GETTING THE MOST FROM GOD'S WORD:

"Do NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting LIFE..." - The Gospel of John 6:27 (NKJV)
A systematic and daily reading of the Word of God is important in maintaining a strong Christian life. Establish a daily quiet time with God and His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will help you understand what you read. By following our daily Bible reading schedule through this blog, you will be able to read the Bible through in a year. Please note that you may utilize the ‘BIBLE READER’ app that is installed at the bottom of this webpage to assist you in reading the specified scripture portion for today.

To get the MOST from God's Word, please do the following intentionally:
1. REQUEST God to connect with you as you read the word of God with FOCUS and OPENNESS to see what God wants to speak with you.
2. READ the selected sections of Scripture slowly as you mark the words and phrases that intrigue you, even reading them the second time to get a better understanding.
3. REFLECT on what God is communicating to you; stopping long enough to let the seed of God's Word take root in your heart.
4. RESPOND to the passage speaking directly to God about what is in your heart, and then look out for ways to live out what you find - individually, and to others within your church and elsewhere.

As you read and meditate, ask yourself the following three questions:
a) What is God speaking to me through this passage?
b) Is there a command, a promise or a warning for me?
c) Is there an example for me to follow?

Please POST your comments below if there is a thought or message that the Lord has spoken to you through the passage that you are reading and meditating today. Please make sure that your post is aligned to the scripture passage mentioned at the header. All comments should pertain to the relevant scripture portions only, and should be aimed to glorify God (the true author of 'The Bible') & edify everyone who visits this blog site daily - both young and old. May God bless you abundantly for encouraging others through your comments!

Let's PRAY...
LORD, give me the desire to take a little time out of my busy schedule today as I read and meditate on Your Word. Give me this day MY DAILY BREAD. Speak to me clearly & lead me today as my Good Shepherd. Help me to be a blessing to others who interact with me as I attempt to be a living witness of Your Word today. In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February 20 Bible Reading: Numbers Chapters 34-36

God cares about JUSTICE and FAIRNESS for ALL His CHILDREN: "Just as the Lord commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad; for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to the sons of their father's brothers. They were married into the families of the children of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father's family." (Num. 36:10-12)

The five daughters of Zelophehad - Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah – appear in the book of Numbers twice as proponents of a specific case that could not be addressed by the general laws given by God to the Israelites. These five ladies were the great-great-great-granddaughters of Manasseh, who approached Moses with a problem in Numbers 27:1-11. Their father Zelophehad had died in the wilderness and had left them without any brothers. The question at that time was if they would now inherit the land of their father in Canaan. During their short presentation (27:3-4), these five ladies boldly declared their father’s innocence, and thereby displaying their deep loyalty to their father. In their case, God ruled that their father’s inheritance should be turned over to them as his only surviving daughters, and this later became the precedence for all families that lacked male heirs.

The five daughters of Zelophehad had totally submitted to Moses’ ruling and they also eventually submitted to their husbands. For a member of the unbelieving generation of Israel, Zelophehad is greatly honored in Scripture through his faithful daughters (Num. 26:33; 27:3, Joshua 17:3–6, 1 Chron. 7:15). This striking record of obedience and faithfulness is a promising note on which to end such a book that contrasts Israel’s unfaithfulness with God’s faithfulness. The implicit conclusion is, “Be like the faithful daughters of Zelophehad, not like the unbelieving first generation.”

The last chapter of Numbers (36) now presents the interest of the relatives of Zelophehad, who were worried about possible complications of the decision to allow the five daughters of Zelophehad to inherit their father’s possession in the land. If the daughters were to marry outside their tribe and family, then the tribal integrity would be hopelessly lost, and this was complex legal problem. Three parts of the Law were affected by this predicament: the division of the Promised Land, the laws of inheritance, and the law of the Jubilee.

After consulting with God, Moses decided that this concern of the relatives of Zelophehad was legitimate. He did not overrule the earlier decision to allow the women to inherit the portion that would have gone to their father, but He regulated their marriage choices to maintain the integrity of each tribe as a unique entity. Only this could guarantee the tribal territories assigned by divine decree. This incident ends with the daughters of Zelophehad obeying Moses readily by marrying men within the tribe of Manasseh itself (vv. 10–12).

Let us always remember that God’s ruling in this particular situation was an acceptable decision that preserved the Mosaic Law, and this is a good reminder that God cares about justice and fairness. God is willing to extend His own irrevocable law so as to accommodate the concerns of a few women who wanted to preserve their father’s good name (Num. 27:4). Let us also endeavor to do the same and beyond in our lives as well, as God’s Word declares to us: "Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow." (Isaiah 1:16-17)

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