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March 19, Day #79 – The Consolation and Redemption

Numbers 7 is all about faithfulness, consecration, and dedication. Today in verses 1-65, we see that Moses “finished setting up the tabernacle, anointed it, and consecrated it and all its furnishings” (verse 1). After this, the Israelites “brought gifts before the LORD,” Who instructed Moses to “accept these gifts from the people” (verses 3-5). The gifts from each tribe are identified – mostly oxen and wagons for the Gershonites and the Merarites – to sustain the needs of the tabernacle and its service. The Kohathites received no oxen or wagons because they were required to shoulder the furnishings and the most holy things (cf., Numbers 4:4 and 4:15). Here, the gifts are recorded in detail because God notices what we give. He takes a special interest in what we do, what we give, how we live, where we go, and with whom we spend our time. It’s important that we understand that the Creator – the God of this vast universe – faithfully takes note of us and exercises His special care over us. This truth should drive our consecration and our dedication and cause us to be faithful to Him. In verse 89, we read that Moses “heard the voice” of the LORD “speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the Testimony.” The voice of God speaks the Word of God.

In Psalm 35:1-10, David calls out to the Lord for help when he is under attack from adversaries who “sought his life” (verse 4). I cannot be sure that anyone has ever “sought my life,” so I have no idea what this might feel like. Nevertheless, I believe this pursuit is true of Satan - he “seeks our lives” and wants to possess and destroy us. Thus, potentially in this life, we face a harmful enemy much worse than any human enemies, so I am deeply thankful that we have a God Who offers us His kind of protection and the knowledge that He promises us to “come to our aid” (verse 2). This Psalm infers that God’s care for David was such that anyone who opposed David was thus an enemy of God. I cannot imagine how anyone could knowingly stand against, resist, or refuse to surrender to an all-powerful, merciful Creator-God Who loves and forgives His creatures! No wonder David could say, “my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in His salvation. My whole being will exclaim, ‘Who is like you, LORD?’”

In Luke 2:21-40, we see - as the infant Jesus is presented in the temple on His eighth day - the perseverance of faith in Simeon and Anna - waiting years to see the coming of the Lord. Simeon, “who was righteous and devout, had been waiting for the consolation of Israel” (verse 25), and that “the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (verse 26). Simeon takes the child in his arms, praises God, and blesses Him, His parents, and us – “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (verse 32). He also utters prophetically of the “falling and rising of many in Israel,” as well as a painful prophecy to Mary. In addition, we see old, widowed Anna – eighty-four years old – who gave thanks to God – speaking “about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (verse 38). Each of these old, faithful Israelites were looking forward to the same future event, expressed in two different ways - the consolation of Israel and the redemption of Jerusalem. The child they were then holding in their arms would be the One Who would make this event a future reality.

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