Numbers 8: 1–9:23
After the consecration of the Levites, the Lord sent them into the Tabernacle to do their work. I love how we have followed their training and preparation and now God turns them loose to do what they have been trained to do.
I was struck this morning by the story of Moses saying, “Wait here until I have received instructions from the Lord.” It just made me realize even though we who are reading this may feel like God has covered every aspect of life with the Israelites, He shows us here that it is still about a relationship and dependence on Him. When you don’t know what to do, don’t make up something that sounds good to you, “Wait for instructions.” Until you have them you have to do the next right thing. My good friend Emily P. Freeman (who is not my friend at all but we would be friends if we knew each other) has a book coming out called “The Next Right Thing.” This is an idea ruminating in my soul right now. This scripture made me think of it. We so want these rules to be clear so that we don’t have to go to God to get instructions. Right? But “Waiting here for instructions” shows that our heart is dependent on Him. That is the best place to be.
Next the people learn submission to the Lord. How do I know that? Because if I was camping, and having to break camp and move when the cloud moved, you better bet your britches that if I got my tent set up and that dad-gum cloud moved the NEXT morning, I would consider not submitting to the Lord. But He faithfully taught them to follow Him. The awe they have for Him encourages them to follow Him. He is the Lord who rescued them, is providing food and water for them and protecting them....They need Him!
Mark 13: 14-37
We get another account of what the tribulation will be like. It starts with this “desecration standing where he should not be.” This is some sort of person that makes everyone believe he God, but reveals that he is actually with Satan. This is such a bad time that when you see this desecration happening you will want to head for the hills without even packing. And just when everyone living during the tribulation thinks that the time has come for everyone to die, Jesus will come. There will be no question, you will know its Him. He will come with much cosmic upset and He will send out the angels to collect the people who have become believers during the tribulation.
No one knows the exact time but we are urged to watch and be vigilant. He says nothing about being scared, He warns against forgetting that He is coming back.
Psalm 50: 1-23
This is so cool! We get a picture of what God’s judgement of his people will be like. He has two things to address with them.
One is how they have just started going through them motions with the sacrifices. They have forgotten why they are sacrificing to God. He says “Do I need the bulls from your barns?” He answers His own question by saying, “NO! I own the cattle on 1000 hills!” Thankfulness is what He is after. He wants them to learn how to be thankful through the sacrifices.
He then address that they have thrown out the 10 Commandments. “For you refuse my discipline and treat my words like trash.” Yikes! He tells them that giving thanks is a sacrifice that honors Him and keeping to His path will reveal the salvation of God to them.
Proverbs 10: 29-30
This proverb made me remember how God told the Israelites to follow his commands or the Land would vomit them out. Depending on Him and following His way leads to security.