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Bible Pathways - Feb. 19, 2009


February 19

Numbers 14

Highlights In Today's Reading:

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

They rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the Lord hath promised: for we have sinned. And Moses said . . . it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the Lord is not among you. . . . ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you (14:40-43).

The children of Israel were determined to decide for themselves what was best rather than look to the Lord. When God told them to go to the promised land and take possession of it, they refused, saying: Wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? . . . Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt (14:3-4). The Israelites then changed their minds; but the Lord forbade them to go into the land. Disregarding the Lord, the Israelites again rebelled, saying: Lo, we . . . will go up into the place which the Lord hath promised.

Although the Israelites admitted without repenting that they had sinned, they did not pray for guidance but they immediately decided to sin again. First they sinned by their unbelief that God would help them conquer the land. Then they sinned by their presumptious self-confidence in deciding to enter the promised land even after Moses had told them: Go not up, for the Lord is not among you.

Many people are self-sufficient, independent, and determined to guide their own lives. They feel they do not need God. They fail to see the futility of human reasoning: O Lord, I know that . . . it is not in man . . . to direct his steps (Jer. 10:23). Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall (I Cor. 10:12).

Consequently, they forfeit the many promises of the abundant provision of the Lord. It is not possible to go against the will of God and prosper.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. . . . Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil (Prov. 3:5,7).

Thought for Today:

The will of God for our lives may not always seem like the easiest way, but is always the best way. We will never regret living according to His Word.

Christ Revealed:

As God's glory (Num. 14:22). Jesus Christ is the brightness (manifestation) 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 =said; 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 International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Staff: George Kopchak • Government Officials: Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) • Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America • Major languages: Spanish and Quechua • Religious freedom • 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that the will of God be done in every situation you face today (Matt. 6:10).

Optional Reading: Luke 6

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9

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