Thursday, January 31, 2008

Day 31/90: Num 31-33, Ps 139-144, Jn 19-21

Updated my links on the blog today with some new blogs I've been reading lately. Take time to poke around and see some of the new writers. Great stuff.

Key Points in Today's Reading:
  • The Numbers' reading has the first instance of a challenging part of OT narrative - a command by God to wipe out a neighboring tribe that was threatening the holiness and solidarity of Israel. Here, the people were the Midianites, and they were worshiping other gods and their women were serving as temple prostitutes and leading astray the Israelite men - this may be why God says to save only those girls who were not sexually active yet. However, all-in-all, this is a tough issue as we think about the character of God. Of course, we believe theologically that we all deserve death, but to see God actually command His people to wipe out another tribe - chilling. And if we think He's not serious about it, check out the final words of this section in 33:55-56 where God says that He will do to Israel what they fail to do to other tribes. If anything I walk away with today from this section, it is that God hates idolatry that much - and that in order to keep His nation devoted to Him, this kind of severe action was required. I am thankful today, however, that Jesus is working to change hearts in every nation and that God in His mercy has made a way for all peoples. Because surely we all are idolaters, and without Christ, we would all be leading people away from the living God.
  • Psalm 139 is one of my favorites - I love the intimacy between David and God expressed in its words - the fact that David trusts in God's sovereignty over his days and in God's love for him. I echo David's prayer: God, search me and know me, and reveal any offensive ways in me (139:23-24).
  • The challenge of all the psalms in relation to those who threaten us is do we take our needs to the Lord or do we take them into our own hands? My conviction lately has been that I tend to talk about issues more than I pray about them - I need to repent of that & start praying more specifically on issues of concern.
  • John 19-21 - this is what our whole faith is about - the death, resurrection, and call of Jesus Christ. This section contains the amazing testimony of his crucifixion, then tells of many appearances after his resurrection, and finally leaves us with the call of Jesus: (1) believe on Him, even though we've never seen him personally, (2) be sent by Him in the same way that the Father sent Him, and (3) follow Christ regardless of the cost.

1 comment:

bryanw said...

I'm still here...

I noticed that even the Israelites tended to be content with what they found on their own and missed the blessing of God by not waiting on him. Powerful thought for me, that it is all about God's timing in my life and not about what I try to accomplish for myself!!!

In Psalms I was reminded that we should lift up our church leaders to God and constantly pray, encourage them.

It struck me that while Jesus was praying before his curcifixtion, that he was thinking of me, of us and for our protection. It changes my perception of these events when I place my picture in his thoughts during this time!!