Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 48

Friday, February 17, 2012

Welcome to Day 48 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Numbers 1, 2; Acts 24 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

Numbers 1, Israel was being formed into a “kingdom” with God as their King. A “theocracy.” A general overview: 1. Orders given to Moses to number the people, Num. 1:1-4. 2. Persons nominated to assist him herein, Num. 1:5-16. 3. The particular number of each tribe, as it was given in to Moses, Num. 1:17-43. 4. The sum total of all together, Num. 1:44-46. 5. An exception of the Levites, Num. 1:47-54 [Excerpt from Matthew Henry’s Commentary.] (I find this resource helpful as I try to get my head around each new book I am about to read, or individual passages that aren’t making sense to me.)

Numbers 2, Instructions are given as to where each tribe was to camp in reference to the Tabernacle. Only the Levites were to camp near the Tabernacle. They were responsible for its care, as well as moving and setting it up. 603,550 men over age 20, able to serve in the army, were numbered. That alone is larger than the population of Montgomery County, Ohio! That’s a lot of people to count and organize.

Acts 24, Love Paul’s testimony about the resurrection of the dead, his presentation and how he tailored it to his audience, Felix in particular. Told them he himself was a Pharisee, having once persecuted “the Way.” Paul is kept under house since Felix didn’t quite know what to do with him… (Did you note Felix was “hoping Paul would offer him a bribe?”) Two years later…

O bservation

Interesting exercise that God had Moses and the tribes do… Counting, preparing, organizing. Those are important leadership qualities… Administration. Remember Jethro’s advice to Moses some time earlier in Exodus? “Appoint leaders of 10’s, 50’s, 100’s and 1,000’s.” I’m sure this advice came in handy at this particular time!

The funny thing to me is, God already knew how many people there were. He knew each one by name and their tribe. He could have simply told Moses, but instead, had them do this exercise…

Matthew 10:30, “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” God is very detailed… and yet he is very big picture at the same time…

A pplication

I am learning so much as I read through Acts about how Peter and Paul shared the message of the good news about Jesus… How Paul spoke in Athens, versus how he spoke to Felix and others. How they conducted themselves while in jail… how they related to one another. How they lived life.

P rayer
Lord, I thank you that every person matters… that each one of us is called to serve you. I thank you that no matter what my circumstance may be, that you… are in… control.
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7 thoughts on “Day 48

  1. My tip of the day… I have been listening to the dramatized version of the NIV as I have been reading Leviticus and today’s Numbers installment. Helps me stay on track and keep my focus through all the repetition.

    What helps you?

  2. P.S. Numbers was written in the final year of Moses’ life… The first ten chapters outline the first generation of Israelites in the wilderness, their obedience and/or disobedience to the Lord’s commands, followed by the second generation’s experience in the last ten chapters.

    I always like the big picture when I’m starting a new book of the bible… I hope you find this micro-overview helpful!

  3. Mark Long on said:

    Thanks Scott! I appreciate the suggestions. In the past I’ve found it a bit difficult to get through “dry” areas like Numbers without my mind wandering off as I’m reading through it.

  4. Never realized there were that many soldiers from all those nations. Pretty interesting also that the Levites were responsible for the duties of taking care of the sacred tent. Also that the Levites had to be 25 years old in order to serve. Where the others were 20 years old,interesting.

  5. Thanks for the illustration of the camp and the tabernacle Scott. It really helps to understand and visualize the settings.

  6. I thought it was odd that Felix kept hoping Paul would offer him a bribe. Did he think Paul was wealthy or something? (Was he?)

    The audio Bible helps me keep up with the readings more easily. I’m still struggling to make time for the journal, but then I have 2 graduate school classes competing for my reading & writing time.

  7. Kim, I think the wealthy thing might have to do with the fact that Paul had just brought the generous offerings from the Gentile Christians to the Jerusalem Jewish Christians, so maybe Felix heard about it, and though Paul had more money to give. Also, Paul was probably from a wealthy family as he was a Pharisee and Paul was taught by Gamaliel, a top Pharisee teacher of the law, honored by all the people. (Acts 5:34, Acts 22:3 ). Interesting thought you brought up…. Best wishes on balancing your studies!

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