(Numbers 7, Psalm 42-43; Optional Romans 13:11-14, Proverbs 21:11-15)
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NUMBERS 7 – When reading a chapter like this in a through-the-Bible reading, I think it’s ok to sort of skim (but worth contemplating on why God DID devote so much space to their giving – maybe compare Matt 6:21 about the treasure/heart connection). I’d encourage you to pick up on the clear pattern, then mostly skim, but WATCHING FOR THINGS THAT STAND OUT…
Num 7:1-6 – Num 7 flashes back about a year (the whole book of Leviticus and first 10 chapters of Numbers happen within a year, encamped near Mt Sinai) to the end of Exodus where they had just set up and consecrated the Tabernacle. God has given directions about how the Tabernacle is to be carried by the different families of Levites (see Num 3), and each tribe gives (among the rest of their offerings) wagons and oxen to help carry everything.
Num 7:4-9 – Note how incredibly careful NOT to just adapt God’s plan with what seems like a nice “innovation”! Also notice v 9 – this was to guard the Kohathites from being tempted to “innovate” and “improve” on God’s plan like David did in 2 Sam 6:2-7 where Uzzah was struck dead by God when they ignored this instruction (or maybe just didn’t remember – another benefit of REGULARLY going through ALL of God’s Word).
PSALM 42-43 – These two psalms have the same repeating chorus (see Ps 42:5, 11, 43:5), where the psalmist preaches to himself when he’s utterly discouraged/depressed. Rather than just listen to his feelings, he takes his feelings to God and then preaches to himself the TRUTH. The TRUTH is that this sadness will NOT be the end of his story. Although he doesn’t FEEL it right now, God WILL rescue him in the end!
Ps 43:2 – the psalmist is clear on what he’s FEELING, but in v 3 the psalmist prays that God’s light and truth would lead him in this dark time (NOT his feelings, which so often mislead us).
Ps 43:5 – The psalmist closes with the wonderful preaching-to-his-own-soul chorus that we also saw in Ps 42:5, 11!
Optional Rom 13:11-14 – Remember this is all part of applying Rom 12:1-2. And note the care to FIGHT our own sinful tendencies in v 14. Sometimes we get as close to sin as we can – DEADLY (see James 1:15). Also compare Rom 13:14 to Num 7:9, where there would be a definite temptation to take the “easy way,” and Moses just helped by keeping the temptation far away. Wise! How would the Lord have YOU apply Rom 13:14 to an area where you tend to stumble??
Optional Proverbs 21:11-15 – Both vs 11, 15 have such application for modern discussion about justice and cultural issues! Note that in vs 11 (as throughout the Bible), INDIVIDUALS and small groups (like families and churches) are given the responsibility to care for hurting people. It’s not government’s job or calling from God (see that in Rom 13:1-7).