Numbers 32 – Are You a Musketeer?

“One for all and all for one!” What a concept! This declaration comes from “The Three Musketeers. It’s an ideal that is not only admirable, but longed for by most. We all long to be a part of a community that truly demonstrates loyalty, dependability, care, and concern.

These qualities should characterize God’s people, no matter what point in history we find ourselves.

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Numbers 31 – What’s Cooking?

As any cook knows, it takes a variety of ingredients to make a great dish. Yes, some cooks make incredible dishes by somewhat randomly throwing a variety of things into a pot, but most tend to follow a recipe…whether it’s in their head or on a piece of paper.

Numbers chapter 31 is a recipe of sorts. It’s a chapter that covers a variety of ingredients for a well lived life. Many of these ingredients are so simple and common we tend to overlook them, if not reminded once in a while.

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Numbers 30 – Your Words Matter

As a teacher/counselor/minister, words are the conduit through which I do what God has called me to do. But there are so many words coming at me during the course of a day that I get overwhelmed. Emails, blog posts, texts, newscasts, snail mail…because of shear volume, these words start to matter less and less.

When our words don’t matter, campaign speeches become rhetoric, rather than commitment. Weddings become ceremonies rather than solemn promises. Court testimony becomes “so-help-me,” rather than “so-help-me-God.”

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Numbers 28-29 – Show Gratitude

I remember an old black and white movie about a native tribe on an island. In the movie, this tribe was trying to appease their volcano god by offering up an innocent victim. I remember watching the screen as the wild-eyed natives walked their trembling victim to the edge of the volcano. Even as a kid, I thought, “What a harsh and demanding god!”

At first read, Numbers chapters 28-29 can sound much the same. But this is not what these chapters are about!

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Numbers 27 – Trust Your Provider

Ever since Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden, where they had everything they could want, people have been working hard to get what they want.

Working hard and acquiring things is not bad in and of itself. You can find many examples in Scripture of God blessing people who worked hard.

The problem is not hard work. The problem is assuming that what we have is a direct result of our efforts, rather than God’s provision. Jesus reminds us of this problem when He reminds us to look at how God provided for the birds. (Matthew 6:25-26)

It is God, and God alone, who provides all we need…as well as so many of our wants. (2 Peter 1:3) (1 Timothy 6:17b) (2 Corinthians 9:8-12) And it makes no difference if the need is large or small. God is the Provider of all…including the health, energy, and ingenuity to do what we do.

God’s provision is the theme of Numbers chapter 27. In the first half of the chapter, we see God providing an inheritance for five daughters of a man who died due to his own sinfulness. (Numbers 27:3) In the second half of the chapter, we see God providing leadership for an entire nation. Some might see the needs of the daughters as less important and pressing in light of the needs of a nation. But God treated both needs with equal care and concern.

This is God’s heart. He longs to provide for our every need. God calls us to work hard, but we should not confuse our work with His provision. May it be our heart to trust His provision. May it be our heart to trust Him.

Numbers 26 – Looking for Mushrooms

When I was a kid, growing up in the country, my parents would take me mushroom hunting every spring. I know this activity is foreign to many, so let me explain…

You go out into the woods during the early spring, you look down at the ground, and you start walking hoping to spot mushrooms. Not much to it. But it’s not that easy. The ground is covered with leaves and limbs, making it very difficult to see the mushrooms. The mushrooms blend in with the leaves and are often covered up by them, so it takes a lot of looking and a lot of patience to spot the mushrooms.

I have to approach chapters like Numbers chapter 26 in the same way.

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Numbers 25 – What Are You Passionate About?

What are you passionate about? What do you get excited about? What do you day dream about? What are you goals?

You can learn a lot about a person from how they answer such questions, because people are passionate and excited about so many things. For me, it’s things like reading, teaching, photography, music, and art. For others, it might be things like:

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Numbers 22-24 – Better Than a Talking Donkey

When you read Numbers chapters 22-24, it’s easy to just zero in on the talking donkey story. And why wouldn’t you?! It’s big, unusual, and supernatural! The rest of the text is just a lot of talking, urging, pleading, and manipulating. That kind of stuff happens all the time.

I think that is exactly the point of the story.

Isn’t it funny that we will rabidly search for dramatic and supernatural signs from God while ignoring the simple and clear “God answers” right in front of us? And this is especially true if the answer right in front of us is “NO.” 

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Numbers 21 – A Snake on a Pole

The physician’s symbol for healing is a pole around which is wrapped a snake (sometimes two.) This imagery relates to a story found in Numbers chapter 21. There, God’s people were complaining and rebelling against God, so God sent deadly snakes to strike the people on the feet and ankles.

But, despite their rebellion, God provided a means of rescue. He told Moses to lift up a bronze snake on a pole, high above the people. Everyone who looked up at the bronze snake, rather than the snakes at their feet, lived.

This story raises some questions:

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Numbers 20 – Swinging at Rocks

If you’ve ever had trouble following directions, you can relate to Moses. There was a specific time in Moses’ life when failing to follow God’s directions cost him dearly.

In Numbers chapter 20, God tells Moses to gather everyone in front of a rock and speak to the rock, that it might provide water for the grumbling Israelites. But rather than speaking to the rock, Moses strikes the rock with his staff. Because of this, Moses was not permitted to enter into the Promised Land.

You may be thinking, “What’s so bad about striking the rock?” There’s two problems with it:

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