keep it? My point today is God is your portion; He's a lot. He will make sure you are fed with the very best of what he has: the first fruit, which is Jesus. He feeds us with his body and quenches our thirst from his cup. He expects us to do our part; we cannot be lazy; God's children are not inert. We stay busy with kingdom matters and devotion to the work he assigns us. Remember, God is our portion, and he is enough.

And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. Numbers 18:20

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

October 31, 2023

God must have grown tired of the murmurs from among the leaders of the tribes because of his appointment of Aaron as priest over the tabernacle; they must have thought it to be a cushy job or maybe a profitable and powerful one; otherwise, why would they care? He had each of the twelve tribe leaders bring a dry stick or rod with their name written on it to the tabernacle where it would stay before the ark of the covenant overnight, and if their rod budded and fruited, they would be the leader; it seems that bit of information may have been told to them beforehand. No dry stick would bloom and bud, much less simultaneously! But, with God, all things are possible, and Aaron's stick proved he was in charge because God made it bloom and produce fruit. Aaron's stick became part of what was kept in the ark of the covenant as proof and a remembrance of what God can do. 

You can see by this that as Christ-followers and priests in God's kingdom through Jesus, we are held in high esteem by God and are chosen by him. Our position may not be cushy or profitable by earthly standards, but through Jesus, it is powerful, able to direct the chosen into the kingdom of heaven. 

And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. Numbers 17:8

Monday, October 30, 2023

October 30, 2023

Reading and studying the Old Testament can give you insight into the personality of God. He doesn’t play games, and like Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” He was quick to answer the rebellion of Korah and his cohorts when they came against Moses, wanting a more significant position than what they had. Korah was already elevated above the other tribes because they were part of the Levites, but in their eagerness, they wanted more. Why can’t the people of God accept the position he gives them without complaint? He will elevate his servants when he is ready. We see from Numbers 16 that God will not tolerate disrespect or rebellion against his chosen, and he opened up the ground and swallowed their entire families and all their belongings and then killed all the other priests offering fire and incense. I would have run and hid in my tent, not to anger him anymore, but people cried out against him, and he sent a plague. If Moses and Aaron hadn’t reacted quickly, they would have all died. Aaron stood between the dead and the living, and the plague stopped. 

Now, Jesus stands in the gap between us and God, saving us from the wrath we deserve. I have to think back and determine whether I have rebelled against God unintentionally in my complaining to him about things he has permitted to happen to those I love, like the congregation of Israel. Let us be more mindful of our thoughts and prayers and ensure they do not border on rebellion or disrespect against the one who loves us the most. 

And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. Numbers 16:47-48

Sunday, October 29, 2023

October 29, 2023

It’s strawberry season in Florida. All the farmers have their berry plants in the ground soon to grow full and produce the most delicious fruit. One of the local markets, which grows some of the best-tasting strawberries, offered bare root plants for sale in their store. I couldn’t resist; how wonderful will it be to grow my own strawberries? One thing I’ve learned by planting my own garden is that it takes a lot of plants to replace what you would normally buy at the market. You initially think that a few plants will feed your family, but most of the time, you can barely get enough for a meal even when collecting the produce over several days. In the spring, I’m doubling the size of my garden!

We can learn much about the truths of God’s word by comparing it to gardening and other things that happen naturally by the hand of God. Jesus used parables to teach his disciples about the kingdom of God. Like my story about the strawberries, God entices us to follow him, gives us the Holy Spirit when we repent and accept Jesus as our Savior, and then our desire to bring others into his kingdom increases; we want to see more. So, we cultivate the soil, plant seeds, fertilize, water, and try to keep the weeds to a minimum. Within a few days, those seeds we planted begin to take root and eventually grow into a plant that is capable of producing fruit. Once we see the process working, the excitement creates a desire to see more fruit produced, and thus, we plant a more extensive garden. 

We are in season; if you’re not gardening, consider why. You’re not required to do any work for the kingdom of God, but how can you sit there and watch while others toil? I dare you to plant a few seeds; once you see them start to grow, nothing will stop you from doing it again. It’s a great feeling to watch God’s hand in someone’s life that you helped bring near to Jesus. 

And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Luke 8:8