OYB March 8
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Mar 08
10:3-9 Notice, the trumpets are used for setting things in motion (short blasts) and gathering everyone together at the "entrance of the Tabernacle." In Revelation, we see the blast of trumpets setting judgments in motion, and we see the last Trumpet, the 7th blast, bringing in THE Feast of Tabernacles—when Jesus comes back to Tabernacle with His people.
But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
But when the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God's mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as he announced it to his servants the prophets." Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven: "The whole world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever." Revelation 10:7 & 11:15
11:4-6 Check out the Tanakh—it's humorous. "The riffraff in their midst felt a gluttonous craving; and then the Israelites wept and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! ...Now our gullets are shriveled. There is nothing at all! Nothing but this manna to look to!'" Don't we say the same thing today? "All I have is Jesus and His Word. How is that going to help this gluttonous craving for _________?" (Fill in the blank for you--approval, attention, food, pornography, outward beauty, sex, money, status, toys, cultivated highs/experiences, power, alcohol, lusty fantasies, mind-numbing entertainment, etc.). Now, some of those things aren't bad in the proper context, but again, we're talking about habit sins/addictions when overindulgence or turning to those things for comfort, hope, or meaning in place of God is the tendency. When leaving behind addictions—things that give us sinful pleasure and comfort, our fleshly appetites (gluttonous cravings) are starved and often Jesus doesn't seem to be enough because we don't know what we have in Him!
11:8-9 The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil (the Jewish version says "tasted like rich cream"). The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night. This passage is rich for us today. I never saw before that the Israelites had to work for this food. I thought it appeared in edible form. But here they had to gather it, grind it, pound it, boil it, and make it into cakes.
Many believers today stop at the "gather it" phase. Either they don't gather it, or they gather and then do nothing more with it. What we are doing this year is moving beyond gather, into grinding, pounding, and boiling. When we have been patient through this process, and have been hard-working bakers (think "Little Red Hen"), I anticipate that we will get to eat some yummy pastries slathered in olive oil that taste like rich cream! Don't forget the miracle—this substance gently settles over us while we sleep at night, and when we awaken, it is ready to be gathered. What a beautiful picture!
14:3 While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head. I have always loved this story, because I imagine this jar of perfume was a representation of the woman's heart and will. The jar was pretty to look at, but the magic happened when the owner intentionally broke the jar and spilled it out as an offering. That's when the fragrance released and became anointing oil for her Messiah. That's when others in the room were engaged in the story. This was worship at its finest.
In case you didn't catch it, this was David's repentance after his sin with Bathsheba.
Questions for reflection:
When it comes to the daily manna sent to you from Heaven, at which stage are you most likely to call it a day? Gather? Grind? Pound? Boil? Bake? Eat?
What do each of these step signify to you (if each step is a different process of taking in the manna)?
What happens if you stop one step short of eat? What happens if you skip a step, say "grind" or "bake"?
Changing gears, has your life been characterized more by a nice jar to look at, kept for yourself, or a fragrant offering, broken and spilled out on your Passover Lamb?