Listen very carefully…….

2 04 2011

DAY EIGHTY-NINE : Numbers 27 v. 12 – 29 v. 11; Luke 8 v. 1 – 18; Psalm 38 v. 13 – 22

NUMBERS
Joshua to Succeed Moses – Moses is taken up to the top of the Abiram mountain to see the Promised Land, and reminded that he will lose his life, just as his brother, Aaron, had – all because of their rebellion in the desert. Moses pleads for someone to be appointed to lead the people, “so that the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
God chooses Joshua – “a man in whom is the Spirit”. Moses does as he is commanded, takes Joshua, presents him to Eleazar, the priest. Moses lays his hands on Joshua and commissions him.
“Give him some of your authority so that the whole Israelite community will obey him.” – this line struck me, in particular. Moses had to give up / surrender some of his authority, and allow Joshua to lead…..

Daily Offerings –
the Israelites are to offer daily sacrifices – a lamb each morning, and one each evening, along with a drink offering and flour and oil. ‘An offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.

Sabbath Offerings – two lambs,wine, oil and flour are offered in addition to the daily offerings each Sabbath (double dose on a Sabbath day).

Monthly Offerings –
on the first day of each month, the additional sacrifices are two young bulls, a ram and seven lambs, with accompanying flour, oil and wine offerings. Finally, a goat is sacrificed as a sin offering.

The Passover – a reminder of the Passover celebration, and feast of unleavened bread (two bulls, one ram, seven lambs, oil, flour, wine, oh, and a goat as a sin-offering); beginning and ending with a ‘sacred assembly’ – day of worship and confession.

Feast of Weeks – at this festival, similarly, there’s a sacred assembly, presenting two bulls, one ram, seven lambs, oil, flour, wine, and a goat as a sin-offering (now, I keep wanting to sing, ‘and a partridge in a pear tree’).
‘Be sure the animals are without defect’
(only the best for God, to represent His holiness, and our fullest devotion).

Feast of Trumpets – the New Year celebration a sacred celebration is held; sound the trumpets and sacrifice one bull, one ram, seven lambs, oil, flour and a goat (no wine offering at a new year celebration….interesting).

Day of Atonement – another sacred assembly; ‘deny yourself and do no work’; a bull, a ram, seven lambs, oil, flour, and a goat are sacrificed.

LUKE

Parable of the Sower – Jesus continues His teaching and healing ministry around the towns and villages, ‘proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.’ The twelve disciples / apostles are with Him as are a number of women He’s healed : Mary Magdalene (seven demons had been cast out of her), Joanna (wife of Herod’s house-manager), Susanna and others, who helped to support Jesus’ ministry financially.
The parable of the sower is told to a large crowd of people.
A farmer sows his seed – some falls on the path (trampled and birds eat it up); some on rock (no depth, no moisture, so withered); some amongst thorns (choked); some on good soil (yield a hundred times what was sown).
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (I remember Selwyn Hughes translating this, “Are you listening, really listening?”)

A note from the Wesley Study Bible on v. 9,10 : ‘The parables conveyed truth to attentive hearers who really wanted to know. At the same time the figurative language sometimes veiled the truth from persons who did not want to believe it.’

Jesus explains the meaning :
Seed = God’s word
Path = those who hear but the devil comes and steals the word away
Rock = those who receive the word with joy, but it has no roots, they fall away
Thorns = those who hear but are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, they do not mature
Good Soil = ‘those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop’, the gospel, received and allowed to grow free, produces an ‘abundantly enriched life’.

Lamp on a Stand – don’t hide the light of God’s presence, or try to contain it within a jar, but let it shine out, as from a lampstand, so that ‘those who come in can see the light’.
All will be revealed, nothing is hidden from God.
Listen very carefully – those who have spiritual insight and understanding will receive more, those who don’t/can’t/refuse to will have nothing.

PSALM
these are the words of someone who feels beaten down and at rock bottom
“O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God.
Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Saviour.”

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