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Monday, March 10, 2008

Numbers 14-15:16; Mark 14:53-72; Psalm 53:1-6; Proverbs 11:4 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament

1. The People rebel

- The generation that had stood at the entrance of Canaan threw away the promised Land.

- Stunned by the choice Israel is making, Moses and Aaron, "fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel" and Caleb and Joshua tore their clothing (an action indicating great depth of feeling). They spoke for moving forward, and coucelled against rebelling against the Lord. And what response do they get from the crowd? "But the whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb."

-Then God appears. The LOrd visibly intervenes. Their action alone justified their total destruction. But Moses prayed and appealed to God's grace, and the people were pardoned. But they do not escape unscathed..."Then the Lord said, “I will pardon them as you have requested. But as surely as I live, and as surely as the earth is filled with the Lord’s glory, not one of these people will ever enter that land. They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice. They will never even see the land I swore to give their ancestors. None of those who have treated me with contempt will ever see it."

- Only Caleb and Joshua were exempted, because they had responded to God with trust. The rest would be led out again into the wilderness, to wander there for 38 years.

- So a journey that should have taken 40 days will now take 40 years.

- Moses tells the people God's judgement and they mourned greatly. And, the next morning they jump up- and mount an attack on the land they had been unwilling to approach. But this was after God had expressly commanded them to turn back to the wilderness! Doesn't this sound like something you would go through with your children? Only a lot more is at stake here.

- They were defeated and pursued.

- The people had once again demonstrated that they simply would not listen to God or respond to Him. Over and over the failure of Israel to be obedient led them into disaster. Yet they refused to be responsible.

- The lesson here is for all of us. and it is a lesson that still has to be learned...over and over again. Until it is learned, the people (we) would know only tragic consequences of disobedience with each wrong choice.

- One generation had lost its opportunity to know rest, to enter the Promised Land, but their children would make a different choice. So, Numbers 15 begins with ..."When you finally settle in the land I am giving you..."

New Testament

2. Jesus on trial before Annas, the high priest.

- Annas was the high priest emeritus, and was the father-in-law of the current high priest, Caiaphas. He is still referred to as high priest because of the influence he has.

3. Jesus on trial before Caiaphas

- We have false testimony given against jesus, but they can't seem to get their stories right.

- Finally the high priest asked Jesus bluntly,"Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?" Jesus answered,"I am."

- To the leaders this was blasphemy. Jesus had claimed to be God Himself! And the punishment for blasphemy was death.

- This had been more of a hearing than a real trial. So Jesus had not been condemned, yet. But, many of these men would subsequently act as judges when the trial started.

4. Peter denies Jesus.

- Christ had not only predicted, but had anticipated Peter's betrayal. Unfortunately, Peter had not. "And he broke down and wept." Christ knows us and our hearts better than we know ourselves.


5. "Only fools say in their hearts,“There is no God.”


6. "Riches won’t help on the day of judgment,but right living can save you from death."

- Wow, nothing I can add to that...

See you next post...

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