Daily Encouragement

March 11 – Fringes of Blue

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Numbers 15:17-16:40
Mark 15:1-47
Psalm 54:1-7
Proverbs 11:5-6

Numbers 15:38-40 — In reading Barnes’ Commentary, we find:

The arrangement of the threads and knots, to which the Jews attached the greatest importance, was so adjusted as to set forth symbolically the 613 precepts of which the Law was believed to consist. In our Lord‘s time the Pharisees enlarged their fringes Matthew 23:5 in order to obtain reputation for their piety.

https://www.studylight.org/commentary/numbers/15-38.html#bnb

Numbers 16:3 — Which rebellion is this in the count of rebellions?

  1. Exodus 14:11 – Israelites at the Red Sea
  2. Exodus 15:24 – Israelites at Marah, bitter water
  3. Exodus 16:2 – Israelites at Sin, want of manna
  4. Exodus 17:3 – Israelites at Rephidim, thirst
  5. Exodus 32:1 – Aaron/Israel, Mount Sinai, Golden Calf
  6. Numbers 12:1 – Miriam & Aaron, Hazeroth, Ethiopian wife
  7. Numbers 13:32 – Ten Spies, Wilderness of Paran, Canaan Report
  8. Numbers 14:2 – Israelites, Wilderness of Paran, Canaan Report
  9. Numbers 14:40 – Israelites, Wilderness of Paran, Post-Canaan Report vs. Amalekites
  10. Numbers 16:3 – Korah and 250 princes, rebellion
  11. Numbers 16:41 – Israelites, upset about Korah’s death
  12. Numbers 20:3 – Israelites, Kadesh, thirst (Moses struck the rock)
  13. Numbers 25:1 – Shittim, Israelites, whoredom with the daughters of Moab
  14. Numbers 31:14 – Officers and Captains, Battle of Midian, saving the women alive

Mark 15:1 — We see another Hebrew trial of Jesus. This was an attempt at legality (a daylight trial). However, according to some even this attempt violated the custom of waiting until after the morning sacrifice (for more see the great old classic, The Trial of Jesus from a Lawyer’s Standpoint).

Mark 15:18 — The One they mocked as King, they will kneel before as Lord (Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10).

Psalm 54 — Did you catch the rhyming poetry?

  • save me/judge me
  • hear/give ear
  • strangers/oppressors
  • God/Lord
  • reward evil/cut them off
  • freely sacrifice/praise thy name
  • delivered me/desire upon enemies

Proverbs 11:5-6 — The rewards of righteousness are intrinsic.

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Daily Encouragement

March 10 – The Mistrial of Jesus

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Numbers 14:1-15:16
Mark 14:53-72
Psalm 53:1-6
Proverbs 11:4

Numbers 14:4 — Interesting that even though this crowd is mutinying, they soon realize they need a leader. Thankfully Aaron is on the right side (vs. 5), even when he and the other leaders were almost stoned (vs. 10)!

Numbers 14:18 — Is Moses more just than God? Or is God seeing if Moses has remembered the character of God? In this verse, Moses is recalling Exodus 34:6-7 and claiming the promises that God has made.

Numbers 14:27 — God says they murmured against Him, but vs. 2 says they murmured against Moses and Aaron. When we grumble against the leaders God has allowed to be over us, are we grumbling against God?

Mark 14:64 — We have a grave error in the mistrial of Jesus.

By contrast, Jewish law prevents a confession from being used as evidence in a criminal proceeding. A commonly cited basis for this rule is the biblical verse prescribing that a person is to be convicted of a crime upon the testimony of two witnesses, thereby excluding other types of evidence. Because a party to litigation is ineligible to testify, reliance on the testimony of witnesses bars the use of confessions.

http://www.jlaw.com/Commentary/crimconfess.html

I’ve had the opportunity in Sunday School to present the “Necessity of the Trial of Jesus”. When we get to Luke’s account of the trial, I’ll share more on why this was an incredibly important event.

Psalm 53:1 — National Atheist’s Day is coming up (April 1st)!

Psalm 53:2 — From Earl Martin:

Psalm 53:3 — If you think you are a good person, take the Good Person Test.

Proverbs 11:4 — I Dreamed that the Great Judgment Morning Had Dawned:

I dreamed that the great judgment morning
Had dawned, and the trumpet had blown;
I dreamed that the nations had gathered
To judgment before the white throne.

The rich man was there, but his money
Had melted and vanished away;
A pauper he stood in the judgment,
His debts were too heavy to pay.

The souls that had put off salvation –
“Not tonight; I’ll get saved by and by;
No time now to think of religion!”
At last they had found time to die.

And O, what a weeping and wailing,
As the lost were told of their fate;
They cried for the rocks and the mountains,
They prayed, but their prayer was too late.

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Daily Encouragement

March 9 – Twelve Men Went to Spy on Canaan

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Numbers 11:24-13:33
Mark 14:22-52
Psalm 52:1-9
Proverbs 11:1-3

Hult, Adolf, 1869-1943; Augustana synod. [from old catalog]

Numbers 11:29 — We’re currently in a special time when the LORD has put His Spirit on all His people.

Numbers 12:2 — Moses did not need to justify his authority – God blesses the meek.

Numbers 12:11 — Aaron seems to have learned his lesson from the golden calf.

Numbers 13:2 — Twelve men went to spy on Canaan.

Numbers 13:23 — Caleb saw the land at age 40 (Joshua 14:7), and yet he would not possess it for 45 more years – age 85 (Joshua 14:10). Caleb would ask Joshua, his fellow spy, for the mountain (Joshua 14:12). Interesting contrast to the insurrection of Numbers 12:1 where Aaron and Miriam felt equal to Moses; Caleb who travelled with Joshua and stood with Moses (Numbers 13:30) would voluntarily submit and seek permission from Joshua, his peer. By the way, there’s a song based on this incident – “I Want That Mountain!

Mark 14:24 — Remember, Jesus is not talking about the blood of the last twenty-seven books of the Bible (the portion of the Bible we often refer to as the New Testament), rather He’s referring to a testament as in the “last will and testament” variety. Hebrews 9:16 tells us, “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.”

Mark 14:31 — Many will claim to be willing to die for Jesus, but few will live for Jesus, or even just pray for an hour (vs. 37).

Mark 14:51 — Many scholars think this is a secret reference to the author.

Psalm 52 — We have a clear contrast between the actions, thoughts, methods, desires, preferences, affections, and the end of the “mighty man” compared to the “righteous man.”

Proverbs 11:1 — God cares how we conduct our business.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

March 8 – Why Do the Biblical Lists of Names Seem So Boring?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Numbers 10:1-11:23
Mark 14:1-21
Psalm 51:1-19
Proverbs 10:31-32

Numbers 10:26 — Ever thought about why lists of names seem unimportant? I worked on political campaigns in the past and heard that people would pour through mailers that had long lists of names. What’s the difference between the biblical lists of names and a campaign mailer? If you’re a voter, you may check a list of endorsers of an unfamiliar candidate to see if there is anyone you know or have heard of. Unfortunately, we don’t know or haven’t heard of the people on these biblical lists – Pagiel the son of Ocran, etc. – but these were real people who really lived and were recognized by God for their faithfulness in leadership.

Numbers 10:35 — This verse was inscribed in Latin on a silver gilt in the seventh century AD and was uncovered as part of the Staffordshire Hoard in England.

Numbers 11:1 — Patch the Pirate wrote a song about people who complain – “Wah, Wah, Wah, Call the Wahmbulance.”

https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Alabaster-Spikenard-Magdalena-Perfume/dp/B00FW6GOJI

Mark 14:5 — I’ve thought about different events in church history where someone used their financial resources to make a significant gift for ministry, e.g. imagine if you owned a printing press and were friends with William Tyndale. This definitely makes the list. Talk about a legacy of giving (vs. 9), but it seems to have played into Judas’ different financial priorities (vs. 10)!

Psalm 51 — Patch the Pirate (Ron Hamilton) recorded a song based on Psalm 51:3 – “My Sin is Ever Before Me, Lord.” May we take our sin as seriously as David did.

Proverbs 10:31-32 — The mouth seems to be powerful and we’re not even to James 3 – the classic passage on the tongue! You can still listen to a Patch the Pirate song on the tongue.

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Daily Encouragement

March 7 – Introducing the Menorah!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Numbers 8:1-9:23
Mark 13:14-37
Psalm 50:1-23
Proverbs 10:29-30

By ariely – The Temple Institute, Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3078706

Numbers 8:2 — Ever wonder where the Menorah came from? Not just for Hanukkah, the Menorah was designed to light the Temple. The seven lamps from one candlestick make up the Menorah. This Menorah is made for the coming Third Temple that will be built someday on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. On my trips to Israel, I’ve seen it, but it’s hard to miss. It sits in view of the Temple Mount near the headquarters of the Temple Mount Institute.

Numbers 8:12 — Do you think sin is important and offensive to God?

Numbers 8:25-26 — An interesting take on retirement. You may need to change your field of service, but you can’t check out from service.

Numbers 9:8 — Great words of wisdom when we don’t know what to do. Unfortunately, others did not always follow.

Mark 13:35 — Are you watching and ready for the return of the Lord?

Psalm 50:10 — Does God need our sacrifices? We merely offer to God a portion of what He has given us.

Psalm 50:15 — Very similar to the verse that has been called “God’s Telephone Number” (Jeremiah 33:3).

Proverbs 10:30 — Are you living for this century or the next century?

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

March 6 – Nazarites, Technology, and Temples!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Numbers 6:1-7:89
Mark 12:38-13:13
Psalm 49:1-20
Proverbs 10:27-28

Numbers 6 — According to John MacArthur, there were three people in the Bible who were lifelong Nazirites: Samuel, Samson, and John the Baptist. So, what is the purpose of the Nazirite vow? John MacArthur preached a great message on this subject:

Now, let’s look at Numbers chapter 6 and I’ll show you that not only the kings and the princes and the priests and the high priests but there were certain people in the congregation of Israel who chose this standard, too.  Anybody could choose to step up to this standard – this was the highest standard.  And you’ll remember in Numbers chapter 6 verse 1, the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the children of Israel and say unto them, when either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazirite, to separate themselves unto the Lord.”

Read more from John MacArthur at GTY.org.

Numbers 7:3-5 — God is blessing them with the gift of technology for the use of the ministry, but in vs. 9, we find that there is some technology that can’t be used in ministry. There are times I am unable to be at my church, and I appreciate the livestream that lets me watch it online. But if I can be at church, I shouldn’t use the livestream as an excuse to avoid Hebrews 10:25.

Numbers 7:89 — The inventory of the offering is over, now Moses enters into the tabernacle, and the LORD God of Heaven has chosen to locate His presence in a human creation.

Mark 13:1 — If you’ve been to Jerusalem, you’ve seen the ruins of the Temple’s foundation, but the Temple is no more. All that’s left is a model outside of the Israel Museum.

Psalm 49:3 — The opening structure of this Psalm is similar to the Book of Proverbs: the calling for attention to wisdom. Roughly 3,000 years ago, the Psalmist had to warn his people that trust in wealth and riches cannot save a soul from death. But God can redeem me! I’ll never be on the Forbes Real-Time List of the Richest People in the World. I may be poor for the next 50 years or so, but I can be rich for the next million years!

Proverbs 10:27-28 — Interesting how this passage matches up with the psalm passage. Long days and gladness are the results of following God.

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Daily Encouragement

March 5 – Why These Details About the Tabernacle?

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Numbers 4:1-5:31
Mark 12:18-37
Psalm 48:1-14
Proverbs 10:26

Jesuslovesyoutoday.org

Numbers 4:5 — This may be the first recorded instance of a professional moving company handbook. The Kohathites were given precise instructions on how to move the Tabernacle. Just stepping back to overview the Tabernacle, this is fairly important:

God created the whole world in six days, but he used forty to instruct Moses about the tabernacle. Little over one chapter was needed to describe the structure of the world, but six were used for the tabernacle.

Bible.org

Why was the Tabernacle so important? Because it was the dwelling place of the LORD (Exodus 25:8). Interestingly, as we look at the New Testament, Joseph was given precise instructions on what to do with the physical presence of the LORD as the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:13). Someday there will be a new Tabernacle where God will dwell with man eternally (Revelation 21:3).

Numbers 5:7 — We see an important principle of the Bible: sin must be met with confession, i.e. the admission of guilt – “I was wrong.” This concept of repentance is not limited to 1 John 1:9 – it is declared in Leviticus 5:5, 16:21, 26:40; Joshua 7:19; 1 Kings 8:33 and 35; 2 Chronicles 6:24 and 26, 30:22; Ezra 10:1 and 11; Nehemiah 1:6, 9:2, 9:3; Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; and Daniel 9:4 and 20.

Numbers 5:12-31 — This passage is called the “Ordeal of the Bitter Water” or “Sotah.” While it seems unusual today, one observation may be helpful:

Nahmanides points out that of all the 613 commandments, it is only the sotah law that requires God’s specific co-operation to make it work. The bitter waters can only be effective miraculously.

Wikipedia

In the same Wikipedia article, “According to Mishnah, Sotah 9:9, the practice was abolished sometime during the first century CE under the leadership of Yohanan Ben Zakkai.” While they cite that the fall of the Temple led to the abolishment of the sotah, could it be the lack of belief in miracles?

Mark 12:27 — Jesus is talking to the “Sad-you-sees” (so-called because of their rejection of the resurrection). Could it be that their lack of belief in the resurrection was related to their lack of belief in God’s miraculous leadership in other areas?

Psalm 48:1-2 — We have a Scripture memory song for you! “Great is the LORD and Greatly to be Praised!” is word for word from the KJV version. This version is sung by the wife of a pastor friend of mine. If you want a second verse, check out this guitar rendition.

Proverbs 10:26 — A warning to the lazy!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

March 4 – Configuration of the Tribes

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Numbers 2:1-3:51
Mark 11:27-12:17
Psalm 47:1-9
Proverbs 10:24-25

Numbers 2:2 — What was the configuration of the tribes? Some say it was in the shape of a cross …

While others say it was more of a circle …

Numbers 3:39, 43, 46, 47, and 50 — Throughout history God has used people of various professions. Even accountants can be used for precise work in God’s service!

Mark 12:12 — Everything works for God’s plan, even fear of the crowds!

Psalm 47 — We see a repetition format of synonymous parallelism:

  1. clap/shout
  2. terrible*/great
  3. people/nations
  4. inheritance/excellency
  5. shout/trumpet
  6. God/King
  7. (no easily discernible parallelism)
  8. reigneth/sitteth
  9. princes/people

*Most people associate terrible with “extremely or distressingly bad,” but it also is “causing or likely to cause terror.” There is a healthy fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom!

Proverbs 10:24 — In contrast to the fear of the Lord, Proverbs warns about the fear of the wicked.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

March 3 – The High Cost of a Dedicated Home!

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54
Mark 11:1-26
Psalm 46:1-11
Proverbs 10:23

Leviticus 27:15 — Some people dedicate their house to the Lord today, and they invite their church family and the pastor over to pray that their new house can be used for the Lord’s glory. That’s an admirable thing to do. Showing hospitality is often mentioned in the Bible (Isaiah 58:7, I Timothy 5:10, Titus 1:8, 1 Peter 4:9), but sanctifying and redeeming your house was a lot more expensive under the Age of Law.

Congratulations on finishing your fourth book of the Bible! Great job and
welcome to Numbers!

Numbers 1:2 — A census! We read about the census in Exodus 30:11-16. We can assume that they paid the census tax. So, as you read this list, it seems rather dull, but what is amazing is the precision to detail!

Mark 11:6 — Often we poke fun at the disciples, but in spite of their failings, sometimes they did obey. And when they did, they saw His plan.

Psalm 46 — There are many great hymns based on this passage, including the Psalter version by Charles Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle, London.

Psalm 46:10 — Stop worrying! Be still and know who your God is!

Proverbs 10:23 — Good instruction for young boys who want to cause mischief!

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

Daily Encouragement

March 2 – Previewing Baal

TODAY’S BIBLE READING CHALLENGE:
Leviticus 25:47-27:13
Mark 10:32-52
Psalm 45:1-17
Proverbs 10:22

Leviticus 26:1-4 — As a follower of the historical-grammatical method, I want to know what the biblical authors meant when they wrote the text. To do that I need to understand what their challenges and situation was. Moses is warning the Israelites how they are to behave in the land.

The Israelites are:

  • Prohibited from making idols
  • Mandated to keep the sabbaths, and
  • Promised that God would bless with rain, increase, and fruit.

They had a choice (Joshua 24:15) between Baal and the LORD. Interestingly, Baal was the god of fertility and rain. The Israelites would be tempted to worship Baal for fertile crops, but God would withhold the rains creating a famine, until the prophets of Baal were slain (I Kings 18).

Interestingly, Baal’s fertility came in seven-year cycles. But the LORD says if you trust Him with observing the Sabbaths (both the seventh day of rest, and the seventh year of rest), He will give you rain, increase, and fruit, so much that “you shall eat your bread to the full.” Not only will they have physical blessing, but “I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people.”

Leviticus 26:14, 18, 21, and 27 — Obedience brings blessing, disobedience brings judgment. As the old hymn goes:

When we walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Mark 10:34-41 — Jesus unveils His master plan – His trial, death, and resurrection. But His disciples are busy planning on where they’re sitting when the Kingdom comes, and they get upset with each other for not asking first.

Mark 10:46 — Another gospel song is based on this verse:

One sat alone beside the highway begging
His eyes were blind the light he could not see
He clutched his rags and shivered in the shadows
Then Jesus came and bade his darkness flee

When Jesus comes the tempter’s power is broken
When Jesus comes the tears are wiped away
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay

Psalm 45:6 — This verse is quoted in Hebrews 1:8 as applying to the Son. In verse 2 of this psalm, God is referred to in the 3rd person, while in verse 6 He is referred to in the 2nd person.

Proverbs 10:22 — A great comfort to those who need comfort and provision.

Share how reading through the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.