March 12

Numbers 16:41-18:32

After the judgment of Korah and those in alignment with them, the congregation continued to complain, blaming Moses and Aaron for their deaths. It’s amazing how fake news is so easily believed. It’s been said that, “A lie can circle the world, before the truth can even lace up their shoes.”

AGAIN, God was ready to wipe out Israel, but the ones they said were responsible for death, stood in the gap, Moses and Aaron actually fell on their faces – for life. Moses told Aaron to put fire in his censor from the altar of incense (symbolic of prayer) he did so with urgency, and the plague stopped, but not before 14,700 people died.

Saints should not be guilty of complaints. May there be a healthy fear of God in our hearts.

Hebrews 10:31 (NKJV) “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

At the heart of their rebellion, was God’s selection of Aaron, they were envious of the fact that his family had been chosen as High Priests. So the LORD commanded Moses to obtain a rod (branch) from each of the Tribes with their leader’s name on each rod. They were to put the rod in the presence of God, and the one chosen by God would bear fruit. We read the results:

Numbers 17:8 (NKJV) “Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.”

It was clearly confirmed. God had chosen the Tribe of Levi and specifically the family of Aaron – the rod was to be kept in the Ark of the Covenant in case anyone questioned their calling ever again.

Warren Wiersbe, “Korah, a Levite, was not satisfied to serve in the tabernacle according to God’s will; he wanted a “promotion” so he could enjoy all the privileges of the priests. It is good to desire spiritual growth and progress, but we must beware selfish ambition that glorifies the servant and not the Master (Philippians 2:3–4). “Selfish ambition” is one of the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:20), and it brings destruction.”

I wonder why people get jealous in ministry. The Pharisees were jealous of Jesus; Simon the sorcerer was jealous of Peter (Acts 8:18-19); there was that type of tension and contention going on between Syntyche and Euodia (Philippians 4:2). We should never be jealous or envious of others, we should actually esteem others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3) and be faithful where God has called us. Perhaps people like Korah and his crowd looked at Aaron and his family and considered themselves to be “better” – and maybe they were. But God chooses the weak things of the world (1 Corinthians 1:27) – God chooses whom He uses and we trust Him on this. He anoints whom He appoints and if He ever wants to raise you up – He will – but be careful not to exalt yourself. Wait on the Lord, and trust His timing and His will (Psalm 75:6-7).

Numbers 18 speaks of the divine duty the sons of Aaron and the sons of Levi had. They were responsible for the work of the tabernacle. They were to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the sanctuary. It was a heavy calling.

The Levites were a gift to Aaron, to assist him in the ministry (Numbers 18:6).

The priesthood wasn’t something they earned, this service was a holy gift from God;

Numbers 18:7 (NKJV) “Therefore you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything at the altar and behind the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood to you as a gift for service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”

The rest of the chapter deals with the support for the priests from the offerings of Israel, and closes with the Levites tithing of the tithes given to them, in order to support the sons of Aaron.

The flow of this chapter is so wonderful to see how God gives us gifts; He gives us helpers (Numbers 18:6), He gives us work to do (Numbers 18:7), He gives us our food and finances (Numbers 18:8 ff), and He even gives us Himself (Numbers 18:20).”

Numbers 18:20 (NKJV) “Then the LORD said to Aaron: ‘You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.’”

Warren Wiersbe, “The priests and Levites were assigned places to live in Israel, but they did not have property from which they could get income (Josh. 13:14). They had to trust God to meet their needs. But when God is your inheritance, what more do you need? (See Psalm 16:5–6.)”

Mark 16:1-20

It was early in the morning, on the first day of the week, the lovely ladies head out to finish the anointing of Jesus’ body. When they arrive at the tomb they find the stone rolled away and the angel is waiting with a message to share, “Don’t be afraid, I know you’re looking for Jesus of Nazareth, but He’s not here – HE IS RISEN! Come, see for yourself, it’s an empty tomb; go, tell the disciples that Jesus is alive, and make sure to tell Peter!”

Isn’t it beautiful the way the Lord singled out Peter, the one who’d denied Him? That’s the heart of God, willing to leave the ninety-nine and go after the Christian who’s struggling or being condemned by the enemy. If that’s you I hope you’d respond to Jesus and let Him restore your life.

Jesus appeared to many people after He rose from the dead, and before He ascended into heaven; He even appeared to over 500 people at one gathering! Paul informs us of this assembly in 1 Corinthians 15:6 – some were still alive when he wrote that letter. There were an abundance of witnesses!

At first we cringe at the fact that they wouldn’t believe unless they saw the risen Lord. Perhaps we should cringe, after all that Christ had done, the predictions He had made concerning His resurrection – they should have believed. But it also sends a message that these skeptics were bonafide witnesses of the risen Lord. It wasn’t wishful thinking. It wasn’t mass hysteria. There was proof beyond a shadow of a doubt – over 500 witnesses!

So, even though WE’VE never seen Him we can conclusively believe as a wise jury listening to the testimony of witnesses. (1 Peter 1:8)

Of course we know that the Resurrection from the dead, seals the deal for mankind – this is the sign of signs (Matthew 12:39; 16:4; John 2:18-22). The resurrection proves to all the world that Jesus is truly the Way and that He stands, not just head and shoulders above the rest, but infinitely above all others – there’s no comparison! He gutted the grave, He conquered the coffin, He defeated death. He’s proven to the world that He is the One and only to believe in and follow. Jesus’ death on the cross is payment for our sins and the resurrection is the receipt!

Jesus said in:

John 14:19b, (NKJV) “…because I live, you will live also.”

After Jesus’ resurrection, He remained on earth and ministered for forty days before He ascended into heaven. Luke talks about this in:

Acts 1:3, (NKJV) “to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

One of the main messages of Jesus’ final forty days was the Great Commission. We read in:

Mark 16:15 (NKJV) “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), so Jesus commands us to “go.” Jesus didn’t appear to them so they’d be the elite, He appeared to them so they’d be evangelists. It may seem to be an impossible mission, when you contemplate the whole wide world, but it’s not, for this is a CO-mission – Jesus is with us (Matthew 1:23; 28:20). We read in:

Mark 16:20 (NKJV) “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.”

We can win the world for Christ…one soul at a time.

Verse 16 teaches us that the difference between salvation and condemnation is simple faith in Christ. Baptism should be the “first step” after salvation but it doesn’t save us (1 Corinthians 1:17). We’re not saved by works, but by faith in the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, and rose from the dead (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Psalm 55:1-23

We may not be able to pinpoint the exact background to this Psalm, after all, David was fiercely opposed many times in his life. Was it when Saul came against him? Was it when Ahithophel? Ultimately it was the enemy, and David knew where to run, he ran to God in praise and prayer.

It especially hurts when those who oppose you are friends you used to have sweet fellowship with.

Psalm 55:12–14 (NKJV) “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him. 13 But it was you, a man my equal, my companion and my acquaintance. 14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked to the house of God in the throng.”

Beware of flattery which can often be a form of manipulation; the words are smoother than butter, but war is in their heart (Psalm 55:21).

David gave himself to prayer – morning, noon, and night (Psalm 55:17). He knew the promise of God and shared it with the righteous:

Psalm 55:22 (NKJV) “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

The enemy, the world, and the flesh are constantly opposing us; let’s be sure to give it to God in earnest and heartfelt prayer. Therein God will take care of you to the point of keeping you in His perfect plan.

Proverbs 11:7

While the wicked man lived, he had many expectations; but when he dies, his expectations and hope die with him.

Voltaire, was an influential French Philosopher in the 18th century; he’s an example of a wicked man dying, and his expectation dying with him. He boldly said, “In 20 years Christians will be no more. My single hand will destroy the edifice it took 12 Apostles to rear.” 

It didn’t happen. As a matter of fact, shortly after his death his house was used as a headquarter for the printing of Bibles!

At his death his last words were, “I am abandoned by God and man, I will give you half of what I’m worth, if you will give me six more months of life, then I shall go to hell.”

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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