Pondering the Word
As I continue reading through the Bible this year using the F260 Plan, there were some general principles from several of the readings that jumped out at me.
Leviticus 23 – This chapter describes the appointed feasts of the Lord that the Israelites are to “proclaim as holy convocations.” The Lord prescribed these community gatherings throughout the year so that they could be reminded of what the Lord had done for them. In other words so that they would NEVER FORGET! It is the same reason why we have special dates sprinkled throughout our calendar year. The difference is that we often treat these holy days as mere holidays rather than as sacred reminders of God’s goodness to us.
Leviticus 26 – There are a lot of “thou shalt nots” and “thou shalts” in this chapter but the principle comes through loud and clear: OBEDIENCE BRINGS BLESSING! This is a principle that I have known a long time but that I often need to be reminded of. I have seen it play out in my life over and over again – just as I have seen the converse to be true: Disobedience brings cursing. When we are careful to live according to the rules of life that have been established by God then we will generally find ourselves blessed. This is true for both believers and unbelievers. God has given us His commands not to take all the fun out of life but in order to provide for us and to protect us. In other words, He knows what’s good for us better than we do ourselves and if we pay attention to the owner’s manual we will find joy in the way that we were designed to live.
Numbers 11-12 – In chapter 11 the Israelites are grumbling because all they have to eat is manna. Manna burgers. Manna pizza. Manna shakes. Manna bread. And in chapter 12 Aaron and Miriam are grumbling because Moses is top dog and not them. In both cases their grumbling resulted in catastrophe. The principle here is that GRATITUDE IS ALWAYS A BETTER ATTITUDE THAN GRUMBLING. We live in a culture that seems to feel entitled and rather than being thankful for what we do have people are more than likely to grumble about what they do not have. Evidently this propensity towards entitlement has been around a long time. Nobody wants to be around a grumbler and a complainer. We can always finds things to be thankful for even when life is hard – if we are willing to look.
Number 13-14 – These are the famous spying out the land of Canaan passages where Caleb and Joshua are the only 2 out of the 12 that came back excited and ready to press on toward the Promised Land. There are a lot of leadership principles that have been preached from these passages – I will mention two: 1) LEADERS SEE OPPORTUNITIES WHEN OTHERS SEE PROBLEMS, and 2) THE MAJORITY IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. We can see the converse of these playing out in our country right now as candidates are jockeying for votes. They often appeal to the masses and give them what they want to hear rather than speaking hard truth. Great leaders lead from a position of humility (see Numbers 12:3) rather than being proud and bombastic. I’m afraid that because of where our country is heading that God is going to give us what we deserve rather than what we need – and America will learn a very hard lesson as a result… just as the Israelites did.