Day 44 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue Numbers and Psalms.
Numbers 14 – Tragically, the people desired to reverse the exodus and go back to Egypt. This faithlessness, denying the purpose of the exodus at the very cusp of its fulfillment, brings on the most severe crisis since the golden calf idolatry, as God once more suggests annihilating the whole lot and starting over with Moses. Yet, according to the Lord’s steadfast love (grace), Moses’ mediation preserves the promise of the land for the next generation of Israelites.
Life in the wilderness, full of trials and hardships, exposes our hearts—are they hardened by difficulties so that we want to turn back, or are we reminded of God’s faithfulness and press onward toward all He has promised us?
When by faith we look to Jesus, who in the wilderness lived on God’s word (Matthew 4:4), who died and lives as our Mediator to assure us of God’s steadfast love to us, we are strengthened to endure the journey of faith marked out before us (Hebrews 12:1–2).
Numbers 15 – After the dismal events of the previous two chapters, including rebellion, judgment, and defeat at the hands of the Canaanites, the Lord commands Moses to speak a bold word of grace to Israel, reasserting His promise without qualification: “When you come into the land . . .” There is no “maybe” here but rather the assurance that God will fulfill His covenant promise to the patriarchs of Israel.
The gospel, too, comes to us as a bold word of grace, that one day we will finish our journey and find ourselves in the new earth with no more striving against sin or sorrow (Revelation 21).
Until then, in the face of difficult circumstances challenging our faith in God’s promise, who has God given us as a guarantee that life to come? Hint: 2 Corinthians 5:1-7.
Number 16 – The people’s fearfulness to enter Canaan is now revealed as having not respected the Lord, for they were all too eager to enter the Most Holy Place—a privilege reserved for the high priest.
In the Pentateuch “messiah” or “anointed“ refers exclusively to Aaron the high priest (Leviticus 4:3, 5, 16; 6:22)—he is the one anointed with oil, whose mediation allows God’s people to draw near in worship. Drawing near to God through Aaron would lead to life. Doing so apart from this messiah would lead to death (Numbers 17:12).
With the coming of Jesus, how has the symbolic worship of the tabernacle given way to the reality that we draw near to God through the life, death, and resurrection of THE Messiah? Hint: Hebrews 10:19–25.
Christ’s life-out-of-death resurrection is God’s justification of his mediatorial work (Acts 17:31). Indeed, having such a High Priest—One who sacrificed Himself to endure the wrath of God for our sins—we are invited to draw near to God through Him alone, worshiping our triune God with assurance, joy, reverence, and awe.
Psalm 44 – Verses 1–8 of the Psalm are a recollection of God’s deliverance of His covenant people by mighty acts. However, the mood changes in verse 9 to a complaint that, without apparent reason, God rejected His people and broke His promises of care.
This Psalm reflects the unfolding drama of redemptive history, with the people of God experiencing what Christ will actually experience in their behalf to save His covenant people—with whom the Lord will never truly break faith, despite their sin. Israel undergoes what Jesus Himself does, reinforcing a pattern of mighty deeds followed by abandonment that Christ eventually fulfills.
The truth is we are never sinless, so how does this Psalm point us to Jesus?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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