May 17, 2022

(Numbers 26, Psalm 69; Optional 1 John 4:13-21, Proverbs 23:26-28)

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SEE May 11 for SPECIAL NOTE on format change… 

NUMBERS 26 – Numbers OPENED with a count of the generation that was about to disobey God then be forced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years and die off. That’s now coming to a close, so Num 26 is God commanding a census of the NEXT generation, to count those able to go to war.  1) For inheritance reasons (v 51-56).  2) To show God’s righteous judgment (v 9-11 cf Num 16; v 19 cf Gen 38:2-10; v 61 cf Lev 10:1-3; ** v 63-65 ** cf Num 14).

There ARE hints of good news…

Num 26:11 – Some of the sons of the rebellious Korah listened to the warning in Num 16:23-26, and survived the judgment God sent. These obedient “sons of Korah” became worship leaders in Israel (2 Chr 20:19, 11 Psalms have “sons of Korah” in the title) and gatekeepers of the Tabernacle / Temple (1 Chron 9:19, Ps 84:10 – also see that Psalm’s title).

Num 26:33 – These “daughters of Zelophehad” are repeatedly mentioned in the OT (do a Bible search for “Zelophehad”). In a culture where ONLY males could inherit, we’re going to see in Num 27 something better for God’s people that reflects that males AND females are equally made in God’s image (Gen 1:26-27). This is why women have been elevated everywhere in the world the Bible has gone and has been followed!

PSALM 69 – Two helpful and very different ways to study this Psalm…  1) This Psalm is one of the MOST quoted / referenced in the NT. It’s a study in the very DIFFERENT ways the OT can be referenced in the NT. Many of the references are Messianic, but Ps 69:5 clearly is NOT, so we’re reminded that not every verse even of a hugely Messianic Psalm necessarily refers to Jesus.  2) It’s yet another inspired guide for taking our hurts to God Himself, crying out for help and for Him to take righteous vengeance on the wicked. And (like so many other Psalms) a turning point in v 30-33 where the believer COMMITS himself to praising God and encouraging other believers in the Lord. And (by now I hope we’re not surprised) a focus on the glorious promised END of the story for those who belong to God (v 34-36).

From D.A. Carson’s devotional on May 17 in Vol 1 of For the Love of God: [“…this psalm is a rich repository of texts quoted or paraphrased by New Testament writers: “Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head” (69:4; see John 15:25); “I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons” (69:8; cf. John 7:5); “for zeal for your house consumes me” (69:9; see John 2:17); “and the insults of those who insult you fall on me” (69:9; see Rom. 15:3); “but I pray to you, O Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation” (69:13; cf. Isa. 49:8; 2 Cor. 6:2); “they put gall in my food and gave me vinegar” (69:21; see Matt. 27:48; Mark 15:36; Luke 23:36); “they … gave me vinegar for my thirst” (69:21; see Matt. 27:34; Mark 15:23; John 19:28–30); “may their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents” (69:25; see Matt. 23:38; Acts 1:20); “may they be blotted out of the book of life” (69:28; cf. Luke 10:20). … If King David could endure scorn for God’s sake (69:7), how much more the ultimate King—who certainly also suffers rejection by his brothers for God’s sake (69:8). If David is zealous for the house of the Lord, how could Jesus’ disciples possibly fail to see in his cleansing of the temple and related utterances something of his own zeal (John 2:17)? Indeed, in the minds of the New Testament authors, such passages link with the “Suffering Servant” theme that surfaces in Isaiah 53—and is here tied to King David and his ultimate heir and Lord.”]