Read Numbers 34 -- 36
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Without hesitation, the "Master MapMaker" lays out the boundaries of the land that He gave His people after they fought to conquer it. Look how He provides for those who dedicate their lives to His service. It is of utmost importance to the Israelites to know how God expects them to deal with manslaughter and murder.
The new generation of Israelites was near Jericho but still on the east side of the Jordan River near what is now Amman, Jordan. They were about to invade the promised land to take possession. But before they did, Moses reviewed the happenings of the past 40 years in light of the Commandments of the Lord and commanded the children of Israel, saying, This is the land which ye shall inherit by lot, which the Lord commanded to give unto the nine tribes, and to the half tribe (34:13).
The territory was a very limited one. The promised land was not a continent, not even a considerable part of a continent. The Lord would teach Israel, and through them all His people, the difference between what the world has to offer and the blessing of God. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:31-33). The territory that God thus mapped out was large enough to bring peace, prosperity, and happiness to all who were faithful to His Word. Outsiders, who did not know how blessed the nation of God was, might count the land insignificant compared to other nations in the world. In contrast, Paul, who had to work with his own hands and was no owner of land, was able to say: O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! (Rom. 11:33) and Peter said: Rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory (I Pet. 1:8).
These are the Commandments and the judgments, which the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho (Num. 36:13). The Commandments reveal the importance of being guided by the Lord and of obedience to the Word of God. Moses reminded them of the reasons their fathers had failed to enter Canaan. He emphasized the importance of having God guide them if they were to possess the promised land. The Israelites were to live a holy life pleasing to the Lord to whom they owed their very lives. Sadly, today many Christians are making the same mistake as the Israelites. They neglect to read His Word and then wonder why they fail to receive His blessings. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the Living God (Heb. 3:12).
Thought for Today:
The Lord told us how much better His blessings were than the things of this world when He told the psalmist to write: The Law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver (Ps. 119:72).
By the cities of refuge (Num. 35:6). Christ is our Refuge from the judgment of God and the curse of the Law. We . . . have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us . . . even Jesus (Heb. 6:18-20).
34:3 Salt Sea =ead Sea; 34:5 borders shall fetch a compass =oundary shall turn from; 34:5 goings out =nd; 34:6 Great Sea =editerranean Sea; 34:8 goings forth =oundary reach; 34:11 Chin'ne-reth =ea of Galilee; 35:2 suburbs =pen land; 35:11 unawares =nintentionally; 35:15 stranger =oreigner; sojourner =ne who lived temporarily; 35:20 thrust =aliciously shove; 35:26 come without =oes beyond; 35:31 satisfaction =ansom.
Pray for Government Officials: (28) Gov. Togiola Tulafono (American Samoa) and (29) Rep. Bart Stupak (MI) • Country: Cameroon (15 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: English and French • Pressure on Christians from authorities and Muslims • 28% Roman Catholic; 23% Muslim; 18% animism, divination, and animal sacrifices; 14% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Ask, seek, and knock through prayer, knowing God promises to answer (Matt. 7:7-8).
Optional Reading: Luke 15
Memory Verse for the Week: