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Bible Pathways - Feb. 18, 2009


February 18

Numbers 12

Highlights In Today's Reading:

A valuable lesson in today's reading makes known the frightening dangers of disbelief so that the Lord is prevented from providing His blessings .

God had placed Moses' brother and sister in positions of great honor. Miriam was a prophetess and a leader among the women of Israel. Aaron had the privileged responsibility of being the first high priest. But, Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married. . . . And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath He not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) And the Lord. . . . said. . . . My servant Moses is . . . faithful in all Mine house (12:1-7).

On one point of disagreement with Moses' decision, Miriam went so far as to question Moses' right of leadership, suggesting that she and Aaron had an equal right in the administration of national affairs (12:1-2). But in judgment, God said: Wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them (Miriam and Aaron); and He departed. And the cloud departed from off the Tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous. . . . And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee (12:8-10,13).

Miriam's sin of criticizing Moses was so great in the sight of God that He smote her with the most horrifying, incurable disease of leprosy. It was only through Moses' intercession that Miriam recovered from her hideous defilement.

Seeing what is considered a fault or disagreeing with the decisions of those in authority has led some Christians to criticize or oppose God-appointed leadership. One of the greatest assets anyone can have is available to everyone as Jesus revealed: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5).

The progress of a church can be greatly hindered because of jealousy over someone else receiving recognition when another thought that he was more qualified and more deserving. But we must not allow these things to cause us to sin by taking a stand against God-appointed authority. Those who do so are in danger of facing the anger of the Lord (12:9).

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you (Heb. 13:17).

Thought for Today:

Because you were bought by the blood of Jesus, think how valuable you are to God (Acts 20:28; I Cor. 6:20)!

Christ Portrayed:

By Moses, who was very meek (humble), above all the men which were upon the face of the earth (Num. 12:3). Jesus said: I am meek (gentle, mild) and lowly in heart (Matt. 11:29).

Word Studies:

12:3 meek =humble, gentle, submissive to God; 12:8 apparently =clearly; in dark speeches =difficult to understand; similitude =likeness; 12:13 beseech =beg; 13:16 spy out =view; 13:20 fat or lean =fertile or barren; 13:23 brook =valley; 13:30 possess =conquer; 13:32 eateth up =destroys.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Arabic, English, & Spanish International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Rodney Heikkila • Staff: Al Joslyn • Government Officials: Rep. Eliot Engel (NY) and Sen. John Warner (VA) • Country: Bhutan (2 million) in the eastern Himalayas of central Asia • Major languages: Tibetan and Nepalese dialects • Public worship, evangelism, and proselytization are illegal • 50-70% Buddhist; 24-45% Hindu; 5% Muslim; <1% Protestant/Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Don't try to impress others with your prayers; pray about whatever is on your heart (Matt. 6:7-8).

Optional Reading: Luke 5

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9

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