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April 3, Day #94 – The World, or Your Soul?

In Numbers 33, we see the summary record of Israel’s journeys in stages through the wilderness - punctuated by God’s care and provision for the Israelites throughout their wilderness wanderings. In this chapter, we see where they settled, we see where they “set out,” and then we see where they “camped” (Numbers 33:5-49). The Israelites made at least 40 different encampments through four different stages of movement – Stage One, from Egypt to Sinai, (verses 1-15); 70; Stage Two, from Sinai to Kibroth-Hattaavah, (verse 16); Stage Three, from Kibroth-Hattaavah – wandering for about 38 years via Rithmah and eighteen different encampments to Kadesh (verses 17-36); and then Stage Four, from Kadesh via Mount Hor and ten other encampments to the Plain of Moab in their fortieth year (verses 37-49). These wanderings show us how much time, energy, and resources were wasted by Israelite rebellion and disobedience. In verses 50, we read God’s directive to Moses that the Israelites should “drive out all the inhabitants of the land and destroy all their images and idols … take possession of the land” (verses 52-53). God also said, “if you do not … they will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides” (verse 55). In Numbers 34, God gives Moses instructions regarding the boundaries of the land and the names of the men who were to assign the specific allocations for the land’s distribution among the Israelites. In verse 12, God makes a profound statement which has lasting implications even to today: “This will be your land” (verse 12). That land is for no one else – no other group of people.

We have seen that our readings in Proverbs 8 relate to the origin of wisdom. Here, in verses 22-31, we read that the LORD is the Source of wisdom – He “brought forth” wisdom (verse 22). We have seen that Jesus is the Wisdom of God (cf., 1 Corinthians 1:24). Here in Proverbs 8:23-27, we read, “Before the world began … I was there when He set the heavens in place.” This is consistent with the eternality of Jesus Christ (verse 23). Wisdom - and her twin sisters – prudence and beauty, are completely bound up in our Heavenly Father. God has so much for us - if only we would submit ourselves to Him, trust and obey Him, love Him with all our hearts, and follow His guidance. The writer says, “I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in His presence, rejoicing in His whole world and delighting in mankind” (verse 31). God is the Source of all joy.

Luke 9:10-27 summarizes God’s care and concern for us: “He [Jesus] welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God and healed them” (verse 11). He not only healed them, but also He fed them. In this section, we see Jesus feeding the five thousand which shows us His authority over mankind’s physical needs – both medical and material. We note that Jesus had five loaves and two fishes to work with, but He miraculously multiplied the food to match the need - and extended it to “twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over” (verse 17). Jesus supplies for our needs and He produces abundance. In verses 18-27, we see Peter’s confession of Christ: “The Christ of God,” Peter declares. Jesus concludes this section with a description of the value of a human soul: “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (verse 24-25). Nothing is worth more than our souls [cf., January 20, (Day 20)].

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