Apr 29, 2022

(Numbers 6, Psalm 40-41; Optional Romans 13:8-10, Proverbs 21:6-10)

Click the following link to see every day’s through-the-Bible readings and reflections. Once there, you can sign up on my “FREE daily email” page and get daily reminders in your inbox: www.2Tim3v16.wordpress.com

NUMBERS 6 – Only certain men from the tribe of Levi could be priests, separated unto Yahweh in that special way, but ANYONE (male or female from any tribe) that had a desire to be especially set apart for God could take a Nazirite vow.  The Nazirite vow is very similar to how the priests would separate themselves when on duty in the Tabernacle. During the time of their vow they’d keep themselves away from  1) all fruit of the vine (Num 6:3-4),  2) cutting their hair (Num 6:5),  3) dead bodies (Num 6:6-12). Although this vow was usually voluntary (Num 6:2), Samson’s parents were told before he was born that he was to be a life-long Nazirite (Judges 13:5, 13:7). One of  God’s accusations against Israel in Amos 2:11-12 was that, though God moved in the hearts of some of their youths to be Nazirites, the Nazirites were encouraged to take their vows lightly.

Num 6:22-27 – The famous “Aaronic blessing”. Possibly it’s placed by God at this spot because there’s been so much weight of sober warning about having the presence of God among them. The presence of God is never to be taken lightly, but having His favor and His presence in blessing and not judgment IS the ultimate blessing.

Many pastors speak this over their people as a final benediction before they leave, and it’s a wonderful prayer for any time believers are gathered together. Though v 23 says it’s for Israel, Gal 3:13-14 and 2 Cor 1:20 make clear that through Jesus Gentiles ALSO get to benefit from the BLESSING of God’s favorable presence since His holy judgment has been absorbed by Jesus for all who trust in Him.

PSALM 40-41  – Ps 40:1-10 – The psalmist remembers past deliverance that God has given and how the psalmist has properly responded with praise and worship (including gathered worship – v 9, 10). Later in the chapter we find that the psalmist is in a tough time again and is freshly crying out for help.

Ps 40:6-8 – Some think that the OUTWARD motions of worship will be meaningful, but this is one of many sections in Scripture that let us know that it’s the deep desires of the heart that are truly received as worship by God. These verses are applied in Heb 10:5-7 to Jesus, so I’ve written a cross in the margin (reminding me that this is referred to in the NT), and “Heb 10:5-7 applied to Jesus”.

Ps 40:9-17 – In the first part of this psalm, he’s remembering PAST deliverance from God. Now he’s in deep trouble again and is crying out for help yet again. This is ALWAYS the right response, even when we’re very aware of our OWN sin (v 12).

Ps 41 – Note the ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE. Blessed is the one who doesn’t cling to his own stuff, but helps the needy, because he has his eye on the END of his story. And on God who delivers those whose focus/hope is on Him. Not that we love God perfectly (see v 4), but that IS the direction of our lives (v 12). And the END of the story for those who hope in God and not stuff/money is full healing and full deliverance forever (see Rev 21-22)!

Optional Rom 13:8-10 – Just make sure you’re defining love BIBLICALLY (see Rom 12:9, 1 Cor 13:6). Too many these days read a section like this, and try to avoid all the uncomfortable commands that don’t fit today’s ethics (saying “We must be loving”). Many will try to get us to act like love means supporting them in whatever they do, but that’s NOT how the Bible defines love.

Optional Proverbs 21:6-10 – Like so many Proverbs, pretty straight forward. I ask the Lord which one should get my attention today (often it’s an area I need to grow in, but sometimes a prayer request for a friend, or something that’s in the news and I get reminded of God’s perspective on an issue).