Saturday, November 18, 2023

November 18, 2023

We are headed home from the beach today. I feel refreshed and rejuvenated, ready for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Rejoice and thank the Lord for all he has done for us. It may seem like the world is falling apart, but it is falling into place, just as God planned, so don’t fret over what you see and hear; much of it is only stories that cause anxiety. Be at peace, and do not fear. 

Imagine how the Israelites felt as they approached the day God had planned for them to conquer the inhabitants of the promised land. They must have been so anxious and afraid, but they knew God was with them and continued their quest in obedience to him. As you set out to conquer your day, know that God goes before you and is also your rear guard. The task at hand may seem daunting, but God makes everything possible. 

In Numbers 34, God told Moses the boundaries of Israel and allotted each tribe their land. God knows in advance the boundaries of your dwelling place and expects you to be content with all he gives you; when it is time for you to expand, he will make it known. Continue to praise and worship him until his plan unfolds.

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, Acts 17:26

“Command the people of Israel, and say to them, When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan as defined by its borders), Numbers 34:2

Friday, November 17, 2023

November 17, 2023

The place we are staying on the beach is adorable. The decor is on point! However, though I love the beach and the atmosphere, there are some things I don't like. We are on the second floor of a three-story wood building, which means there are people above us walking on wood trusses, and we can hear their every move, and they move a lot! Even though it's not ideal, it is still a nice getaway. I've spent most of my time relaxing; I can't seem to sit still at home, so this week has been a nice treat of soaking in the beauty of God's creation. We looked at a couple of condos while here, but nothing checks off our boxes for the most part. The truth is that we won't find perfection; I expect that to happen when Jesus returns to rule and reign and a new Heaven and Earth are created. Until then, we have to live with imperfection. 

In chapter 33 of Numbers, Moses kept a journal and recalled the Israelite’s stops in the wilderness. Other than that, there is little information. One of their stops had seventy palm trees and twelve fountains of water; another stop had no water. Like Moses and Israel, you will not find perfection during your search in this lifetime, but that's a good thing; we shouldn't be comfortable with the way things are and should long for the perfect life of eternity with Jesus. Enjoy your time, but realize there is something worthy waiting for us in eternity: the perfection of Jesus.

And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there. Numbers 33:9

Thursday, November 16, 2023

November 16, 2023

As I sit and enjoy the waves crashing against the shoreline, it would be easy to settle by the sea and never go home again; I find it exceedingly peaceful. I can understand why there were two and a half tribes that wanted to stay on the east side of the Jordan River. The vast open pasture land made it easy to feed their cattle, of which they had many. They must have found it to be as beautiful as I’ve found the sea. God had appointed that the two-and-a-half tribes should have a portion of the land of Canaan, so they had to convince Moses of their desire to stay. Moses made a good point that if they wanted to stay, they must first help the other tribes conquer the land God promised them. They agreed and began to prepare the land so their families could stay there unharmed by the current inhabitants. Sometimes, God leaves us to our own desires, but we eventually pay the price for not following his direction. We find in 2 Kings that they were the first to be taken into captivity by the Assyrians. If left to make our own decisions, some of us would make a mess of our lives; that’s why we must learn to hear and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When you stay wrapped in God’s Word, study daily, offer praise, stay prayerful, and worship Him, hearing his voice becomes easy. If those tribes had followed what God had appointed for them, much of the heartache they experienced later on might have lessened. 

The point of today’s lesson is to stay in tune with God by studying His Word. It’s the only way to know what he expects of you. 

Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle: Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan. Numbers 32:4-5

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

November 15, 2023

Have you destroyed the things that cause you to stumble? As a final task before God gathered Moses to his people, he had him assemble an army to fight against Midian because they had drawn the Israelites into idolatry. God had purged Israel of those who had worshipped idols, but it was now time to seek vengeance on those who had caused their crime. God wanted total annihilation; however, they captured and kept the women and children to the chagrin of God. The women were the ones who drew them into idolatry! Moses had them kill all the adult women and the male children; they were only allowed to keep the girls. I know what you’re thinking; it disturbs me, too, but they are of a different culture than we are. 

You can see by this story that God is angered over our worship of other gods and goes to great lengths to purge us of such. If you are harboring any sinful practice from your past before you accepted Jesus as your savior, get rid of it! It needs to go. Until you make it a point to worship and honor only God, you will continue to stumble and fall. God will not be mocked.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian. Numbers 31:1-3

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

November 14, 2023

Ten years ago, I made a solemn dedication to God. “I solemnly vowed to take God as my whole portion and felicity, looking to nothing else, as any part of my happiness, nor acting as if it were.” It doesn’t seem like it has teeth until the next part of it: “Everything that goes into or attaches to me is dedicated to Him.” 

Several years ago, I had a tooth pulled because it had an abscess; it was in the back, so it was not a big deal. I have a new dentist specializing in implants and thought getting a new tooth would be a good idea. It required a bone graft, but I didn’t think about what that meant. Where would the bone come from? It turns out that they use cadaver bones. When he told me it came from a cadaver, because of my vow, I should have rejected it and walked out, but I didn’t. I don’t know the person who donated their bone; all I know is they are dead. Old Testament law states you are unclean if you touch a dead body or are even near one and must go through a cleansing process. God knew the person that bone belonged to. Though we are not under Old Testament law, and I stay clean because of Jesus, portions are still in effect, like vows. An example would be Ananias and Sapphira, who held back part of the money they dedicated to God; they dropped dead! 

After a couple of weeks, I was still in pain, and the graft never took, so I had it removed on Friday, and it’s already healed. Side note: until I re-read my vow this morning, I didn’t remember including the part about everything going into or attaching to me. Ugh! The things I go through to teach a lesson!! Warning! Be careful of the vows you make to God. He doesn’t forget the commitment you made to him. 

If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. Numbers 30:2

Monday, November 13, 2023

November 13, 2023

I’m not sure why my soul longs for the beach, whether it’s the vast expanse of the gulf or the miles of sand and seashells. Whatever the case may be, the feeling is strong. I get clarity when I breathe in the salty air, and peace that settles on me from the rhythm of the waves crashing one after another. The flight and the calls of the seabirds take me back to my childhood days of frolicking on the beach, digging in the sand, and body surfing on the waves. We cannot forget that God appointed every moment for a purpose. My purpose today is to worship him in solitude and glorify him with my praise; it’s easy at the beach. When it’s not a beach day, and your world seems upside down, make your praise and worship more prolific because it’s in those moments that God will reach down and lift your heart and hold you closer. It’s easy to meet God at the beach, but it’s more beneficial to call on him while you are in the valley. So, wherever you are, at peace or in turmoil, reach out to God and ask for his divine presence to settle upon you for comfort, as only he can bring.

These things ye shall do unto the LORD in your set feasts, beside your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meat offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings. And Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 29:39-40

Sunday, November 12, 2023

November 12, 2023

As the children prepare to enter the promised land, most were not born when the daily, weekly, and monthly sacrifices were instituted, so Moses went over the requirements to teach them again. We must not forget to teach our children the ways of God and introduce them to Jesus. Time passes, prayer is forgotten or has been put aside for lack of commitment, and our children pay the price; look at the state of our country right now; we are the evidence of what can happen when God is not at the forefront of our minds. The morning and evening sacrifices acknowledged God and brought thoughts of him in the morning as they awakened and in the evening as they retired to sleep. Are you making the sacrifice of prayer as you wake up and as you lay down? If not, make a conscious effort to begin now and teach your children to do the same. 

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season. Numbers 28:1-2