Saturday, February 25, 2012
Welcome to Day 56 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 17:10-13, “The LORD said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign [reminder] to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die.” 11 Moses did just as the LORD commanded him.
12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! 13 Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the LORD will die. Are we all going to die?”
Numbers 18:26-29, “The LORD said to Moses, 26 “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD’s offering… 28 In this way you also will present an offering to the LORD from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the LORD’s portion to Aaron the priest. 29 You must present as the LORD’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.”
Psalm 29:1-2, “Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.”
Mark 4, the parable of the sower and the seed… should be called the parable of the soil. It’s about the condition of each type of soil (heart), except for the seed that is snatched away by the birds (enemy). Also about the lamp on a stand… that we are to let our light shine for all to see… to bring light into any situation!
The Lord gives yet another reminder as to who he had chosen… to stop the grumbling. Even though he said the people wouldn’t die, they were in panic mode, convinced they were toast. They had seen God’s wrath and now knew what it meant to “fear” the Lord. God, yet again, spared Israel in his mercy.
One can choose to see that 14,700 died as a result of their disobedience, or one can see that he spared over a million people. God swore that no one over age 20 except for Joshua and Caleb, would enter the promised land. We’ll see how this plays out over the next few days…
Regarding the tithe that went to the Levites… I noted that even the Levites themselves were commanded to give a tithe from their portion to the Lord… the “best and holiest portion.” This really struck me.
The parable of the sower and seed reminded me of Paul in Athens… the result of people hearing the message is, as always, “some believe, some want to hear more, some will sneer.” And even out of those who believe, the enemy loves to snatch that word or that seed away keep it from ever taking root…
I think we are all prone to weeds… v 19 “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
BUT… others “hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown!”
Wondering… do I really give the “best and holiest” portion of everything I receive from the Lord back to Him? It’s one thing to give my “first fruits” or “off the top.” But this is a matter of perspective, a heart issue.
Interesting in Corinthians it uses the analogy of sowing and reaping in terms of giving and generosity. Today’s reading is about the tithe of the Levites… and the sower and the seed of the word of God… and being FRUITFUL.
Producing a crop “some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown!” In order to reap a crop, one has to sow seed, right? If I want to reap a harvest of 30/60/100 I have to sow seed… and not let my desire for “other things” get in the way of what God wants to do in my life.
It’s about focus. It’s about priorities. It’s about the soil of my heart being ready. It’s about not letting life get in the way. It’s about living a life of generosity, giving my best to the Lord.
Remember the blue tassels and now the budding staff? Alters were built, the
Passover meal observed. All are REMINDERS.
Lord, I want to be fruitful… Help me to be one whose heart is ready to receive… and to give!