‘Is the Lord’s arm too short?’

22 03 2011

DAY EIGHTY : Numbers 11 v. 4 – 13 v. 25; Luke 3 v. 23 – 4 v. 13; Proverbs 7 v. 21 – 27

NUMBERS
Quail – okay, so the people now are called ‘the rabble’ ! Complaining and wailing for other food. ‘All we ever get is manna’, and they reminisce about meat, fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic (ooh, my mouth’s watering). How quickly they forget the ‘slavery’ they were enduring there.
God is angry and Moses is troubled by all this moaning. He pleads with God, for the weight of the burden of all these people is too great. Why does he have to ‘nurse’ them?
“I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.”
He’d rather die, than struggle on with this complaining rabble. This a low point for Moses, but ‘our extremity is God’s opportunity’.
God instructs Moses to bring seventy leaders to the Tent and
“the Spirit that is on you (I will) put..on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.”
God promises Moses (and through him, the people) that He’s heard their moaning, and they will get meat, for a whole month, “until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it…”
Moses is keen to know how God plans to provide meat for the thousands. He’ll just have to trust, wait and see!

The seventy are chosen and when they receive the Spirit, they prophesy (speak a word from the Lord), but only once, for some reason (although the Hebrew is unclear, and could actually mean, ‘they did not cease’ (even for a whole day) speaking prophecy, according to some scholars).
Interesting that Eldad and Medad, though chosen, don’t go to the Tent, yet receive the Spirit, and they also prophesy. Though Joshua (Moses’ assistant) recommends that they are told to ‘stop’, Moses knows that there’s always more of God to receive, and desires that ‘all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit on them!’

The quail are blown in all around camp and everyone gets plenty of meat from the birds. God strikes the camp with a plague, however (brought in by the birds ?), and many die because they had craved other food.

Miriam and Aaron oppose Moses – So now, Moses’ sister and brother turn against him, for marrying a Cushite (just had an urge to call her a Cushion). Their twist is to elevate their own call, and talk down Moses’s. They reveal their jealousy of Moses.
Moses, however, is described as the most humble man on the earth.
God calls all three of them to the Tent, and drew Miriam and Aaron closer.
God’s point to them is that there are prophets, certainly, but that Moses is more than that – “With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
God makes His anger known and turns from them.
Miriam is leprous. Moses cries out for her healing. God tells Moses to confine her outside the camp for seven days, then bring her back.

Why is Miriam targeted and not Aaron, I find myself wondering? It appears Aaron has ‘got off’, escaped without more than a warning….

Each stage of the journey is marked by events – the quail and the plague; Miriam’s leprosy…..whatever next.


Exploring Canaan – next stage, God instructs Moses to send spies into the land of Canaan – a leader from each clan, and they are named for us, like a spying register. They are to spy out the people (strong or weak) and the land (good or bad), the towns (fortified or not), the soil (fertile or poor), the trees and their fruit.
Forty days they explored the land, gathering grapes, pomegranates and figs as they went. Then they returned……

Oh the suspense….we find out what they report back, tomorrow.

LUKE
Jesus’ Family Tree – Jesus, aged thirty, begins His ministry. His family tree is outlined, all the way back to Adam, through the line of David. Impressive. Quite a different list to the one in Matthew….(Matthew traces back to Abraham, father of the Jews; Luke traces back to Adam, father of all humanity).


The Temptations – now Jesus, described as ‘full of the Holy Spirit’, spends forty days in the desert, let by the Spirit, tempted by the devil. Fasting and praying. (‘all who are filled with the Spirit should expect to be tempted by the devil’)
Temptation One : to satisfy His hunger, turn stones to bread. He knew He could do it, if He wanted. He conquers that temptation with a scripture which reminds us that we do not live our lives fully solely by bread. 
Temptation Two :  to acquire all the kingdoms of the world through simply worshiping the devil, (instead of the painful path Jesus would have to take…..His recurring temptation is that of an easier, pain-free path). Again, Jesus conquers this temptation with scripture, the command to worship God only.
Temptation Three : to be ‘spectacular’, to win people by impressing them, and testing God. That taunting of, “If you are the Son of God” is the voice of the serpent in the Garden, “Did God really say you can’t eat that fruit?”, sowing seeds of doubt and questionning. The devil is very cunning in his use of scripture, too! Jesus fights back with scripture.

How important the Word of God is, as a weapon in the armoury fighting temptations. Word and Spirit to conquer temptations.
Lord, make me wise to the temptations around me, and help me to equip myself well with Your Word.

PROVERBS
continued warnings about purity, holiness, and resisting temptations, seductions

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One response

22 03 2011
revphil2011

THANK YOU
Last week the average number of ‘hits’ per day went up from around 70 to 118, with the record being 182 on Sunday.
It’s all an encouragement to me to continue (struggled a bit last week to keep on top of the reading / blog).
All worthwhile, though. Being ‘fed’ so richly by this experience – truly Bible-Fresh!

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