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Bible Pathways 02/16/2002

  • 2002 Feb 16
  • COMMENTS

February 16

Read Numbers 8 -- 9

In Today's Reading:

Once again the nation celebrates. What a fantastic blessing to see Jesus' saving protection and direction of our lives typified in these chapters.

Verse for Today:

The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai . . . Let the children of Israel also keep the Passover at this appointed season. In the fourteenth day of this month, at evening, you shall keep it in its appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all its ceremonies thereof, shall you keep it. And Moses spoke to the children of Israel, that they should keep the Passover (Numbers 9:1-4).

Highlights:

Aaron arranging and lighting lamps in the Holy Place; spiritual cleansing of the Levites; observance of the second Passover; the Lord's presence guiding in the cloud and the fire over the Tabernacle.

The Israelites gained their freedom from Egypt because they observed the Passover. The blood was placed on the doorposts as a sign (Exodus 12:13) but, equally important, they were commanded to eat the lamb and be prepared to march out of Egypt when God gave the command.

Freedom from Egypt did not mean that they were free to do as they pleased. In Egypt they were under the heartless slavery of Pharaoh; now they were free to follow the loving leadership of the One True God, who would make it possible for them to enter the Promised Land.

The Passover was a reminder of how the Israelites gained their freedom. Not only were they to partake of the Passover feast, but they were also required to bring the offering of the Lord. The man . . . that forbears (fails) to keep the Passover . . . shall be cut off from among his people (put to death): because he did not bring the offering of the Lord . . . that man shall bear his sin (9:13).

The Passover was not only a remembrance of how they were delivered, but it was also a witness of the spiritual unity of the 12 tribes under their God. The Passover was not an individual matter to be done at one's convenience, but was a community participation for all who were clean. After the Passover, they would be spiritually prepared for their journey.

At the commandment of the Lord they rested in their tents, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed (Numbers 9:23).

Christ our Passover is sacrificd for us (1 Corinthians 5:7). Our observance of the Lord's Supper is a reminder that, because of Jesus' atoning death, we were forgiven our sins and became children of God prepared for our own wilderness journeys through life. The Passover of the Israelites foreshadowed the atoning death of Jesus for the sins of the world. To His followers Jesus said: As often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show forth the Lord's death till He come (1 Corinthians 11:26). This observance quickly became part of following Jesus. It is said of the early church that upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them (Acts 20:7).

Just as the Lord determined the journey of the Israelite tribes, He has a plan for us as we journey through life. Our supreme desire should be to accomplish His purpose for creating us. When God is our guide, what is there to fear? He has provided a reliable threefold Guide for our direction -- His perfect Word, His indwelling Holy Spirit, and the power of prayer. It is God Who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

The redeemed people of God have received eternal life through Jesus Christ (see John 6:47-48; 1 John 5:11). Through His Word, we continue to be strengthened and sustained throughout life's journey. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).

A Thought from Psalms: How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word (119:9).

Christ Revealed:

The Passover serves as a beautiful illustration of the redemption Christ accomplished at Calvary (Numbers 9:2; compare John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7).

Word Studies:

8:2 over against = in front of; 8:11 execute = perform; 8:14 Mine = for God's special purpose; 8:18 for = instead of; 8:26 keep the charge = assisted in the duties and assignments; touching = regarding; 9:13 forbeareth = neglects; 9:14 sojourn = stay for awhile.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for your Sunday School teacher · Country: Spain (39 million) in southwestern Europe · Major languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan · Limited religious freedom · 94% Roman Catholic; .5% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: God wants to be exalted through you (Psalms 46:10).

Optional Reading: Luke 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9

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