Old Testament In a Year: March 22 – Numbers 31, 32, 33

Numbers 31, 32, 33
Focus Verse: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, – Numbers 31:1

Throughout the book of Numbers, this phrase is repeated: The Lord spoke to Moses. God did not only speak to Moses as God to man, but as friend to friend. Exodus 33:11 says that He “would speak to Moses personally (face to face), as a man speaks to his friend.” God knew that when He spoke to Moses, Moses would listen. Moses would listen so well that he would be able to repeat what God said to others. Not only would Moses listen to what God said, but he would also do what God said.

There are several ways in which God can speak to you today, but He primarily uses His Holy Word to do so. When He speaks, can He count on you to listen? Or are you too busy to hear Him?

God can speak to anyone, at anytime, in anyplace, with anything. But you must be ready to hear.

Be quiet. Take time to tune in to what God is saying.

Old Testament In a Year: March 21 – Numbers 28, 29, 30

Numbers 28, 29, 30
Focus Verse: If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. – Numbers 30:2

By vowing a vow, you promise God that you will do something for Him or dedicate something to Him. By swearing a binding oath, you promise yourself that you will abstain from doing something that you would otherwise enjoy. Whether making a promise to God or to yourself or to another person, let your promise be yes just as all of God’s promises to you are Yes (in Christ) and Amen.

Do not break your word. What you promise, perform. What you say, do.

Women of the Word: Singing and Dancing Women

David and Goliath is one of the most popular stories in the Bible. For forty days, the infamous Philistine giant held the Israelite army hostage – defying them, taunting their God, and flaunting his might in their faces. For forty days, King Saul and all the other Israelites were dismayed and terrified. They didn’t know how they were going to get out alive of the pickle they were in. Thankfully, David volunteered to fight Goliath. Because David relied on the power of God, he was able to defeat Goliath with just a slingshot and a stone.

After Goliath was defeated, David became the de facto leader of the Israelite army. Whatever mission he was sent on, he was successful. All Israelite troops and officers, and Saul’s son, the prince Jonathan, admired and loved him and were eager to follow him into battle. Even the common Israelite people loved David. 1 Samuel 18:6-7 reads:

When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”

This little ditty made Saul very angry and jealous, of course, but we’re not focusing on him. We’re focusing on the women who sang and danced because of the great miracle that God had worked for them through a simple shepherd boy who would later become their warrior and king. Continue reading

Old Testament In a Year: March 20 – Numbers 26, 27

Numbers 26, 27
Focus Verse: 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.” – Numbers 27:17

Moses led the people of Israel for a long time, and a part from a few mistakes, he did a faithful job in leading them; however, he could not lead forever. Neither could Joshua, the man who took Moses’ place, lead the people of Israel forever.

Unlike Moses and Joshua, God could always lead His people. He would always be their God.

He will always be your God too – ready to lead you; available to go out before you and come in before you, lead you out and bring you in. You will never be like a sheep without a shepherd. God is your Good Shepherd, your eternal Guide, and your permanent Friend. He cannot die. He will never leave you or forsake you.

Old Testament In a Year: March 19 – Numbers 23, 24, 25

Numbers 23, 24, 25
Focus Verse: God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? – Numbers 23:19

Humans can lie, change their minds, and break their word. But God is not human. He cannot lie. He does not change His mind. He will not break His word.

If you search for God, God promised you will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29). He is not hiding from you or distant from you. He is very near when you call on Him.

God has promised to help you and keep you (Psalm 121). He has promised that His love for you will endure forever (1 Chronicles 16:34). He has promised that you will be blessed if you follow His Word and delight in it (Psalm 1:1–3).

God has also promised you salvation through belief in His Son (Romans 1:16–17), comfort in hard times (2 Corinthians 1:3–4), peace through prayer (Philippians 4:6–7), rest (Matthew 11:28–30), abundant life (John 10:10), and eternal life (John 10:28). He has promised to finish the good work He started in you (Philippians 1:6), to work everything out for your good (Romans 8:28), and He has promised to come again so that you can be with Him always (John 14:2–3).

All of these promises and many more, God will fulfill. What He said He would do, He will do. His promises cannot be changed by human actions, cannot be hindered by an unforeseen obstacle, cannot be reversed by some “better” promise because nothing is better than what He has already promised.

Old Testament In a Year: March 18 – Numbers 20, 21, 22

Numbers 20, 21, 22
Focus Verse: So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. – Numbers 21:9

Like the fiery serpents bit and stung the people of Israel for their quarreling and grumbling, so sin bites and stings like a serpent today. How can you be saved from sin’s bitter bite? From sin’s sting of death?

By looking to Him who has been lifted up from the earth. It is not the cross that saves, but He who is on the cross. When you look to Christ, you look to God. By looking, you are able to experience salvation from sin, freedom from death, and deliverance from darkness.

Just look, however broken or lost you are, however weak your faith is, however far removed from God you are. Just look. Look and be healed. Look and be found. Look and be loved.

Look, believe, and live.

Old Testament In a Year: March 17 – Numbers 17, 18, 19

Numbers 17, 18, 19
Focus Verse: And the Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel. – Numbers 18:20

As God’s chosen people, Israel was to be set apart from other nations; and as God’s chosen tribe, Levi was to be set apart from the other tribes.

As God’s chosen child, you are to be set apart from the things of the world. You are chosen, royal, and holy – God’s very own possession. Do not conform to the present, but rather be transformed by God in preparation for the future. Your inheritance and your portion cannot be found on Earth. You are just a pilgrim here. Your inheritance and your portion is in Heaven, and it is greater than anything the world can offer. Your inheritance and your portion is God Himself – in life, at death, and throughout eternity.

He is no small portion either, but a large and abundant one. Do you feel weak? Ask God to give you His portion of strength. Are you lonely? Ask God to give you His portion of friendship. Are you experiencing tragedy? Ask God to give you His portion of comfort. Whatever it is you need, ask God to give you His portion of it. Then you will be full, never wanting, and completely satisfied.

Old Testament In a Year: March 16 – Numbers 15, 16

Numbers 15, 16
Focus Verse: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God.” – Numbers 15:41

When tempted to do wrong, may you remember God. When pushed to doubt, may you look at His Word.

Refresh your memory, encourage your heart, and enlighten your mind often with the truth of Scripture. It will strengthen your faith in God, increase your love for God, and help you to more eagerly obey God.

Why should you do this? Because God is your God. He is not just Abraham’s God or Isaac’s God or Jacob’s God. He is your God. Even if you should unintentionally or intentionally sin, He will not abandon you, just like He did not abandon Abraham or Isaac or Jacob when they stumbled in following Him. His protection, love, and care for you will continue until He sees you face to face because He is your God. He will always be your God.

Women of the Word: Sherah or Sheerah

1 Chronicles 7 lists some of the descendants of six of the tribes of Israel during the reign of King David. Most of the descendants who are mentioned by name are sons. There is one man named Zelophehad who only had daughters, but their names are not given. Another man, Beriah, had a daughter named Sherah (also spelled Sheerah), who built three cities. Verse 24 says:

His daughter was Sheerah, who built Lower and Upper Beth Horon as well as Uzzen Sheerah.

As we found out in a previous Women of the Word post regarding Shallum’s daughters, women in Biblical times worked. Sheerah was no different. She worked so hard that she built not one, not two – but three cities, of which the latter bore her name. Continue reading