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 52

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Welcome to Day 52 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Numbers 8, 9; Acts 28 (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

In the tabernacle… Numbers 8:2, “When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.” (In Revelation 1: 12-13, in heaven… “I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.”)

v 15 “After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering, they are to come to do their work at the tent of meeting. 16 They are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to me. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn, the first male offspring from every Israelite woman. 17 Every firstborn male in Israel, whether human or animal, is mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set them apart for myself. 18 And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel.”

Numbers 9 recounts the Passover… yet again. Even foreigners and those who were unclean due to a dead body were permitted to observe the Passover!

O bservation

I think it’s very interesting that one who was unclean could still observe the Passover. An exception to the rule… Same with foreigners… These were not Israelites… they were non-Jews (Gentiles.) God was willing to allow outsiders to Observe the Passover!

Numbers 9:15-23 describes the cloud of the Lord’s Presence and when it would rest above the tabernacle or when it would lift and they would move… there was no telling for how long it would be there… only evening to morning… two days, a month or a year. When it would lift, they would set out.

Acts 28 funny how the islanders on Malta thought Paul was going to die when bitten by a viper… they knew their snakes, and the results… they thought him to be a murderer getting what he deserved… but when he didn’t die, they thought him to be a god. Paul starts healing the sick all over the island. They stayed three months. Interesting.

Paul finally made it to Rome and was under house arrest for two years… No record of him appearing before Caesar… but the angel told him in Acts 27 that “you must appear before Caesar.” Yet, the loop is not closed on that “minor” detail! Nevertheless, Paul was used powerfully during this time, having written several of his letters while in Rome (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians). Once he got there, they had no record of any accusations made against him. No phone, email or internet in those days… or perhaps God was just protecting him? It took a long time for Paul to even show up there! Months and months… Must have been gratifying for Paul, as a Roman citizen, to proclaim the good news and to teach about the kingdom of God to his own countrymen!

A pplication

We are just like the Levites. The Levites were the exchange for the firstborn of Israel. In a sense, the Levites represented what we are today… LIVING SACRIFICES as Paul talked about in Romans 12:1! “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Living sacrifices… both a priest and a sacrifice at the same time.

“Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay, I’ll stay. When you move, I’ll move. I will follow.” Chris Tomlin CLICK HERE TO LISTEN… That’s easy to sing but not so easy to actually live out…

P rayer

That I would see your presence so clearly as the Israelites did… to know when to move and when to stay. I know we have the Holy Spirit, but it sure would be nice to see a visible manifestation of your presence, and just know… To have that kind of clarity…

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10 thoughts on “Day 52

  1. How exciting it must have been as the cloud and fire hovered over the tent and the anticipation of what God had in store. What I get from this is God wants us to be content where we are and focus on him on our next move and trust his lead.

    Sometimes the cloud and fire would not move for a long period of time which shows me God was wanting to teach the people of Israel patience and wait on his lead. I always wondered where they knew to go after being delivered. Numbers 9:15 explains that.

  2. Scott Sliver on said:

    Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Further thinking about the lamp stands… “You are the light of the world.”

  3. I have seen glory cloud in person. At first I thought our sound equipment was smoking but noticed that it wasn’t moving like smoke. It was rolling off the stage like a waterfall then swirling around. Then I noticed it was sparkly as if their was glitter suspended inside. There was a noticeable shift in the atmosphere right before it appeared. It was reported the next day that a group of youth who lived in dorms upstairs all woke up at that time, about 4:40AM. The worship team on that shift didn’t see it as they were worshiping mightily. The rest of us were completely awestruck. I know it sounds crazy. The only word I can use to describe it is glorious.

    Previous times I read this scripture, my visual was that of thick dark smoke like what would come from a smoke stack. This time, however, the smoke was shimmering and beautiful.

  4. Deanna Leroux on said:

    I marvel that with all that ‘training’ then and our ability read it now, following God that closely, literally, still we quickly go back to sinning and complaining. God is way more patient than me!

  5. Lisa Green on said:

    Moses did not give an answer based on what he thought might be true with regards to uncleanness and the Passover. He stopped and asked God before giving a reply.

    Based on the people watching Paul to die and then thinking him a god… never know who or when people are watching. I would imagine as Christians, it’s all the time! Oh, my.

  6. Anonymous on said:

    I always loved the story of the cloud. It must have been amazing to have the visible presence of the Lord guiding them through the wilderness.

    Scott, as requested, here is a link to my blog where I’m publishing my own S.O.A.P. notes.

    God Bless
    Wesley Surber

  7. The cloud really hits home for me today. Our family is currently waiting to hear as to whether we will move to Ohio. We do not know how long we will continue to stay in Georgia. We hope Ohio is in our near future, but it is no guarantee. I must continue to live each day and enjoy where I am.

    Lord, please help me to enjoy where you put me. I know I am here for a reason. I do not know the future, but I must continue to cling to the one who holds the future in His hands.

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