Monday, 31 March 2014

Bible Reading Thoughts for March 30th

Luke 22:10 we read:
"And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a MAN meet you, BEARING A PITCHER OF WATER; follow him into the house where he entereth in.

We are probably aware that the carrying of water was usually the task of a woman. BUT, this also reminds us of the service of bondservants, through the Gibeonites (Josh 9,21,23,27). Where they for life, had to give up their own lives and worldly inheritance to be hewers of wood and DRAWERS (bearers) of WATER for the house of God.

Joshua's covenant with the Gibeonites foreshadows the conversion of the Gentiles to the Hope of Israel. Those who give up their worldly inheritance and become bondservants of the Joshua (Jesus) of the New Testament to be servants of the house of God.
“LIKE GRASSHOPPERS”                                                                                                                                              
     Can you imagine yourself as a member of the Israelites who miraculously escaped from Egypt?  After seeing all the remarkable plagues, the wonder of crossing the Red Sea, then camping beside Mt. Sinai with the earth quaking, the clouds, the fire and the voice from the mountain!  After that the miraculous provision of manna, also quails, and the water from the rock. Then, the teamwork to build the tabernacle as a centre of worship, with the divine presence indicated by fire and cloud!  Next the great celebration of a ‘Passover’, one year and one month after leaving Egypt.
     Surely, if we had been part of all that, our confidence and anticipation of God’s power to lead us to the promised land would be very great.  Well might we be astonished at what we read today in Numbers!  Why did 10 of the 12 spies sent to explore the land, come back in such a negative frame of mind?  Although they said the land ‘flows with milk and honey and this is its fruit.”[13 v.27] They spoke against the two other spies who came back and had said, “Let us go up at once and occupy the land for we are well able to overcome it.” [v.30] 
      But the 10 said “We are not able … for they are stronger than we are … all the people we saw in it are of great height … we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers” [v.31-33]
     We are going to read of God’s anger with them because of this failure of faith after all the evidence they had experienced of his power that had surrounded them to their benefit.
     Let us examine all the evidence for our own faith.  How strong are our convictions in serving God?  If serious difficulties arise will our faith falter?  Will we only follow in the way of faith, when all is readily provided and there are deliverances and blessings?   
     Recall that remarkable Psalm 139 we read recently, David wrote, “Search me, O God, and know my heartTry me … see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” [v.23,24].   
     Next month we will read Moses’ final message to the people before he dies,  “and you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these 40 years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not” [Deut.8 v.2]. 
     It was a message to the next generation, for their parents had died during the 40 year journey.  They had learnt their lesson the hard way!  Are we sure we have learnt ours?   If massive problems arise as this world falls apart – will we seem “like grasshoppers”?  Or will our faith be such as to give us “full assurance” -  Read Hebrews 10 v.22,23