每日诗歌: 寶貴十架 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rD7MbUhzQg)
Numbers 21 [Read]
Numbers 22 [Read]
Numbers 23 [Read]
Numbers 24 [Read]
Mark 7:14-37 [Read]
Forty years flew by in the wilderness. Aaron died in Mount Hor at an age of 123 (Nu 33:39), so Moses should be 120 in today’s OT reading. I think the Israelites could count as well, and they should also know by then that God’s judgment had been fulfilled (14:34). They had learned what it meant to have God against them (14:34). It’s time to enter the Promised Land.
In light of such background, the battles against Sihon and Og were significant. It’s like the first game of a basketball season against a strong team, and a victory would greatly boost the confidence of the whole team. Conversely, a defeat would cast a great cloud unto the entire season. The king of Og was as mean as the Anakites that scared the Israelites last time (Dt 3:11), but they definitely did not want to back down this time. A victory against such formidable enemy would show that they did not wander in the wilderness for nothing, and it would also be a great prelude of what would come next. Judging from the results, they had learned their lesson.
However, there is this intriguing episode recorded right before the battle. The detour caused by the resistance of Edom resulted in a loss of patience among the people (21:4), and they spoke against God and Moses again (21:5). It’s the same old complaint and the same old comparison. Though we are not sure whether such complaint came from the residual of the previous generation, the fact that it existed is alarming. After 40 years of wandering and many warnings, these ungodly thoughts still lingered.
Such mixed feelings from this OT reading actually made it more relevant to readers like you and me. On our way to sanctification, we will learn many lessons and our faith will be strengthened. On the other hand, there is always going to be this “thorn in the flesh” trying to pull us back. It’s wonderful to know that, just like the bronze snake was put on a pole (Nu 21:8), our Savior has been hung on the cross for us (Jn 3:14). As long as we keep our eyes on him, we shall live. Thank you, Lord!
Keep on reading. You are at the Jordan River now.