Sunday, February 13, 2011


It is late this Sunday evening.  Another busy Sabbath day.  I hope that we have done something that brought glory to God this day.  Nearly 300 in church to celebrate Boy Scout Sunday.  Thanks to all who participated in any way to provide hospitality to the boys, their parents and grandparents.  Hospitality must be a hallmark and a passion for every successful church who seeks to grow the kingdom and build bridges for others to enter into the blessed kingdom.  We've got 3 beautiful grand daughters spending the night with us.  Patty will be tired and the house will be a mess, but we are grateful for the blessing that they are and for the time that we have with them.

We near the end of the journey for Israel.....after 38 additional years wandering in the wilderness they are preparing again to claim what God has promised and in preparation God instructs them to take another census....the last one was done before the spies were sent into the promised land.  this new census reveals that the count of males 20 years and older is almost identical to the previous even after the generation of unbelief has fallen in the desert.

Moses is instructed to go up into the mountain where he will be able to see the land flowing with milk and honey even though he will not be allowed to enter because of his sin in striking the rock at Meribah and failing to reveal God's holiness in the moment to the children of Israel.  Moses does not argue with God as he has so often in the past.  He is content with his fate and is content in the knowledge that God is righteous.  He is ready.  He is instructed to pass his mantle of leadership to Joshua son of Nun and to allow the people to see that passage.  it is important that we raise up new generations of leadership who will continue God's work in the church.  This new leadership must be like Joshua, men and women in whom the Spirit of God abides.

Moses reminds the people of their special holidays and feast days and of their obligation to sacrifice.  The number of sacrificial animals is staggering.  The priests are responsible for the sacrifice of 10's of thousands of bulls, goats and lambs each year.  It is estimated that at one time as many as 250,000 lambs were sacrificed in the Jerusalem Temple during one Passover celebration.  All of this was required as sin offerings and atonement offerings, etc.  None of it was sufficient.  Blood sacrifice was constantly required.  Only the sacrifice of the perfect lamb in the person of Jesus Christ was sufficient to atone for the sins of mankind.

The daily sacrifices remind us that we are to be thankful for God's blessings every morning and every evening.  We are reminded to pray without ceasing to the God who provides for our needs and who guarantees our eternity.

Numbers 30 is filled with instructions about oaths.  I believe the most important part of it was summed up by Jesus in the New Testament when he said let your yes be yes and your no be no.  Don't enter into an oath or give your word unless you are able and willing to keep your word.  If we all just did what we said we are going to do, there would be a lot less need for lawyers and judges.

I pray that your new week is filled with opportunity to be a blessing to those that cross your path and that you will honor God with your words and your deeds.  Sleep well!!  God Bless you!!

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