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Bible Pathways - Feb. 19, 2008


February 19

Numbers 14

Highlights In Today's Reading:

The pivotal point of the book is revealed by the rebellion at Kadesh. Will the generation of the Exodus be remembered as the generation of conquest? We see the reward of the faithful and judgment of the faithless (14:22-23,34).

It seems incredible that the children of Israel would cry out in foolish rebellion, "were it not better for us to return to Egypt?" All the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron. . . . Let us make a captain, and let us return to Egypt (14:2,4). How could they forget that God had answered their prayer? When their suffering had become unbearable, God spared them from continued slavery and miraculously opened the Red Sea and delivered them from Egypt. Let us make a captain.

The One True Guide had been rejected for "a captain." It appears from Nehemiah 9:17 that they actually appointed a leader. Could they expect God to lead them, defend them, and provide for them on a return journey to Egypt which was entirely opposed to His will. Did they expect that God would once again open the Red Sea and allow them to return to Egypt? The very root of their rebellion was self-destructive unbelief, which always disregards God's ability and integrity to fulfill His promises.

In bold opposition to the majority opinion, Caleb shouted his faith in the promises of God when he said: Let us go up at once . . . we are able to possess the land (Numbers 13:30). Caleb had faith to recognize the vital importance of obeying God's Word as their Guide regardless of circumstances. It appears that the Israelites were ready to stone Caleb and Joshua, who were willing to die for their faith in the promises of God. God rewarded the faithfulness of Caleb who later asked if he could possess Hebron as his inheritance in the promised land. His willingness to remain faithful resulted in being able to enjoy his choice in the promised land.

One of the severest tests of sincerity is found in the willingness to remain faithful to Christ when it seems like everyone is against you. It is no surprise that God declared: My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit in him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it (14:24). Our usefulness to God lies in obedience, and the measure of our usefulness is determined by our faith in the Word of God and the degree of our discipline and submission to God's will.

Thought for Today:

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. . . . Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed (I Corinthians 10:6-10).

Christ Revealed:

As God's glory (Numbers 14:22). Jesus Christ is the brightness of His (God's) glory, and the express image of His person (Heb. 1:3).

Word Studies:

14:3 fall by the sword =die in war; 14:10 bade =raid; 14:11 provoke =spurn, insult, treat with contempt, disrespect; 14:30 sware =promised; 14:31 know =appreciate; despised =spurned; 14:33 wander =be shepherds; whoredoms =unfaithlessness; 14:42 smitten =defeated; 14:45 discomfited =defeated; 15:3 sweet savour =pleasing fragrance; 15:13 born of the country =native born, native Israelite; 15:14 sojourn =live temporarily; 15:15 one ordinance =the same biblical law; 15:30 presumptuously =through pride, rebellion; cut off =excommunicated; 15:34 in ward =in custody; 15:39 go a whoring =unfaithful to God.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Officials: Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) • Country: Cote d'Ivoire (16 million) in western Africa • Major languages: French and over 60 native dialects • Religious freedom • 40% animist; 25% Muslim; 10% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Commit your fears to the Lord; He will give you peace and strength (Daniel 10:19).

Optional Reading: Luke 6

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:2

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