Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 14 Mar 18:
1. Numbers 27:1, 2 — “The names of his daughters were: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. And they stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the chiefs and all the congregation, at the entrance of the tent of meeting….” Zelophehad raised strong daughters, mentioned by name in the Bible, who not only knew how to stand up for themselves and their family but who changed national policy permanently.
2. Numbers 27:3 – All people sin. The result of sin is death.
3. Numbers 27:5-7 — “Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘The daughters of Zelophehad are right.'” Moses turned to God for answers to tough questions. What do you do?
4. Numbers 27:4-11 – God honors the rights of women even in a male-dominated society.
5. Numbers 27:5-11 — God’s laws support the protection of families and protects their inheritances.
6. Numbers 27:14 — “….because you rebelled against my word in the wilderness of Zin when the congregation quarreled, failing to uphold me as holy at the waters before their eyes.” Don’t let the bad behavior of others influence you to stoop down to their level and sin. Moses lost his temper and acted foolishly, losing his moral authority to lead. As a result, he did not enter the Promised Land (in his physical life). Stay above the fray. Remain holy because God is Holy, and you are an Ambassador for Christ.
7. Numbers 27:15-17 — “Moses said to the LORD, ‘May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” Moses had the heart of a true leader. He had just been told by the Lord that it was his time to die — he would not lead his people into the Promised Land. Moses’ immediate concern was for the people and their welfare. How hard is it to find leadership like that?
8. Numbers 27:17 – God is looking for ministers who will be shepherds.
9. Numbers 27:18 — Numbers 27:18 — “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.” Joshua was God’s choice to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land; Moses didn’t choose Joshua, God did. Joshua was uniquely qualified for the job. First, he was filled with the Spirit. True leaders are led by the Spirit and lead by the Spirit. His name means, “The Lord is Salvation,” and is the Hebrew version of “Jesus.” For 40 years he served as Moses’ faithful aide, and was one of the two spies (Caleb the other) that encouraged the Israelites to enter the Promised Land in faith, despite the strength of their enemies. He served the Lord wholeheartedly and was a great example of character and competence. A nation needs mighty, faithful leaders such as Joshua. Of whom do you know who is a Joshua leader today?
10. Numbers 27:20 – “You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey.” Moral authority to lead comes from a leader’s pursuit of obedience to God and his intent to teach others how to obey God.
11. Numbers 28:1-15 – God wants ministers who will help people find His atonement.
12. Proverbs 14:2, 7 — “Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is devious in his ways despises him…. Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.” Godly people have no partnership with the world.
13. Proverbs 14:4, 23 — “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox… In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” To accomplish our purpose, we are going to have to get dirty, get out of our comfort zones, takes risks, and work very hard, consistently for a long time, not requiring instant payoffs to stay motivated. To be successful, we have to be willing to do what the unsuccessful are not willing to do. We are going to have to be willing to sacrifice pleasure for purpose, for a time. This requires perseverance, a critical character trait for Christians. As Psalms say today, “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 31:24)
14. Proverbs 14:5, 25 — “A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies…. A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.” Lying is cosmic treason for an Ambassador of Christ. There are obvious lies and less obvious lies. When you point people to a “truth” other than Jesus, such as modern ethics, morals, or common sense, you are lying far worse than when you misrepresent yourself or a situation.
15. Proverbs 14:12 — “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Follow the instruction of God’s word through the Holy Spirit rather than your own intellect.
16. Proverbs 14:26 — “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.” If we are walking with the Lord, we can walk confidently into the battles and through the storms of life. One thing to notice in the Bible is that God rarely keeps His people from the battles and storms but rather guides and protects them through the battles and storms, revealing Himself to His people and the watching world in the process. God didn’t keep Noah from the flood but through it. Today we read in the Old Testament that God’s people had to face the Midianites and in the New Testament that Paul had to endure terrible storms and catastrophe on the high seas. Yet, in both cases, God worked miraculously to bring glory to Himself through His servants. No Israelites were lost in the battle against the Midianites, and as God had promised, no one died when Paul’s ship was destroyed. In both cases, God was glorified before a watching world, and the faith of God’s people was only strengthened for greater challenges ahead. In his prayer to the Father, Jesus said, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one (John 17:15).” It is in the battle and storms of life that we bring glory to God when the watching world sees the power of God working through our lives making all the difference.
17. Acts 25:19 – Paul was guilty only of belief in Jesus’ resurrection. Who could witness against you on such a charge.
18. Acts 25:22 – Paul had created such a stir that important people wanted to hear him testify. What have you done to create enough interest that people want to hear your testimony?
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 14 March: Leave no doubt about what, rather who you are about – share Jesus as your top priority. Get people talking. (Acts 25:19-22)