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bible reading may 8

Bible reading for May 8. 

Numbers 16.

"And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped." (Numbers 16:48) 

REBELLION. Something inside of us resists authority. This is amply shown throughout the history of Israel. In unbelief, we resist God's authority and project bad motives onto those he appoints over us.  God's judgment separates the unholy from the holy. In order to bring order and blessing to his creation God makes divisions (Gen 1:4; Rev 21:6-8). In coming to faith (our conversion) we likewise are called to separate ourselves to the Lord (v 21), that is, we turn from darkness to the light (Acts 26:18) and from idols to God (1 Thess 1:9). Actually, we need to do this every day!

GRACE. Thankfully, in the judgment of Korah and his co-conspirators, some of his family were spared, and remained faithful to the Lord. Korah's descendants (the "Sons of Korah") continued their ministry in the temple for many generations (Ps 42:1; 2 Chron 20:19). This is God's mercy and grace. Many people were spared from further judgment at that time by the intercession of Moses and Aaron.  Neither Moses nor Aaron, nor Jesus afterwards, took authority to themselves but were appointed by God to be mediators (Heb 3:1-4; 5:4-6). It is Jesus alone who stands between death and life (Eph 2:4-5; Rev 1:17-18).  Many today rebel against the idea that Jesus is the only way to God, but it is God's own decree that there is salvation in no one else but his son, the Lord Jesus (Ps 2:6-9; Acts 4:12). Daily, we need to affirm both his grace and his authority over us.


Psalms 52-54.

"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever." (Psalm 52:8)

FLOURISHING. In Psalm 52 David calls out and gives warning to a betrayer, one whose trust was in wealth, position, and power.  The Lord's judgment will come! David himself, though in exile at the time, puts his trust in the Lord and is like a a green olive tree [flourishing, thriving, full of leaves] planted in the house of the Lord, even as he awaits the Lord's deliverance. Though considered by many an outlaw on the run, his heart is in God's house on Mount Zion, and by faith he knows that he has been, and is, firmly planted there. Just like David, we too know and think about our eternal dwelling with the Father through Christ (Col 3:1-4)!   

ATHEISM. In Psalm 53 we are given a view of the human heart. The Apostle Paul cites this psalm in describing human depravity (Rom 3:11-12). "There is no God" is not merely describing philosophical atheism, but more, the practical atheism that infects every human heart to some degree -- we prefer to live and plan and prosper without God.  We want to live by our own moral standards. We reject God as he has revealed himself in the Bible, and so, we feel safe from any future judgment.  We need new hearts, that say, "Yes, you are God!" (Ezek 36:26)  Even as followers of Christ we should be praying, "Lord, give me eyes to see what are the real intentions, motives, and values of my heart!"
In Psalm 54 David prays for vindication against his enemies and expresses his trust in the Lord.  The next several psalms will have a similar theme.      

Image credit: photo of olive tree by Nazar Hrabovyi 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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