Posts Tagged ‘King’


Numbers 24:1-9,15-19 By now Balaam realized that the Lord was determined to bless Israel, so he did not resort to divination as before. Instead, he turned and looked out toward the wilderness, where he saw the people of Israel camped, tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of God came upon him, and this is the message he delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob; how lovely are your homes, O Israel! They spread before me like palm groves, like gardens by the riverside. They are like tall trees planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their offspring have all they need. Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted. God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox. He devours all the nations that oppose him, breaking their bones in pieces, shooting them with arrows. Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you”… This is the message Balaam delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the foreheads of Moab’s people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth. Edom will be taken over, and Seir, its enemy, will be conquered, while Israel marches on in triumph. A ruler will rise in Jacob who will destroy the survivors of Ir.”

Balaam, the renowned diviner of the land undergoes a character transformation as noted in the last 2 chapters and now speaks wisdom that can only come from God. How is this relevant to us today? (more…)

Advertisements

Numbers 23:1,2,7-10,18-26 Then Balaam said to King Balak, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven young bulls and seven rams for me to sacrifice.” Balak followed his instructions, and the two of them sacrificed a young bull and a ram on each altar… This was the message Balaam delivered: “Balak summoned me to come from Aram; the king of Moab brought me from the eastern hills. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me! Come and announce Israel’s doom.’ But how can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I condemn those whom the Lord has not condemned? I see them from the cliff tops; I watch them from the hills. I see a people who live by themselves, set apart from other nations. Who can count Jacob’s descendants, as numerous as dust? Who can count even a fourth of Israel’s people? Let me die like the righteous; let my life end like theirs”… This was the message Balaam delivered: “Rise up, Balak, and listen! Hear me, son of Zippor. God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Listen, I received a command to bless; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it! No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob; no trouble is in store for Israel. For the Lord their God is with them; he has been proclaimed their king. God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox. No curse can touch Jacob; no magic has any power against Israel. For now it will be said of Jacob, ‘What wonders God has done for Israel!’ These people rise up like a lioness, like a majestic lion rousing itself. They refuse to rest until they have feasted on prey, drinking the blood of the slaughtered!” Then Balak said to Balaam, “Fine, but if you won’t curse them, at least don’t bless them!” But Balaam replied to Balak, “Didn’t I tell you that I can do only what the Lord tells me?”

After being corrected by a humble donkey, Balaam seems now to be advising the kings of the land and there is no fear in him for man. What happened and how is it relevant to us today? (more…)


Numbers 21:1-3,6,7,9,23,24,34 The Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that the Israelites were approaching on the road through Atharim. So he attacked the Israelites and took some of them as prisoners. Then the people of Israel made this vow to the Lord: “If you will hand these people over to us, we will completely destroy all their towns.” The Lord heard the Israelites’ request and gave them victory over the Canaanites. The Israelites completely destroyed them and their towns, and the place has been called Hormah ever since… So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people… So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!… But King Sihon refused to let them cross his territory. Instead, he mobilized his entire army and attacked Israel in the wilderness, engaging them in battle at Jahaz. But the Israelites slaughtered them with their swords and occupied their land from the Arnon River to the Jabbok River. They went only as far as the Ammonite border because the boundary of the Ammonites was fortified… The Lord said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you, along with all his people and his land. Do the same to him as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites, who ruled in Heshbon.”

From being a peaceable people, we now see the Israelites in a new light as warriors who are able to destroy strongholds. What is God speaking to us through this chapter? (more…)


Leviticus 21:1,6,8,10,14-15 The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: ‘A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean for any of his people who die… They must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because they present the food offerings to the LORD, the food of their God, they are to be holy… Regard them as holy, because they offer up the food of your God. Consider them holy, because I the LORD am holy—I who make you holy… “‘The high priest, the one among his brothers who has had the anointing oil poured on his head and who has been ordained to wear the priestly garments, must not let his hair become unkempt or tear his clothes… He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people, so that he will not defile his offspring among his people. I am the LORD, who makes him holy.’”

As I read through this chapter, my first thoughts were how harsh God was to Moses, Aaron and the Jewish people by setting such high expectations for the priesthood.

Was God truly expecting a broken and sinful people to be able to meet the lofty goals He set out for them in their service to Him? (more…)


John 18:36-37
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

I’ve been enjoying following the Australian Open tennis tournament and have tried to watch a few matches over the last many days. One of the common themes I noticed was that commentators always tried to compare competing players by their previous history of games against each other and in the absence of that, tried to compare them in terms of a head-to-head analysis. Often, there is talk of revenge and today I read that a top seeded player actually expressed his desire for revenge. What’s that got in connection to today’s passage and is that right?

As I read Jesus’ response to Pilate, I noticed that with Jesus’ betrayal, his disciples felt the need to get back and react to the imprisonment of Jesus but Jesus stopped them. Jesus clarified to Pilate that neither he nor his people were opposing the arrest because this was not a matter of people not accepting his earthly leadership, rather it was his divinity that was opposed and therefore what was to take place was a battle of God versus Satan. This was the devil’s attempt at putting an end to Jesus’ life and ministry but the battle was won when Jesus beat death and rose up again and the devil and his ploys were quashed forever. We can rejoice in the fact that Christ rose from the dead to give us eternal life and we no more mourn his crucifixion or death!!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting http://groups.google.com/group/in-his-loving-service. Also, share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.


Matthew 11:18-19

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”’ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

 

I’ve often wondered what could Jesus have done to have been universally accepted as the Son of God? Would being born as a King have helped? Would something as amazing as his arrival on clouds have helped? Would some astounding miracles surrounding him have helped convinced the world of his Lordship? What is is that we as mankind would accept God for being God and given him the love and respect He deserves?

It really does not matter because when our hearts are lost to sin, all we can think about is ourselves, our wants, our needs, our desires and just to have more and more. The need for a savior does not exist and anyone who makes these claims must certainly be crazy! That is what Jesus meant by today’s words. He came from a royal lineage but that dint matter to us, he performed miracles that no magician has ever conceived but it’s barely ever mentioned except in the Bible, he rose from the dead and that dint count either because we dint want to serve anyone else but ourselves. We want a genie in a bottle more than a Lord over our lives whose yoke seems very heavy for us self-centered beings. What would it take for you to realize what you are missing on by living for yourself? What is it that matters to you, the now or the forevermore?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet