Bible Readers

With Pastor Dave Roussel

Tag: Psalms 76

No Curse On Us!

March 16 – Today’s Readings – Numbers 19-21 and Psalms 76

Today we read about the now familiar problem of “no water in the desert”. The script goes as before – there was no water – the people grumbled – Moses went to God about the problem and God made provision for the people.

There is only one major difference this time. Moses became offended by the people’s attitudes, got angry with the people, called them a bunch of rebels, and struck “The Rock” twice instead of speaking to it. Why did He strike The Rock? Perhaps it was because God had previously commanded that He strike it, or perhaps in his raging he simply lost control of himself. The way it happened is probably not as important as what happened afterward – God told Moses – “Because you did not trust in me enough to honour me as holy in the sight of the Israelites”- that he would be disqualified as the one who would lead the people into the promised land.

Let’s make sure we understand this – God made a big deal about how Moses conducted himself in front of the people. Even though Moses was performing miracles, the “manner” in which he did things did not honour God. So, if I understand this correctly – I can be doing the right thing but in the wrong way or with the wrong attitude and it will get me in trouble with God!

YES. We can pray or worship, or read the bible, or serve, or give, or prophesy or do miracles but if we are not representing God properly, we are in trouble!

In the first three verses of 1 Corinthians 13 we read “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” The “love attitude” comes from surrender to the Spirit of Almighty God. Our dysfunctional attitudes and actions can never be a substitute for God’s love.

Compare this account to the one found a page later in Numbers 21:16-18 where the leaders of ancient Israel were faced with the same “no water” problem. “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Gather the people together and I will give them water.’ Then Israel sang this song: ‘Spring up, O well! Sing about it, about the well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank – the nobles with scepters and staffs.” In this account God is honoured and we find nothing but God’s blessing on the people. Whoever said, “attitude is everything” was right on track – our good works, without Godly attitudes profit nothing.

Questions:

1. What do you suppose those elders were doing, out in the sand, digging around with their shepherd’s sticks?

2. Moses “lost his cool”, disobeyed, and lost the Promised Land. What are the issues in our lives that could cause us to lose our “promised land”?

No Honour For God

March 16 – Today’s Readings – Numbers 19-21 and Psalms 76

Today we read about the now familiar problem of “no water in the desert”. The script goes as before – there was no water – the people grumbled – Moses went to God about the problem and God made provision for the people.

There is only one major difference this time. Moses became offended by the people’s attitudes, got angry with the people, called them a bunch of rebels, and struck “The Rock” twice instead of speaking to it. Why did He strike The Rock? Perhaps it was because God had previously commanded that He strike it, or perhaps in his raging he simply lost control of himself. The way it happened is probably not as important as what happened afterward – God told Moses – “Because you did not trust in me enough to honour me as holy in the sight of the Israelites”- that he would be disqualified as the one who would lead the people into the promised land.

Let’s make sure we understand this – God made a big deal about how Moses conducted himself in front of the people. Even though Moses was performing miracles, the “manner” in which he did things did not honour God. So, if I understand this correctly – I can be doing the right thing but in the wrong way or with the wrong attitude and it will get me in trouble with God!

YES. We can pray or worship, or read the bible, or serve, or give, or prophesy or do miracles but if we are not representing God properly, we are in trouble!

In the first three verses of 1 Corinthians 13 we read “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” The “love attitude” comes from surrender to the Spirit of Almighty God. Our dysfunctional attitudes and actions can never be a substitute for God’s love.

Compare this account to the one found a page later in Numbers 21:16-18 where the leaders of ancient Israel were faced with the same “no water” problem. “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Gather the people together and I will give them water.’ Then Israel sang this song: ‘Spring up, O well! Sing about it, about the well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank – the nobles with scepters and staffs.” In this account God is honoured and we find nothing but God’s blessing on the people. Whoever said, “attitude is everything” was right on track – our good works, without Godly attitudes profit nothing.

Questions:

1. What do you suppose those elders were doing, out in the sand, digging around with their shepherd’s sticks?

2. Moses “lost his cool”, disobeyed, and lost the Promised Land. What are the issues in our lives that could cause us to lose our “promised land”?

He Wrote What He Saw

September 16 – Today’s Readings – Joel 1-3 and Psalms 76

Joel 2:25-32 reads, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. ‘And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”

Joel seems to be a “rambling prophet” here – but this is in fact how Old Testament Prophets often saw things. They saw “through a veil” – they didn’t have full revelation of Jesus Christ or a clear understanding of New Testament concepts. What they saw probably confused them at times. Imagine seeing a great army of locusts – then seeing the locusts “morph” into strange looking creatures of war – then transform again into people! Picture a rapid-fire vision of seeing God calling His people to repentance – then seeing Him send the great army away – judging the nations – pouring out His Holy Spirit on His people and – pronouncing a great blessing. Joel wrote it like He saw it and other “authors” of Scripture used many of his writings to reinforce and clarify these visions of God. To this day, we understand that God has indeed poured His Spirit on all who become His children and ask Him for this “gift” from heaven. We also understand that God responds with a forgiving and loving heart toward those who repent – turning to Him with sincere hearts. Yes, this prophet seems to be ‘all over the map’ with visions and dreams, but he certainly was hearing from God. Even Joel’s vision of the coming of the Lord coincides with the New Testament accounts of the second coming of our Lord Jesus. Here’s what John the Beloved “saw” in the book of Revelation concerning the end of the world and the second coming of Christ – “The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth.” (Revelation 8:7) – “The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. (Revelation 9:18)

Isn’t it amazing how Joel would have seen right into the Book of Revelation and not known it? It also seems to confirm that the prophetic things written in Scripture are not just a result of the prophets eating too much blue cheese before bed!

Questions:

1. Why do you suppose God uses mind pictures to communicate with people at times?
2. Why do you think Jesus also used parables to communicate truth to people?

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén