01 April - Numbers 15; Proverbs 11; Luke 24
Posted 01 April 2008 - 12:01 PM
15:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 15:2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you have come into the land of your habitations, which I give to you, 15:3 and will make an offering by fire to Yahweh, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice, to accomplish a vow, or as a freewill offering, or in your set feasts, to make a pleasant aroma to Yahweh, of the herd, or of the flock; 15:4 then he who offers his offering shall offer to Yahweh a meal offering of a tenth part of an ephah of fine flour mixed with the fourth part of a hin of oil: 15:5 and wine for the drink offering, the fourth part of a hin, you shall prepare with the burnt offering, or for the sacrifice, for each lamb.
15:6 “‘Or for a ram, you shall prepare for a meal offering two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour mixed with the third part of a hin of oil: 15:7 and for the drink offering you shall offer the third part of a hin of wine, of a pleasant aroma to Yahweh. 15:8 When you prepare a bull for a burnt offering, or for a sacrifice, to accomplish a vow, or for peace offerings to Yahweh; 15:9 then shall he offer with the bull a meal offering of three tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour mixed with half a hin of oil: 15:10 and you shall offer for the drink offering half a hin of wine, for an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Yahweh. 15:11 Thus shall it be done for each bull, or for each ram, or for each of the male lambs, or of the young goats. 15:12 According to the number that you shall prepare, so you shall do to everyone according to their number.
15:13 “‘All who are native-born shall do these things in this way, in offering an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Yahweh. 15:14 If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you, or whoever may be among you throughout your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Yahweh; as you do, so he shall do. 15:15 For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you, and for the stranger who lives as a foreigner, a statute forever throughout your generations: as you are, so shall the foreigner be before Yahweh. 15:16 One law and one ordinance shall be for you, and for the stranger who lives as a foreigner with you.’”
15:17 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 15:18 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you come into the land where I bring you, 15:19 then it shall be that when you eat of the bread of the land, you shall offer up a wave offering to Yahweh. 15:20 Of the first of your dough you shall offer up a cake for a wave offering: as the wave offering of the threshing floor, so you shall heave it. 15:21 Of the first of your dough you shall give to Yahweh a wave offering throughout your generations.
15:22 “‘When you shall err, and not observe all these commandments, which Yahweh has spoken to Moses, 15:23 even all that Yahweh has commanded you by Moses, from the day that Yahweh gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations; 15:24 then it shall be, if it be done unwittingly, without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bull for a burnt offering, for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh, with the meal offering of it, and the drink offering of it, according to the ordinance, and one male goat for a sin offering. 15:25 The priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and they shall be forgiven; for it was an error, and they have brought their offering, an offering made by fire to Yahweh, and their sin offering before Yahweh, for their error: 15:26 and all the congregation of the children of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who lives as a foreigner among them; for in respect of all the people it was done unwittingly.
15:27 “‘If one person sins unwittingly, then he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering. 15:28 The priest shall make atonement for the soul who errs, when he sins unwittingly, before Yahweh, to make atonement for him; and he shall be forgiven. 15:29 You shall have one law for him who does anything unwittingly, for him who is native-born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger who lives as a foreigner among them.
15:30 “‘But the soul who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native-born or a foreigner, the same blasphemes Yahweh; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15:31 Because he has despised the word of Yahweh, and has broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.’”
15:32 While the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 15:33 Those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. 15:34 They put him in custody, because it had not been declared what should be done to him.
15:35 Yahweh said to Moses, “The man shall surely be put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside of the camp.” 15:36 All the congregation brought him outside of the camp, and stoned him to death with stones; as Yahweh commanded Moses.
15:37 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 15:38 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them that they should make themselves fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put on the fringe of each border a cord of blue: 15:39 and it shall be to you for a fringe, that you may look on it, and remember all the commandments of Yahweh, and do them; and that you not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you use to play the prostitute; 15:40 that you may remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. 15:41 I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am Yahweh your God.”
Posted 01 April 2008 - 12:02 PM
11:1 A false balance is an abomination to Yahweh,
but accurate weights are his delight.
11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame,
but with humility comes wisdom.
11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them,
but the perverseness of the treacherous shall destroy them.
11:4 Riches don’t profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.
11:5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way,
but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
11:6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them,
but the unfaithful will be trapped by evil desires.
11:7 When a wicked man dies, hope perishes,
and expectation of power comes to nothing.
11:8 A righteous person is delivered out of trouble,
and the wicked takes his place.
11:9 With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor,
but the righteous will be delivered through knowledge.
11:10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices.
When the wicked perish, there is shouting.
11:11 By the blessing of the upright, the city is exalted,
but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
11:12 One who despises his neighbor is void of wisdom,
but a man of understanding holds his peace.
11:13 One who brings gossip betrays a confidence,
but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret.
11:14 Where there is no wise guidance, the nation falls,
but in the multitude of counselors there is victory.
11:15 He who is collateral for a stranger will suffer for it,
but he who refuses pledges of collateral is secure.
11:16 A gracious woman obtains honor,
but violent men obtain riches.
11:17 The merciful man does good to his own soul,
but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.
11:18 Wicked people earn deceitful wages,
but one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
11:19 He who is truly righteous gets life.
He who pursues evil gets death.
11:20 Those who are perverse in heart are an abomination to Yahweh,
but those whose ways are blameless are his delight.
11:21 Most certainly, the evil man will not be unpunished,
but the seed of the righteous will be delivered.
11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout,
is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.
11:23 The desire of the righteous is only good.
The expectation of the wicked is wrath.
11:24 There is one who scatters, and increases yet more.
There is one who withholds more than is appropriate, but gains poverty.
11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat.
He who waters shall be watered also himself.
11:26 People curse someone who withholds grain,
but blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
11:27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
but he who searches after evil, it shall come to him.
11:28 He who trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous shall flourish as the green leaf.
11:29 He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind.
The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart.
11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life.
He who is wise wins souls.
11:31 Behold, the righteous shall be repaid in the earth;
how much more the wicked and the sinner!
Posted 01 April 2008 - 12:04 PM
24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they and some others came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. 24:2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 24:3 They entered in, and didn’t find the Lord Jesus’ body. 24:4 It happened, while they were greatly perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling clothing. 24:5 Becoming terrified, they bowed their faces down to the earth.
They said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 24:6 He isn’t here, but is risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee, 24:7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again?”
24:8 They remembered his words, 24:9 returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest. 24:10 Now they were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them told these things to the apostles. 24:11 These words seemed to them to be nonsense, and they didn’t believe them. 24:12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Stooping and looking in, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he departed to his home, wondering what had happened.
24:13 Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was sixty stadia from Jerusalem. 24:14 They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened. 24:15 It happened, while they talked and questioned together, that Jesus himself came near, and went with them. 24:16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 24:17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?”
24:18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened there in these days?”
24:19 He said to them, “What things?”
They said to him, “The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 24:20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 24:21 But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 24:22 Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb; 24:23 and when they didn’t find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24:24 Some of us went to the tomb, and found it just like the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”
24:25 He said to them, “Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 24:26 Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” 24:27 Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 24:28 They drew near to the village, where they were going, and he acted like he would go further.
24:29 They urged him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.”
He went in to stay with them. 24:30 It happened, that when he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave to them. 24:31 Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished out of their sight. 24:32 They said one to another, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?” 24:33 They rose up that very hour, returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and those who were with them, 24:34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 24:35 They related the things that happened along the way, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
24:36 As they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be to you.”
24:37 But they were terrified and filled with fear, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
24:38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts? 24:39 See my hands and my feet, that it is truly me. Touch me and see, for a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.” 24:40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 24:41 While they still didn’t believe for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
24:42 They gave him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 24:43 He took them, and ate in front of them. 24:44 He said to them, “This is what I told you, while I was still with you, that all things which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me must be fulfilled.”
24:45 Then he opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures. 24:46 He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 24:48 You are witnesses of these things. 24:49 Behold, I send forth the promise of my Father on you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.”
24:50 He led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 24:51 It happened, while he blessed them, that he withdrew from them, and was carried up into heaven. 24:52 They worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 24:53 and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
World English Bible - (WEB) - Public Domain
Posted 01 April 2010 - 08:38 AM
Today we completed our reading of Luke’s Gospel and it is Luke who gives us the fascinating account of the two disciples who were walking to Emmaus. They had heard news that some women had gone to the tomb early that morning and had found it empty and claimed they had seen a vision of angels who said Jesus was alive. As they talked and puzzled it is obvious they had no faith in this story. Jesus drew near to them as a fellow traveller on the road, but “their eyes were kept from recognizing him … and they stood still, looking sad” [Luke 24:17] Jesus asks what they are concerned about, so they presume he has only just arrived in Jerusalem, so they tell him about “Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet, mighty in deed and word” [Luke 24:19] and how they “had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel” but he had been killed by the leaders and now the report this morning about a “vision of angels.”
Then the stranger starts talking, “O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” and “he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” [Luke 24:25,27]. Later, after Jesus is revealed to them and then vanishes, they say, “did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures” [v.33]. Now there are times when we suddenly see what the scriptures mean, so that our hearts thrill with spiritual excitement. This depends on our spiritual zeal as we read. Suddenly words come “alive” on the page!
As an example, reflect on what happened to to cause them to recognize Jesus? What was happening at that moment? We read, “He took bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them” [Luke 24:30] Visualize this, as his hands move to give them the broken bread they would have seen those hands. What hands, what had happened to them! What a stunning shock to realize who he was! Imagine if it had been you having that experience!
And how long before we have the greatest experience any mortal being can have to witness the unimaginable drama of events as Christ returns. Many. we suspect, will be like the men appointed to guard the tomb! When Jesus rose, they became “like dead men”! But for us, the experience of his return, our hearts, our very being, will be “burning” – imagine it!
Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:17 AM
"DID NOT OUR HEARTS BURN WITHIN US?"
One disciple said this to another, “Did not our hearts burn within us!” in a situation we are reading about today. Imagine if you had been one of the two disciples walking the pathway to Emmaus. The resurrected Jesus joined them, “but their eyes were kept from recognising him”. [Luke 24:15]
He asks, “what is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?’ And they stood still, looking sad” [Luke 24:17] and they tell him all that has happened, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and in word … our chief priests and rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him.” [Luke 24:19,20] To this the “stranger” replies, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” [Luke 24:25-27].
They get to Emmaus and persuade him “to stay with them” and as “he took bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them… their eyes were opened and they recognised him. And he vanished from their sight.” [Luke 24:30-31] This recognition probably happened when they saw his hands as be broke the bread. Then he vanished! What excited conversation followed! “Did not our hearts burn within us … while he opened to us the scriptures?” [Luke 24:32]
These Scriptures would be among the ones Peter and others were to use from here on – as recorded in the book of Acts. But imagine the “burning” of their hearts that happened as the full meaning of Scripture unfolded to them. This does happen to some extent today such as when the real hope of life after death – brought about by resurrection clicks into place in our minds for the first time. Let us read the scriptures prayerfully and with the utmost diligence and expect occasions when our hearts will burn within us – at least to some degree although not as much as must have happened on the road to Emmaus. When world events are in such turmoil, especially in the Middle East, the same “burning” experience could be ours as the correct application of a prophecy suddenly becomes evident.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:31 AM
"O ... SLOW OF HEART TO BELIEVE"
Today we completed reading Luke’s testimony of the life of our Lord Jesus. He also wrote the book of Acts. Luke was apparently not a Jew, he travelled with the Apostle Paul some of the time. Efforts to prove Luke’s writings, especially Acts, had factual errors of history in them have failed, indeed research convinced at least one sceptic that here was true history and he became a believer.
There is a danger that we are being dazzled by the intensity of life today with all its technological inventions, instant communications, etc. that the incredible events of 2,000 years ago start to seem remote and unreal. Yet, where is this world heading? Our world has no future, much of the world is in near chaos, politicians are at their wit’s end, the United Nations is a largely ineffective organisation, Syria is but one example of this. What about climate change?
In contrast the reality of Luke’s careful record of Christ’s life, death and resurrection and events after his ascension have a challenging sense of truth. He began his gospel by saying, that as others had written about the life of Jesus “it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught” [Luke 1:3,4]
The climax of this account, that we read today, is the overwhelming shock, and initial unbelief, that the faithless followers of Jesus experienced at the news of his resurrection. Several women came to the tomb very early to complete the anointing of his body and they encountered angels and “were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead?’” [Luke 24:5]
These men (angels) said, “remember how he told you … And they remembered his words” [Luke 24:6,8] As we read, let us ‘remember’! Luke 24:10 indicates that at least 5 women told “the eleven” (Judas Iscariot was now dead) of their experience, “but these words seemed to them an idle tale.” [Luke 24:9,11]
Later that day an unrecognised Jesus came up to two disciples walking to Emmaus. They told him of the women that had said they had “seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive” [Luke 24:23] to which Jesus responds, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!... and he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” [Luke 24:25-27]
Are we slow of heart to believe? Let us believe with such conviction that it puts real meaning into our lives. If we remain “slow of heart” and gain no spiritual vision we are really committing spiritual suicide and our fate will be in some ways comparable to that of Judas Iscariot.
Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:18 AM
“SLOW OF HEART TO BELIEVE”
The last chapter in Luke’s gospel is soul stirring if we let our minds visualize the events it describes. Let us, in our imagination, see ourselves among the disciples or among the women who came to the tomb. Meditate and let the events ‘come alive’ in our thinking.. The women dedicatedly followed Jesus to the end to do whatever they could even though their ‘world’ had fallen apart. And when the world today is falling apart? What of us?
We read of the two who were joined by a stranger as they walked the 10km to Emmaus, they were told by him they were “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” [Luke 24:25] about the sufferings of the Messiah and how after that “he would enter into his glory.” They completed their journey, it is now evening and they “urged him strongly, saying ‘Stay with us.’ [Luke 24:29]
The next verses are fascinating! And “when he was at table with them he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them,. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.” What opened their eyes? He broke the bread with his hands and gave it to them with his hands! What hands!! And has soon as recognition ‘flashed’ into their minds, he vanished!
Despite the lateness of the day they surely made the return journey of 10km in record time saying “to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’” [Luke 24:32]
And what of our feelings as we read the scriptures? What motivates us to read them? Do we have a sense of urgency to understand and believe?
There are a good number of Old Testament passages that are remarkable prophecies of the Messiah’s coming – we can now see which applied to his first coming – and which to his second. Do our hearts burn within us as we read them or are we “slow of heart to believe?” Could our belief be largely academic – in our head but not in our heart?
Looking back at Luke 21, there are words of Jesus that have surely been recorded for you and I, “Stay awake at all times. Praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” [Luke 21:36]
Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:53 AM
01 April 2014
“THE INTEGRITY OF THE UPRIGHT GUIDES THEM”
We continue reading and meditating on Solomon’s Proverbs; if all the people in Israel had put into practice his precepts surely his kingdom would have continued to be a great and righteous kingdom for “a great while” (2 Chronicles 18:9) after his death. But sadly the history of the generations that followed shows that was not so. Healthy spiritual life centred on worship at the temple he had built in Jerusalem, but this began to falter and although there were excellent times during the reigns of good kings, the spiritual commitment of the nation steadily withered away.
We can see a comparison to when the Bible was first printed in the 16th and 17th Centuries and became increasingly available for all to read – what a reformation it brought about! But since then there has been a downhill slide – until today we are at the very bottom of the hill! And it is time for God to act – and his word makes it clear that he will.
Some of today’s Proverbs in chapter 11 jump out at us! There are some that are so meaningful. They make us think how good and harmonious life would be if they were widely put into practice. “With the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright guides them” [Proverbs 11:2-3] “The righteousness of the blameless keeps his ways straight” [Proverbs 11:5] “The righteous is delivered from trouble, and the wicked walks into it instead.” [Proverbs 11:8]
In contrast, “with his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbour” [Proverbs 11:9], but then comes the comment, “but by knowledge the righteous are delivered” It is not difficult to see what kind of knowledge is meant!
In our world today there is a total lack of Bible inspired wisdom. Life has become increasingly uncertain – especially in some parts of the world. Our final thought comes from Proverbs 11:30, “”The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life…” This takes us back to thinking of “the tree of life” in the garden of Eden from which Adam and Eve were barred and then to Revelation 2:7. Those who truly follow the way of Christ, guided by integrity, will have “great joy and (be) continually in the Temple blessing God” which are the concluding words in Luke’s Gospel we also read today.
Imagine the even greater joy in the Temple to come! Let us make our lives full of God inspired “integrity” becoming soberly aware of what Peter was to later write,”… if necessary you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold … may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ … and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible.” [1 Peter 1:6-8].
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