Bible reading for May 29.
"And the time from our leaving Kadesh-barnea until we crossed the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until the entire generation, that is, the men of war, had perished from the camp, as the LORD had sworn to them. For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from the camp, until they had perished." (Deuteronomy 2:14-15)
MOVING AHEAD. Moses continues his review of Israel's wilderness travels and their recent victories. This travelogue should remind us that the life of God's people has a direction, a progression, and a goal. Our life has purpose, as determined by the Lord. Christians can answer the ultimate questions: who am I? where did I come from? And, where am I going? Note also that Israel's inheritance was not unqualified. There were boundaries and exceptions: they were not to possess the lands of Edom, Moab, or Ammon. Israel's advance was not to be in the form of imperialism or colonialism, but rather, their inheritance was determined precisely by the Lord.
DYING OFF. An entire generation of unbelieving men would die before a new generation would be allowed to lead the people into the land. Unbelief shall not enter the land of God's promise. As it was for Israel, so also in the church age, unbelief does not inherit God's promises and enter into his rest (Heb 4:1-3). It's a principle for us: there's a new world coming, and that which is not suited for that world must die away (Col 3:5-8; Rev 21:7-8).
TAKEAWAY. We must ask ourselves every day, do I live like someone who has an eternal purpose and calling? Am I satisfied with boundaries God has placed for me in this life? Am I walking by faith in the promises of God? Am I putting to death those things in my life that are not worthy of Christ's kingdom?
"Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God." (Psalm 84:3)
THAT THEY MAY KNOW (83). This psalm of Asaph addresses the hostility Israel has endured from their near neighbors. Antisemitism is nothing new; it is alive and well today (83:4). One thing we learn: God's judgment in history reveals his glory and results in some coming to faith. That's a bit counter-intuitive, but it is better to be a proud person humbled in this life, who then seeks the Lord (v 16), than it is to live all of life in sinful pride and finally come to an eternal end.
BETTER IS ONE DAY (84). This psalm so beautifully describes the blessedness of God's house! Even little birds find welcome and safety in God's temple. To have a humble place in God's presence -- even door-keeper for a day -- is infinitely superior to dwelling years in the tents with the wicked. As God's people, we long for his courts, and this life is a pilgrimage to our Father's house. We must go through the valley of Baca ("weeping") to get to Zion, but the Lord provides pools of refreshment along the way. This psalm is a joy to sing! I like Matt Redman's version...
How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty
For my soul longs and even faints for You
For here my heart is satisfied Within Your presence
I sing beneath the shadow of Your wings.
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere.
(Lyrics by Matt Redman)
Image credit: photo above by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash.
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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