Have you taken time to reflect on how you got to where you are? Do you ever consider how you got from where you were to where you are? Do you ever consider what it took to get to where you are right now?
Do you track life? Do you write it down? What do you do to help you remember the adventures? The highs? The lows? The journeys in between?
Today’s reading starts out with such a recollection by Moses…
Israel’s Journeys Reviewed
1These are the journeys of Bnei-Yisrael when they came out of Egypt by their divisions under the hand of Moses and Aaron.
2Moses recorded the stages of their journeys at Adonai’s command. These then are their journeys by stages.
3Bnei-Yisrael set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the first day after Passover. They went out with a high hand in the sight of all Egypt.
4Now the Egyptians were burying those whom Adonai had struck down among them. Adonai had brought judgments on all their first-born and their gods.
5Bnei-Yisrael left Rameses and encamped at Succoth.
6They departed from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness.
7They left from Etham and turned back toward Pi-Hahiroth, east of Baal-Zephon, and camped before Migdol.
8They left from before Pi-Hahiroth and passed through the sea into the wilderness. They traveled three days journey into the wilderness of Etham and camped at Marah.
9They departed from Marah and went to Elim. There were twelve water springs and 70 palm trees in Elim, so they camped there.
10They left Elim and camped by the Sea of Reeds.
11They set out from the Sea of Reeds and camped in the wilderness of Sin.
12They left from the wilderness of Sin and camped in Dophkah.
13They then left Dophkah and camped at Alush.
14They left from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
15They set out from Rephidim and encamped in the Sinai wilderness.
16They departed from the Sinai wilderness and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah.
17They left from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.
18Departing Hazeroth, they camped at Rithmah.
19Leaving Rithmah, they camped at Rimmon-perez.
20They left from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah.
21They departed Libnah and camped at Rissah.
22They left Rissah and camped at Kehelah.
23They left Kehelah and camped at Mount Shepher.
24They departed Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah.
25They departed from Haradah and camped at Makheloth.
26They left Makheloth and camped in Tahath.
27They left from Tahath and camped in Terah.
28They left Terah and camped in Mithkah.
29They departed Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah.
30They left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth.
31They left Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan.
32Departing Bene-jaakan, they camped at Hor-haggidgad.
33Leaving Hor-haggidgad, they camped at Jotbah.
34They left Jotbah and camped at Abronah.
35They departed from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber.
36They left Ezion-geber and encamped at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.
37Leaving Kadesh, they camped at Mount Hor on the border of the land of Edom.
38Aaron the kohen went up Mount Hor at Adonai’s command and died there, in the fortieth year since the departure of Bnei-Yisrael from the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month.
39Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor.
40The Canaanite king of Arad, who was living in the Negev in the territory of Canaan, heard of the coming of Bnei-Yisrael.
41They departed from Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah.
42They left Zalmonah and encamped at Punon.
43Departing Punon, they camped at Oboth.
44Leaving Oboth, they camped at Ije-abarim on the border of Moab.
45They moved on from Ijim and camped at Dibon-gad.
46They moved on from Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim.
47They departed from Almon-diblathaim and camped at the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.
48They moved on from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan, across from Jericho.
49They camped along the Jordan, from Beth-jeshimoth to Abel-shittim.
50Adonai spoke to Moses along the Jordan in the plains of Moab across from Jericho saying,
51“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
52You must drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. You must destroy all their idols and cast images, and demolish their high places.
53You will take possession of the land, so you will settle in it, because I have given it to you to possess.
54“You are to divide the land by lot according to your families. To the large, make their inheritance larger, and to the small, make their inheritance smaller. Whatever comes out of the lot will be theirs. You are to distribute the inheritance according to your ancestral tribes.
55“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, whoever you allow to remain will become to you barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land in which you will be living.
56Then what I had intended to do to them, I will do to you.”
–from Numbers 33
Do you give God the praise, the honor, and the glory? Do you thank Him for all He has done to get you where you are at today? God took my work and has multiplied it! God took my work and allowed me to make connections and build relationships with so many people around the company! Good took my weaknesses and used my willingness to glorify His power and might! God rewarded me in my lack thanks to His abundance! The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! He granted me favor with leadership to the point where when one opportunity wouldn’t work, they didn’t stop but found another way! God is so good! He is awesome! He is so faithful! I find myself at a place that I would hope to be at but had given it up to Him for His perfect will and His perfect timing! And He has made it happen!
Today’s reading continues speaking to the importance of inviting God into your praise and giving Him the praise, the honor, and the glory!
Praise is Awaiting You in Zion
1For the music director, a psalm, a song of David. 2Praise is awaiting You in Zion, O God, and to You the vow will be fulfilled. 3O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come. 4Records of sins overwhelm me— You will atone for our transgressions. 5Blessed is the one You choose and bring near to dwell in Your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your House—Your holy Temple. 6You respond to us in righteousness with awe-inspiring works —O God of our salvation— hope of all ends of the earth and farthest seas, 7who establishes mountains by His power, being girded with might, 8who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples. 9Those dwelling in the uttermost parts stand in awe of Your signs. You make morning and evening shout for joy. 10You visit the land and make it abundant, greatly enriching it— the stream of God is full of water. You prepare their grain, for so You have prepared the earth. 11You drench her furrows, leveling the ridges. You soften her with showers, blessing her growth. 12You crown the year with Your goodness. Your wagon tracks drip with abundance. 13Pastures of the wilderness overflow and hills are robed with joy. 14Meadows are clothed with flocks and valleys are covered with grain— they shout for joy, yes, they sing!
–from Psalms 65
Don’t hold a grudge! Forgive! Let it go and give it up to God! Don’t allow the past hold you back from the future God has planned for you! Forgive those who hurt you! Forgive those who have mistreated you! Forgive those who did things to trip you up! Don’t hold onto it for it is a weight you were never asked or expected to carry around for the rest of your life! Let’s live out love rather than hate! Let’s live out love rather than anger! Let’s live out love rather than frustration! Let’s give it all up to God and allow His joy that goes beyond all understanding to guard our hearts and minds! Let’s be encouragers to those around us! Let’s be build who help our character to be built up but also call others to a higher standard! Let’s be sharing the love of God with everyone around us! Let’s be allow others to come to the realization of how great God’s love is for them!
Today’s reading continues into this theme…
Forgive the Repentant Sinner
1So I made up my mind that I would not come to you again causing sorrow. 2For if I cause you sorrow, then who is there cheering me on but the one I have made sorrowful? 3And I wrote this very thing to you, so that when I came I wouldn’t have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice—having confidence in you all that my joy is yours. 4For out of much distress and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears—not to make you sorrowful, but to let you know the love that I have especially for you. 5But if anyone has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but to some extent—not to exaggerate—to all of you. 6For such a person, this punishment by the majority is enough. 7So instead you should forgive him and encourage him. Otherwise such a person might be swallowed up by excessive sorrow. 8Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 9For to this end I also wrote, that I might know your character, whether you are obedient in all things. 10Now anyone you forgive, I also forgive. For indeed, what I have forgiven (if I have forgiven anything), I did it for you in the presence of Messiah, 11so that we might not be outwitted by satan—for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
Revealing Messiah’s Fragrance
12Now when I arrived in Troas for the Good News of Messiah, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, 13I had no rest in my spirit, because I didn’t find Titus my brother. So I said farewell to them, and I set out for Macedonia. 14But thanks be to God, who in Messiah always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us reveals everywhere the aroma of the knowledge of Himself. 15For we are the aroma of Messiah to God, among those who are being saved and those who are perishing—16to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. Who is competent for these things? 17For we are not like many, peddling the word of God. Rather, in Messiah we speak in the sight of God with sincerity, as persons sent from God.
–from 2 Corinthians 2
Realize not everyone is ready to hear the good news! Some have hardened hearts and won’t respond well to it. They will look for ways to trip you up! They will look for ways to distract! They will look for way to raise questions! Some are more interested with tradition than the truth! Some are more interested in tradition that the right things! They are more focused on the way it’s been than the way it should be! So don’t lose hope! Don’t give up plowing the hard soil, planting seeds, watering the seeds and waiting on God to make it grow!
Today’s reading concludes in Mark with…
1Now the Pharisees and some of the Torah scholars who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Yeshua. 2And they saw that some of His disciples were eating bread with unclean hands, that is, not washed. 3(For the Pharisees and all Jewish people do not eat unless they wash their hands up to the elbow, keeping the tradition of the elders. 4And when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they perform a ritual washing. There are many other traditions they have received and hold, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels.) 5The Pharisees and Torah scholars questioned Yeshua, “Why don’t Your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders? Why do they eat bread with unwashed hands?” 6And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors Me with their lips but their heart is far from Me. 7And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8Having left behind the commandment of God, you hold on to the tradition of men.” 9He was also telling them, “You set aside the commands of God, in order that you may validate your own tradition. 10For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.’ 11But you say if anyone tells his father or mother, ‘Whatever you might have gained from me is korban (that is, an offering to God),’ 12then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13making void the word of God with your tradition that you’ve handed down. And you do many such things.” 14Then Yeshua called the crowd again and began saying to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand. 15There is nothing outside the man that can make him unholy by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of the man that makes the man unholy.” 16[footnote: Some mss. Add: If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.] 17When He had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18And He said to them, “Are you then also lacking understanding? Don’t you grasp that whatever goes into the man cannot make him unholy? 19For it does not enter into the heart but into the stomach, and then goes out into the sewer, cleansing all foods.” 20And He continued, “It is what comes out of the man that makes the man unholy. 21For from within, out of the heart of men, come evil intentions, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustfulness, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23All these evil things come from within and make the man unholy.”
Miracles Touch Gentile Lives
24Yeshua got up and left from there to the region of Tyre. When He had entered a house, He didn’t want anyone to know; but He couldn’t escape notice. 25A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him. She came immediately and fell at His feet. 26The woman was a Greek, from Syrophoenicia. And she kept begging Yeshua to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27He was telling her, “First let the children get their fill, for it’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28“Yes, Master,” she said to Him, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29Then He said to her, “Because of this word, go your way! The demon has left your daughter.” 30She went home and found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. 31Again He left the region of Tyre and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of the Decapolis. 32They bring Him a deaf man who had a speech impediment, and they beg Him to lay His hand on him. 33Yeshua took him aside from the crowd to a private place, and He put His fingers in the man’s ears. After spitting, He touched the man’s tongue. 34Looking up to heaven, He says to the man, “Ephphatha,” which means “Be opened!” 35Immediately the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak plainly. 36Yeshua ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more He ordered them, the more they continued proclaiming it. 37People were completely astounded, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear and the mute speak!”
–from Mark 7