Daily Reading: June 7th


#DailyDevotion God Does Not Like, Revoke Or Change His Mind

Wednesday

Read Num 23:4–28

Num 23:18-19  And Balaam took up his discourse and said, “Rise, Balak, and hear; give ear to me, O son of Zippor:  (19)  God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

 

Balak keeps bringing Balaam to different places to offer up sacrifices to the Lord in hopes that Balaam will bring a different word to curse the Israelites. But the Lord had promised to bless the Israelites. He had made a promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The land of Canaan would belong to their descendents. He would bless those who blessed Israel and curse those who cursed Israel. Balak was wanting to curse Israel so that could overcome them. Instead, he should have been seeking to bless Israel that he would have been blessed by the Lord instead.

 

God does not revoke his promises. He does not lie. He does not change his mind. This is what we see in all of the Old Testament. It is a lesson to be learned. If we do not, how can we have faith in the promises God has made in the New Testament.

 

What promises do we have as Jews and Gentiles under the New Covenant? Joh 3:14-15  “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, (15)  that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” Again he has promised, Joh 3:16-17  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (17)  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Joh 11:25-26  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, (26)  and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

 

What great and wonderful promises the Lord Jesus Christ has made to us! The Father has sent him to save the world but his being lifted up upon the cross to die. The Father has taken away our iniquity and is reconciled to the world (that would be you) because of the Son’s atoning sacrifice for his, his own blood. The Father has promised eternal life now as a present possession to all who would believe the word and work of his Son Jesus Christ. These words are true and not a lie. He will not revoke them or change his mind. All of God’s promises are yes in the Amen, our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Heavenly Father, even as you kept your covenant to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Old Testament, you have given them new and better promises in the New Testament, not only for them but for the whole world. Grant us your grace and your Spirit that we may hear and believe these promises so we may possess what they promise. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

Daily Reading: June 6th


#DailyDevotion Even An Ass Is Right About Something Sometimes Repent!

Tuesday

Read Num 22:21—23:3

Num 22:22  But God’s anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the LORD took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him…32  And the angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me…35  And the angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the prince of Balak.

 

Now you may be thinking, “Wait a moment. Why was God mad at Balaam for leaving when the Lord had just told him to go with the men?” Well the key to that is in verse 32. What? You wanted to talk about a talking donkey? Well that’s just simple. The Lord gave him speech just like he gives to us the gift of speech. Now back to verse 32. The Lord opposed Balaam on the way because Balaam’s way was perverse before the Lord. What does this mean?

 

The Lord knows what is on the heart of every man. He knows it better than men themselves. We can deceive ourselves and justify our actions in our own hearts and minds. Now the Lord knows that Balaam’s intentions is not to do what is good and right before him. The Lord presses Balaam to remember his command. He is only to speak the word the Lord tells him to speak. Because of his office, prophet, the Lord will make sure Balaam only does that. But we will see that because of the perverseness of Balaam’s heart, he will find a way around it and will be destroyed because of it.

 

Now perhaps the Lord has been preventing you from carrying out some wickedness that is your heart. Perhaps you are seeking revenge. Maybe there is a lust in your heart that you wish to carry out. The Lord blocks your way from carrying it out, being patient with you. He knows what will happen to your soul if you carry it out. Yet you continue in your purpose anyway.  You go from a weakness of your flesh to full out and out rebellion against your God. Where does that leave you but in mortal sin bereft of the grace of God in Christ Jesus?

 

Now what? If you can recognize this repent! Don’t think about it. Don’t ponder it. You can do that later. But confess your sin to the Lord and do it now. Admit your iniquity and your fault. The Lord is faithful. Jesus is you advocate before the Father. He will plead his blood to the Father and present your case so that you will be forgiven and a new spirit he will give you so you may not perish like those who harden themselves against the will of God. Do not let Satan tell you, “Well you have gone too far this time. There’s no way he’ll take you back now.” He is seeking to destroy you. Only Jesus by the Spirit of truth can give life to your soul and it is his desire to save you. Forgiveness and mercy is the purpose for which Jesus came. Now make use of it, not to sin, but to possess eternal life.

 

Heavenly Father, ever grant us repentance unto life, that we may turn from our wicked thoughts and trust in your mercy and grace in Jesus so we may possess your life and live it out in our lives daily. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 5th


#DailyDevotion False Prophets Have Real Motivations

Monday

Read Num 22:1–20

Num 22:8  And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the LORD speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam…12  God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”…18 But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the LORD my God to do less or more.  (19)  So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the LORD will say to me.”  (20)  And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.”

 

Now it is true that the inhabitant of Canaan did not repent of their sins and in fact got worse over time despite the preaching of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is also true that Abraham and Isaac had other descendents besides the Israelites and on top of them there were the descendents of Lot in the area, the Moabites and the Amorites. Most of these were in the Arabian peninsula but there were a few on the border of Canaan. Now it seems with the connection of the Midianites in the beginning of the chapter that Balaam was probably one of these descendents of Abraham. He knew Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and was a prophet of the Lord. Because he was a prophet of the Lord and a child of Abraham it was known that whoever he cursed was cursed and whoever he blessed was blessed. It was for this reason the people of the Moabites went to seek Balaam’s help.

 

Now it seemed as if the children of Lot had mostly forgotten the Lord and had adopted the gods of the Canaanites who dwelt in the area. Balaam however seemed to have retained the knowledge of the Lord and was a prophet of his in the area. When the Moabites sought his counsel concerning the Israelites he went to the Lord to seek counsel. At first the Lord counseled him to not go. When they came to him again, the Lord gave him permission to go but to only speak the word that the Lord had given him to speak.

 

In Balaam we will see the course of all false teachers and those who follow the whims of men and seek their approval. The people have the knowledge of the Lord but fall away from proclaiming his rightly. They will lead people away from the truth for the sake of worldly wealth and the praise of men. One is the result of covetousness and the other is from fear of losing praise. We see preachers who preach falsely seeking to fill their bellies and so they say things which entice the people to give them their wealth. They often are actually quite reasonable in what they preach. It makes sense to people and allies itself with their natural fallen nature and reason. The other tells people what they want to hear. Do this and you will live a happy life, with a beautiful wife and above average kids. It really doesn’t matter what ‘this’ is. It is what the people want to hear. So out of fear of losing the praise of men, they give them what their hearts desire to hear.

 

Lord, give us always true preachers of your word that our hearts and minds may be conformed to your ways. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 4th


#DailyDevotion The Lord Jesus Will Bring Us Into The Promised Land

Pentecost Sunday

Read Num 21:10–35

Num 21:34-35  But the LORD said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have given him into your hand, and all his people, and his land. And you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.”  (35)  So they defeated him and his sons and all his people, until he had no survivor left. And they possessed his land.

 

Now the Lord had given a couple of quick victories over the other Amorite cities but I guess Og must have been considered a great fighter, so the Lord reassures them that they will defeat him just as they had the Amorites.

 

Now one might be thinking, why would a God of love have the Israelites defeat all these territories and kill all these people?  Well the Lord God is also a God of righteousness and justice. He had sent Abraham, Isaac and Jacob preach to them over the course of a hundred years or so. Yet, these people did not repent. They had 450 years after Israel ceased to preach to turn from their ways but they did not.

 

Their destruction is also for us a picture of the Last Day. The Last Day is a day of judgment and destruction. The Israelites were the hand of God in those days. On the Last Day, the Lord Jesus will send forth his angels to uproot all who have rejected him from the earth.

 

The Lord also promised this land to Abraham and his descendents. Now the Lord has given the Amorites into the hands of Israel. They need not fear them. Indeed, the Lord goes before the Israelites and fights for them. He has delivered Israel’s enemies into their hands. Now it is also true, the Israelites did give the Amorites a chance. They did ask for peaceful passage. But the Amorites refused. Because of this, they were set for utter destruction.

 

The same Lord, our Lord Jesus Christ, has also gone before us. We need not fear sin, death or the power of the devil. He has fought the battle for us. He defeated them on the cross and proclaimed the victory through the resurrection. He is leading us into the promised New Heavens and New Earth. Unlike the Israelites, we need not lift a finger. His holy angels will remove the wicked people of the earth, i.e. those who reject Jesus as their Savior. Then we will take possession of it as our inheritance and will dwell with the Lord forever.

 

Heavenly Father, even as you have delivered the Israelites and brought them into the Promised Land, deliver us from the hands of the world and bring us into the New Heavens and New Earth on the day of your Son, Jesus Christ, on the day of his revelation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: June 3rd


#DailyDevotion What Can I Look To When I Sin?

Easter Week 7 Saturday

Read Num 20:22—21:9

Num 21:5-6  And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.”  (6)  Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died…8 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”  (9)  So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

 

When the Lord said the Israelites were a hard headed, stiff-necked people, he wasn’t kidding. You might think having seen and heard all they have up to this point they would be a perfect people doing all the Lord had commanded them. But here we are again, the Israelites get impatient and start complaining against Moses and the Lord.

 

The Lord is angered against his people and sends fiery serpents to bite and kill the people. It must have gotten pretty bad because they repent of their actions and ask Moses to intercede for them. Moses does and the Lord does something interesting here. He does not remove the serpents. Instead he tells Moses to make a bronze serpent on a pole. When someone is bitten by a serpent, if they look at the bronze serpent they will live. That is exactly what happened.

 

Now we too are stick-necked and stubborn. We are sinful human beings. Jesus has said that he would be lifted up like the serpent in the wilderness. Everyone who looks to Jesus and believes on him will not die eternally. Their sins will be forgiven. Much like the Israelites, even though we believe, are baptized and have received the Holy Spirit, because of the sinfulness of our flesh, we rebel against the Lord. You may think rebel is a strong word and it is. But what else is it when know what is good and right to the Lord Jesus and we don’t do it but do the opposite instead.

 

We may wonder sometimes why the Lord allows us to keep this sinful flesh which impels us to sin so often. We wouldn’t be the first ones to do so. But we do have the Holy Spirit who changes our hearts and minds who conforms us to the image of Christ during our lifetime. Yet, the sinful flesh remains. What can we do when we rebel like the Israelites? Like them, we look to Jesus Christ on the cross and believe what he has accomplished there. He has nailed the Law that accuses us to the cross. The penalty for our sins we see in Jesus hanging from that tree. So we confess our sins in all earnest and believe what our Lord has done for that. John reminds us, 1Jn 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” and 1Jn 2:1 “if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

 

Heavenly Father grant us faith to repent of our sins and to look to Christ Jesus, you Son, that we may receive forgiveness and life. Continually give us your Holy Spirit that we may do your will and conform our wills to your ways always. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 2nd


#DailyDevotion The Lord Jesus Christ Just Wants You To Trust Him

Easter Week 7 Friday

Read Num 20:1–21

Num 20:8  “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.”…10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?”  (11)  And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.  (12)  And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”

Now this is the second time the people rebelled against Moses and the Lord because of water. They were not trusting the Lord to provide water for them. Now Moses goes to the Lord to find out what he should do. The first time this happened the Lord told Moses to strike the rock twice. This time the directions were different. The Lord told Moses only to speak to the rock and it would put forth water for Israel to drink.

Moses in his anger against the Israelites and apparently in a lack of faith in the Lord does not follow instructions. He strikes the rock twice. It seems he wanted the people think that it was he who brought forth water. Had he only spoke to the rock in the Lord’s name and it brought forth water, then the Lord would get all the credit. The Lord Jesus in his ministry also worked as he did with Moses. Sometimes Jesus would use material as a medium for his power. Sometimes he spoke words of command for something to happen like “be healed.” Sometimes Jesus only spoke the words, “be it done to you as you believe.”

Because of the Lord’s great mercy towards Israel, he provided water despite Moses’ lack of faith. He did this because of Moses’ office. But Moses, because of his lack of faith and despising the Lord’s name would not enter into the Promised Land. When we sin against the Lord because of our lack of faith, we too, while we are forgiven, may suffer temporal punishments. All the Lord wants is to be trusted. The degree to which we trust the Lord Jesus Christ and his word is the degree to which we will do what he ask us to do.

Sometimes our lack of faith in Jesus’ word will only carry with it temporal troubles such as when we get anxious about our lives. Then we go and do sinful things because we don’t believe his word of promise. Yet if we do not believe his word of promise that the Father has sent him to be our atoning sacrifice we cannot enter into the eternal Promised Land. If we do not believe the Father sent him to be our Savior we will not posses eternal life. As under the Old Testament so with the New, the Lord Jesus Christ just wants us to trust him. He has kept his promises in both. Will you put your trust in him today?

Heavenly Father, you sent the Lord Jesus Christ to Israel, our Rock and Redeemer, once in the pillar of cloud and once in our flesh to give us your word so that we may trust in him and in you. Give us faith to believe his word and that you sent him that we may have eternal life and enter into the Promised Land on the day of his return. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: June 1st


#DailyDevotion Jesus Has Chosen Who Will Lead His People

Easter Week 7 Thursday

Read Num 16:41—17:13

Num 17:5  And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout. Thus I will make to cease from me the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against you.”…8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds…12 And the people of Israel said to Moses, “Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone…13 Everyone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the LORD, shall die. Are we all to perish?”

 

The plague having been stopped on account of Moses and Aaron, the Lord decides a course of action that the people may see and know that the Lord has chosen Aaron and his family to be the priest of Israel and to stand before him at the tabernacle. He has had mercy upon the people so far, though not without discipline, in all their grumblings. This sign he is preparing is so the Israelites would quite grumbling against Moses and Aaron.

 

So the Lord has the heads of all the tribes write their names on staves and they are placed in the tabernacle. The next morning Aaron’s staff had budded and not only budded but has blossoms and ripe almonds. This was done in sight of the people that they may know the Lord has chosen Aaron and his family for the service in the tabernacle. The staff is placed at the tabernacle for all to see as a witness against the rebels.

 

People are prone to be jealous of what someone else has, even if what the other person has is a burden. While there were perks to being the priest of the Lord God, there was the burden of the sacrifices, intercessions, and bearing the sins of the people of Israel. But people only see the perks and desire them without the burdens.

 

It is not unusual for similar things to occur in the Church today. Some people see the pastor in front of the Church in bright clothing, leading worship, reading the lessons, giving the sermon, administering the sacraments and blessing the people and they may think, why can’t I do all that? Yet no valid person who occupies the office of pastor has simply chosen to place himself in that position. He has been chosen by Jesus and been given to the Church. Different denomination may have different processes which the Lord put a man in the office but no man can validly place himself there. He is chosen by the congregation, elected, called and installed by the congregation before everyone that they may know who the Lord Jesus has chosen and not grumble against him. The stole placed upon him represents the burden of the office. Like Aaron and his sons, he is given to the people to do the public acts of the congregation so that they may not perish but be fed with God’s Word, strengthened by his intercessions and bear their burdens. He is a gift from God.

Heavenly Father, grant us your grace that we may always rightly see and give thanks for all those who you chose through our congregations to represent your Son to do the work of ministry that we may be strengthened in every way by your word and sacraments you give us through these men. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Readings: May 31st


#DailyDevotion God’s People Can Be So Stupid, I Mean Sinful Sometimes

Easter Week 7 Wednesday

Read Num 16:23–40

Num 16:33-34  So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.  (34)  And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!”…41  But on the next day all the congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the LORD.”…46  And Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, and put fire on it from off the altar and lay incense on it and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone out from the LORD; the plague has begun.”…48  And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped.  (49)  Now those who died in the plague were 14,700, besides those who died in the affair of Korah.

 

You should never underestimate the stupidity or the sinfulness of the people of God or anyone one else. Let’s reason this together. First, Korah and those who followed him, after seeing all that Moses had done, after seeing what the Lord did to Moses’ sister when she went against him, decides to rebel against Moses and Aaron and decide they want to do what they want to do, even if that is serve the Lord in a specific capacity. Their spirit wasn’t right about it but rather was prompted by an evil desire. Now the Lord has the earth devour the who of Korah’s household and those who followed him. Then those with the censures were burnt up in fire from the Lord.

 

So what is Israel’s response to this? They blame Moses and say he killed them and they want to rebel against Moses. This is the next day! Are you kidding me? Well the Lord is having none of this and sends a plague upon his people to punish them and discipline those who survive. It is only Moses’ and Aaron’s intercession and sacrifice which stays the plague. Moses and Aaron actually intercede for those who are rebelling against them. Now we should note that judgment begins with the house of God. These people should have known better. They had seen the miracles, heard the voice of the Lord, and heard the teachings of the Lord from Moses’ lips. Yet sin within them got the better of them.

 

We who follow the Lord Jesus Christ should take head. Do not think too highly of yourselves reading this thinking you would never do anything like that! Those in the heights falls the hardest. Instead, learn the lesson and humble yourselves under God Almighty’s hand. Accept the lot in life you get without complaining. You think you deserve a better life and outcome of life, do not complain against the Lord. Turn to the Lord and petition him humbly sure. Work harder and smarter if possible, certainly. But let us always remember the Lord Jesus Christ and what he has done for us. Like Moses and Aaron he delivered us from the power of sin, death and the devil. He intercedes for us to the Father. Jesus sacrificed himself so that we might live. It’s easy to point fingers. Just remember, there are three more pointing back at you.

 

Heavenly Father, grant us such faith that we do not despise your goodness to us but give us hearts that are content and thankful for all your benefits. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.