Numbers 23 – He Doesn’t Change, we do

This is a “God-incidence” ..I just had a conversation with a brother in Christ the other day and he said the world is changing and it’s not always for the better ..the first thing that came to my mind was Isaiah 40:8..That the world is constantly changing and we as humans try to do the best we can… at least the ones who seem to care about each other and the well-being of our future generations… living green, recycling, sharing the Gospel and walking with the Lord. etc…but as we try we are unknowingly making things worse with pollution, plastics, gases etc… We are putting more effort into trying to find life on another planet because we have messed this one up so bad ..but even if we all populate on Mars or another planet for that matter, God will still be there! because God made the other planet too.

He is glorious, beautiful, perfect and unchanging and deserves all praise because whether we are rich or poor or hungry or well to do ..it doesn’t matter what “class” we are or how we messed up the gift that He gave us. God loves us the same. He tried showing us that when he sent His son down to die for us ..His love is never changing and His grace is a new for each of us every day..why can’t everybody see that?

Thank you Kevin for helping with the edit, Bless you in the name of Jesus!

Numbers – 18 – Salty

Funny that some that can preserve for life, be used as a covenant for life (weddings) and stop life from happening (salting earth) should all show up in the 18th chapter… “18” meaning life in Hebrew. חי

All I can think about right now is the Dead Sea. It’s a huge source of salt…Look at its location. If we are the salt of the Earth. God placed a huge source of preservation near the promised land. Was this a hint that He always intended to preserve that land for His people? Then again, all the oceans are of salt water, and there’s more ocean than land.. so I would call that an abundance and or scattered all over the world as common as grains of sand on the beaches they kiss.
Now nothing lives in the dead sea, hence its name but from that “death” brings life in all the ways the salt could preserve food and be a part of a covenant when preserving the animal hides to use the skins for writing on.

salt blocks used as currency by the Romans

I was also informed that salt was used as currency at some time.. “Hey can you pass the salt please? I need to add flavour to my meat and pay the rent”
🙂 Have a blessed day everyone.

Numbers 15 – Rules & Religion OR Relationship?

38 “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner.

this was also referenced in Deut 22:12 “You must put four tassels on the hem of the cloak with which you cover yourself—on the front, back, and sides”

These tassels (Tzitzit ) are on the four corners of the prayer shawl that is worn over the clothes but also mainly on the undershirt worn close to ones body. The individual tassels would have knots representing the 12 tribes .. modern day accommodations may even include tassles worn from belt loops.. I was a little shocked when I first saw that kind of reformation.. but then again.. that seemed like an accommodation for the people of the world to make religion easier…. at any rate. Ive worn them back in my orthodox Jew days and now I see how ritualistic and dogmatic it was and is. Of course in the old covenant they were obedient and following Gods word. It’s amazing how that is still practised to a T today. People still rushing toward the Torah as it is paraded around the synagogue rushing to touch the scroll with the tassels and then kiss them. Seems weird to me now, but I was a part of that before coming to know the Lord and what He expects of me now. I know I can be a servant without the religion and tradition. I know He loves me no matter what.

As for the unintentional sin part… GUILTY I am! I cannot always control the thoughts that pop into my head and I cannot always control my desire for my first reaction to a situation… I feel guilty for having impure thoughts and I feel guilty for even having them in my head for a fraction of a second, I feel guilty for having feelings of envy or thoughts of revenge but I tell myself I can only control how I actually react and God knows my heart so long as I don’t follow through, It’s a step closer to staying on the straight and narrow… sometimes I will try to dig up a scripture that helps apply to the situation and that calms me and grounds me.

The last point I would like to make is how that person was stoned to death for doing work on the sabbath. there are so many rules in place about the Sabbath and one of the main one is nobody should do any type of work.. that one person was gathering wood… I don’t really know what it was being gathered for maybe it was for cooking or staying warm, for all we know it was a complete unintentional sin that he was killed for it. God used him as an example to show the seriousness of following the laws of the Sabbath. I am so grateful for what Christ did for me on the cross and I won’t have to worry about that.. just for a point of interest: writing on paper, lighting a match, handling money, using a phone.. even just carrying something around in your pocket on the Sabbath is considered to be “work” and of course there are exceptions for pregnant women and all kinds of loopholes have been created by man so they can freely break some of the rules without technically breaking a rule. My favourite example is a “natural boundary“ which means if you were within a natural boundary you can carry some things so people have been known to create a “natural” boundary by planting shrubbery so they can safely carry something from one end of the field to another…oh yeah – you’re not supposed to drive on the Sabbath but then why is it every synagogue parking lot is completely full on friday and saturday?? even exceptions were made for me! I was allowed to carry my medicine with me when I was walking to the synagogue with my Rabbi but the loophole was thst it wasn’t in my pocket per say, but it was tucked under my belt… how was that not manipulating God‘s law?

Again thank you Jesus for your work! I don’t have to worry about things like that and I don’t have to be anxious about things like that. I can just worship you any way, you are my Father God, thank you for your son and thank you for the Holy Spirit.

Amen

A Broken Heart

Numbers 14:1 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Sometimes I try to imagine a scenario, or an analogy, to help myself better understand God’s feelings in a certain biblical scene. I know there’s more about God then I will ever grasp, but these scenarios help to clarify His emotions in some stories.

I understand anger is not a trait of God’s character, it is a reaction to the acts of humans.

To help understand the story of Isreal and the 12 spies of the promised land, I imagine a surgeon. The surgeon is very skilled man and has done hundreds of successful operations. But one day his wife needs an urgent surgery and he prepares to do it for her. But she demands another surgeon to preform it, despite her husband’s proven record she tells him she just can’t trust his skill when it comes to her own life.

Imagine the betrayal and heartbreak the surgeon would feel. This helps me see God’s postion when Israel rebels after 10 of the tribal spies report negatively about the promised land.

But don’t we sink to this with attitude with God? When there are things close to us that loose control, don’t we desperately want to fix them? Don’t we withdraw our trust at times to fear?

Perhaps if we consider God’s heart in the issue, the same as we do with our family and loved ones, maybe our prospectives could change in our weakest moments.

Numbers 7 – No Carts? No Problem.

9 “But to the sons of Kohath he gave none, because they were charged with the service of the holy things that had to be carried on the shoulder.” this referenced Numbers 4:4 “This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things”

At first I felt bad for that family – who didn’t get any of the carts or oxen….such luxuries of the time, but instead they had to (or should say were blessed with the responsibility) carry everything on their shoulders, literally. But then I realized these were the most holy things and we are supposed to keep the most holy things closest to us – and hold onto things of the world loosely.

Jesus didn’t have a cart to carry His cross to the rock of the skull. He carried it on His shoulders. He kept it close to Him as it was important to carry out His Fathers plans. I know it’s not a true comparison, but even look at what we would keep as a carry-on for a flight… or what would we keep close to us in travel… anything we don’t care about as much could go in the belly of the plane, or in the compartment of the bus… but our “holy” (used loosely) items, we tend to keep closer, in our backpacks, pockets, purses and wallets.

As Christ followers, we hold the Spirit inside us , that’s Very holy, it’s our connection to Jesus Christ and the Father, we don’t need any fancy carts or oxen to do so.. to be closest to the holiest things we don’t need anything but a relationship, and again – you don’t need a fancy car or a fancy anything to have that.

Doesn’t matter if you have a gold leaf bible or a old beaten one, doesn’t matter if you wear your “sunday best” or come as you are… Jesus will hear you, Father God will see you and the Spirit will come into you.

And if nobody else is going to mention it.. The reading of all the offerings was like the movie Groundhog day…every tribe leader brought the exact same offering every day … and maybe that is because it wasn’t supposed to make any one tribe any more important than any other one, so nobody can glorify themselves anymore and all the glory should go to God – and nobody has any greater status then the next…

we are all in the same service, His service.

Greetings From Afar

1 Peter 5: 12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. 13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

A strange thing stood out to me today as I read the final chapter of 1 Peter.

Our era of separation because of COVID is not unlike the apostles traveling due to their ministry as they established the first churches.

Peter and Paul wrote to all sorts of Christians they wished they could see but because of a variety of circumstances could not visit in person.

I imagine both apostles knew the feeling of loneliness and isolation especially while they were imprisoned.

I pray we stand firm and continue to find new and creative ways to stay connected with one another despite our distance. Our spiritual connection cannot be stopped by any distance or force.

You Are Blessed

1 Peter 4: 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

Today I reflect on this: as a Christian in my day to day life do I stick out or blend in?

I was thinking about this. I feel it is a delicate balance: I must be in the world but not of the world.

I need to be present, kind and relatable to reach those who maybe haven’t heard the gospel. But I am not to follow all their actions and habits.

My mind is always searching for new ways to show I am a follower of Christ. Things that are sacrifces but do not gain me anything. It is our sacrifces, which may come as sufferings at times, that profess our faith the loudest and clearest.

1 Peter – we are heirs .. don’t run from it

1 Peter

The moment I finished reading this chapter I was hit with a feeling of “I’ve heard this before” and then I realized it’s from Isaiah 40:8… I know it well because it’s the very first Bible verse my son memorized and learned for Riverwood kids Bible verses.

it’s also a good summary for the whole first chapter of this book.

I think it’s also neat because Jesus has been referred to as the vine and the vine is kind of like grass or at least will grow out of it..and when He was here in human form He was of flesh and our flesh is compared to grass. When Jesus died on the cross and paid the ransom for all of us The spirit of truth was then sent down so we could call Him to live and grow within all of us and even as our bodies get old and wither, He continues to grow and flourish within us…in fact the older we get as we follow Christ – the more mature in Christ we become.

I find that lines 4-7 are a beautiful reminder that we should be rejoicing all the time in the Lord and glory of the kingdom of heaven that will be waiting for us..if He sees in our hearts that we truly do believe in His love and have faith in someone that we cannot see..but I think that we can see and feel with our hearts and God CAN see into our hearts and He knows that with that faith we are heirs to a kingdom that is never changing, unfaded. and imperishable.

Daniel 10 – Delay Before Delivery

This whole thing about not stopping prayer because the answers aren’t coming in YOUR time reminds me of a saying I used to hear while in recovery… “ Don’t give up on the miracle… or the miracle is just a day away”….

BUT… 8 really came here to write the following…

12…”and I have come because of your words. “

Reading this in the chapter is a good reminder to humble ones self before the Lord

God was eager and ready to listen to Daniel’s words when He saw that he was humbled and He was also ready to answer Daniels prayers.

God knew that his heart was humbled and he was faithful and he was dedicated in prayer.

How can I humble myself? so long as I admit when I’m wrong and tell the truth.. I like referring to Romans 12:3 “”For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” in my opinion when I think of this passage it’s a reminder that we are all on the same playing field regardless of our possessions or our monetary earnings or our life experiences. we are all equal in his eyes… there is no one sin greater than the next and only Heis the true judge. When we can be all right with those things and we are truly humbled, maybe then our prayers will be heard and not just heard but considered. As we mature in the Lord and grow with the Holy Spirit in us, we become humble servants.

Daniel 4

Daniel 4

“My head’s been wet with the midnight dew

I’ve been down on bended knee talkin’ to the man from Galilee”

“I thought I heard the shuffle of the angel’s feet”

He called my name and my heart stood stillWhen he said, “John, go do my will!”

“What’s down in the dark will be brought to the light”

“Sooner or later God’ll cut you down”

Now before you go flipping back to your Bible to find out where I got these lines from……

The above are lyrics to a Johnny Cash song.

This song was ringing in my head after reading this chapter. Things were coming together for me. I knew this song before, and it’s a nice reminder that Gods clearly in control. However, now I am certain of where the influence is from.

God cut that king down… and it was foreshadowed to him in a dream. He was cut down just like the tree in his dream. He had to be “brought down” from the fantasy that he was conquering villages and ruling beyond his own city on his own means. He had to be brought down from the idea that he was doing this all by himself. He needed reminding that he is king because God allowed it to be that way. He needed to be humbled and taken from being the tall strong tree that fed everyone and shaded the beasts below.

He himself became a beast, eating grass and drinking the dew from the ground… for 7 (there’s that divine number again) years, hair growing out of control like an animal, nails long and unkept… until his breaking point, humility… in humbleness he praised God and made it known to Him that he is but a servant like the rest of us…. God restored his sanity and kingship…..

Before I was giving all glory to God, I could have been compared to Nebuchadnezzar, thinking I landed this job on my own, I got the girl on my own, I closed the deal on my own. I certainly didn’t end up eating grass, but I was smoking it…. that was a stronghold that kept me drifting. I certainly wasn’t animal-like, but my manners and disposition may have said otherwise. I would backstab, zig-zag and compromise my moral compass just to get ahead and then thank myself. And for the record, my hair was long and wild….

All Glory Goes to God.

He was there with me through the cloud and foggy darkness to come out the other side, He was waiting to show me the light.