Day 46 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue Numbers and Psalms.
Numbers 19 – Human corpses caused the most serious pollution under the Mosaic system, affecting all who approached them. Those who have been near or have touched corpses must keep away from the sanctuary and must undergo ritual cleansing.
What does this reveal about the holiness of God and His desire to bring life, not death, to His people?
Numbers 20 – This somewhat stark chapter begins with the death of Miriam (Moses’ sister who saved his life), ends with the death of Aaron (Moses’ brother), and recounts in the middle the judgment of Moses and Aaron, who would not be allowed to bring the people into the land since they did not uphold the Lord “as holy” in the eyes of Israel (v. 12).
The nature of Moses’ sin appears to be in his not following precisely God’s command to “tell” the rock to yield its water (v. 8 ), striking it instead (v. 11). Yet we see God’s grace here in that He nevertheless supplied the water to His quarreling people.
It’s easy to think, “What will it take for these people to trust God?” Yet, how often do we find ourselves anxious over life’s circumstances? How can we remember to trust God through our good and bad days?
Numbers 21 – Nearly 40 years earlier at the same site of Hormah, the people of Israel had been driven back from entering the land (Numbers 14:45). Now they achieve their first battle victory here, something of a pledge and guarantee that God will be faithful to His promise to bring them in.
For believers in the new covenant, how is the indwelling Holy Spirit himself—the sign of God’s presence and a seal of Jesus’ victory on the cross—the guarantee of our inheritance? Hint: Ephesians 1:13–14.
Num. 21:4–9 Amid the fiery serpents we see God’s mercy in that this judgment led His people to repentance (v. 7). We see once more the blessing of a mediator as Moses prays effectively on their behalf, then, according to God’s instruction, fashions the bronze serpent and sets it on a pole so the Israelites might look upon it and live.
The serpent is probably emblematic of the venom coming from the complaining lips of the people and/or of the Serpent roots of all our sin, but unquestionably its presence upon the pole required the people to face their sin and God’s instrument of healing as they looked to it in order to live.
Jesus not only prays on our behalf, but He became a curse for us on the cross so that we might look to Him and live.
How does the serpent set upon a pole, point us to Jesus’ crucifixion? Hint: John 3:14–15.
Don’t miss this – for believers, their end-time judgment has already taken place—at the cross of Jesus!!! The punishment we deserve was poured out on Another in our place!
How do you celebrate this truth in your daily life?
Psalm 46 – As Immanuel (“God with us”), Jesus is the personification of this Psalm. For Jesus himself is our present refuge and future victory. God’s past record of strong protection for His people is a present comfort to the psalmist; it is “well proved” (v. 1). Even if the unthinkable should occur—even the implosion of the earth—God’s faithfulness to His promises drives away fear (vv. 2–3).
What personal promise of Jesus gives us confidence of His ongoing presence? Hint: Matthew 28:20
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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