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March 30, Day #90 – Gratitude for What God Has Done

All of today’s readings reflect the theme of showing gratitude to God. In our reading for today from Numbers 26:12-27:11, we see that after the plague about which we read yesterday, God instructed “Moses and Eleazar to “take a census of the whole Israelite community” (verse 1). This would be the second census of the people. Earlier, we saw that the first census yielded a total of 603,550 Israelite men, whereas the total count from the second census resulted in 601,730 Israelite men – a net loss of 1,820 men. In verses 52-65, God tells Moses that “the land is to be allotted to the people as an inheritance based on the number of names – to a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one” (verses 52-54). This manner of dividing up the land would ensure fairness for all the Israelites. In chapter 27, we see that a question arose about inheritances: Zelophehad “died in the desert” but he left no son to inherit his allotment. He left three daughters; could they inherit his estate? “Moses brought their case before the LORD,” Who determined that Moses “must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives” (verses 5-7). I have a soft spot in this passage about Zelophehad’s daughters. I picture my own daughters in a situation like this - with no brothers - hoping to keep their family’s inheritance. God is kind to women. Women and girls are meant to be cared for tenderly - not used and abused. In the garden of Eden, although Eve was first deceived and sinned before Adam, God was mindful and merciful that she was a woman. He was especially compassionate toward her. Finally, in this section, I appreciate that Moses took their request to God.

Proverbs 8:12-21 identifies the true nature and source of wisdom, which is godly and comes from the Lord. Most knowledge is horizontal (i.e., it passes from human to human), but true wisdom is vertical (i.e., it comes down to us from above). Proverbs 8 informs us that wisdom is clearly tied to the “fear of” and a “love for” God (verses 13 and 17). It is “bestowed” (verse 21). In verse 12, we read that wisdom is greater than knowledge for it “possesses knowledge” (i.e., it includes knowledge), but nowhere do we ever read that knowledge governs wisdom. A man can actually be a very smart fool – in possession of lots of knowledge - but possessing no wisdom. Apart from wisdom, knowledge is incapable of dealing “justly and righteously” with evil. This is evident in our world today. 1 Corinthians 1 explains that God has made knowledge - the so-called “wisdom of this world” to be foolishness, and that Jesus Himself is the “wisdom” of God.

In Luke 7:36-50, we see Jesus attending dinner at the home of a Pharisee. During the dinner, “a woman who had lived a sinful life … brought an alabaster jar of perfume” and anointed His feet with her tears and the perfume (verses 36-39). This act demonstrated her public confession and gratitude for her salvation, but the Pharisee became obviously indignant and “said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching Him and what kind of woman she is – that she is a sinner” (verse 39). We wonder; what did he think he was? As a response, Jesus expounds a parable of contrast and rebuke to His host. The host did not do for Jesus the many things that the sinful woman did. The woman, who had committed “many sins” (verse 47), was grateful for her salvation and her forgiveness, and she “loved much” (verse 47). Jesus said, “He who has been forgiven little loves little.” When we truly understand how much God loves us, and how much He has done for us, how can we be anything but totally grateful to Him?

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