Category Archives: forgiveness

Numbers 21

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This morning I continued in my reading of the book of Numbers with chapter 21. This is a very familiar story to me and one that I recently discussed with the kids during their history. We are studying Ancient History and following along with the bible, so we get a lesson in bible as well.

If you remember in the last chapter, the people were complaining about not having water, God provided water and they were satisfied. Well, at the same time, Israel was unable to travel through Edom because the Edomites refused to let them travel through their land. Thus the people of Israel were led by a different route by the Red Sea to go around Edom. It wasn’t long before the whole congregation of Israel was complaining against God and Moses. (They can’t blame Aaron any longer,.)

God sent fiery serpents into their camp and the serpents bit them and they died. So many died that the people of Israel went to Moses and actually admitted that they were wrong and that they had sinned. They asked Moses to intercede on their behalf and ask God to deliver them from the serpents. I don’t know about you, but Moses has been through this so many times before, I have to wonder if he felt at all like they deserved it. But then I remember that Moses was a very humble man and he probably didn’t feel that way at all. So, Moses went to the Lord and asked Him to deliver the people from the snakes.

God told Moses to make a fiery serpent out of bronze and place it on a standard. He told Moses to hold it up and whenever someone was bitten by a serpent, they were to look upon the bronze serpent on the standard and they would be saved.

Pause for a second and let that sink in.

Okay, that is such a powerful picture of what Christ did for us on the cross at Calvary. He was held up on the cross, and if we but look to Him and believe in Him, we will be saved.

God in His majesty, saved the Israelites with this symbol that points to the cross and they were able to move on from that place.

After this Israel is challenged by king Sihon of the Amorites, and king Og of Bashan. God delivers a great victory for Israel and they settle in the land of the Amorites. God tells them not to be afraid. And they listen to Him this time. I think the lesson with the bronze serpent on the standard really sunk in. They did as God told them and did not waver.

Reading through the old testament has provided me with a clearer picture of my walk with God. I can point fingers and say they were stubborn, but, am I so different? When I complain, am I not behaving the same way toward God? Yes, I am.

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for forgiveness for my stubbornness and the complaints that I lay against You. I am amazed by Your grace and mercy in my life and I know that all things come from You. Help me not to be afraid when I am called into battle, for You are with me. Thank You Lord. Amen.

The Treasure of a Seed Not Sown…

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I wanted to write something today about my bible study in Mark this morning and was plagued with doubts about it. I was unable to see how to apply this passage at the moment to my own life. Do you ever feel such doubts? I think that they are the small nagging attacks of Satan, trying to keep me from doing something for the Lord. After reading a chapter in a book titled Gold Cord by Amy Carmichael, I am doubly sure that’s exactly what it was, his nagging attacks. She wrote, “He needs that precious thing which is wasted now, like the treasure of seed not sown, but only stored.” (Gold Cord, pg 29)

Mark 14:7-10

“For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

The woman that came to Jesus and anointed Him with costly perfume will be remembered for her loving sacrifice. Contrast this with what Judas Iscariot will be remembered for.

“Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them.” vs. 10

One is remembered for love, the other for betrayal. The woman’s name is not given in Mark, but she is identified as Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus in John 12:3.  Matthew, Mark and John speak of her coming and anointing Him with oil. In Luke 7:37 there is a story of another woman. She came to Him, a sinner, crying, weeping at His feet. She was weeping and washing Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped the tears from His feet with her hair. The Pharisee looked on with contempt at this broken woman at Her Lord’s feet. He thought his prideful thoughts, and Jesus rebuked him and taught him the parable of the two debtors.

Judas was one of the twelve disciples. He was seen as a trusted man, part of Jesus’ select group. His sins were not known to everyone yet. Now everyone knows what Judas did to betray Christ, and now everyone also knows what these women did. One is remembered for hate, sin, and betrayal, the others for love, worship, and devotion.

Lord, I pray that I would be remembered for love, not hate. May I come to You, caring not what my reputation is among men, but what You my Lord think of me.