Daily Bible Reading: August 18th - 23rd
Date Added: 8/18/2008 11:19:39 PM
Here's this week's Daily Bible Reading - enjoy God's Word to each of us this week!
Date: August 18
Reading: Numbers 32:1-42
The children of Reuben and Gad see that the land on the east side of the Jordan is really very good land for grazing cattle. They decide that it is where they want to settle instead of crossing the Jordan and entering the land that the Lord had promised to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So, they come to Moses, Eleazar and the leaders of Israel to make their desires known.
Moses is really concerned about it, especially that the rest of Israel might lose heart concerning their attacks upon the inhabitants of Canaan. Moses reminds the children of Gad and Reuben that their fathers would not go into the promised land 40 years ago and this angered the Lord. Are they willing to risk the anger of the Lord now? Moses was reminding them of their commitment to do battle and possess the promised land.
The leaders of Reuben and Gad then make a deal with Moses. They still want the land of Gilead on the east side of the Jordan, but they will come and fight with Israel until all the inhabitants of Canaan are defeated. They promise not to return back across the Jordan until the victory of the Promised Land is achieved. This is what Moses accepts.
Sometimes we make commitments and then later see something else we want or want to do that interferes with our previous commitment. Like the children of Reuben and Gad, we need to remain faithful to our first commitment. It is a demonstration of bad character and it is a poor witness to fail in one commitment simply because we discover something else we want to have or do. God desires us all to remain faithful to every promise.
Date: August 19
Reading: Numbers 33:1-18
I have divided the reading of chapter 33 into two sections, and you will notice that they are not evenly divided. That is because I have used a different marker than half the chapter for making my division. The marker I have used is the journeys of Israel. They journeyed to the outskirts of the Promised Land twice. The first time they sent in spies and the people were fearful of entering the land. Thus, they were banished to wander in the wilderness 40 years. Up to that point is the portion you have read today. The second time they came to the edge of the promised land was after the 40 years of wandering. That will be the portion you read tomorrow.
My hope is to point out some of the key events that occurred at different locations to help you see what happened when. For example, now you know that when you read in verse 18 that “they departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah” this is where the location from which Moses sent in the spies. You can confirm this by reading Numbers 12:16 and the following verses and chapters.
I would encourage you to also match up events with the locations identified in this chapter. Additionally, I would encourage you to use a map to follow their travels. For now, however, let me say a little about the importance of a written record such as this. The detail that Moses has included here in his record of the travels of Israel, is a show of the authenticity of the record. If Moses were making these stories up, it would be foolish to name specific cities and place them in such a precise order. Both people of ancient times and people of today can check out the location of cities and possibly even ancient records to test the accuracy of these writings. Moses was not afraid to give details and allow God’s Word to be put to the test. The fact is, there are ancient writings that support the whole story of the Exodus and the wanderings of Israel. Details such as these provided by Moses have been used to substantiate the whole story as an accurate part of history.
Thank God for His perfect Word.
Date: August 20
Reading: Numbers 33:19-56
The chronology of the journeys of Israel written by Moses continues for most of the remaining portion of this chapter. The part that I had you read today is the 40 years of wandering of the children of Israel after they rebelled against God and refused to take the Promised Land after the spies returned from their mission. That generation was condemned by God to die in the wilderness and their children would be given the opportunity to possess Canaan that they gave up. Verses 19 through 49 tell us of the places they wandered for those 40 years and only of the death of Aaron at Mt. Hor in verse 38.
There were other significant events as well, and we can place them in this listing if we are diligent in our research of the Scriptures and in remembering what we read. You might remember that Miriam died during these years of wandering. That occurred at Kadesh. We are told in verse 36 of this chapter that the Israelites “removed from Eziongaber, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh.” This is where Miriam died. You can read that story in Numbers chapter 20:1. If you continue reading in Numbers chapter 20 you will see that this is also the place where Moses and Aaron sinned when Moses struck the rock with his rod instead of speaking to it as God had commanded. God still gave them water out of the rock, but that act kept Moses and Aaron from living to enter the Promised Land. Thus, we read that Aaron died at Mt. Hor in verse 38 of our reading today.
Once again we are amazed at the detail of record that Moses kept. Certainly he kept it for his immediate people and their descendents that they would have a history of their beginnings. This would be much like the history books that we have of our nation’s founding. However, this writing is more than just a history, because it is also inspired, directed and preserved by God for our benefit today. Today, as you have done in the past, thank God for His accurate Word.
Date: August 21
Reading: Numbers 34:1-29
God is preparing Israel for the possession of their inheritance – the Promised Land of Canaan. In preparation, He gives Moses the details of the borders of the land. Moses then will make it known to all Israel so that they will have an idea of all they have to conquer. If they are faithful, then all that land will be given to them and divided among the tribes.
This land is the goal for Israel and though God has promised this for them, they still have to labor and struggle to obtain it. That is a picture of what it is like for us in our walk. Having been chosen of God and made His child, we are promised eternal life with Him. Yet, we are still required to live in this world and with sin as a part of our nature. We have the Holy Spirit to help us just like Israel had the presence of God with them. God will be there for Israel as they fight to possess the land. God is here for us, through His Holy Spirit to be with us as we fight the battle against the temptations of this world and the sin that is in us. Just as Israel was promised the victory and the inheritance of this land, we are promised the victory over sin and the inheritance of heaven.
Thank God for His great promises and for the Holy Spirit that enables us to obtain those promises
Date: August 22
Reading: Numbers 35:1-34
Here God addresses the needs of the Levites. You may remember that the Levites are the priests of Israel and they have to take care of all the service of the tabernacle. Additionally, they were not allowed to own land. This was because stood in the place of the firstborn of every family in Israel. Since God laid claim to all the firstborn, He substituted the Levites in their place. Being claimed by God, they were not allowed to be “tied to the earth” through ownership of the land.
However, on a practical level, they needed to live somewhere and they were given animals and food from the people and that needed to be kept somewhere. So God required each of the tribes to give up a certain number of cities for the Levites. The total number of cities was 48. For each of these cities, extending out into the country side a total of 1000 cubits in all directions, the Levites were given places to keep their animals. Thus, the Levites were taken care of.
God continues to teach Moses each aspect of how Israel is to live once they possess the land of Canaan. This demonstrates the orderliness and providence (or care) of God. Thank God for His wonderful attributes.
Date: August 23
Reading: Numbers 36:1-13
This final short chapter of Numbers addresses the land inheritance and when it is given to daughters because a man had no sons. The daughters of Zelophehad are the example case that is used to settle some questions. The leaders of the tribe of Manasseh raised the issue with Moses because they could see that if these daughters married outside of the tribe of Manasseh, then their tribe would lose that much of the land that was promised to them.
The Lord directed Moses to instruct the children of Israel that daughters who inherited land had to marry within their tribe. This settled the issue.
We might look at this and think, what application does this have to us in this day and age. Well, there are some and we will touch on them each time we come through the reading of this chapter of Numbers. One lesson we learn is that God is concerned with justness. We need to remember that God did not forget about the situation that the leader of Manasseh is bringing up here. You see, God often uses the practical situations that rise up to teach us to reason and apply what He has shown us before. Moses even asserted that the people of Manasseh had spoken correctly before He gave the command of the Lord. He understood the mind of God on this situation because he had learned what God’s will was for the land and the tribes of Israel.
We, too, can continue to grow in our understanding of the heart and mind of God as we continue to study and meditate upon God’s Word. Our goal should be to think as God would have us to think in every situation.