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Just like our body needs the backbone to support us, to bring stability into our being, so the Word of God has many aspects of bringing stability into our lives. Of course, most importantly, we cannot know this stability unless we are reading the whole Bible. We cannot pick and choose portions of the Bible, for we cannot understand what God is teaching us. But without a personal relationship with the Lord, we are not grasping on to that stability.

As much as Leviticus and Numbers are hard to plow through at times, there is so much wisdom in those pages as well. Leviticus is full of common-sense laws, conduct for our lives to keep us close to Him. From forbidden sexual practices to practices to keep us trustworthy before man and God to laws concerning finances.

Leviticus 19:12 points out, “Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely,”. Swearing falsely? Is that using God’s name in vain? Or perhaps we need to start with “do not bring shame on the name of your God”. When many of us were growing up, we had such a respect for our parents that we did not want to do anything to make them look bad. Although we all did things “behind their backs” and we thought our parents wouldn’t find out, they did. Not only did we bring shame to our family name but we disappointed our parents.

And so it is, we should have a desire to be pleasing to our parents, to not bring shame to them but more importantly, we should have such a longing to be pleasing to God that we strive daily to not bring shame upon His name. How? How are we to live such a life? We are not perfect, we sin daily, we fall short. But God is there, waiting for us to come to Him and ask forgiveness. He is waiting with open arms!

Leviticus 19:26b reminds us, “Do not practice fortune-telling or witchcraft.” We are living in a day where people think anything goes. We even have books for children on how to cast spells on their family. Evil is evil and we need to stay far away from it. This shouldn’t take anymore explanation but I know there are people laughing and saying that it’s not harmful, just a fun thing to delve into. Practicing the Word of God will never disappoint you.

Leviticus 24:13-23 talks about just punishment for many sins. For some of you, this probably seems harsh but God knows what is best. Rather than stoning someone today, it is probably best to just stay away from such a person who is not living for God. The frustration we feel in these modern times, seeing certain people getting away with sin after sin, is in part due to the Holy Spirit guiding you towards right living and pleasing God. Unfortunately, we don’t have much control over such evil but we can pray. (see Eph 6:10-20) It may seem that prayer doesn’t help much, but we have no idea what is happening in the spirit world. We have no idea of God’s working in another person’s life and the consequences they will suffer for their behavior. Maybe not in this world but certainly in the next.

Leviticus 25:14b reminds us “you must not take advantage of each other.” Such common-sense principles but many people no longer live by such principles. It just takes one person at a time, intent on pleasing God and God alone, to determine to be kind to people, not take advantage, and love them where they are. Are you that person?

This next common-sense law will be controversial, although that is not my intent. “You must not allow a foreigner to treat any of your fellow Israelites harshly.” (Leviticus 25:53b) Some would even say this is not for our time. Perhaps but still it’s a common-sense train of thought. We don’t allow our local citizens to be cruel to one another, we have laws that keep us in line but this is reminding us that foreigners must follow the same laws.

Numbers has always been a hard book for me to read so I try to find something that has meaning to me. Perhaps you can share a passage in Numbers that has meaning to you. I would love to hear from you.

I do find Numbers 14:34 tugging at my heart, “Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years—a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins.” Again, some would say this is for that period only but I try to apply it to my life today. When we are not keeping our focus on Jesus, we have a tendency to go with our emotions, to react too quickly, to act immature and believe me, we suffer the consequences of such behavior. Think twice before leaving God’s side and going your own direction. Before making any decisions, look to God for answers, whether reading the Word, praying…or both…He does have the answers.

I made a little note as I was reading, “making atonement means making it right before the Lord. (purify)” Perhaps we can have a discussion on what it means to you to be pure before God?

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We have finished the first four books of the Bible and are now in Deuteronomy. I actually like Leviticus with the many laws but Numbers is quite another story.

Before Moses dies, he’s given one last task, to explain the Lord’s instructions. He goes through the Israelite’s history, where they have come from, their failures and the importance of depending upon the Lord including obeying the Lord.

You would think that the wondering in the dessert would have taught the new generation a lesson but how quickly they forget. Oh wait, how quickly we forget! We know that the Lord will take care of us, but we fall short in trusting Him in our difficult situations. We start figuring out ways in which we can “help” Him out, which usually doesn’t turn out so well.

“Listen carefully…” two words that Moses says over and over. Perhaps we need to hear it out of the New Testament, Heb. 12:1b-2 “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” As we steadily listen to Him (through reading the Bible), we gain an endurance to stay focused upon Him, obeying as we turn away from temptation. Sin often can ensnare us, making us feel shame and guilt. He longs for us to come to Him in repentance, humbly asking Him to forgive us of our sin and vowing to not fall into that sin again.

In Deuteronomy 5, Moses repeats the ten commandments. And today, we must read the Bible daily so as not to forget what God is calling us to do. He does call us to wholehearted commitment and in doing so Moses says, “be careful not to forget the Lord,” and I would remind you this day the exact same thing. When things are going well, we get into a routine and complacency often forgetting the Lord is part of that routine.

We must live each day keeping our eyes on Him, filling our mind and heart with His Word for a day is coming that we will live in fear if we have not prepared for what the demons of hell have in store. They count on you living in fear rather than peace. Pray for His will for your life. Pray that you will always stay close to Him. But remember, “humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor.”(James 4:10) Gain the strength that only comes from Jesus as you read His Word daily.

“May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you His favor

and give you, His peace.” Num 6: 24-26.

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Before we get started with going over what we read this past week, I want to share with you another project I am working on.

On day 16 in “Faithful Promises of God”, I made the statement, “if you look closely, you will see that our forefathers fashioned the laws of our land directly from the Bible.”

Probably over a year ago, my daughter suggested to me to start taking the laws and regulations of the Bible and show how they were “fashioned” by our forefathers. That’s a big project but I finally saw a starting point on day 16. Not until I got started did I realize what a big task I might be taking on. Probably what I will do is add an insight to how a law applies today (according to our Constitution). Please help me to hold to this! If I start skipping it a week or two, send me an email and remind me to get back on task.

OK, here we go. This is to encourage you to keep reading each day, whether you are using “Faithful Promises of God” or not.

Exodus 24:3b reads, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” (NLV) MacArthur writes “Civil, social, and religious laws were received by Moses on Mt. Sinai, orally presented (v3), then written down (v4), and read to the people.”

My observations as I read this section this time around is that there was a lot of emotional motivated behavior at this time. The people were motivated to respond, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do.” (NKJV) But, just like today, people find themselves all hyped up from a song service, or a motivational speaker and are willing to promise anything. At that moment, they really did mean it. And the people telling Moses that they would do whatever the Lord commanded was probably this same emotional high that we see in so many churches/camps/conferences today.

At the end of the day, when things have quieted down, and regular life kicks in, our promise isn’t so much in our thoughts and we sort of forget about what we promised. The Israelites moved on. Although their words were sincere at the time, they were not so obedient. Why does God include this information? Because we are the same today. We promised we will obey, then we do what we think is best even though God is directing us in another direction.

Even though their response was sincere, they didn’t obey God’s direction. We will see this over and over throughout the Old Testament. This doesn’t give us an excuse because we are doing the same thing but it does remind us that this happens and we should be ready to humble ourselves and ask God’s forgiveness and that He would help us to keep our eyes on Him.

We only have to read a few chapters more before we see that the Israelites took their eyes off of God. Instead, they were looking to Moses as their “savior” and demanded that Aaron make them a “god”.

The Lord said to Moses, “They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them” (Exodus 32:8) I wrote in my journal, “Fae, be careful to always follow His ways.”

And with that, I will let you ponder this encouragement to keep your eyes on Him and follow His ways. One of the best ways to do just that is to daily read your Bible, to pray continually and to obey His Word. It’s another week, you can do this! He is faithful!

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