Sunday, November 15, 2020

GOD’S CHOICE

Today’s Reading: Numbers 17-18

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

Evening sets on the Eastern Gate, or Golden Gate, of the Old City of Jerusalem.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

Key Verse: Numbers 17:10

And the Lord said to Moses, “Bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony, to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.

 

King David wrote, “Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4b). The “rod” was the shepherd’s aggressive weapon. With this, leadership was established, both with the sheep and an attacking animal or person. This instrument of authority, the rod, was God’s choice as a sign of His authority. The dead stick, Aaron’s rod, sprouted buds, blossoms and ripe almonds. By putting this in the Ark, the leadership issue was settled once and for all. Chapter 18 has to do with the remuneration of those who served full time in the work of God on behalf of the people. It’s not so long ago that Pastors and Evangelists serving in farming communities were paid with a side of beef, vegetables, chickens, etc. During the 1930’s and into the Second World War, cash was hard to come by. No doubt it was the same in Israel’s case.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord, if necessary to stop murmuring, give Your people a sign which confirms Your call on the lives of the leaders You have chosen. Enable me, O Lord, to have that inner witness of Your Spirit with my spirit, that my leaders are Your choice, whether or not I have a physical manifestation such as a dead stick that springs to life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I was born in 1936, the height of the depression, and our family lived by the gifts of meat and other produce given by those great people called “Farmers.” Every evening from about ’41 to ’45, I would run over to Mr. White’s farm across the field. I would carefully walk back as I was carrying a pail of fresh milk, still warm from the cow. The White family were of a different denomination than we were, but it made no difference. A portion of the tithe of the milk went to our family while my father served as a missionary in Egypt. Our family stayed behind in Canada because of the danger of the war raging in North Africa and Europe. When Daddy arrived home in December of 1944, Mr. White, Chairman of the local School Board, asked my Father to take over teaching the 52 pupils from grades 1 – 8 in our one-room schoolhouse. He did, and believe me, there was absolutely no murmuring, particularly from me, about Dad’s authority and leadership.

Yours for obedience to God’s directions and loyalty to those He has chosen,

David

P.S. Below is a photo of a time of prayer at Caesarea Philippi, where Peter responded to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” Find Peter’s answer in Matthew 16:13-26.

 

17 thoughts on “Sunday, November 15, 2020

  1. Thank You Lord God, for taking care of us. When we think of Your sacrifice for us, our fears are washed away. We know that by Your stripes, we are healed. Our sins are forgiven and we are free. Wherefore would we be without You, Lord? We give You all the praise and glory! Amen, fellow saints. May your day be blessed in worship to our Risen King! Stay safe today for those in stormy weather!

    Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.
    Psalm 54:4 ESV

    Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me (Live) – Selah
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHJPwI1Qioo

  2. Thank you for your post Beverley. Dr Stanley is so right when he says walk in God’s plan for your life (my words). That is the very best way to have peace and success. Looks like we’re in for a high wind coming to southern Ontario today but at this time there is no sign of it. Possible power outages also. Stay safe all, and stay close, (to the Lord). Amen

    • I’m in Goderich area. The wind is not as strong as it was through the night and early morning. Went to church and when we came out the wasn’t as bad. Is lightly raining. Just a good day to spend with our Lord beside the wood stove. Cosy.
      Thank you Father for today. This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

    • The wind is here in Prince Edward County; enough to knock you over, outside. Rain started just as I left church. But, I love a storm!

  3. Thank you ladies.Whenever I am troubled I go to Dr Stanley’s videos and one title will seem to jump out at me and is some part of that message (or all of it) I will feel God speaking to me.I don’t think a man lik….I don’t think men like Dr Stanley and David Mainse,Billy Graham could completely retire.(I should add David Jeremiah also).Stay safe.
    Can’t Be Bought

    May happiness be yours to share
    And joy be your constant kin,
    So you have peace beyond compare
    As He cleanses the temple within
    And as the world sees your face,
    Will be seen what they have not,
    For this gift is an unearned grace
    From a Love that can’t be bought.
    GW(Bill) Marshall 24 Aug, 2015

    • I could bring to mind the following:Brett McBride and Charles Price plus numerous others, some who have passed, namely H. Barbour who recently went to be with the Lord.

  4. Lord God, thank You for being a very present help in times of trouble. I ask for Your help now. Please help all Your people to trust in You and do their best in all the work You have given. Be glorified in it all. In Jesus’s name, amen

  5. Doreen, this article says the staff and rod in Psalm 23 are two different things. It is well worth the read. I put some things in CAPS so you could see the main points of difference.

    Understanding Psalm 23: What Do the Staff and Rod Actually Mean?

    The Staff

    The staff the psalmist refers to can have several meanings depending on how it’s used. In Old Testament times, the staff could be a scepter, walking stick, crutch, or some kind of support or prop. For Psalm 23, the staff is two different things.

    A Staff Gives Rest. Psalm 23 starts right off with equating the Lord with a shepherd (“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”). So, we know immediately we’re talking about shepherding tools. A shepherd might use a staff as something to lean on in case the ground is not dry or safe for sitting or for support when he needed rest during long shifts tending the sheep.

    For us today, the STAFF serves as a SYMBOL that WE TOO CAN FIND REST when we LEAN ON THE LORD. When we lean into Him, He’ll lean into us. He is both the shepherd and the staff supplying all the rest we need when we lean on Him.

    The Staff is a Guide. The staff was also used to guide sheep across open fields and along rocky hillsides. It was a handy tool for making sure they stay on track. Though the shepherd might need to leave the 99 to find the one, I would bet he would rather keep the flock together.

    The Lord’s staff still guides us today in every area of our lives. Look back a few lines in Psalm 23 to verses two and three which say, “He leads me beside the still waters…He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

    The staff leads us to places where we can find peace and restoration amid the chaos in our lives, both day-to-day and in the long seasons. The staff also leads us on the paths where we should be so we can make better choices for ourselves and our families.

    Our decision-making abilities and Christ-like behaviors are all dependent on God’s staff. Without it, we would never find rest, feel peace, or know if we’re heading in the right direction.

    The Rod

    The rod is perhaps one of the most misinterpreted words in the entire Bible. It is often used by many parents to justify their use of spanking. That’s a topic for another time but let me point out that is not what God meant by “rod.” It is not a tool for correction or discipline, it’s a tTOOL OF PROTECTION and a SYMBOL OF LOVE.

    Here’s how.
    The Rod is Our Protection. Most of us picture a rod to be a long, hard stick of some material. For a shepherd, the rod isn’t a long stick but rather the curly end of the staff. The rod was used to pull sheep out of dangerous or unfortunate situations such as if a sheep was caught in thick brush or had fallen into deep water.

    The rod was also used to defend the sheep against predators. Since sheep aren’t very smart, it was up to the shepherd to adequately defend his flock, so a nice long staff with a thick, curly rod on the end made for a solid weapon against any enemies. In this way, the rod is a symbol of God’s protection.

    As a Symbol of Love. I found another purpose for the rod that I didn’t expect. I will warn you that I can’t prove what I learned is true, but it makes good sense to me so I’m passing it on to you. Apparently, most shepherds used their rods as a means of counting their sheep.

    In Leviticus 27:32, a rod was used by the priests to count the tithe. Shepherds used this same methodology to count their flock. The shepherd would hold out the rod end of the staff and have all the sheep pass under it one at a time, counting each animal as it passed. Keeping count was mighty important since they were traveling the countryside so much. If you’ve every chaperoned a school field trip, you know what I mean. It’s super important to make sure you have an accurate head count at all times or else madness ensues.

    What does counting mean for believers? It means God lovingly acknowledges us, He counts us as His own, as a part of His family when we pass under His rod. He offers us assurance of His continual presence and protection when we follow Him wherever He leads us. So, passing under His rod is not a method of discipline or correction but rather a source of great comfort and faithful love.

    In His Gentle Hands
    When we read all of Psalm 23, we instantly get the gist of it even if we don’t understand the first-century vocabulary. The entire Psalm illustrates God’s unrelenting love for us and how He shows us that love. Verse four, in particular, should stand out to us, though. Knowing more about the shepherd’s tools and how they are used should give us great hope and encouragement no matter what our circumstances may be.

    The staff and the rod are a PART of the SAME TOOL, both working together in God’s gentle hands to remind us of His everlasting faithfulness and love. As children of God, we can take a deep breath knowing He is always with us, always protecting us, always guiding us, and always offering us a place of peace and rest.

    https://www.facebook.com/PowerInFaithfulPrayer/posts/1368445570169860

    • Also, the memory that stands out for me is learning that sheep FEAR running water. They have thick wool to contend with and the wool being submerged (as in a fall into the water) would be a real challenge & might lead to a fatality. I heard that many years ago. I knew the crook of the staff was a help in rescue but the “rod” to me, represented punishment. Thanks again.

      • That is interesting about the water with sheep. Definitely the rod is not intended to mean punishment (in this case) but protection.

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