Event this Thursday; Daily Bible Reading: July 28th - Aug 3rd
Date Added: 7/28/2008 10:47:18 AM
Upcoming Event: FREE seminar about the 'Shack' book- Why The Controversy?
You are invited to A FREE seminar about a book by William P. Young called the 'Shack' - Why The Controversy?
When: Thursday July 31, 2008: 7:00PM with Q&A from 8:00-9:00PM
Matt Slick, who hosts the KSPD radio show 'Faith and Reason', will present information addressing the controversial issues regarding the 'Shack' book featuring provocative audio clips of his radio interview with the 'Shack' author William P. Young. Dr. Harper of Intermountain Christian News will also share his experience talking with the author.
This is a FREE event!
Location: Hosted by Calvary Baptist Church, 911 S. Cole Rd., Boise, Idaho.
Matt Slick's radio show 'Faith and Reason' is heard Monday-Friday 6-7PM (Mountain Standard Time) on KSPD radio 790AM. View his web site at: http://www.carm.org/radio/radio.htm
For more information, contact Dr. Harper in Boise at (208) 703-8688 or via web at: http://www.imcnews.org or via e-mail at: email@example.com
Daily Bible Reading: July 28th - August 3rd
Date: July 28
Reading: Numbers 14:1-25
The people are completely fearful because of the report of the 10 spies who do not believe they can take the land. They believe it would have been better for them to have died in Egypt or in the wilderness. Now they think they are going to be killed by the sword in battle. To avoid that tragedy, they decide they need a leader, a captain, to take them back to Egypt.
I am sure it was a scary thing to be coming up to a great valley with several walled cities. But they had the promise of God and the testimony of his miraculous demonstrated in their escape from Egypt and in the wilderness. Yet, they could only see the moment and could only hear the fearful reports.
People, including you and me, can often be like these Israelites. We see the danger or trouble of the moment and forget the wonderful care of God in the past. Ask God to keep your mind filled with His wonderful care of your life, that you will be strong in facing trials in this and other days.
Date: July 29
Reading: Numbers 14:26-45; 15:1-16
Though Moses plead with God to forgive the people, and God did let them live. The consequences of their disbelief still came into play. God determined that this murmuring and unfaithful generation would not enter the Promised Land. So, their penalty would be to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until all those from age 20 and up had died. God determined that the children and youth, would live to enter the land.
There were two exceptions to this punishment. The first exception was that Joshua and Caleb would not die in the wilderness and would be brought into the promised land. This was God’s faithfulness to them because of their unwavering faith in Him.
The second exception to this punishment was that the 10 unfaithful spies would not wander in the wilderness for 40 years. They were killed in a plague that the Lord brought upon Israel. They should have trusted in the strong arm of the Lord and stood firm in His promise to give them the land. They were the one’s who were responsible to speak for the Lord and encourage the people, and they failed.
There is a very important lesson in the punishment of the Israelites to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. That lesson is that forgiveness does not always, in fact rarely, eliminates consequences for sin. Sometimes we fall into the belief that to forgive means to forget and it can include that. But, many wrong actions will carry with them consequences that will not, or can not, be dismissed. God pardoned Israel from the judgment they deserved of immediate destruction. But, the consequence of being disqualified from entering the Promised Land remained on that generation. They were doomed to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. It would be their children and grand-children that would now inherit the promises that had been meant for them.
Date: July 30
Reading: Numbers 15:17-41
The portion of Numbers chapter 15 that we read today deals with some interesting and some challenging things. Probably the most challenging is the story of the man who was stoned to death for picking up sticks on the sabbath. It certainly must have been a terrible offense to bring the death penalty upon the person. One thing we know from that story is that God hates sin. In time, we will address the sabbath situation in more detail and each of these different events. Today, let’s focus on verses 23 – 31.
In these verses, God addresses the two possibilities of sinning. One could sin – that is, break God’s commandments – through ignorance. And, one could break God’s law presumptuously. Breaking God’s commandments presumptuously means that the person knew his act was wrong, he knew God had commanded against it, and he went ahead and did the sinful act.
In the first case, the person was unaware that what he had done was wrong. In fact, it may be that the whole congregation of Israel was ignorant of the Lord’s command in a situation. In both of those cases of ignorance, an atonement could be made for those sins and they would be forgiven. In this we learn that even when we are ignorant of what is right, we can and do sin. But, praise God there is forgiveness for our sins.
In the second category of sin, the person is well aware of what is right and knows that if he takes a certain action he will be directly violating God’s command. In this case, the Lord says that this man should be “cut off.” There is no atoning process spoken of in this case. The Lord says that this type of person has “despised the Word of the Lord.”
The nation of Old Testament Israel was a unique nation in history. They were a nation like other nations, but they were also a special people called for a special purpose at a special time in history. They were a nation that demonstrated in the physical what happens to the souls of men in the spiritual. Those that found forgiveness in God were brought into and retained as a part of the congregation, however, those that would despise God’s Word, were “cut off from the congregation” and this often meant that they were put to death. What occurred physically for these people of old was often the external expression of what happened to men spiritually.
Jesus Christ was represented in the sacrifices offered by those who sinned in ignorance. Only through Christ can we truly receive atonement for our sins – both our sins of ignorance and our sins of presumption.
Date: July 31
Reading: Numbers 16:1-22
Rebellion has arisen in the camp. Korah, a Levite, along with Dathan and Abiram, two members of the tribe of Reuben, have stirred up 250 leaders in Israel against Moses and Aaron. Korah is complaining that, since God has declared the congregation to be a holy people, they do not need leaders. He believes the people can all lead themselves without Moses or Aaron.
Moses, in humility, falls on his face before them. I am sure he cannot believe that these people would tempt God in this way. Moses responds to them by asking them why it isn’t enough for God to chosen the Levites to be separate from Israel for the purpose of doing the service of the tabernacle. He, then, asked the pointed question, “seek ye also the priesthood?” Moses knew that it was a heart of pride that was behind all this rebellion. He also knew the heart of God and that God was extremely displeased with their attitude and actions.
God’s heart came forth rather quickly as the Lord told Moses and Aaron to separate themselves from the rest so He could consume them. That is where today’s reading ended. Tomorrow we will hear the rest of the story.
God calls different people to their duties in life and in the service of the Church. We need to humbly accept God’s choices and submit to them in the Lord. Ask God for a heart of submission and honor toward all who are in authority over you.
Date: August 1
Reading: Numbers 16:23-50
Today we read the rest of the story about God’s dealings with the rebels in Israel. God had them all come before the tabernacle with burning incense, just as a priest might bring incense before the Lord. But, God had other plans for none were worthy to be priests except Moses and Aaron.
Moses has everyone move away from the tents of Dathan and Abiram and he announces that if these men die a natural death then all will know that the Lord has not sent Moses. But, he says, if they die by being swallowed up by the earth, then all will know that they have provoked the Lord. Well, the earth split apart and swallowed them up along with all that they owned.. Then fire came down and burned up the 250 princes that followed them. Yes, God made it clear that He had chosen Moses and Aaron to lead the people and that He would not tolerate rebellion against His designated authority.
Today, Jesus Christ stands as the only true and eternal Priest and King. He is God’s designated authority. Jesus is the one that Moses and Aaron represented when they were leading Israel in the Old Testament. This is why God was so angry with the people’s rebellion, because it was like being in rebellion against His Son. We, too, must be in joyful submission to the leadership of God’s Son. Ask God to continue to give you a heart to love His Son.
Date: August 2
Reading: Numbers 17:1-13; 18:1-7
If you can believe it, the people are still complaining. We didn’t mention it yesterday, but I am sure you noticed in yesterday’s readings that the people began complaining the very next day after God had destroyed all those who had rebelled against Moses. What was their complaint? Read verse 41 of chapter 16 again.
“But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel
murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed
the people of the Lord.”
Can you believe it? The children of Israel are saying that Moses killed “people of the Lord” when God clearly opened up the earth and swallowed up Korah, Dathan and Abiram, and then sent fire out to consume the 250 followers of the rebels. These are a very short-sighted and fickle people.
Well, God determined to demonstrate once and for all that Aaron is chosen among all the people to be His High Priest. That is what the story of Aaron’s rod budding is about. Of all the rods, only Aaron’s budded. God showed that He had called and chosen Aaron above all the others.
Though we can sit here and be amazed at the foolishness of the Israelites, we should not presume that we could not behave just as foolishly. In fact, we all are capable of such rebellious and foolish acts. It is by God’s grace that we continue to trust in Him. Pray that God would continue to shed His grace on you and keep you in His loving care.
Date: August 3
Reading: Numbers 18:8-32
The remainder of chapter 18, which was your reading for today, details how the offerings are used to support Aaron, his sons, and the Levites. You need to remember that the Levites, including Aaron and his sons, were not given any land to possess. Without land, they could not produce and make a living. Thus, there living was sustained through the offerings and the tithe of the people. Their work was to maintain the service of the tabernacle.
The Levites, including Aaron and his sons, were one of the few who received their “income” by way of the giving of the people. This practice, established in Old Testament Israel is the basis of the local church today, along with its ministry, being funded by the giving of the people.
We should support our local church with our giving and with our prayers.