Numbers 24: 1–25: 18
Balaam realizes the Lord is at work here and that He is more powerful than anything he has ever come into contact with. So with that recognition the Lord can use him to deliver the oracles. Bad news for Balak, and I cracked up when it said, “He clapped his hands and shouted....”
I am just so struck by how clear God has been with His chosen people, and yet they choose to ignore His Commandments. He communicated to them that pagan worship of false God’s leads to bondage and death. He has proven his character by providing manna from heaven, protection and has displayed His power to them. And at the first chance they get, they jump head first into temple worship with temple prostitutes. One leader, Zimri, is so brazen that he brings a prostitute back to the camp with him. Actions like that show us that these peoples hearts have chosen to reject God and follow Baal (Satan). Sin=Death. Since they have made their choice God ends their life on earth, and they will be locked into their choice of rejection of God.
This also makes me think of all the people now a days that say, “If I could just see the Lord do a miracle or if He just displayed His power so I knew He was real I would believe and do everything He says.” Ah, no you wouldn’t, because we have learned that lesson from the Israelites. There is something that keeps us from following the rules.
Luke 2: 1-35
I love that the first thing the shepherds do when the angels leave is high tail it to Bethlehem to check out the baby. I also love the the party that is described when they go back to their flocks after having confirmed that the Messiah had come. Also, don’t miss the fact that the first people notified where lowly shepherds whose hearts were tender toward the Lord. (Not fancy religious leaders)
We have learned from our OT study that God allowed people who could not afford to sacrifice a lamb to sacrifice turtle doves or pigeons. We also know exactly what Mary and Joseph are having to offer sacrifices for! (Purification and 1st born dedication.) Taking all this into account we can assume they are very poor and devoted to the Lord.
I also love how God blessed Simeon by allowing him to see the baby. God used the people whose hearts we devoted to Him to spread the message.
Psalm 59: 1-17
I was just saying to my friend Cheryl that the Psalms are the hardest thing for me to write about everyday. Her thought is it’s because they are so personal, its like reading someone’s prayer journal. I totally agree with her. We are getting to read Davids most private thoughts and his interaction with God. So, as I read through it today I tried to think about how I identified with David’s prayers. I totally get him saying, “Wake up! See what is happening and help me!” This just shows us how he really believes God has to move for him to be saved, he can’t save himself. I also love how David calls God, “Oh my Strength.”
Proverbs 11: 14
A person making all the decisions with no one around from whom he takes advice is a dangerous person. We are all safer together.