Today's Reading: Psalm 124, Numbers 5, Isaiah 41, Philippians 1:27-2:11
Psalm 124 - 1b If it had not been the Lord who was on our side—
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The first half of Psalm 124:1 and Psalm 128:8 are bookends in a chapter that speaks of God's great deliverance for the Children of Israel.
Have you ever been where the people of Israel were? Have you found yourself in a place where all you could do was stand back and look in awe at all that God had done on your behalf? How would you finish this phrase: If it had not been the Lord who was on our side?
I praise God that He is for those who seek His face. He loves His children. May we, like the Children of Israel rejoice at what God has done.
Numbers 5 - Numbers 5 gives details as to how the Children of Israel were to handle leprosy, sins against others, and sexual sin.
I really like verses 5-7:
5 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 6 “Speak to the people of Israel, When a man or woman commits any of the sins that people commit by breaking faith with the Lord, and that person realizes his guilt, 7 he shall confess his sin that he has committed. And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong.
True repentance meant making restitution for the sin that was committed, and adding 20% more to the value of what was taken.
Isaiah 41 - 10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
The role of the prophet was a difficult one. Men like Isaiah were called by God to deliver unpopular messages to people who were often times living in sin. Sometimes the prophet gave a message to a nation that was following God, but was still going to go through trial.
God gives Isaiah and the nation of Israel comfort in Isaiah 41:10. The same God who promised to uphold Isaiah, promises to uphold us. God doesn't promise us that life won't be tough. In fact, the Bible is full of passages that speak about the difficulty that we will endure this side of Heaven. Through it all, God will hold us up. When you go through a difficult time, remember that it is God who promises to be with you. I can't think of anyone else that I would want with me more.
Philippians 1:27-2:11 - 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, 9 being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
I love the book of Philippians! In these verses Paul gives us some of the most beautiful verses ever written on the sacrificial love of Christ. Rather than comment on them, I'd like you to read the verses once again. Read them slowly, reflecting on each phrase. What is God saying to you?