Are you grumbling because you aren’t getting your way? It’s not happening the way you want? It’s not happening the way you expect? It’s not happening in the time you desired?
Do you trust God? Do you believe His plans are good? Do you remember how His timing is perfect? Are you grumbling rather than seeking God’s wisdom? Why?
Do you really want to be walking away from God rather than towards Him? Do you really want to be trying to go it alone rather than go it His way? How far off track do you really want to go? What kind of trouble do you want to get yourself into? Stop being self-centered and selfish and look to God for answers and wisdom and direction! Work on your relationship with Him! Develop your relationship with Him! And see how it will take you through the valley and to the mountain tops! When we go it or do it God’s way – there is victory!
If we will go it His way, His peace that goes beyond guard our hearts and mind! If we will go it His way out of obedience and trust, His grace will be enough! So let’s seek Him first and let Him take care of the rest!
Today’s reading starts with people grumbling because it’s not happening the way they expected or wanted…
Nuhushtan: Snake on a Pole
1When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked Israel and captured some of them. 2Then Israel vowed to Adonai and stated, “If you deliver this people into our hand, we will put their cities under the ban of destruction!” 3Adonai listened to Israel’s plea and delivered up the Canaanites. They put them and their cities under the ban of destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah. 4They travelled from Mount Hor along the route to the Sea of Reeds in order to go around the land of Edom. The spirit of the people became impatient along the way. 5The people spoke against God and Moses: “Why have you brought us from Egypt to die in the wilderness, because there is no bread, no water, and our very spirits detest the despicable food? 6So Adonai sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people and many of the people of Israel died. 7The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against Adonai and you! Pray to Adonai for us, that He may take away the snakes!” So Moses prayed for the people. 8Adonai said to Moses, “Make yourself a fiery snake and put it on a pole. Whenever anyone who has been bitten will look at it, he will live.” 9So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, and it happened that whenever a snake bit anyone and he looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
Journey to Moab
10Bnei-Yisrael moved on and encamped at Oboth. 11Then they set out from Oboth and camped in Ije-abarim, in the wilderness facing Moab toward the sunrise. 12From there they set out and camped in the Wadi Zered. 13They set out from there and camped along the Arnon, which is in the wilderness extending into Amorite territory. The Arnon is also the border between Moab and the Amorites. 14Therefore, it is said in the Book of the Wars of Adonai, “…Vaheb in Suphah and the wadis of the Arnon, 15and the slope of the wadis that leads to the site of Ar and lie along the border of Moab—” 16And from there—on to Beer. This is the well where Adonai said to Moses, “Gather the people and I will give them water.” 17Then Israel sang this song, “Spring up, O well! Sing about it!” 18The well the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank with their scepter and their staffs.” From the wilderness they went on to Mattanah. 19From Mattanah they went on to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20and from Bamoth to the valley in the field of Moab where the peak of Pisgah overlooks the wasteland.
Defeat of Sihon and Og
21Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites saying, 22“Permit us to pass through your land. We will not turn aside into field or vineyard nor drink water from the wells. We will travel on the king’s highway until we will have passed through your territory.” 23But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. Instead, Sihon called out his entire army and marched out into the desert to oppose Israel. When he came to Jahaz, he fought against Israel. 24But Israel struck him by the sword’s edge and conquered his land from Arnon to Jabbok as far as the Ammonites, because the border of the sons of Ammon was fortified. 25Israel conquered all these cities and occupied all the Amorite cities, Heshbon and all its towns. 26Heshbon was the city of King Sihon of the Amorites, who had fought with the former king of Moab and had taken from his control all the land as far as the Arnon. 27Therefore the poets say, “Come to Heshbon! Let her be rebuilt! Let the city of Sihon be restored! 28For fire went out from Heshbon, a blaze from the city of Sihon! It consumed Ar of Moab, the masters of Arnon’s heights! 29Woe to you, O Moab! You have been destroyed, people of Chemosh! He has given up his sons as refugees and his daughters as captives to Sihon, king of the Amorites. 30But we overthrew them! Heshbon as far as Dibon is destroyed! We have demolished them as far as Nophah up to Medeba.” 31So Israel was living in the land of the Amorites. 32After Moses sent spies to Jazer, they captured her towns and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33Then they turned and went up the road to the Bashan. Og, king of the Bashan, went out to confront them, he and all his people, in battle at Edrei. 34Adonai said to Moses, “Do not fear him. I have given him with all his people and his land into your hand. You are to do to him just as you did to Sihon, the Amorite king who was living in Heshbon.” 35So they struck him and his sons and his entire army until no survivor was left to him, and they possessed his land.
-from Numbers 21
So let’s put our hope and trust in Jesus! Let’s allow Him to be our Lord and our Savior! Let’s allow His sacrifice to pay the ransom of our soul and then live in alignment and in relationship with Him for the rest of our lives! Let’s live to glorify God! Let’s live to testify to His great love for us! Let’s allow our lives to be living sacrifices that testify of His greatness!
Rich and Poor Alike
1For the music director: a psalm of the sons of Korah. 2Hear this, all you peoples. Give ear, all you inhabitants of the world, 3both low and high, rich and poor together. 4My mouth speaks wisdom, My heart’s meditation is understanding. 5I will turn my ear to a proverb. I will utter my riddle on the harp: 6Why should I fear in evil days? when the iniquity of my deceivers surrounds me? 7Or those trusting in their wealth, boasting about their great riches? 8No man can redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him. 9For the redemption of a soul is costly— so, one should stop trying forever. 10Will he live forever— and never see the Pit? 11Surely he must see, even wise men die. The fool and the brutish will alike perish, leaving their wealth to others. 12Their inward thought is: Their houses are eternal, their dwellings for generation after generation. They name their lands after themselves. 13But the pompous man will not endure— he is like the beasts that perish. 14Such is the way of the self-confident, and their followers who approve their sayings. Selah 15Like sheep they are destined for Sheol. Death will be their shepherd and the upright will rule over them in the morning. Their image will decay in Sheol— far from its lofty place. 16But God redeems my soul from the power of Sheol— for He receives me. Selah 17Do not be afraid when a man gets rich, when his house’s splendor increases. 18For when he dies he takes nothing away. His splendor will not follow him down. 19Though during his life he congratulates himself, and men praise you when you do well for yourself— 20He will still join his fathers’ company, who will never see the light. 21A pompous man, without understanding— he is like the beasts that perish.
–from Psalms 49
Don’t forget the past! Don’t repeat the past! Don’t be one who forgets the past and is doomed to repeat it! Learn from the past! Learn through the experience of others! Don’t feel like you have to figure it all out on your own! Do you really want to go through all the pain if someone else has already done it and can share their experiences with you? If you have gone through stuff, be willing to share it and prevent others from having to go through the pains you did. Do you think it is a good idea to test God? There is only 1 time/1 place in the Bible where God says to test Him and it is in the area of giving!
Warnings from History
1For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea. 2They all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3And all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink—for they were drinking from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the Rock was Messiah. 5Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert. 6Now these things happened as examples for us, so we wouldn’t crave evil things, just as they did. 7Do not be idolaters, as some of them were. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8And let’s not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day 23,000 fell. 9And let’s not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were destroyed by serpents. 10And let’s not grumble, as some of them did—and were destroyed by the destroying angel. 11Now these things happened to them as an example, and it was written down as a warning to us—on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12Therefore let the one who thinks that he stands watch out that he doesn’t fall. 13No temptation has taken hold of you except what is common to mankind. But God is faithful—He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can handle. But with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape, so you will be able to endure it.
Feast with the Lord—Not with Idols
14Therefore, my dearly loved ones, flee from idolatry. 15I speak as to sensible people—judge for yourselves what I say. 16The cup of blessing that we bless—isn’t it a sharing of Messiah’s blood? The bread which we break—isn’t it a sharing of Messiah’s body? 17Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body—for we all partake of the one bread. 18Consider physical Israel. Those who eat the sacrifices—aren’t they partners in the altar? 19What am I saying then—that an idol sacrifice is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, I’m saying that what the pagans sacrifice is to demons and not to God, and I don’t want you to become partners with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we? 23“Everything is permitted”—but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permitted”—but not everything builds up. 24Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, without raising questions of conscience. 26For “the earth is the Lord’s, and its fullness.” 27If an unbeliever invites you over and you want to go, eat whatever is set before you, without raising questions of conscience. 28But if anyone says to you, “This is from an idol sacrifice,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29not your own conscience, I mean, but the other person’s. For why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I give thanks for? 31Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give no offense either to Jewish or Greek people or to God’s community—33just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my own benefit but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved.
–from 1 Corinthians 10