Calming the storm…celebrating the feast

4 04 2011

DAY NINETY : Numbers 29 v. 12 – 31 v. 24; Luke 8 v. 19 – 39; Psalm 39 v. 1 – 13

NUMBERS
Feast of Tabernacles – another sacred assembly, a festival lasting seven days; thirteen young bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs, grain and oil are to be offered in addition to the regular daily sacrifices.
Day two – twelve bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, grain and drink offerings, and one goat
Day three – eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, grain and drink offerings, and one goat
Day four – ten bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, grain and drink offerings, and one goat
Day five – nine bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, grain and drink offerings, and one goat
Day six – eight bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, grain and drink offerings, and one goat
Day seven – seven bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, grain and drink offerings, and one goat
Day eight – a sacred assembly; no work; one bull, one ram and seven lambs, grain and drink offerings, and one goat.
Moses passes all this on to the Israelites.

Vows – Moses instructs all the tribal leaders of Israel that anyone who makes a vow to the Lord must not break his word but do everything he’s vowed.
A young woman who still lives at home with parents, may be released from a vow, if the father permits it.
A husband can nullify a vow or ‘rash promise’ his wife has made.
Widows or divorced women are bound by their vows.
These regulations were designed to protect the interity of the home, whether parental or marital.

Vengeance on the Midianites – Moses’ last act is to carry out vengeance upon the Midianites (as instructed by God), before he ‘will be gathered to his people’.
12,000 men (1,000 from each tribe) march out, alongside Eleazor, the priest, who brought holy items from the tabernacle, and the trumpets.
The Midianites were completely defeated, including all five kings of Midian. Balaam (remember him – talking donkey and all?) also loses his life. Although the women and children were initially spared, along with livestock, ultimately Moses commands that they are also killed, except the young women who have never yet slept with a man. The women had been instrumental in following Balaam’s advice and resulting in a plague striking the Lord’s people.
There’s a purification ceremony needed for any who have been involved in killing. All the gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, lead etc. will be purified through fire; other items will be ‘washed’.

LUKE
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers – Jesus’ mother and brothers can’t get near Him when they come to see Him, and when Jesus gets the message that they are outside, waiting for Him, says ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.’
Jesus underlines that those who hear and do what God says are part of the spiritual family – I’m sure it’s not meant to undermine His mother and brothers….though, even they must hear the challenge to hear and do.

Jesus Calms the Storm –  following on the passages about Jesus’ great preaching and teaching, we now have three miracles, demonstrating the power of God.
Firstly, Jesus gets them all in a boat to cross Galilee, and whilst He falls asleep in the boat, a great storm arises and threatens to sink the boat. Jesus needs waking (He, clearly, is as much at rest in the middle of a storm as in calm). Jesus rebukes the wind and waves (Luke doesn’t record what He says – but He clearly speaks to the ‘storm’), and everything becomes calm again. Then He rebukes the disciples for their lack of faith.
The disciples have experienced fear for their lives, and Jesus’ salvation, though they ask themselves ‘who is this – even the wind and waves obey Him?’. Within a couple of chapters of this gospel, they will be proclaiming Jesus to be the Christ.

Healing the Demon-Possessed Man – across on the other shore of the lake, they meet a demon-possessed man, who inhabited the tombs and lived as an outcast. The demon within him recognised Jesus and cried out “Don’t torture me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God”. The ‘Legion’ of demons within the man plead with Jesus not to send them to the Abyss. They ask to be sent into a nearby herd of pigs. Jesus ‘gave them permission’, and so the demons fled into the pigs, who rushed into the river and drowned. The man is restored (and sits at Jesus’ feet), and the people of the town are afraid and ask Jesus to leave.
Though the man would like to go with Him, Jesus encourages him to stay and tell everyone his story – there’s a testimony to hear and behold there !!

PSALM
Try as I might, I can’t keep silent, but please keep my tongue from sin.
My days are but a breath in Your sight, O Lord.
My hope is in You !

 

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