Bible reading for weekend May 24.
Memorial Day weekend -- I will be taking off a couple of days from posting on the Bible reading plan, and hope to resume writing next Tuesday. The OT passage this weekend will go up through Numbers 34, and the NT/Psalms passage will go through Psalm 78.
"We will not return to our homes until each of the people of Israel has gained his inheritance. For we will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has come to us on this side of the Jordan to the east." (Numbers 32:18-19)
FIRST SETTLEMENT. The theme of inheritance is prominent throughout Scripture. For the Israelites it was the Lord himself and the land he chose for them. For us, as followers of the Messiah, it is also the Lord himself and the land he chooses for us (2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21). Two and a half tribes of Israel request the land on the east side of the Jordan (where Og, Sihon, and the Amorites had dwelt). Moses requires of them to enter the land with the rest of the tribes, but they may return to their chosen inheritance after the land is conquered. This land east of the Jordan became known as the land of Gilead, named for a tribal leader and descendant of Manasseh. Over time this was seen to be a poor choice, as these tribes were removed from Israel proper, on the west side of the Jordan, and were also more vulnerable to attack from the desert lands to the east.
DON'T SETTLE FOR LESS. The rest of the tribes received territories within the promised land as determined by lot. Sometimes we settle for less than what the Lord has promised us. We are given the Holy Spirit, the promises of God, and the resources of the church. We are to be full of the Spirit (Eph 5:18), dwelling richly in the Word (Col 3:16), and together with the church, growing into the maturity and fullness of Christ (Eph 3:13). In this life we are being transformed in preparation for the new heaven and earth. Don't settle for less, and don't settle for this world!
"Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples." (Psalm 77:13-14)
TROUBLES. "What's the Lord done for me lately?" In the midst of trials we are tempted to think that God doesn't hear, doesn't care, and doesn't want to deliver us from our troubles. Asaph feels that God has abandoned him (vv 1-9). By the way, "selah" is likely a musical term that meant something like a pause for musical interlude, or perhaps a crescendo. So, there's a pause, and Asaph, instead of continuing in his despair, decides to review the character and works of God (vv 10-15). He rises up from his problems to consider what God has done in history. For him, he ponders God's deliverance of Israel through the Red Sea and poetically describes it (vv 16-20). He realizes that God was unseen as the people passed miraculously through the sea. They simply needed to follow God's appointed leaders, Moses and Aaron (vv 19-20).
TAKEAWAY. Sometimes, when we are engrossed with our problems we need to mentally rise above our immediate circumstances and spend time thinking, pondering, and meditating, just as Asaph did. We have even more than he had to think about! There's not only God's deeds in the OT, but also the NT. We should remember that we belong to the same One who guides history, who sent his Son into the world, who healed and worked wonders, who delivered us from sin through the cross, who raised Christ from the dead, who spreads the gospel with power around the world, and who strengthens and preserves the church. Asaph took comfort in unseen footsteps, and so can we. And Asaph took comfort in God's appointed leaders, Moses and Aaron. We have supreme comfort in our Lord Jesus Christ -- crucified, risen, ascended, and ruling. His footsteps may be unseen, but he is never absent from us.
Image credit: photo by Alexander Marinescu 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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