Thursday, April 30, 2009

Right In Their Own Eyes

Judges 19-21

"Every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

This is a sad condition the children of Israel have put themselves in because they have not chosen God as their king and judge. Judges 19 tells a story about a Levites who journeys into Gibeah (where the Benjamites live) with his concubine. There men of Belial from that city rape and abuse her until she dies. This causes great contention between the children of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin. So much so that they go to war against each other and the army of Benjamites is destroyed.

I guess the Lord had this recorded in the Bible to show us what happens when we forsake Him and do what's right in our own eyes. It causes divisions in families.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Binding Power of Sin

Judges 16-18

Continuing to read about the life of Sampson...

Sampson becomes so bound and boastful in his sin that he feels it no longer affects him. He meets a harlot in Gaza then he finds Delilah among the Philistines. Sampson is proof of a man controlled by lust. He knows she's the wrong woman for him, but his lust causes him to stay and be nagged by him until he reveals his secret. Just as he gave into the nagging of the Philistine woman before, he lingers around sin.

And she said, The Philistines [be] upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

When he finally reveals his secret, he is so calloused by sin and the fact that he "got away with it" for so long that he feels this won't be his demise either. He finally reached the last straw with God, and he is left useless. It's not until he is humiliated that I see Sampson finally humbled and depending on the Lord for strength, instead of himself.

And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

I think that I am like Sampson used to my routine and trained character that I rely on that for strength instead of You, Abba. I neeed to have a fear for sin and its binding powers and not take Your mercy for granted.

I read this quote from a commentary, I thought it was very profound..."Samson was the great conqueror who never allowed God to properly conquer him."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Progression of Sin

Judges 13-15

Sampson....a great fighter with a great temper. I reflect on so many faults in his life...

1. In finding a mate, he didn't respect his father and mother's wishes. He thought he knew what was right. He wanted to marry a Phillistine rather than an Israelitte.

2. When he killed the lion with his bare hands, he knew as a Nazarite he wasn't supposed to touch anything dead, but he was sneaky and didn't tell his parents.

3. Later he kills a lion and makes a joke of it by telling a riddle about it. He makes sin like it's fun and games.

4. He later loses his temper because they find out his riddle. He was so arrogant and prideful.

5. He tosses aside his wife because she told his riddle and later he comes back trying to have her back. Her father had let her marry another because he forsook her. Sampson becomes enraged and ties the foxes together, lights their tails and sends them into the camp of the Philistines. Their crops are destroyed. He wasn't willing to accept the consequences of his decisions.

6. Later the people of Judah find out what Sampson has done, and they bind him and deliver him to the Philistines. He didn't care that his decisions affected more people than just himself.

7. In the midst of the Philistines, Sampson breaks free of his ropes and takes the jawbone of an ass and kills a thousand of them. He still has no regard for his rules of separation, and he doesn't give credit to God but instead brags on himself and what he has done. He felt the end justified the means.

8. I need to post this verse, so I point out some things....
And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?

I can almost detect an arrogant tone. "You did this God. Why can't you do this for me?" I am amazed, though, because God does listen to him and hallows a place out of the jaw of the ass. This reminds me again that God uses everyone. He knows their intentions, and He uses them to propetuate His will. Though Sampson went about it wrong, God used him to bring deliverance to the Israelittes from the Philistines.

Sampson pictures the progression of the power of sin in one's life...
Choosing just something I want instead of God's perfect will...."little sins" that are secretive...become boastful and find sin amusing...become angry with those who call out my revenge on those who deliver consequences for my sins...absolutely no regard for how my sin affects others...completely numb to any more conviction of sin

Abba help me to have a strong distaste for sin. I don't want to see this progression in my life. Weed out the little stuff before I have a whole garden of weeds.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jusges 8-12 interesting fellow. Tbe bible makes sure to mention that he was the son of a harlot. Because of this his brothers make him an outcast. But later they plead for him to come back so he can be a capt to defeat the ammomites. He decides to help them out and vows to sacrifice what he later realizes is his daughter if God promises to be with him. He conquers Ammon and then faces criticism from Ephrahim for not calling on them to help defeat Ammon. He then fights against Ephrahim and wins.

1. Often thr world, even those close to us, outcast us for things we had no control over. I can choose to let that make me be bitter and hateful toward them or choose to forgive and even be willing to help them in their time of need.
2. God knows the price of our vow before we make it. I must be willing ro still follow through when it doesn't happen the way I planned.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Judges 6-7
I lve the story of gideon. He reminds me of me and how sometines i need extra extra proof of things. I can't wait to meet gideon in heaven. What a story! Defeating an innumerable army with just 300 men. You put the fear of God in them before the battle began. This reminds me that the battle is the Lords. You can do the heart work...the greatest battle.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Forgetting & Dirty Daggers

Judges 3-

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am not a cryer. Well, I am a selfish cryer---only cry when something devastes or affects me. I know, I'm trying to work on that. But as I read this verse, tears began to well up in my eyes. "...and forgat the LORD their God" Completely forgotten. I began to think of the times I felt "forgotten" in my life by people and how it really hurt me. Then I feel convicted thinking about the times I had forgotten others. When you forget someone it's like saying, "You're not worth my mental energy. You're not that important." It hurts especially when you're forgotten by someone you really care for. I then felt very grieved and sorry for how I make the Lord feel that way so often. Just going about my day and completely forgetting about Him, who He is, what He's done for me, His wonderful promises that I can claim, His shoulder that He wishes for me to lean on, His arms that want to embrace me when I "worry" and vent to others instead of Him. Abba, forgive me. I need You. I want to remember You. For when I become unthankful---not meditating on the goodness of You, I forget and sadly, turn aside like those children of Israel from following You.

That's a deep meditation for the day, but there's so much in these scriptures I don't want to leave out. I notice a vicisious cycle here by Israel....."God we love you"....abundance.....forget God....turn to other gods....God sends judgment..."Oh, God, please help us"....deliverance...."God we love you"....abundance....and so on. So often instead of depending on God and His "bondage" of Truth, we end up in a bondage of sin.

And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.

I don't know if I have a deep thought from it, but I love the story of Ehud killing the fat king of Moab, Eglon. I love the detail that God puts into the story. The mental picture we can get from it. "The dirt came out" That's a pretty gross description. I love God's sense of story telling.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

For the Future Generation

Judges 1-3

The children of Israel have all been given their lots of inheritance. Their duty now is to drive out the inhabitants. But I read of atleast 8 of the tribes that "did not drive them out." They didn't take total victory. Instead they let the inhabitants dwell among them, and it's no wonder that only a little later that the Bible says..

And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.

Sure the original ones were maybe strong enough spiritually to stand admist the evil of the inhabitants, but they didn't consider their children. The future generation. What an alarming awakening in my life. Though I don't have any children living in my home full-time. I must be careful of the things we allow in. My desire in for the future generation to rise up and serve the Lord with greater vigor. Cannot happen if I am not willing to "drive out" those things which could not only hinder me, but hidder the future generation more so.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cleaving & Judging Motives

Joshua 19-24
And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.
There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.

Proof that God keeps His promises.

But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

God doesn't just want me to love Him and obey Him, He wants me to cleave unto Him. Cleaving--makes me picture like Linus is with His blanket. Inseparable. Or I picture that small oppossum clutched to it's mother's back. I need to strongly lean on the Lord. Consider Him in all my actions. Take Him wherever I go.

Chapter 22 explains an interesting story I have never noticed. The children of Gad and Reuben are told to go and take their possessions on the other side of Jordan and to bring them back and divide the spoil of their enemies with the rest of the children of Israel. On their way there, they stop and make an altar to the Lord. Upon hearing this, the rest of the Israelittes become angry and are ready for war. The confront them about it. Turns out the rest of the Israelittes had immediately judged their motives as wrong (what they suspected, I'm not sure) but the point I get from the story. I am not the judge of people and certainly I do not need to try and suspect people's motives. They may be purely innocent in them, but I am quick to judge them as wrong and if I am not careful I can react to my suspected motives rather than finding the whole truth and their side of the story first.

But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day

There it is again, cleave.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Action Proves Faith

Joshua 12-18

I love reading about the courage and tenacity of Joshua and Caleb. God has promised inheritance to all tribes. All they need to do is to go in there, defeat the enemies and possess it. God promises He will deliver them into His hand. It is Caleb that is 85 yrs old and says to "give me this mountain" and professses...
As yet I [am as] strong this day as [I was] in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength [was] then, even so [is] my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in

He received the promise and was wanting to claim it while others complained that they didn't have enough and wanted the promise of the land handed to them.

And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me [but] one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I [am] a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto? And Joshua answered them, If thou [be] a great people, [then] get thee up to the wood [country], and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee. And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, [both they] who [are] of Bethshean and her towns, and [they] who [are] of the valley of Jezreel.

It's like they said..."we want more; we don't want to work for it; just give it to us because that's only fair."
Sad to say, this is the attitude of America. "I want more money. I don't want to work for it. You did, so just share with me because that's only fair."
Well, I could go on and complain about the welfaristic attitude of Americans, but I try to focus on myself when I read the Bible. God has so many promises for me to claim, but I must show my faith in the promises by following the action He commands. My lack of action shows my lack of faith.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Facing the Battle

Joshua 8-11

Here I read about some incredible battles the Lord fought for Joshua and the Israelittes. Amazing defeats. It seems that the Israellites are finally on track...haven't read about any complaining but rather courage and bravery. I read how You evan made the sun stay still for a whole day until they defeated their enemies. You said they would never be a day like that again where You would hearken to man like that.

My personal application....hmmm...Abba, You are fully able to fight my battles. I need only to seek Your face and trust You. Sometimes because it's not a literal battle like in the Bible I tend to try to face my "battles" on my own.

Friday, April 17, 2009

God Has a Will for Everyone

Joshua 1-3

The story of Rahab. This account always raises questions in my mind. Rahab lied. Lying is wrong, but had she not lied the spies would not have been spared nor her family for that matter. And why in the world did the spies go to a harlot's house? That does look quite suspicious. Things I do learn from this story...well, it's not just a story, but from this event...

1. God's testimony of judgment and victory brought fear and regard from these people.

2. God uses all sorts of people to do His will.

Pro 16:4
The LORD hath made all [things] for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

God knew she would lie and used it for His will, I guess. She wasn't a godly woman, obviously, but God used her.

3. Rahab showed her new faith by saying the God was the god of Heaven and earth, and she believed the spies would keep their word and save her family.

And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel: That this may be a sign among you, [that] when your children ask [their fathers] in time to come, saying, What [mean] ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

After the Israelittes passed over, Joshua wanted to make sure there was a memorial for their children to remember what the Lord did for them.

What sort of memorials are in my life that make not only me remember but also to teach my children the miracles God has done?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It Is Your Life/ Hugs From God

Deut 32-34; Psalm 91
And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law.
For it [is] not a vain thing for you; because it [is] your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong [your] days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.

Man, that just rips my heart. "It is your life." So true, my whole purpose is not to fulfill my own dreams and's to prove His greatness. Abba, forgive me for not making YOU my life. Obeying your commands and telling others of Your greatness. IT IS MY LIFE. It should be my life.

The eternal God [is thy] refuge, and underneath [are] the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy [them].

As a woman, nothing is more comforting and secure than a warm embrace of a loved one's arms. That gesture brings security, comfort, and a such feeling of soundness that words cannot convey. When I think of my heavenly Father's arms wrapped around me, not only comforting me but also shielding me from my enemies, I feel very safe.

Another reminder:
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler.

I tried to find a poem that I wrote in college about my Father's arms, but I can't seem to find it now. Oh well. I'll find it eventually. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Choice Is Yours

Deut 28-32

It seems Moses is still trying to remind the people that they have a choice to make as a nation...

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

To follow God or not. Again, as I have said before, it seems like a no-brainer. Yet, I have the same choice set before me and often I fall guilty of choosing a cursing. No I don't have any statues of idols in my closet, but I do have the idols of this, entertainment. When I choose to follow the world's thinking instead of God's laws, I, too, am guilty and just as hard headed as those Israelittes.

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Here's Moses' charge to Joshua. What a promise! God will NOT fail thee, nor forsake thee. What battles am I facing? God you are just as suredly with me as you were with Joshua. Be of good courage, Bridgett. Abba, our mortgage and house situation seems like a battle that You wouldn't be interested in. Forgive us if we have tried to fight this battle without you. Abba, please be with us and help us to have victory.

For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt [yourselves], and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

Ahhh...poor Moses. I can almost hear the tone in his voice. "You were rebellious jerks while I was here, and I know it will just get worse after I am gone." What a burden Moses carried dealing with these people. But, Lord, You endured with them just as much.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

After the Trial

It was the weekend...and I didn't take home my laptop to be able to blog. Thus the reason for my absence. I did read, though. :)

Deut 21-27

I am reminded about how much God roots for the underdog. He pleads the cause of the poor and needy. He tells the Israellites to leave remenants to them because they should remember they were once in Egypt, too.

And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.

Abba, help me that when I go through a trial or a season of hardship and then I am on the side of victory...remember where I came from. Remember who I was before, and help those that are where I was.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Deut 14-16

Ye [are] the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

I have to admit, I first read this, I laughed, thinking that God was somehow for unibrows, but I looked up a commentary about it and read...

“The cutting of the body and the shaving of the head were common mourning rites in the ancient Near East and are referred to in many places in the Old Testament (Isaiah 3:24; 15:2; 22:12; Jeremiah 16:6; 41:5; Ezekiel 7:18; Amos 8:10; Micah 1:16).” (Thompson)

This was a pagan burial ritual, and God didn't want the Israelittes confused with them. He needed them to be set apart and holy. "A peculiar people" as He says later.

The rest of the chapters from my reading today continue explaining eating laws, tithing, and laws of forgiveness to the Israelittes. I know that since Jesus has fulfilled the laws of the prophecy, we as Christians are no longer bound to these ordinances, but they do hold some good principles to follow. Obviously, tithing is still required, but even the eating practices and forgiving debtors every seven to your brother in need. Good things to practice still today.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Humilty, Old Shoes, & God's Glasses

Deut 8-13

Moses farewell charge continues...some good verses noticed..

And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee

to humble prove thee...I have heard the illustration that trials are like hot water. I am the tea bag. When I'm put to the test (hot water) it reveals what I was/ am all along. By the same token, the greatness of the "tea" is never proven. unless it is put in the hot water. What trials am I facing that God is trying to "prove" me.

Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.

This is where I am sure that God has a sense of humor. Imagine a man who is 50 wearing the same shoes he did as a 10 yr old. Amazing and humorous at the same time. So I'm sure they didn't have the same on and off trends in clothing as we do today, but I'm sure a 3 yr old's clothes looked different that a 43 yr old. Hahaha...such a funny visualization.

And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

Simple request. Certainly I can fulfill this in my life.

But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the LORD which he did.

Not much to add...Wow...they really did see the miracles first-hand.

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;

A constant awareness needs to be in my life...careful of those things that can deceive my heart--the tv I watch, people I associate with, the books I read, the radio. Do the casual situations in my life pull my heart from God?

When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy do [that which is] right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.

His eyes, not mine. Abba, help me to put on "God" glasses in every routine part of the day and be consciously and constantly asking myself..."Is this right in Your eyes?"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April 8, 2009

Deut 5-7

Moses is still speaking with the children of Israel. He repeats to them the ten commandments. One of them that I noticed something special...

Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

This is the only commandment that gives a promise of blessing to those that follow it. Others are just stated and/or given the reprocussions if disobeyed.

This day in age, sadly, moms and dads are degregated and disrespected. Rebellion is a "stage of life" and accepted. But the commandment says to do more than honor. Obedience is the first step, respect the second, honor the third. True, parents, don't deserve the honor many times, but that's not the question. Honor---to glorify them. Even when I get frustrated with my mom. Help me to honor her still as an adult. Help me to find ways to lift her up. My days will be prolonged and things will go well with me. I feel I've been pretty good at this, but this was a good reminder to help me to put it back into practice more fervently.

I noticed in Deut 5 & 6; the word "do" is mentioned often. God gave the commandments, statues, etc, so the Israellites would DO them.

What good is knowledge if is not put into practice. Much more, you cannot instruct those behind you if you have not done it yourself. I am a much better teacher when I have put into practice what I'm teaching.

Deut 7
Following God seems like no-brainer---

Deu 7:12-15
Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all [them] that hate thee.

All the blessing in store...the evils bypassed! Oh the benefits! Why wouldn't I want to serve God and keep His commandments? But it seems that is not enough. I must also be made aware of what happens if I chose not to obey...

Deu 7:10
And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.

God doesn't play games. I'm either for Him or against Him. This is another reminder of God's amazing attributes...mercy and grace. He not only will spare me from what I deserve but will give me in abundance what I don't deserve.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7, 2009

Numbers 33-Deut 4

I was trying to catch up on my Bible reading (got a little behind back in February), so I covered quite a bit of chapters.

Deut 1-4. Here the Israellites are now down to their final days of their journey. Moses is recounting all they went through to get to where they are right now. Reminding them of how they fought their enemies and how God was with them. Remembering God's judgment on those that didn't believe in Him. At the end, Moses encourages them to...

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;

They had just finished an incredible journey. God had taught them some amazing lessons during it. What a shame it would be to forget them. But the duty is to not only remember, but remember well enough to teach it to the generation behind them.
A great promise is given to the Israellites

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find [him], if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, [even] in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God [is] a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

God will be with them if they just allow Him to be.

I've heard before that Canaanland is a picture of God's Will in one's life. All the journeying beforehand is preparing you for what's there. I'm married now and doing what I believe is God's will for my life by being a helpmeet to Jon in our business and at home, too. :) I still believe, though, that God has even more in store for our family. Although I don't know the exact time span as the children of Israel did, I do know that God has taught me many things through my life already. His daily provision for me...learning to trust in Him in hard times...His miraculous hand in near death situations...His judgment on those who have turned away...His molding me into what I need to be...My learning to trust His timing. Abba, help me never to forget...but remember and teach them to my children and my children's children. Enjoy the journey...keep my eyes open...the destination is not the complete reward---the lessons learned along the way are some of the greatest rewards.

Monday, April 6, 2009

April 6, 2009

Numbers 28-32

Balaam's name shows up again. He wasn't a very good man after all. He ends up being destroyed with the Midianites. And it's because of his bad influence that...

Behold, these (
the women of the Midianites) caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

I looked up more verses about Balaam and found out he was a soothsayer. God didn't appreciate what he did to the children of Israel.

In Numbers 32, we find the children of Gad requesting that they possess the land of Jazer and Gilead because it's good for cattle. Problem is ...

Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, [and] bring us not over Jordan.

It looked like they didn't want to cross the river Jordan like their forefathers. They didn't really care about Canaan. This spot looked perfect, but they did promise Moses that they would go over the river Jordan and fight and leave their children behind and then when the war was over they would return and possess the land with them. We shall see what happens...

1. On my journey to God's will, do I find myself trying to stay stationary in a comfortable place and foregoing what could be at the end of the journey? Sometimes I'm guilty of doing what's comfortable instead of what takes some grit and determination. The crazy thing is that the reward of doing what takes grit is usually far better than the comfortable place.

April 5, 2009

Numbers 26-27

I am writing this a day later. My laptop at home is so slow and frustrates me, but honest, I did read and meditate yesterday.
I must be honest and tell you that today wasn't a very "meaty" day as far as Bible reading. Talked about numbering the people and about all the sacrifice ordinances. YAWN. Forgive me, Lord, for feeling that way. One section did stand out to me slightly...

And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. This [is that] Dathan and Abiram, [which were] famous in the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the LORD:
And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign.

Everyone else's name is just listed...yada..yada and no mention of what they did or who they were besides who their father was. But what a horrible legacy to leave behind for your family's name. God wanted to make sure all knew who these wicked men were and the death they deserved.

What would be behind my name if it was listed in the Bible? Would God have to use me as a sign of His judgment?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4, 2009

Numbers 23-25

Today's meditation is short and sweet. I am working from my laptop at home that works at 1/2 the speed. And it's Sat. afternoon, and I I in a very tired mode. Time for a little nap. But here's my thoughts:

Balaam is now traveling with Balak. Balak is fully expecting that Balaam is along to curse the Isrealittes. Instead, though, Balaam blesses them 3 times.

It is encouraging to know that God doesn't give up on us. As I mentioned yesterday, He made an alternate plan for Balaam. This time Balaam sticks to his guns and obeys what God has to say despite the peer pressure to go against it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

April 3, 2009

Numbers 21-22

Here are the Israellites overcome by enemies again. Arad, king of Cannan, is ticked off that they sent spies into his land. They ask for the Lord's help, and as always, He steps into help. It wasn't but two verses later, though, that this happened...

And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for [there is] no bread, neither [is there any] water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

There's that bellyaching again! Will they ever learn? Makes God mad of course and the fiery serpents are sent down to bite the people, but God has Moses takes a brass serpent, and if they will but look to it, they will be healed, a picture of Christ in the New Testament. If we but look to Him, our death sentence of sin will be healed.

Now the Israellites are on a warpath destroying their enemies left and right. Balak, king of Moab hears they are coming his way, so he summons Baalam to help him by telling him to curse the Israellites. He invites the princes sent by Balak in, and he listens to their plea. The Lord, obviously tells him that they are blessed and not to curse them. But for some reason, Baalam says this to the princes, but still invites them to stay another night to see if God has anything else to say. God realizes Baalam is not going to listen and tells him to go with the princes, but to do exactly as God tells him to do. He rides on his trusty ass to Balak. The ass sees the angel of the Lord in the way and tries to avoid him 3 times resulting in Baalam becoming angry and smiting him 3 times. Miraculously, God makes the donkey speak and says... (LOL, I love this part, especially when Balaam talks back and acts as if it is nothing to talk back to a donkey)

And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, [Am] not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since [I was] thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.

It's then that God opens Balaam's eyes to see the same angel of the Lord who reminds Balaam again to do as the Lord says.

My thoughts:
1. God is still greatly urked by complaining. The Israellites were constantly in the vicious cycle...God does a miracle...they forget about it....they start sinning and complaining....God sends His judgment....they ask for mercy or God does a miracle....they soon forget....etc. I know I have done my share of complaining in my life, but I see this same cycle in my besetting sin. Lord, help me to break the cycle. What would someone say about me if they were reading about my life?
2. The brass serpent...I wonder how many didn't look at the serpent. I wonder how many said..."That's too easy, there's no way that will save my life." And they died pointlessly. Sadly, many view salvation the same way....just look to Jesus. "It can't be that easy," they say, but yet it is.
3. Baalam and his stubborness. I just considered how ironic it is that he was riding on an ass which is known for its stubborness as well. I don't know what Baalam wanted to do. He must have wanted all those riches promised by the king of Moab, but he also knew it was wrong to curse the Israellites. He kept waiting for God to change His mind when it was obvious by what God told him first of all...

And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they [are] blessed.

Baalam even has the tenacity to say to them when they come back trying to convince him again to go..

And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.

But yet he still invites them to linger around to see what else God might say. God didn't give Baalam a to be continued plan. His will was obvious. Yet God lets him do what he wants and makes a plan B. How many times am I just as stubborn as Baalam. God has told me specifically what to do in His word, and I still "pray" about it. And even when I still go in the direction against that, He makes an alternate plan---yes, I get kicked and shamed when a younger Christian notices what's right more than I do. I'm too blinded by my stubborness. Abba, help me to do Your Perfect will first, and not to wait for an "adjusted" will because of my stubborness.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009

Numbers 18-20
Surprise, surprise...look who's complaining again. Sometimes I must admit, I am guilty of reading through the Bible and not really comprehending and taking time to really consider the miracle actually taking place. Here God provides water for them from a rock. Not just a small trickle of water to quench the thirst of 4 or 5 children as if they're at a public water fountain. The Bible says clearly:

And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts [also].

I haven't tried to figure the exact number but have always heard there were 1/2 a million jews that wondered in the wilderness. A few chapter before, God had killed off a few thousand because of their belly-aching, but let's say conservatively there were 300,000 people plus all their animals! Would if there was one animal for each person? That's a lot of water! Okay, I'm going to do a little extra math here---the Bible says it came out abundantly, so let's say it took each person/animal 10 sec to get a drink (that's what we would count to when I taught Kindergarten :) ) That would take over 69 days for everyone to drink. Now, that's a long line!! Of course, there could have been multiple spouts, who knows? But it is still an amazing thought.

Now, let's talk about Moses and Aaron. I always heard that Moses didn't get to go to the promiseland because he lost his temper in this situation, but I find in this passage..

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

It was their unbelief. Maybe by him smoting the rock twice, this proved his unbelief. I only see in the scriptures that God told him to take the rod and speak unto the rock. No instruction to smite it. Perhaps, Moses thought the only way it could possibly bring forth water was to smite it and that God couldn't just make it flow out on His own? Who knows...well God and Moses do, I guess I add that to my list of questions when I get to Heaven.

Personal application:
1. Though I don't say a word, how often do my actions display my unbelief in what God promised He will do. Do I try to "help" God to do what He has obviously revealed He will do?
2. I should take time to understand the bigness of the miracles in the Bible---true happenings, not just mere words on a page to make a cute story.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009

Numbers 16-17
Convenient that it is April Fool's Day as I read this chapter. Again and again I reminded about the foolishness of those dumb Israellites. Prideful, ungrateful, and forgetful would be the perfect words to describe them. Here Korah approaches Moses and has the gall to say..

And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, [Ye take] too much upon you, seeing all the congregation [are] holy, every one of them, and the LORD [is] among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?

Everyone of them? Come on! How prideful is that! God showed him later by...

They, and all that [appertained] to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.

As unimaginable that sequence of events is the verses following jumped out at me...

But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD.

On the morrow? The very next day they had already forgotten about God's judgment, and they began their gripping and complaining all over again! The plague then followed.

Abba, please forgive me when I forget Your greatness. When I follow the idols of this present time and then tend to complain instead of basking in Your goodness and greatness!