Daily Bible Reading: July 14th - 20th
Date Added: 7/14/2008 8:57:04 PM
Wow - we're over halfway through the summer! We at the BWLC hope and pray that your family has been able to draw close as you dig deep into His Word this summer!
Daily Bible Reading: July 14th - 20th
Date: July 14
Reading: Numbers 3:25-51
Yesterday we read about the Gershonites, a portion of the Levites, that were to set up camp on the west side of the tabernacle and had a special charge over a portion of the tabernacle. Today, we read about the Kohathites that camped on the south side and the families of Merari that camped on the north side. Each of these groups also had special duties to take down, carry and set up a portion of the tabernacle.
Did you notice that these groups only covered three sides of the tabernacle? God placed Moses and Aaron and Aaron’s sons on the east side of the tabernacle. This was the front of the tabernacle and the place any could enter. Thus, Moses and Aaron, the one’s placed in charge of the nation and the overall care of the tabernacle, were given this prominent position. God not only wanted all things orderly, He wanted His tabernacle, the place where He met with Moses and Aaron, to be respected and protected.
Today, we do not have a physical tabernacle that we must enter to meet with God. But, we could say that the place we meet with God is in our heart. We need to guard our heart from evil just as Moses and Aaron kept guard on the entrance to the tabernacle. We should desire to have a clean and pure heart where we can meet in prayer with our holy and just God.
Date: July 15
Reading: Numbers 4:1-28
In this chapter, the three groups of Levites are being given their specific charge of the tabernacle and the details of how they are to carry it out. We read today that the holy things inside the tabernacle had to all be covered before the sons of Kohath could enter in and carry the items out. If they touched a holy object or entered into the tabernacle to simply look around, they could be killed. To protect them, the Lord had all the items covered and had Aaron and his sons assign who was to carry what.
The idea of people being struck dead for touching a holy thing or being careless in their duties may all sound strange to you. However, this all was to present to the Israelite of the Old Testament, and to us today who are reading it, that God is holy and cannot tolerate uncleanness and sin in His presence. We are all sinful creatures and so were all the Israelites that we are reading about.
They had to have coverings to keep them separated from the holy things of God. We, however, can come into the presence of God in prayer. This is made possible because we have the perfect spiritual covering provided for us in Jesus Christ. He covers us with His life and brings us into the presence of God through the Holy Spirit. Praise God for the work of our Priest, Jesus Christ.
Date: July 16
Reading: Numbers 4:29-49
In today’s reading, Moses completed the numbering of those between the ages of 30 and 50 years old in each of the three key groups of the Levites. These were the one’s that had the direct responsibility to carry out the duties assigned to their group.
When we come to believe in the Lord and trust in Him for our salvation, we become a part of the Body of Christ or congregation of believers. You will read about this in the New Testament. What you will learn is that God calls each person that is a member of the Body of Christ to do specific jobs for His Church. Being a part of the Church and helping it in its service and witness to the world is a very important thing each of us needs to be doing.
In the Old Testament, we see a picture of this responsibility of being a part of the work of God in the lives of these Levites. Each group had an important role in assembling, disassembling and carrying the parts of the tabernacle. If any of them failed to do their duty, then it put an unnecessary burden on others.
These Levites of old were dealing with a physical structure, yet a very important part of their worship. We are dealing with people’s lives the ministry to them through the Church. This, too, is a very important part of our worship. Pray that God would help you and your family find a way to minister within the church you attend.
Date: July 17
Reading: Numbers 5:1-31
The first thing we read in this chapter is that those who were thought of as unclean, or defiled, were put outside the camp. That means they had to live away from everyone else. The reason given is “that they defile not their camps.” The unclean that are mentioned are the leper, the person that has an issue (for example an open sore), and a person that had been in contact with a dead body. All these had to live outside the camp.
This may sound cruel and heartless, but we need to think on a few things to understand. First, these are all people that have or could have a disease. These diseases could be given to others by touching them or sharing things. The action of making them live outside the camp was a protection for all the people. When you are sick, your mother actually treats you in a similar way that God is requiring the Israelites to treat the sick among them.
Your mother makes you stay in your room and away from others. You are not allowed to go to Church, school, or a friends house because you might make them sick. This is the same reasoning the Lord is using here in telling Moses to make all the unclean (defiled, diseased, sick) people live outside the camp.
When you are sick, you have to stay away from others until you are well. Then you can start doing what you always do and being with those you want to be with. We need to remember that it was the same for the Israelites as well. We don’t read about it here, but we did read about it in the Book of Leviticus. Do you remember how the Priests were taught to observe a person who had been sick or who had been diagnosed with leprously and determine if they were well? (see Leviticus 13 & 14) Once they were declared clean. That person could once again enter back into society and visit other people and go to the different places.
When we read God’s Word, we need to remember that all of it teaches us, not just one part. Here we read an important part about the safety and health of the community. However, in another place we read about the care and treatment of those who were sick. Don’t lose sight of the big picture of Scripture when you read one part.
Date: July 18
Reading: Numbers 6:1-27
The Nazarite vow was a special vow that an Old Testament Israelite could enter into if he or she felt called to enter into a special time of devotion to the Lord. There was no set duration of the vow, it was a personal commitment for each individual. During the time of the vow, the person was required to abstain from certain things. In particular, he or she had to abstain from anything that was from the vine. That would include dried or fresh grapes or the wine made from the grapes. They would also stay away from any strong drink. Additionally, he was not to cut his hair and could not participate in the burial of a person (even a relative) or be in the presence of a dead person.
A Nazarite was probably pretty easy to spot with his long hair and special eating prohibitions. Other Israelites would easily recognize a Nazarite and know that here was a person that was taking very serious his relationship with the Lord.
We can learn some lessons from the Nazarite. First, we can see that there could be, and probably should be, times in our lives when we pull back from the “normal routine” of life and concentrate on our relationship with God. We can grow in our spiritual life and strength by having times when we overtly focus our attention on God, Who He is, and our relationship with Him.
Secondly, we should realize that as Christians we are, in a sense, always have an identification with the Nazarite of old. You see, we are marked in a special way by Christ, and identified with Christ. Thus, we, too, need to draw back from some of the things that the world would consider “normal.” Things that would confuse our living testimony to the world of our love for, and commitment to, Jesus Christ should be eliminated from our lives. Our focus, like the Nazarite’s focus, should be to please God in every way.
This leads to a third and final connection between us, as believers, and the Old Testament Nazarite. Again, you could spot a Nazarite. You knew by his looks and his life, that he was a Nazarite. We, as Christians, should be so marked that others can identify us as different from the world and committed to a God pleasing life. One of the greatest testimonies you and I can receive is when someone who does not know the Lord in a loving and saving way, looks at us and says, “Your different than everyone else, why is that?” With that question, the Holy Spirit just may open the door for you to receive and new brother or sister in Christ.
Date: July 19
Reading: Numbers 7:1-29
Verse 1 tells us that the time of these events we are reading about in Numbers 7 occurred on the day the tabernacle was finished and the immediate days following. You may remember that when you read the Book of Exodus, it ended with the completion of the tabernacle. Exodus chapter 40 tells of Moses setting up the tabernacle, putting all the furnishings inside and anointing each part. Verse 33 of that chapter in Exodus ends with these words, “So Moses finished the work.” The final 5 verses of Exodus 40, which end that book, tells us nothing more of that day’s events. We find those events in this chapter of the Book of Numbers that we are reading today.
The Book of Numbers tells us that the princes of Israel brought offerings for the tabernacle that were given to the Levites for their service. They also had a 12-day long dedication service for the altar of the tabernacle. The Israelites were very excited about what they had just accomplished for the service of God. Because of that excitement, they were very willing to give of themselves. What is important in any work of God and in any thing we do, is our long-term commitment, and not just the excitement for the moment. As we read through the story of Israel, we will want to see what their long-term dedication is.
It is exciting whenever anything new gets started. It is easy to be committed to new and exciting ideas or activities. But, it is the long-term that really demonstrates our character and true commitment. Ask God for endurance to stay committed to the things that are honoring to Him and purposeful for your life.
Date: July 20
Reading: Numbers 7:30-59
The daily dedication continues as each prince of each tribe of Israel brings his offering for the dedication of the altar. The altar represents the place of sacrifice for sin. It is the place where the appeal to God goes up for acceptance before Him. Now that Jesus has come and is our eternal sacrifice before God for sin, we are to bring the sacrifice of praise and prayer. Bring your “sacrifice” to God in prayer and thank God today for His forgiveness of your sins and praise Him for His love and care over your life.