(Numbers 34, Psalm 78:40-72; Optional 1 Corinthians 4:1-7, Proverbs 24:23-27)
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See May 11 for SPECIAL NOTE on format change…
NUMBERS 34 – This chapter is one I’d mostly skim if this is one of your first time on a through-the-Bible set. It’s the boundaries of the land God has promised and how they’ll divide it up.
Num 34:2 – “…WHEN you enter” – God keeps His promises; they WILL enter the land. There are still more obstacles (some of them huge), but God always wins and always brings us to the promised end!
Num 34:13 – “by lot” – This was the casting of dice or something similar. It SEEMS completely random and due to chance, but that’s only the appearance – see Prov 16:33 and Job 38:35 (which tells us that lightning bolts report to God before they get sent out to where He commissions them). Scripture takes two things that APPEAR completely random to us, and teaches that they are NOT random, but designed by God. It still uses the LANGUAGE of chance sometimes, but the overall teaching of the Bible is clear – there is no such thing as luck or random chance. Ruth 2:3 is a great illustration of the LANGUAGE of chance, but the point of the whole book of Ruth is that God is working for His good and wise purposes and the good of His people in every detail of their story (but usually working invisibly, behind the scenes).
PSALM 78:40-72 – Continuing the inspired summary of Israel’s history, pointing out Israel’s continually being “prone to wander” (quoting the hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing), and God being continually FAITHFUL to keep a portion that does not ULTIMATELY stray.
ESV Gospel Transformation Bible has a helpful summary of the whole chapter: [“The recurring theme of Scripture is God’s persistent redemption of an ungratefully forgetful people. When God’s people forget to be thankful for his sovereign grace, they become cowardly (vv. 9–11; Gal. 2:12), discontented (Ps. 78:17–22, 40–44; Heb. 13:5), embarrassed (Ps. 78:32–37; Rom. 1:16), and idolatrous (Ps. 78:56–58; Rom. 1:21).”]
Ps 78:60 – “Shiloh” – Once they got into the promised land, Shiloh was an early semi-permanent place for the Tabernacle (the tent where the priests would sacrifice and pray for the people and God would give messages to guide the people). See 1 Sam 4 for how God judged Israel for her sin through the Philistines, whom God allowed to capture His ark of the covenant for a little while. This is at the end of the time of the Judges, and about 40 years before God permanently switched leadership to the line of David.
Again, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible: [“When God took the tabernacle out of Shiloh and away from the tribe of Ephraim, he gave it to the tribe of Judah (Ps. 78:67–72; Rev. 2:5; 3:16). From that tribe came David, who in spite of his failures shepherded the children of Israel with integrity and skill. And from David came Jesus the “faithful high priest,” who atoned for our sins in the temple of his body (Heb. 2:17).”]
Optional 1 Cor 4:1-7 – Appling the truths from 1 Cor 3:4-7, 21-23. God’s servants are NOT to be about their OWN agendas or their OWN influence, but are to be careful and faithful STEWARDS of what belongs to God.