Bible Reading and Commentary for the Week February 6-11, 2017

Bible Reading and Commentary for the Week
February 6-11, 2017

Monday, February 6, Numbers 20
v. 3 — We’ve noticed this scene before among the Israelites. When they faced challenges, their immediate reaction was to complain against the Lord and the leaders God had given them. Do we notice the same tendency in our sinful natures?
v. 12 — The Lord had given Moses and Aaron a simple solution to their problem (v. 8). Rather than give the credit to the Lord, they glorified themselves. As a result, they would lose the privilege of leading the people into the Promised Land. That discipline was meant to build their faith, just as the Lord does for us (Hebrews 12:6, 11)
v. 14 — Remember that the nation of Edom was descended from Esau. What happened in Genesis 27 marks the beginning of the animosity that continued through the descendants of Esau (Gen. 36:1, 6-8, 40)

Tuesday, February 7, Numbers 21
v. 4 — Forced to change their plans and go around the nation of Edom, the people again complained. After defeating Arad in Battle, the people probably felt invincible. But the Lord’s direction was clear. Avoid battle with Edom. How often does our sinful nature, feeling proud and strong, convince us to try to walk the path we choose rather than the path the Lord has set for us in His Word!
Vv. 8-9 — It was trust in the Lord’s promise that saved the people when they looked at the bronze snake. Read John 3:14-16 to see how Jesus showed this event to be a foreshadowing of the work He would do on the cross.

Wednesday, February 8, Numbers 22
Vv. 4-6 — Balaam had an international reputation. He was summoned by Balak, king of Moab, to curse Israel.
Vv. 16-20 — While Balaam was at first forbidden to go to Balak (v. 12), God later permitted him to go, with the order that he was to follow God’s directions. Balaam’s problem was that he always wanted to turn the whole event into a way to get rich.
v. 23 — While Ballaam wasn‘t interested in God‘s good intentions for Israel, his donkey doesn’t oppose God’s course of action.Thursday, February 9, Numbers 23
This chapter serves as an Old Testament example of the truth that God uses the evil intentions of sinful people and turns them into blessings for his people (Romans 8:28)
v. 19 — These words are worth memorizing. They provide an assurance that God’s Word stands firm. Our Savior God is the one and only source of eternal truth. As “experts” in every area of life bombard us with opinions that often change, on everything from personal issues, child care, finances, etc., we have the one sure source of absolute truth in God’s Word. To whose voice are we listening?

Friday, February 10, Numbers 24
Vv. 6-7 — Note the luxuriant terms Balaam uses to describe the blessings that will come to the Israelites as they settle in the Promised Land. The lushness of their blessing from the Lord reminds us of the beauty in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2)
v. 11 — King Balak was disgusted by Balaam’s failure to curse Israel. As a result, he sends him away without the pay he promised. This false prophet received the ultimate insult.
v. 17 — Balaam’s fourth statement (oracle) is the most important. Instead of cursing Israel as Balak hoped, he actually foretells the coming of the Savior. Compare this verse with Genesis 49:10. This is, perhaps, the primary prophecy that prompted the journey of the Magi following Christ’s birth (Matthew 2:1-12).

Saturday, February 11, Numbers 25
Vv. 1-3 — After reading chapters 24 and 25, you might get the impression that Balaam willingly did what God wanted him to do. Chapter 25 reveals otherwise. To get “revenge” for what God made him do, he got Israel involved in sexual immorality. Each of the 24,000 corpses serves as a reminder of how seriously God takes sin (vv. 6-9).
How important in our lives, too, that we know what sin is, and repent of it in our lives. The proof of repentance is what John the Baptist called “fruits of repentance”–that our lives take on a different direction–away from sin (Compare Luke 3:7-14)

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