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25 March - Numbers 6; Proverbs 3; Luke 17


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Posted 25 March 2008 - 10:21 AM

First Portion

Numbers 6


6:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 6:2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them: ‘When either man or woman shall make a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to Yahweh, 6:3 he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of fermented drink, neither shall he drink any juice of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or dried. 6:4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is made of the grapevine, from the seeds even to the skins.

6:5 “‘All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall come on his head, until the days are fulfilled, in which he separates himself to Yahweh. He shall be holy. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.

6:6 “‘All the days that he separates himself to Yahweh he shall not go near a dead body. 6:7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die; because his separation to God is on his head. 6:8 All the days of his separation he is holy to Yahweh.

6:9 “‘If any man dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles the head of his separation; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing. On the seventh day he shall shave it. 6:10 On the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest, to the door of the Tent of Meeting. 6:11 The priest shall offer one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because he sinned by reason of the dead, and shall make his head holy that same day. 6:12 He shall separate to Yahweh the days of his separation, and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a trespass offering; but the former days shall be void, because his separation was defiled.

6:13 “‘This is the law of the Nazirite: when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall be brought to the door of the Tent of Meeting, 6:14 and he shall offer his offering to Yahweh, one male lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings, 6:15 and a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and their meal offering, and their drink offerings. 6:16 The priest shall present them before Yahweh, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering. 6:17 He shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, with the basket of unleavened bread. The priest shall offer also its meal offering, and its drink offering. 6:18 The Nazirite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of peace offerings. 6:19 The priest shall take the boiled shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite, after he has shaved the head of his separation; 6:20 and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before Yahweh. This is holy for the priest, together with the breast that is waved and the thigh that is offered. After that the Nazirite may drink wine.

6:21 “‘This is the law of the Nazirite who vows, and of his offering to Yahweh for his separation, besides that which he is able to get. According to his vow which he vows, so he must do after the law of his separation.’”

6:22 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 6:23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘This is how you shall bless the children of Israel.’ You shall tell them,

6:24 ‘Yahweh bless you, and keep you.
6:25 Yahweh make his face to shine on you,
and be gracious to you.
6:26 Yahweh lift up his face toward you,
and give you peace.’

6:27 “So they shall put my name on the children of Israel; and I will bless them.”

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 10:22 AM

Second Portion

Proverbs 3


3:1 My son, don’t forget my teaching;
but let your heart keep my commandments:
3:2 for length of days, and years of life,
and peace, will they add to you.
3:3 Don’t let kindness and truth forsake you.
Bind them around your neck.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
3:4 So you will find favor,
and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
3:5 Trust in Yahweh with all your heart,
and don’t lean on your own understanding.
3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
3:7 Don’t be wise in your own eyes.
Fear Yahweh, and depart from evil.
3:8 It will be health to your body,
and nourishment to your bones.
3:9 Honor Yahweh with your substance,
with the first fruits of all your increase:
3:10 so your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will overflow with new wine.
3:11 My son, don’t despise Yahweh’s discipline,
neither be weary of his reproof:
3:12 for whom Yahweh loves, he reproves;
even as a father reproves the son in whom he delights.
3:13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gets understanding.
3:14 For her good profit is better than getting silver,
and her return is better than fine gold.
3:15 She is more precious than rubies.
None of the things you can desire are to be compared to her.
3:16 Length of days is in her right hand.
In her left hand are riches and honor.
3:17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness.
All her paths are peace.
3:18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her.
Happy is everyone who retains her.
3:19 By wisdom Yahweh founded the earth.
By understanding, he established the heavens.
3:20 By his knowledge, the depths were broken up,
and the skies drop down the dew.
3:21 My son, let them not depart from your eyes.
Keep sound wisdom and discretion:
3:22 so they will be life to your soul,
and grace for your neck.
3:23 Then you shall walk in your way securely.
Your foot won’t stumble.
3:24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid.
Yes, you will lie down, and your sleep will be sweet.
3:25 Don’t be afraid of sudden fear,
neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes:
3:26 for Yahweh will be your confidence,
and will keep your foot from being taken.
3:27 Don’t withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in the power of your hand to do it.
3:28 Don’t say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again;
tomorrow I will give it to you,”
when you have it by you.
3:29 Don’t devise evil against your neighbor,
since he dwells securely by you.
3:30 Don’t strive with a man without cause,
if he has done you no harm.
3:31 Don’t envy the man of violence.
Choose none of his ways.
3:32 For the perverse is an abomination to Yahweh,
but his friendship is with the upright.
3:33 Yahweh’s curse is in the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the habitation of the righteous.
3:34 Surely he mocks the mockers,
but he gives grace to the humble.
3:35 The wise will inherit glory,
but shame will be the promotion of fools.

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 10:24 AM

Third Portion

Luke 17


17:1 He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no occasions of stumbling should come, but woe to him through whom they come! 17:2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. 17:3 Be careful. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. 17:4 If he sins against you seven times in the day, and seven times returns, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

17:6 The Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you would tell this sycamore tree, ‘Be uprooted, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 17:7 But who is there among you, having a servant plowing or keeping sheep, that will say, when he comes in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down at the table,’ 17:8 and will not rather tell him, ‘Prepare my supper, clothe yourself properly, and serve me, while I eat and drink. Afterward you shall eat and drink’? 17:9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded? I think not. 17:10 Even so you also, when you have done all the things that are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants. We have done our duty.’”

17:11 It happened as he was on his way to Jerusalem, that he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. 17:12 As he entered into a certain village, ten men who were lepers met him, who stood at a distance. 17:13 They lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

17:14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” It happened that as they went, they were cleansed. 17:15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice. 17:16 He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks; and he was a Samaritan. 17:17 Jesus answered, “Weren’t the ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 17:18 Were there none found who returned to give glory to God, except this stranger?” 17:19 Then he said to him, “Get up, and go your way. Your faith has healed you.”

17:20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The Kingdom of God doesn’t come with observation; 17:21 neither will they say, ‘Look, here!’ or, ‘Look, there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.”

17:22 He said to the disciples, “The days will come, when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 17:23 They will tell you, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘Look, there!’ Don’t go away, nor follow after them, 17:24 for as the lightning, when it flashes out of the one part under the sky, shines to the other part under the sky; so will the Son of Man be in his day. 17:25 But first, he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 17:26 As it happened in the days of Noah, even so will it be also in the days of the Son of Man. 17:27 They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 17:28 Likewise, even as it happened in the days of Lot: they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 17:29 but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from the sky, and destroyed them all. 17:30 It will be the same way in the day that the Son of Man is revealed. 17:31 In that day, he who will be on the housetop, and his goods in the house, let him not go down to take them away. Let him who is in the field likewise not turn back. 17:32 Remember Lot’s wife! 17:33 Whoever seeks to save his life loses it, but whoever loses his life preserves it. 17:34 I tell you, in that night there will be two people in one bed. The one will be taken, and the other will be left. 17:35 There will be two grinding grain together. One will be taken, and the other will be left.” 17:36 [Some Greek manuscripts add: “Two will be in the field: the one taken, and the other left.”]

17:37 They, answering, asked him, “Where, Lord?”

He said to them, “Where the body is, there will the vultures also be gathered together.”

World English Bible - (WEB) - Public Domain

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 12:35 PM

25 March 2009

Numbers 6
Proverbs 3
Luke 17


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Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:53 AM

25 March 2010

Numbers 6
Proverbs 3
Luke 17

TEMPTATIONS TO SIN

Our New Testament readings begin with Jesus saying "to his disciples 'temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come.'" [Luke 17:1] In those days the main source of temptation was other individuals and we will be reading in Proverbs about the need to avoid such individuals. For example, today's reading in Proverbs says, "the devious person is an abomination to the LORD" [Proverbs 3:32].

In those days there were no books, let alone TV, DVDs and the Internet! But if Jesus was speaking to latter day disciples he would certainly highlight these things as a primary source of temptation to sin! If we are now inclined to reason in our minds that some of these things offer non-sinful information, stories and entertainment, and while this is true, let us beware if we are putting emphasis on that reasoning! There are many grey areas in life – and they are actually the most dangerous of all. In Hebrews 3:13 we are warned "that none of you may be hardened by the deceitful of sin."

Jesus says, of a person who causes others to sin, "woe to the one … it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves …" [Luke 17:1-3]

Worldly minded people still influence others just as much today as they did long ago – and today the world is full of them. They are mostly not bad sinners, but their values are not godly at all. The world is drowning in a sea of godlessness. It is not just TV, DVDs, books, etc those which are obviously full of portraying bad behaviour, rather, it is the whole attitude in which the presence of God's all seeing spirit does not enter the human consciousness.

Our chapter in Luke reaches a dramatic and awesome climax where Jesus reminds them of the days of Sodom and of Noah! Concerning Noah he says, "and the flood came and destroyed them all … and so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed" [Luke 17:27,29] At the moment we are in danger of being destroyed by a different kind of flood. How watertight is our boat? Are we low in the water?
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Posted 25 March 2011 - 12:55 AM

25 March 2011

Numbers 6
Proverbs 3
Luke 17

"THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU"

We are reading in Numbers how the establishment of Israel as an organised nation is now complete. It had been just over a year since they escaped from Egypt; the 10 commandments and other laws had been given, the tabernacle made and erected and is now ready for use. The priesthood has been appointed, led by Aaron.

Our chapter today [Numbers 6] concludes in a very significant way.

“The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying,Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

This was a very special blessing: they were about to celebrate the Passover of their deliverance a second time and then head for the promised land – the land promised to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Read the words of this blessing again, encouraging words to stimulate positive thought that the LORD is with you. It is a most interesting phrase to: “make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you”. David makes reference to this no less than 7 times in his Psalms. Moses, we know, “knew God face to face” [Deuteronomy 34:10] a relationship specially created by their 40 days together on the mountain top.

Our heavenly Father seeks a personal relationship with us through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” [John 14:9] Jesus represented the Father who himself “dwells in unapproachable light, whom no-one has ever seen or can see.” [1 Timothy 6:16].

We normally sing these words in seeking the LORD’s blessing at a baptism. They have intense meaning to illustrate the wonder of the relationship God invites us to have with him. We must remember them throughout our lives, being conscious of the way so many of the people of Israel failed to be conscious of them when they faced challenges in the wilderness.
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Posted 25 March 2012 - 06:23 AM

25 March 2012

Numbers 6
Proverbs 3
Luke 17


"WHOEVER IS ASHAMED OF ME AND MY WORDS"

Our reading in Luke 17 intrigued us with the answers of Jesus to a question by the Pharisees as to “when the Kingdom of God would come?” [Luke 17:20] Jesus gives two apparently different answers – first to the Pharisees and then “to the disciples” [Luke 17:22]


He tells the Pharisees “the kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” [Luke 17:20,21] What does he mean? We concluded, after comparing these words to what he said to the disciples, that he means, in effect, don’t expect to see signs that will alert you - because the kingdom will come so suddenly to be dramatically unexpected in your midst.

He explains to his disciples that first there will be a long period “when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.” [Luke 17:22] He warns them, “they will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of man be in his day.” [Luke 17:23,24]

He likens this event to the suddenness of the flood (for the ungodly) in the days of Noah [Luke 17:27] and the dramatic overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah when only Lot and his daughters escaped because the angels came. His wife could have escaped too – but she tarried too long! Note how Jesus says [Luke 17:32,33] “Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it”

What does Jesus mean? In the parallel passage in Mark there is an explanation so that we understand that those who are intent on preserving their lives, lacking faith in God’s word, as Lot’s wife did to God’s words through the angels, they will lose eternal life. In Mark’ gospel we read, “whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man (or woman) to gain the whole world and forfeit his (eternal) life? … whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him (or her) will the Son of man also be ashamed when he comes …” [Mark 8:35-38] Let us not be ashamed!
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Posted 25 March 2013 - 12:33 PM

25 March 2013

Numbers 6
Proverbs 3
Luke 17

"THE LORD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU"

In Numbers we read that the establishment of Israel as an organised nation is now complete. It had been just over a year since they escaped from Egypt; the 10 commandments and other laws had been given, the tabernacle had been made and erected and is now ready for use. The priesthood. led by Aaron, had been appointed,

Numbers 6 today concludes in a very significant way. “The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

This was a very special blessing, for they were about to celebrate the Passover of their deliverance from Egypt for a second time and then move forward toward the promised land – the land promised to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Read the words of this blessing again, encouraging words to stimulate positive thought that the LORD is with you. It is a most interesting phrase - to: “make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you”. David makes reference to this no less than 7 times in his Psalms. Moses, we know, “knew God face to face” [Deuteronomy 34:10], a relationship specially created, the outcome of 40 days in the presence of God on the mountain top.

Our heavenly Father seeks a personal relationship with us through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” [John 14:9] Jesus represented the Father who himself “dwells in unapproachable light, whom no-one has ever seen or can see.” [1 Timothy 6:16].

We normally sing these words in seeking the LORD’s blessing when someone takes on the name of Christ through baptism. They have intense meaning to illustrate the wonder of the relationship God expects us to have with him when we become a brother or sister of His Son. We must remember them throughout our lives, being conscious of the way so many of the people of Israel failed to be conscious of them when they faced challenges in the wilderness. May the Lord bless and keep all of us who travel in faith through the increasingly barren wilderness of life today.
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Posted 26 March 2014 - 02:44 AM

25 March 2014

Numbers 6
Proverbs 3
Luke 17

“SO IT WILL BE ON THE DAY WHEN … ”

It could be we are too familiar with the prophecies about events at the climax of the present process of human life upon this earth ­ could the words of Jesus which we read today in Luke 17 become uncertain in our minds ­ too dramatic to be taken literally?

Jesus says, “For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will it be in his day.” [Luke 17:24] He adds, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot … but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom … so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” [Luke 17:26-30]

Our world is in a mess, uncertainties about the future increase every year, indeed, every month! Our world has, to some degree, got used to living with uncertainties about the future ­ so much so nearly all plan for the present, for this year and maybe next, especially if they have children.

The king of the promised kingdom was “in the midst of you” [Luke 17:21] Jesus told the Pharisees, but they were blind to this challenging fact. Similarly, the words of Jesus, and those written by the Apostles in their letters, are today available in every language, but how few are ‘awake’ to the message they contain about today!

It is not just a message about today! It is not just a message about the coming climax, but, but just as important, it is about the attitude of heart we must develop if we are to have total trust in God. We read in Proverbs today, “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you … write them on the tablet of your heart … in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.” [Proverbs 3:3,5,6]
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