Friday, February 24, 2012
Welcome to Day 55 of our Life Journal!
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
Numbers 14:11, “The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?” THAT is the million dollar question… v 20 “The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. 21 Nevertheless… …as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, 22 not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors.”
v 39 “When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the LORD promised. Surely we have sinned!” 41 But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the LORD’s command? This will not succeed! 42 Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, 43 for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.” 44 Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD’s covenant moved from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.”
Note to self.
Numbers 15:32-36, “While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, 34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. 35 Then the LORD said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.” 36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.”
Seems pretty harsh, doesn’t it? For gathering wood? The thing is, it wasn’t about gathering wood… it was about disobedience, right? This guy could have otherwise been a great guy! Kind. Generous. Faithful to his wife and kids. But one single act of disobedience cost him his life. Death by stoning. For gathering wood… on the Sabbath.
The Lord speaks to Moses about adding tassels to their garments with a blue cord, v 39 “so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. 40 Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God.” The problem is not that we need a reminder… the problem is the lust in our hearts and eyes…
Numbers 16, “Korah… Dathan and Abiram… became insolent 2 and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. 3 They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD’s assembly?”
v 12 “Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram… But they said, “We will not come! 13 Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us! 14 Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you want to treat these men like slaves? No, we will not come!”
Did they really just refer to EGYPT as a land flowing with milk and honey?? Hmmm… what about the slavery and oppression?? What about making bricks without straw?? They are within SIGHT of Canaan, the Promised Land! Sigh… this is hard to watch unfold…
v 31 “…the ground under them split apart 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. 33 They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. 34 At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!” 35 And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.” Moses’ response… v 37 “Tell Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, to remove the censers from the charred remains and scatter the coals some distance away, for the censers are holy— 38 the censers of the men who sinned at the cost of their lives.”
Aaron then offered incense their defense to make atonement for their sin, but a plague had already started… “But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah.”
Mark 3, We see Jesus healing on the Sabbath… In the previous chapter, Jesus was picking heads of grain… for which the main was stoned in the wilderness (well, it was gathering wood, but same difference…). v 4 “Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” Wow…
Jesus appointed the twelve disciples, but it is only mentioned in passing in Mark’s gospel. Much more detail given in other gospels… Often about each one of them… Jesus’ mother (Mary) and brothers show up at a home where he is ministering… he basically said, “I’m busy…” (The teachers of the Law had just accused him of driving out demons by Satan himself. He had bigger fish to fry at that particular moment…
Wow, this could take all day… Again so much that could be said… But the SOAP exercise is about focus… What passage stood out to you. What did God speak to you through that particular passage… How did it apply to your life?
As much as there is (again) in the Mark passages, the Israelite leaders’ insolence is unmistakably what stood out to me… and the subsequent result. They decided they could be their own priests, offer their own sacrifice. Thumbing their noses at Moses. And God. Note to self? Bad idea… They could have kept their mouths shut. Been patient for just a little longer and gone into the promised land…
Easier said than done.
But eventually, whatever is in the tube is squeezed out… under pressure…
Pretty obvious… Don’t do what they did. Trust God. Don’t move ahead of Him. (It was OBVIOUS to all when it was time to move, or when to stay put… Just follow the cloud. Not rocket science. I think it’s more difficult for us today to know when to move or when to stay put… We are “led by the Spirit” but how He is leading YOU may be different than how He’s leading ME. It’s not always so obvious to us, is it?
As it says in Galatians 5, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Help me to do THAT. To keep in step with Your Spirit. To not get impatient… to not go ahead of you. To not look back at being enslaved in Egypt as though it’s better than where You are leading me.