Dedication’s what you need……(if you want to be a record breaker !!)

19 03 2011

DAY SEVENTY-SEVEN : Numbers 7 v. 1 – 65; Luke 2 v. 21 – 40; Psalm 35 v. 1 – 10


NUMBERS
Dedication of the Tabernacle – God desires everything in the tabernacle to be dedicated : this is the ‘start’ of worship. Everything is anointed and consecrated (set aside). Then every leader of every clan made offerings (one leader each day) – carts and oxen – passed to the Levites for their work (except the Kohathites who were set aside to carry the ‘holy things’ on their shoulders).
DAY ONE – Judah’s leader Nahshon brought the offerings (silver, gold, animals etc. for sin, burnt and fellowship offerings)
DAY TWO – Issachar’s leader Nethanel brought the offerings (as above)
DAY THREE – Zebulun’s leader Eliab brought the same offerings
DAY FOUR – Reuben’s leader Elizur brought the same offerings
DAY FIVE – Simeon’s leader Shelumiel brought the same
DAY SIX – Gad’s leader Eliasaph brought the same
DAY SEVEN – Ephraim’s leader Elishama brought the same
DAY EIGHT – Manasseh’s leader Gamaliel brought the same
DAY NINE – Benjamin’s leader Abidan did as the above

all this marks the start of the worship life of the Israelites with the tabernacle
interesting that each clan was expected to bring exactly the same – twelve days of offerings, and undoubtedly a great sense of unity, and a great buzz of excitement.


LUKE

Jesus presented in the temple (Simeon and Anna) – as was the custom, on the eighth day, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to be circumcised; thirty-three days later, after the set length of time Mary was considered ‘unclean’, they revisited the temple to consecrate / dedicate Jesus. We note that they offered doves and pigeons, which were the acceptable offerings for those too poor to afford a lamb.

Though they held the Lamb of God in their arms, Mary and Joseph were too poor to offer more than the birds. No wonder the priests did not ‘recognise’ the presence of the Christ-Messiah, but two others did!

Simeon was righteous, dedicated to God, looking for the Messiah, and guided by the Holy Spirit – great pattern for a life of devotion to God. The Spirit is very active around Simeon – guiding him, revealing to him that he would see the Christ, moving him to be in the right place at the right time to see Jesus, and undoubtedly inspiring his prophetic praises (his Nunc Dimittis – ‘now let depart’). Simeon ‘sings’ of God’s salvation for all people – Jews and Gentiles.
Simeon blesses Mary and Joseph, and prophesies that
(i) Jesus would cause the rising and falling of many – He will have a profound, unrivaled impact upon the world
(ii) Jesus would be a sign from God – but would attract great opposition (people would have strong opinions about Him, either way)
(iii) Jesus would bring heartache for Mary

Anna had dedicated her life, once widowed (after only seven years of marriage), to serving in the temple, ‘worshiping night and day, fasting and praying’. She speaks of the child’s destiny to all who were seeking the Messiah. This older lady sees the truth, and shares the good news.

Praise God for the Annas of this world, who often feel ‘all they can do is pray’. Hallelujah for them ! Keep worshiping, fasting and praying, sisters and brothers!

The family return to Nazareth, and Jesus grows in strength, wisdom and grace. God, Himself, is grown and nurtured within humble surroundings within a devout and loving family.

PSALM
The psalmist is greatly under attack, fearing his life, and the traps that are set for him. He trusts in God to turn the tables on those who are after him.
“Contend with those who contend with me…say to my soul, “I am your salvation.
…may the net they hid entangle them, may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.
“Who is like You, O Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them.””

After a fantastic Comic Relief day, great fun, and huge amounts of goodwill and fundraising, please God, provide for all in need today. Looking this morning at the website, a RECORD-BREAKING £74 Million was totalled on the night. Astounding.

Prayers especially for the poor people of Japan, those trapped, without any supplies of food and water. Miraculously be with them and provide today, Lord. Bring an end to their sufferings, speed the emergency responses.

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