WEEK 18, Day 4, Thursday, 5 May 2022


Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 5 May 2022:

Numbers 6 – Remember this chapter when you read about Samson in the future – he was intended to be a Nazarite.

Numbers 6:1-21 – God calls certain people to a special commitment which demands extraordinary devotion and focus. Abstinence from strong drink ensured the person under vow would not lose self-control and unintentionally do something to break the vow. Breaking the vow required atonement from God.

Numbers 6:4-26 – Peace is a wholeness and completeness of life (not the absence of life challenges) which comes from closeness to God.

Numbers 6:24-27 — The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

“Today we will look at perhaps the most famous blessing in the Bible — the Aaronic blessing found in Numbers 6:22–27. God’s people treasure these words for they have been used in worship under the old covenant as well as the new. Unfortunately, because these words are so familiar, it is easy to miss their theological depth.

Structurally, there is much that can be said of the Aaronic blessing in the original Hebrew. If we were to remove the three instances of “the Lord” (Yahweh) in the blessing, we would be left with twelve words in the original language, an intentional reference to the twelve tribes of Israel. Furthermore, this threefold repetition of the name Yahweh is not required; one usage of God’s name would have sufficed. But the Lord has His priests repeat His name to emphasize that He is the source of all goodness in life (James 1:17).

One of these good things is peace (Num. 6:26), which in Scripture refers to far more than just the cessation of conflict. It includes prosperity, children, security, land, happiness, health, and a host of other good things (Deut. 28:1–14). The emphasis on the Lord as the source of all these things, as noted above, is very powerful. Basically, God is saying, ‘My people, when you enjoy health, remember that My grace has given it to you. When you succeed, do not forget that I am its source. Recall that no good gift is possible without Me.’

Dr. R.C. Sproul turns to the Aaronic blessing as an expression of the hope that the Lord’s chosen will one day see His face (Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, p. 282). Our supreme longing is to experience the beatific vision — to see the Lord face-to-face as He shines His smile upon us (Num. 6:25). In like manner, John Calvin writes that ‘nothing is more desirable for the consummation of our happiness, than that we should behold the serene countenance of God.’

Matthew Henry comments on this passage, saying that ‘we may take the blessing to ourselves, as if our names were inserted.’ Think about it, the Lord our God, the Creator of all that is seen and unseen, seeks to bless His people. Everything good that comes your way comes from His hand, and one day, all in Christ will enjoy the splendor of His face. So, do not doubt that the Lord desires to bless you and tell others that His blessing is available to them in Christ.” (Ligonier Ministries)

Watch this short video overview of 1 Corinthians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiHf8klCCc4

1 Corinthians 1:1 — “Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.”

Paul was called by God’s will, not by his will or ambition.

1 Corinthians 1:2 — “To the church of God…, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ….”

You have been set apart and called to be a saint. How are you doing with your calling in life?

1 Corinthians 1:7, 8 — “Jesus Christ… will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Jesus makes you guiltless, not your efforts.

1 Corinthians 1:10 — “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”

Christ unifies. Where there are divisions there is a lack of godliness because there is not unity in Christ. When everyone has the mind of Christ, everyone has the same mind, unity. Read John 17.

1 Corinthians 1:17 — “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

We need not attempt to use wisdom to convince others that Jesus is The Lord and Savior. Disbelief is a spiritual issue, not an intellectual issue. The word of God is what the Holy Spirit uses to convict people of the need for repentance and Salvation. Proclaim God’s word, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest through the Power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:20 — “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

Don’t get wrapped up in pointless debates over the Gospel with unbelievers. No one comes to the Son but the Father draw Him.

1 Corinthians 1:22, 23 — “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.”

Those who demand proof of Jesus have the same problem as those who demand miraculous signs: their hearts aren’t really seeking God. Jesus said that proof will never satisfy the unbeliever. Many people who trust in their own understanding negate what they cannot see. Therefore, they remain out of touch with the Spirit which is unseen but the source of all wisdom. How foolish is it for people to think that reality is defined by their perceptions and limited intellect?

1 Corinthians 1:29 — “…so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

If it were possible to convince others to surrender to Jesus, we would take the credit. God intends to leave no doubt that it was His power that changed the heart.

1 Corinthians 1:31 — “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

We share no glory with Jesus; He does it all and gets all the credit. Paul was saved when He was not seeking Jesus; so were you.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 5 May 22: Truly consider your thoughts, words, choices, and deeds today. Question the motivations behind them. Are they motivated by unconditional love for God and love for others? Does selfishness remain? Do temptations remain? Identify the dark closets in your heart where you need the Holy Spirits help to do some cleaning. Be honest with yourself today and do some real soul searching. Share the word of God with others and your testimony without trying to appeal to others with clever arguments. Trust God to do the convicting and convincing. (1 Corinthians 1:20-31)

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