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 51

Monday, February 20, 2012

Welcome to Day 51 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Numbers 7; Psalms 23; Acts 27 (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 7, Offerings at the Dedication of the Tabernacle… One leader from each tribe brought the offerings on behalf of that tribe. All twelve tribes were represented.

vs 89, “When Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant law. In this way the LORD spoke to him.” No record of what was said… But I’m really curious. Something to do with the offerings being accepted by Him. Perhaps further instructions? Hmmm…

Psalm 23 is THE classic Psalm… Maybe the most quoted and recognized of all the Psalms…

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Acts 27, Paul is put aboard a ship sailing for Italy but is lost in a storm along the way. I love that Paul said, “I warned you not to sail.” vs 21… ““Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss.” Gotta love a good, “I told ya so.”

O bservation

God spoke to Moses at/over/near the Ark… “from between the two cherubim.” Throughout scripture, God spoke to people. In Acts 27, an angel appeared to Paul to let him know that the ship would be lost, but the crew would be saved through the storm. God often used angels to send messages…

David was a shepherd himself. He knew how to care for sheep. How to protect them. What their needs were… He wrote this Psalm out of that knowing… That God was HIS shepherd. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters.”

David saw his cup running over. Not half empty. Not half full. Running over.

Note to self.

God could have calmed the storm, right? I mean, Paul was on board… why did the ship have to run aground? They lost the ship and all its cargo… only the men’s lives were spared. Perhaps they should have listened to Paul? Perhaps God was giving them a clue ahead of time, but they didn’t listen?

Perhaps God doesn’t want to calm every storm in our lives. Sometimes we have to go THROUGH the storm and trust Him through it? vs 24 “God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

God is not “one size fits all.” Not all stories turn out the same. Some were imprisoned and died (John the Baptist, James, son of John). Some were let out of prison (Peter/Paul/Silas).

We can’t just assume that because one story turns out one way that all stories will end the same. (Or that my personal situations will turn out anything like a story from the Bible.)

God could have simply calmed the storm, right??

I love the story and the faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego… they said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (See the whole story in Daniel 3.)

A pplication

Why should we be surprised when things don’t turn out the way we expected. An angel spoke to Paul ahead of time… so he knew how it was going to play out… Unless an angel, or God himself speaks very clearly to me, I am only hoping… speculating… as to how my situation might play out.

That’s where trust kicks in. Do I trust him to lead me beside still waters? Do I trust him for provision? For my safety? (Not just for my eternity?)

I think faith is, “I know you can calm this storm… but even if you don’t, I’m going to trust you through it.”

P rayer

Thank you for being MY shepherd.








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12 thoughts on “Day 51

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Very powerful story about the ship being wrecked. Having to throw everything overboard in fear of sinking. I kinda wondered what the ship looked like back then.

    A 2000 mile trip along a coastline from Myra to an island near Malta had to be a freighting experience for all aboard except Paul.

  2. Cheryl Dunlap on said:

    I read “trust” into all the chapters too. David had so much faith and trust in the Lord through terrible adversity. Even the animal and grain sacrifices in Numbers…reminds me of tithing and how hard it is to part with money if I am consumed with worry about it. Faith that God would use it for good was required. The ship/storm story also. I’m so thankful for God’s mercy, grace, and shepherding.

    • Great point, Cheryl. Sacrifice means there is a cost involved. If it doesn’t cost me anything it isn’t much of a sacrifice. In the OT the sacrificial animal was taking people’s place of punishment for sin…so the cost for that animal was its life. As it says over and over in the OT, our offerings/sacrifices “are very pleasing to the Lord.” Over and over I just keep saying “thank you, Jesus.” His sacrifice is overwhelming–that He would willingly become the sacrificial lamb for our sins.

    • Scott Sliver on said:

      Good insight! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Anonymous on said:

    One of the things that stuck out to me was the NAME – Num 6:27 And they shall put my name upon the Israelites and I will bless them; Ps23:3b He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake

    God’s name means something. There is protector, guidance, love, power, joy, peace and so much more IN THE NAME. Many times God rescues us from pits we deserve to be in for His name’s sake. That doesn’t give us liberty to jump into the pit but it surely blesses me to know that, when I do mess up, God will deliver, that He won’t let the actions of a sometimes wayward or immature Christian besmirch his name!

  4. Nicole Marvin on said:

    Reading from The Message-Psalm 23:

    “God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
    You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
    True to your word, you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.
    Even when the way goes through Death Valley,
    I’m not afraid when you walk by my side.
    Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.
    You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.
    You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
    Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.
    I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.”

    Thank you, father, that you are my shepherd. I don’t need a thing, as long as I have you. You let me catch my breath. I rest in you. I feel your arms around me and thank you for giving me direction. You do make me feel secure and I am thankful for the angels that you post around me. I am blessed. I praise you. You are the lover of my soul. You bring me comfort and peace. I adore you.

  5. Numbers 7
    Hmmm….I think there is a song in here. 12 days of Christmas, 12 days of offering. “On the first day of offering the tribe of Judah gave to Me…..” God probably started humming this and saved it for later. Just thought I’d share a little Bible humor.

    Acts 27
    It would be difficult to convince 276 non believers to follow your faith in God during a hurricane while your ship is about to sink, but Paul did it. You would think that after such an ordeal there would be a great revival of belief for those involved, which is what I expected to see at the end of this chapter. I even peaked ahead to Acts 28, but no such luck. Why is believing so hard for some, even though the evidence is right in front of them? I think this echoes what Scott highlighted above, that my expectation of what an outcome might be based on God’s previous work is unrealistic. He knows the plan, and sometimes it is VERY difficult to see that plan (if at all). So trusting in Him, regardless of the outcome or expectation, is what I must do.

  6. Scott Sliver on said:

    Thanks to all who posted today!

  7. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I SHALL NOT WANT.” Too many people want the new hotness. I have learned mostly to be content with the old and busted. It is okay to want new things. I figure as long as I can keep giving like I enjoy to do then it is okay to want a few things.
    Jesus died so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He died so that we could enjoy every day life. I want to enjoy my life “to the full”.
    I think I am learning to do that. This great life looks different to all of us, but we know when we are living the life God wants us to live. Each day is a gift. Let’s enjoy it!

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