Read Numbers 1 - 2
In Today's Reading:
First numbering (census) of the Israelites for military purposes; encampment location of each tribe in relation to the Tabernacle
About 70 times in the Book of Numbers, we read: The LORD said or the LORD spoke to Moses. These were the words of our Heavenly Father speaking to His children. The desire of God was to have a people that would love, obey, and follow Him without reservation. He, in turn, would be their God, and lead them into the promised land. While the Israelites remained at Mount Sinai, it was twice said of them: And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses (Numbers 1:54; 2:34). As long as the Israelites were neither accomplishing anything for the Lord nor going anywhere, but were just talking about it, they were satisfied. However, just days after they departed from the mount of the LORD . . . to search out a resting place for them. . . . the people complained. . . . Who shall give us flesh to eat? . . . our soul (body) is dried away (up): there is nothing at all, beside this manna (10:33; 11:1,4,6). Rather than seeing their difficulties as an opportunity to believe that God would continue to meet their needs and lead them to the promised land, they chose to be dissatisfied with their circumstances.
In much the same way, our lives are also a journey, a march each day through unfamiliar territory. Let us learn from their example and not forget that, from the time the Israelites were led to move forward in obedience to God's Word, Satan was there to create discontent, faultfinding and unbelief in the promises of God.
When Christians complain about their hardships, as the Israelites did, they too disqualify themselves from the Lord's best. Only a faithful few, like Caleb, Joshua, and Moses, recognize that God is shepherding and fulfilling His plan for our lives. We all can avoid wasted years. As we faithfully read the Bible with an unreserved desire to know and do His will. His Word enables us to be all that He would have us be, and to do all that He would have us do. His indwelling Holy Spirit enlightens our minds and stirs our hearts to pray and we know that the effectual (effective) fervent prayer of a righteous man avails (accomplishes) much (James 5:16).
1:2 take the sum = take a census; by their polls = by head count; 1:16 renowned = chosen national representative; 1:17 expressed = designated; 1:18 pedigrees = ancestry; 2:2 ensign = tribal banner.
By Moses as he led the people according to the Lord's command (Numbers 1:54). Jesus said: I seek not My own will, but the will of the Father who has sent Me (John 5:30).
Pray for Government Official: Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) · Country: Macedonia (2 million) in southeastern Europe · Major languages: Macedonian and Albanian · strongly Orthodox country · 60% Macedonian/Albanian/Bulgarian Orthodox; 30% Muslim; 2% Roman Catholic; .2% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Know that God answers prayer (Psalm 118:5).
Optional Reading: Mark 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:24