(Numbers 9, Psalm 45; Optional Romans 14:10-23, Proverbs 21:21-24)
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NUMBERS 9 – This is one year after their Exodus from Egypt (Ex 14 – Num 9 has all happened within one year), so this is the first of many annual memorial of the time when God had His judgment PASS OVER those who applied the blood the Passover Lamb to their doorposts.
Num 9:6-14 – A glimpse of life under the theocracy when God would speak directly to an issue they weren’t sure about. We need to always be watching for both continuity AND discontinuity between Israel at this point and the church today. SOME continuity – where God has spoken clearly through His Word, we must follow (compare the sober warnings for how we’re to celebrate the Lord’s Supper in 1 Cor 11:26-31). SOME discontinuity – for the issues God hasn’t given clear commands about in Scripture, we have Romans 14 (see today’s optional reading).
Num 9:14 – Implications for modern discussions re immigration, etc. 1) They KNEW who belonged to Israel and who was a stranger sojourning among them. 2) There is significant ASSIMILATION – the sojourners couldn’t just do things their own way.
Num 9:15-23 – God CLEARLY indicated when they were to be on the move and when they were to encamp. This prepares us for the next chapter and the detailed procedures about what that was like now that the Tabernacle is built, dedicated, and in use. You might be a bit jealous, thinking all would be great if God’s presence was clearly among us like this, speaking clearly to issues we weren’t sure on, etc. But instead, Num 11-17 are dominated by complaining and rebellion. Our problem is NOT lack of clarity or lack of miraculous signs, but our own sinful hearts (compare Lk 16:22-31, especially v 31).
PSALM 45 – To the king and his bride (compare Eph 5:22-33 about how the church is King Jesus’ bride). Ps 45:1-9 is praise to the king, and Ps 45:10-17 is instructions to the bride.
Ps 45:6-7 – I’ve written a cross in the margin (telling me this is referred to in the NT), and “Heb 1:8-9 – referring to Jesus”. Don’t miss the connection between “loved righteousness and hated wickedness” (Ps 45:6) and “oil of gladness” in v 7. The eternal joys are for those who turn away from the short-term pleasures offered in this life to God and His pleasures forevermore.
Ps 45:16 – In v 10 she left her father’s house, but anything left to be with the king is replaced bountifully! Compare Jesus’ repeated teaching on both the cost AND surpassing worth of having Him.
Optional Rom 14:10-23 – Being led by what the Lord reveals in this chapter is vital for the church in areas where God has not spoken clearly (for THOSE, see 1 Cor 5, especially 1 Cor 5:7-13). In these issues of conscience (and particularly in applying Rom 14), I’ve been VERY helped by the little book (160 pages, and they go by fast) by Naselli & Crowley called Conscience.
Optional Proverbs 21:21-24 – Prov 21:21 – A rare BALANCE – righteousness AND “chesed” (see yesterday’s notes at Ps 44:26 about this Hebrew word). Compare Jesus who was PERFECTLY balanced in grace AND truth (John 1:14). I’m going to plug another super helpful little (96 pages) book: The Grace and Truth Paradox. This little book by Randy Alcorn has been one of the most helpful/impactful in my life.
Prov 21:23 – Again (among MANY verses in Proverbs) the HUGE importance of our talk (and proper silence – discretion).