Trek through Numbers
Scripture reading for March 16th: Numbers 34-36, Luke 4
Luke 4:38-41 “Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to Him on her behalf. And He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them. Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ.”
Jesus announced His ministry and mission of preaching the ‘good news’ with healing and deliverance. This announcement brough immediate opposition from the people in His home town. He then went to Capernaum and Simon Peter’s home. Peter’s mother was sick with a fever and Jesus rebuked the fever and it left her. The people brought many sick and oppressed people to Jesus and He healed them all. Demons came out screaming, “You are the Son of God!” Jesus rebuked them and shut them up. Jesus left there for a more desolate place to be alone but people sought Him out, begging Him to stay. He plainly stated His work and mission–preaching the ‘good news’ in other towns as well! Work must go on!
Luke 4:42-43 “And when it was day, He departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought Him and came to Him, and would have kept Him from leaving them, but He said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.””
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ, God’s Son! I thank You that now I can freely proclaim Jesus as God’s Son, having been set free by hearing and receiving the Good News of the King and His kingdom. I accept Your mission as mine here on earth! Fill me with boldness and the Holy Spirit so that I might fulfill my part of that mission that You have prepared for me.
Numbers 35:33-34 “You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”
Scripture reading for March 15th: Numbers 30-33, Psalm 35, Luke 3
Luke 3:15-18 “As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.”
John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin, born slightly before Him. John was called by God to be a prophet and to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. In doing so, He confronted the sins of the people and called them to repentance and to baptism as an act of cleansing. This preparation was not the end, but the entrance into a new relationship with God. Jesus Christ would complete the work necessary for the cleansing of all mankind from sin and its power on the cross through offering His body and blood. He would take the keys of death and hell from Satan and open the curtain for all who would believe to be in God’s presence. He would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father, and fire to deeply cleanse and empower them. This all was amazing ‘good news!’
Numbers 31:21-23 “Then Eleazar the priest said to the men in the army who had gone to battle: “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded Moses: only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, and everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean.”
Prayer: Father God, I thank You for preparing the way for Your Son to bring salvation to me and all mankind. I know that my faith through Your grace has brought salvation. Repentance too is a gift of grace received humbly by faith. Help me to share the ‘good news’ with those headed for the fire of Your judgment, that they might receive the gift of eternal life and be filled with the Holy Spirit and holy fire.
Psalm 35:27-28 “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the Lord, Who delights in the welfare of His servant!” Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.”
Scripture reading for March 14th: Numbers 26-29, Luke 2
Luke2:8-11 “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord.”
Moses, a shepherd himself, spoke to the Lord about his appointment of a man who could lead the flock of Israel after he was taken home to God. The Lord appointed “Joshua” (whose name corresponds to “Jesus”) to shepherd His flock. Then the Lord revealed the birth of His Son almost 1500 years later, to shepherds who were keeping the flocks of sheep used in temple sacrifice. They were filled with great fear, but the angel exhorted them to “fear not” because of the Good News of a Savior Who came from God’ The Great Shepherd of all sheep would be born in a manger and His first visitors would be lowly shepherds! Mary and Joseph were both of the lineage of David, another great shepherd who lead the flock of God.
Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”
Prayer: Father God, Your planning and symbolism are humbling and amazing! You give grace to the humble and You demonstrated humility by sending Your Son from heaven’s glory to a manger in a cave. I am humbled that You would do this for my salvation from the bondage of sin and for the whole world. Open doors today that I might share this Good News of a Savior and Great Shepherd to lost sheep.
Numbers 27:15-18 “Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep that have no shepherd. So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him. Make him stand before Eleazar the priest, and all the congregation, and you shall commission him in your sight.”
Scripture reading for March 11th: Numbers 22-25, Luke 1
Luke 1:26-33 “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His Name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Our God has plans established from before the foundation of the world. He is a master of watching over His Word to bring it to pass. Nothing is impossible with Him! Gabriel, the special messenger angel of God, was sent to Mary, a virgin who was betrothed in marriage. Both her and her husband were of the lineage of David. Gabriel greeted Mary with the title, “Favored one” and told her that the Lord was with her. Mary did not grasp what this greeting meant and was afraid. “Fear not” was the next instruction, and then the plan of God for Mary to conceive and bear a Son, calling His Name Jesus. This Jesus would be great and called the Son of the Most High! He would rule on the throne of David in an eternal kingdom. God would bring this to pass! Mary graciously offered herself to serve the Lord.
Luke 1:37-38 “For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your Word.” And the angel departed from her.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing plan of the virgin birth and bringing Your Son Jesus into the world to show us Who You are and to reveal Your Word. Help me to be like Mary and willingly respond in faith to revelation of Your plans for my life. I believe that nothing shall be impossible with You and let Your kingdom come and Your will be done in my life, on earth as in heaven!
Numbers 24:15-17 “And he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who see the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered: I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; a Star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.”
Scripture reading for March 10th: Numbers 19-21, Colossians 4
Colossians 4:2-6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Our world is filled with all kinds of speech. Much of it is derogatory and complaining and seeks to tear down those we disagree with. Paul taught the believers in Colossae that gracious speech should be a distinction among Christ’s followers. Their speech should bless, commend, and encourage those around them. Their speech should be guided by Christ’s wisdom and the Word of God. It should be seasoned like a tasty meal, with salt flavor, and appropriate for each situation. As examples, Paul commends Tychicus and Onesimus to the believers as faithful ministers whose speech was gracious and seasoned with salt. We win others respect with gracious speech and kindness, backed by faithful prayer that God open doors of hearts to receive truth.
Colossians 4:7-9 “Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.”
Prayer: Father God, even Moses failed to graciously speak to the people of Israel and to the Rock. His unbelief had a cost. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and grant me gracious speech and attitudes towards those rebelling against you. May my speech be seasoned with the salt of grace and reflect the kindness and mercy of our Lord. Forgive me for reacting in anger and with a bad attitude.
Numbers 20:11-13 “And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in Me to uphold Me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”
Scripture reading for March 9th: Numbers 15-18, Psalm 113, Colossians 3
Colossians 3:12-16 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
As God’s chosen ones, we are chosen by God to be adopted into His forever family. God’s family is marked by peace and love and thankfulness. As direct result of the grace we receive in having our sins forgiven, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit Who brings God’s character into us. The Holy Spirit leads our spirits in thankfulness, forgiveness of others and joyful worship. He binds us together with other members of Christ’s chosen ones and we begin to spread the songs of redemption around the world. From the rising of the sun to its going down, God’s Name is being praised! Jesus Christ stands as the Chosen Authority from God Who is the Prince of Peace. All grumbling ceases and praise rises to bless His Name forevermore!
Psalm 113:1-3 “Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the Name of the Lord! Blessed be the Name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the Name of the Lord is to be praised!”
Prayer: Father God, I am humbled to be a part of Your ‘chosen ones’ through the gift of eternal life. In receiving the Holy Spirit, I put on the character of Christ Jesus and allow Your love to bind me close to Your heart and closer to each member of this praising company. Use me today to share the song of redemption through my words, attitudes and actions with those still grumbling against God.
Numbers 17:8-10 “On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the people of Israel. And they looked, and each man took his staff. And the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept as a sign for the rebels, that you may make an end of their grumblings against Me, lest they die.””
Scripture reading for March 8th: Numbers 12-14, Psalm 28, Colossians 2
Colossians 2: 13-15 “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him.”
All mankind is born in sin and shaped in iniquity because of Adam’s sin and rebellion. Our spiritual condition is “dead in trespasses.” But our God is rich in mercy and full of grace and love towards those made in His image. Through the cross of Calvary, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the record of debt against mankind because of sin. The legal demand that the soul that sins must die was met by Jesus taking this demand and nailing it to His cross. In doing so, He paid the debt we owed and triumphed over death and hell and Satan and his fallen angels. He heard our cry for mercy and forgave us all of our sins! Hallelujah! We are free! We appropriate the freedom through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ!
Psalm 28:6-7 “Blessed be the Lord! For He has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for hearing Moses’ cry for mercy when You could have legally destroyed Your rebelling people. Thank You for Your steadfast love and mercy through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross on our behalf. Thank You for canceled sins and debt and disarmed rulers and authorities! Blessed be Your Name forever and ever!
Numbers 14:17-19 “And now, please let the power of the Lord be great as You have promised, saying, ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and fourth generation.’ Please pardon the iniquity of this people, according to the greatness of Your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now.””
Scripture reading for March 7th: Numbers 8-11, Colossians 1
Colossians 1: 9-13 “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
When you love someone, you want to please them. Pleasing the one you love requires that you get to know them. When the One you love is God, getting to know Him Who is infinite, is a daunting task and knowing how to please Him is challenging. Paul’s way to help the believers at Colossae, was to pray for them to be filled with a knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. This kind of understanding can only come by revelation through the Holy Spirit. This is the light of God’s Truth. This is the only path to pleasing God and bearing fruit in good works. God supplies the knowledge of His will and then empowers us through the Holy Spirit to grow and produce fruit. This is the fire of God’s glory in us. To God be all glory for qualifying us to share the inheritance of the saints in light!
Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Prayer: Father God, as Your child, I want to please You! Fill me today with a deeper knowledge of Your will and give me spiritual wisdom and understanding to bear fruit for Your glory. Strengthen me with power in my inner man so that I might have patience and endurance as I run this race of faith. In You all things were created and they all hold together. Lead me with Light and Fire!
Numbers 9:15-17 “On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony. And at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. So it was always: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel camped.”
Scripture reading for March 4th: Numbers 6-7, Hebrews 13
Hebrews 13:14-17 “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His Name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
The writer of Hebrews was not looking for a permanent home here on earth. He emphatically stated, “here we have no lasting city,” but “we seek the city that is to come.” He had earlier described it at Mt. Zion, (Hebrews 12:22-24) another name for Jerusalem. He described it has the “heavenly Jerusalem” which consisted of unnumberable angels in joyful assembly and the assembly of the “Firstborn”, whose names were written on the roll of the city. In this city, there is joyful worship and eternal joy in God’s presence. Because of this, we prepare now by doing good and sharing with others our goods and the good news! We obey our leaders and submit to them. We invite God to do His will in us and through us to His eternal glory!
Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now may the God of peace Who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Prayer: Father God, I also am seeking the city that You promised to Your people, the heavenly Jerusalem! I have no lasting city here but want my name in Your book! Lead me by Your Holy Spirit to do good works and to share. Help me to obey my leaders and submit. May You work in me Your will and good pleasure. The best is yet to come!
Numbers 6:24-27 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. So shall they put My Name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”