May 11, 2022 (Numbers 20, Psalm 58-59; Optional 1 John 2:18-27, Proverbs 22:26-29)
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SPECIAL NOTE on format change… I’ve been falling behind in other responsibilities, but I want to keep on, so I’m going to simplify even further. Many days I’ll only write down a reflection from a verse or two that really stands out. A few tips to keep going in a through-the-Bible plan… 1) When you’re in a chapter that’s particularly hard to understand or apply, don’t get hung up on that chapter. There will be something that’s clear in one of the other passages (and pray for help in this – that the Lord will reveal Himself to you through His Word each day). 2) I’d definitely recommend reading through Proverbs mostly by reading a few verses per day, rather than just a full chapter per day when it comes up that way in the classic reading plan. 3) You may want to try handwriting a verse or two that particularly stands out each day. If you write it on an index card, you can carry it through the day and look at it off and on, having it almost memorized by day’s end. We did this sometimes to encourage our kids in regular Bible reading, and I found it helpful for me also. 4) Keep going. When falling behind, skim more than usual and ask the Lord to help you focus on what will most help you grow in knowing and loving Him.
NUMBERS 20 – Because Aaron dies at the end of this chapter (and we know he died near the end of the 40 years in the wilderness), we know that almost 40 years has passed since the end of Num 14. The next generation is having similar struggles to the first generation out of Egypt (compare Num 20:2ff to Ex 17:1ff), and even the top leaders dishonor God and aren’t allowed into the Promised Land (Num 20:10-13). Thankfully, God is faithful and WILL keep His promise to bring His people to the Promise!
PSALM 58-59 – Ps 58 – Though this Psalm may sound shocking to our modern ears, God HATES when rulers are unjust and WILL bring full and wrathful justice one day! Tremble at God’s righteous wrath poured out on His own Son when He took our sins on Him as the perfect Sacrifice. For ALL that turn to Jesus in faith (no matter how bloody or tyrannical they MAY have been – see the violent unsaved persecutor in Gal 1:13 amazed at his salvation even though “chief of sinners” in 1 Tim 1:15-16), Jesus Himself has taken their punishment. But for all others, God WILL bring justice one day, and believers are given Psalms like this to give us God-inspired words to express our horror at tyranny and to call out to God for vengeance and justice, remembering that those things ultimately belong to HIM.
Ps 59 – The historical setting (see the title) is 1 Sam 19:11. King Saul and his jealous rage towards David SEEMS to be winning for now, but God WILL triumph!
Ps 59:11-13 is an example of Imprecatory Prayer – a prayer for God to take righteous vengeance on His enemies. Notice the praying for the glory of God to be seen – compare Ps 59:13 to today’s notes at Jn 15:7-8).
Ps 59:16-17 – What a contrast! The believers is singing praises to the living God while the world is howling, prowling, and growling (see Ps 59:6-7, 14-15).
Optional 1 John 2:18-17 – 1 Jn 2:19 – My go-to verse for when folks wonder if people can lose their salvation. This verse makes clear that if someone appears to leave the faith it’s because they were never truly IN the faith.