I’m SO EXCITED about this section of scripture in Revelation 22, because we are going there – we are going to see in this NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH a majestic place – a NEW City of Gemstones (see Revelation 21) and a CRYSTAL RIVER: a pure river of water of LIFE, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the TREE OF LIFE…
In Heaven, we are going to be WITH our Lord, because of our dependence and belief in Jesus. We are and you are and I am going to see the great I AM! God Himself! Face to face.
Not only did, does and will God go ahead, He tells us NOT TO WORRY and He shows us our future with Him by taking John spiritually to the ultimate Holy Place so that we know where we are going. John’s recordings of our future with God and Jesus shows us being brought HOME. Jesus, the Lamb sacrificially offered to go first and take all the pain for us under His Own Will.
The end? NO!!!!!!! Heaven is THE NEW BEGINNING!!!
IF GOD ALWAYS EXISTED THEN HE DOES NOW AND WILL NEVER END.
The Bible pages don’t continue BUT WE DO! It’s not recorded what we will do in this NEW Heaven, NEW City of Jerusalem BECAUSE WE HAVE YET TO LIVE IN IT! And we can make new moments not yet recorded. The Future is God’s reward.
All Light will come from The Lord God Jesus and God. The NEW BEGINNING and moment forward is when Jesus Himself can just BE.. Now on the throne WITH God – And God Jesus Holy Spirit as One will be, is, and can be the “I AM” – They WERE, They ARE, and They WILL BE.
I Read Ahead, using my head.
For in our foreheads, His Name to be read.
Death we dare not dread.
For it is LIFE in Him that we are to be led.
He Promised, He said. The Lamb was Bled.
Read that He will hold stead.
In Him, our lives continue, I know this, I read ahead.
Read and LIVE Ahead.
and please do read ahead:
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them.
My what volumes of work we sometimes do, for example at work we are building a new set of labs, beautiful… The preparation is by many so only a few may enter and do the work. We must think of our work for the greater good that extends beyond us. We build on the shoulders of giants, so we of course should be in firm foundation for others to build upon us.
Likewise, I know that my backyard is long and wide compared to others in my section, perfect for football or soccer games by little kids, of whom I have none. My kids have not been out in the backyard for years, it has little excitement for them. It’s OK, they are AMAZING and growing up and moving on. I know someday (not now, no plans) that this house (which is not stellar but good and not falling apart) and yard will pass to hopefully a family ready with little kids to run, play, enjoy the day in it. Not yet Lord, not yet… I will enjoy my lot for now, literally.
My house, my kids, my work, my lot, my legacy? Not without MY LORD. I never would have gotten here without Him. And I know this is a net I am building of life experiences not a string-along from one day to the next. We build now for the future for ALL. We accept that we can’t take anything with us either.
Moses, a great leader, went to see the Promised Land but did not enter. Still he had to prepare the people for entering and taking in those gifted lots, dispersed by tribe. God had him take a census, to help divide the land. AND God chose to pick someone ELSE to take over. The Lord told him to choose Joshua. Moses was told that he did not honor the Lord in front of rebellious people, struck a water-giving rock instead of just speaking. Moses made a fuss, yes sometimes we do that too. Will the Lord lord over us if we make a fuss? You betcha…
It reminds me to work hard in everything as if I were working for the Lord. It reminds me of sharing all the info I can at work preparing for new labs, new experiments in case I get hit by a bus… don’t make a fuss if you are hit by a bus. Plan for your peoples to succeed to move forward…
Moses was tasked to instruct them about the sacrifices and festivals that the Lord wanted in this new land. Moses as an example, hopefully, helped them to keep honoring and respectfully fearing the Lord. (See all the sacrifices in the Numbers scriptures) And the Lord was fair, and the Lord even allowed daughters, not just sons, to inherit the lands. And the Lord kept His promises, both in who was allowed to continue and who was left out. The Levites were Left-outs. God had chosen them for his own, as His sacrifice. Moses and Aaron and Miriam were Levites – all 23000 in number to that point. All were to NOT make it out of the desert except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun… YET, THEY (Moses, Aaron, all) WERE CRUCIAL TO HELP THE OTHERS ENTER. Some were moving in, Moses was moving on, and Joshua plus Israel’s 12 tribes (the descendants of Jacob) were moving forward.
Where are we? We are wherever the Lord places us. And we may only be in one spot, this spot, for a season, a piece of time where we build, or teardown, or laugh or cry, like the Ecclesiastes scriptures remind us.
Wherever we go, let’s go with the Lord. Move in, move on, move forward.
The total number of the men of Israel was 601,730. The Lord said to Moses, “The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one; each is to receive its inheritance according to the number of those listed. Be sure that the land is distributed by lot. What each group inherits will be according to the names for its ancestral tribe.
Numbers 27: 8-23
“Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”
Joshua to Succeed Moses
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.” (These were the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)
Moses said to the Lord, “May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the Lord. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in.”
Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.
I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
Oh, how my Dad appreciated gemstone, gold and silver. He had a fair amount of silver in the 70’s and when the price got elevated, almost artificially because the price eventually crashed, he sold the silver for money to buy airplane tickets to Ireland. 1979, I was 9 years old, oh what an amazing trip.
My Dad organized many great trips for us. We even got into a special lounge at the Franklin Mint, I can see and taste the can of Sprite as a special treat, feeling privileged to sit on fancy chairs. So many special memories of traveling and things my Dad did for so many people, including us.
My Dad set jewelry as a hobby, took us to the Smithsonian many times to see gemstones, was fascinated with King Tut’s discovery and all that gold… and as part of his last years working in the bank’s coin vault, he worked next to million dollars worth of gemstones being curated and photographed in the vault next to his. His helpfulness to them, naturally keeping an eye out for security and helping them with their jobs, earned him an honorable mention in their publication. He got special privilege to visit the museum too.
But now I have heard of an even big bigger BIGGEST gem presentation that I pray he sees – in our future – we as believers in the Lamb slain for our sins – in Heaven’s NEW CITY. A City that will be 1500 miles by 1500 miles by 1500 miles – the Holy of Holy’s perfect cube. Yes, current earth and heaven will pass away, roll away, and NEW Heaven and earth will come and this city will hold God, Jesus, the Tree of Life and all of us. John saw this and was instructed to write it down for us to know. Holy HOPE – FILLED with LIGHT.
What am I MORE excited about than seeing this? Having my DAD see MILES AND MILES OF GEMS, yes – AND even that fades compared to seeing and knowing Jesus – maker of light. Life of us.
Oh how we love to see our loved ones loving life, don’t we. This trip to Heaven will be like no other. Oh Lord, give them joy. Our hope is both seeing them again in Heaven (and our ancestors and future generations too!) but even MORE SO is that THEY see You, Lord, in Heaven. We want them to understand the blessings of being with God. Jesus, You take away our tears and theirs. You are our HOPE and Savior. You are our Love and Life.
Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal… the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Not only will the sorrows on earth pass away, the JOYS and LIGHT and HOPE in our new LIFE will be immeasurably more intense and ILLUMINATED. The New City of the Lord will be our FOREVER HOME!!!
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
OUR TEARS WILL PASS, OUR HOPE IS IN ALL THINGS NEW!
Let us share the hope of Jesus… walk in the light of HIM…
I was blessed to hear this new city described in a sermon thus week – oh how I wish others would preach from this Book of Revelation! We all await the newly made city in the new heaven where there will be gemstones as walls and floors of gold – what a sight – but even more precious will be is INSIDE – the people we hold dear as GOD’S SOULS.
John writing what he sees and is told to write: Revelation 21 – We are His Bride…
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
In the BEGINNING, God created the Heaven and the Earth. In the end was a new beginning. In the new beginning was the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ with us. With us was Jesus, in us Jesus and will be with us Jesus. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, first and last. At last there is a new beginning. In the beginning God was God and God is God. In the end God was God and God is God. There was a “It is finished” but that was no end that was a NEW BEGINNING. God never ends. God only begins.
God is God.
Revelation 22 – King James Version
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
King James Version
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
Have you ever been hit with a wave in the ocean you didn’t expect and it smacked you, threw you for a loop, and physically rolled you? Like you stopped paying attention for a moment or were distracted by your comfortability. If you catch your breath after getting rolled it’s at best a relief and also it’s HOPEFULLY at worst an embarrassing moment, plus the lifeguards doubt you are paying attention AND you get all this annoying sand inside your swimsuit. Don’t get rolled.
My friend taught me to go further out into the ocean, past where the waves break, to be where you can barely touch but enjoy and go with the flow of the waves, that’s more fun out there. And I have become more comfortable there, especially going with a friend. However taking a flotation device might lure you to not paying attention and you get naturally carried farther, put out to sea. Don’t panic, just wake up and swim in. Listen for lifeguards before you go too far. Come back. Catch a wave if you dare. But don’t get rolled.
Now I am both talking about the shore, how to enjoy the ocean, AND HOW TO STEP OUT IN LIFE, how to navigate and keep yourself upright when life crashes into you or waves come that are over your head. Don’t get rolled. But if you do, just stand back up. It’s less important whose watching you fall than whose supporting you getting up and whose wanting you to survive. And better yet teach you to navigate and help you next time, that’s how you THRIVE.
Again, I’m really talking about life. And going into the fray of life to remember to stay above the worldliness of life. It is better to keep your wits together and trust in the Lord and His guidance than to attempt to go it alone. It’s not just the comfortability of going further out to the sea of unknown, it’s both trusting in Him and relying less on your own bravado. Taking His Hand because He’s already offering it. And don’t just sit on the beach and watch others, Life is for Living and venturing outside your comfort zone. The Lord will take you and keep you within HIS. Be in His Zone. The Lord will always have His comfort available. He will always take you farther and further.
Are we going to brave the big waves in life? Best if we pay attention, but yes we need to be out there. Is it going to be scary? Only if we don’t take our eyes off Him. Best also we travel in pairs. Best we have both someone watching your back and you theirs. Often you can see how they navigate life and even DIVE into the big waves. We are not to be taken off guard, know the challenges and deal with those we don’t know in smart ways. We are best to learn.
Sometimes, you get rolled from a big wave and are done for the day, sit and rest and regroup. Sometimes you go back in right away. So, if you hesitate, KNOW that there is going to be a FRESH DAY, a NEXT day, and a GOOD day to GO BACK into the water. Go with the Lord to where He needs to to be. In life, trust Him, keep swimming and even trust Him enough to rise above the waves of life. Ask Peter if he saw any waves while he was walking on water to Jesus. I bet they were still there and rough. FOCUS on JESUS. Rise above the waves. Let the waves crash themselves. Stay safe with Jesus.
And if you sink? Start swimming. And if you look back up at Jesus – His Hand is already there for you to grab. Start again.
Better yet, ask Jesus into your boat and float. He knows the Way.
Jesus got up and spoke sharp words to the wind and the high waves. The wind stopped blowing and there were no more waves. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” The followers were surprised and afraid. They said to each other, “What kind of a man is He? He speaks to the wind and the waves and they obey Him.” Luke 8:24-25
Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:27-33
If you remember the “do it yourself” construction advice: MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE, you know that it is important to “prepare before you dare”. Understand what you are doing. How fitting also to say this about life and scripture. So, if we read even just once, let us LISTEN twice… Don’t “Do it yourself” but OBEY always, live in step with God. (and read it more than twice)
Actually read and reread scripture as your spirit and human ears and heart need so that when we are listening once again with our ears, we treasure and store those instructions – and then let us be listening again in the situation for what is saved in our soul. REMEMBER what you had heard and put it into practice. LISTEN through the situation to put a scripture lesson into practice as it filters thru your mind, heart, soul. God wants to be read and understood.
Now here’s a story about someone who DIDN’T listen, kept asking again and again, as if God would change. MANY examples in the scriptures, but only one involving a DONKEY who TALKED! Yeah, wow.
God spoke directly to Balaam and Balaam didn’t listen to the original instructions (even twice), so God spoke to him again (and again). Balaam was asked to go with an army of folks and to curse the Israelites, they offered him a “house full of silver and gold“, but Balaam did say he “cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.” God told him the Israelites were a blessed people. The armies asked again and Balaam offered to listen to God again for them. God seemed to let Balaam go with the armies of Balak but not without anger. God knows when we step out on our own without His help.
So the donkey that Balaam rode was instead looking at and was directed by an ANGEL of the Lord – yes, the animal could see him but Balaam could not – yes how AMAZING to see an angel army that exists but we are unaware (no wonder my cat wakes me up to read and write about scripture, not maybe the cat but maybe the angel, maybe). The donkey’s directional movements were caused by the angel, and he went this way and that and not where the path was blocked. In doing so, he crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall and later dropped out from under him. Balaam was not amused.
Balaam chastised the donkey – and yelled even when the donkey spoke (now that’s being too close to your anger and your situation that you don’t realize that you are arguing against a TALKING donkey!). Not only did Balaam come to his senses, he fell face down in front of the angel who revealed himself to Balaam. What a sight!
The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. ….. “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.”
God not only told Balaam MANY TIMES that Jacob’s people, Israelites, led by Moses, were blessed, He told him many times that they would thrive… Balaam directly set up altars for conversation with God, even the army boss set up sacrifices, but it was Balaam turning into the wilderness (the quiet) where the Spirit came over himand he heard and understood his role, and God reiterated that the blessings over the Israelites was from HIM, GOD – and God meant it!!! This made the army folks mad, they wanted curses not blessings. But Balaam answered that He was to be speaking only what was from God. God was in control.
And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
Balaam at that moment “listened twice“, he went out and re-listened to what he was already told from the Word of God. He was in the quiet and away from the fray. We should go there too. Maybe we don’t see the angel of the Lord directly directing us and our path, but we are told that they ARE there. And we have the Word WITH us, treasured in our hearts where they are to be protected and understood.
And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me…
How much MORE God speaks to us to DIRECT our way rather than resort to blocking our way and forcing us to listen. He can do BOTH, so best we LISTEN and OBEY…
God does not change. Sometimes we are too close to a situation and need to take a moment to turn towards the wilderness (the quiet) where we are less distracted and more in tune with the Lord’s plans. Pause, Pray, Prepare, Pursue HIM. God wants us to be blessing others, to bless His blessed people whom are all His children in need of hearing how they are loved BY HIM.
How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied?
Read, Listen, LOVE
Numbers 22-24 (see web links for both NIV and KJV)
And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho. And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.
He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.
And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak. And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.
And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee? And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying, Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.
And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.
And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you. And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us. And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they. And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.
And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more. Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more.
And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his donkey, and his two servants were with him.
And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the donkey, to turn her into the way.
But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the DONKEY saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the donkey with a staff.
And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
And Balaam said unto the donkey, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the donkey said unto Balaam, Am not I thine donkey, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.
Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the donkey saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.
And the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast. And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour? And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak. And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjathhuzoth. And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2022&version=NIV;KJV
And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams. And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram. And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the Lord will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place. And God met Balaam: and he said unto him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram. And the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak. And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab. And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel. How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied? For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!
And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether. And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth? And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence. And he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar. And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the Lord yonder.
And the Lord met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus. And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the Lord spoken? And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor: God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought! Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain. And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all. But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the Lord speaketh, that I must do? And Balak said unto Balaam, Come, I pray thee, I will bring thee unto another place; peradventure it will please God that thou mayest curse me them from thence. And Balak brought Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward jeshimon. And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams. And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.
And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters. He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.
And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the Lord hath kept thee back from honour. And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the Lord saith, that will I speak? And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.
And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city. And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever. And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwelling place, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock. Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.
And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this! And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever. And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+24&version=NIV;KJV
It is Yom Kippur, the day of reinvention, AND becoming better. …he that is holy, let him be holy still.
We hopefully know, as Christian followers of Christ, that we are ALWAYS to be watching for Jesus’s Return. “He’s coming on a cloud, Kings and Kingdoms will bow down.”
I like the thought of reinvention, as a Jewish Rabbi wrote about in a Jerusalem Post article online, but I am MORE than EXCITED about RECONCILIATION where we make amends and make reconnections when Jesus reigns.
I know how important it is to become humble before God everyday, especially remembered on Yom Kippur, and when Jesus brings us to Heaven, we have much to be in AWE of. We will be placed in a thousand year Millennium at first then our Forever in the New Jerusalem (rolled out as detailed in the Book of Revelation 21 and 22). The pilgrimage today may be to the Holy Land for some, but the marathon migration will be RECONCILIATION in HEAVEN. The best journey we can take is one that Jesus leads us on – He IS the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, taking our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103, Bless the Lord, oh my soul)
Oh, what RECONCILIATIONS that I dream of !!! RECONCILIATIONS Both personal and with the world. Things of people who have wandered or been pulled apart – I dream of REPAIR of the simple shifts of life and the sorrowful losses to have sweet REUNIONS.
What’s on my Reconciliation agenda? My family – whom I have never met and those whom I have lost and who will lose me when I myself will pass one day. My friends waiting by one of the heavenly gates to see me and me them: neighbor Granny will say “what took you so long” and Miss Bonnie will glitter and Linda will have cards for Michigan Rummy already dealt out. Music mashups too: maybe after I sing again with my original praise band and second band, I’ll be headed over to Keith Green’s concert. Many heroes never running out of time to greet their fans: Maya Angelo, Martin Luther, Jan Hus, Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman, George Washington, MOSES, Abraham, Joseph, Mary and Martha, Mary mother of God… imagine… who can you imagine will be there????
AND Man oh Man, Man of God and Man of Man: JESUS, HIMSELF, THE LAMB… and we shall see His face.
And ALL those people who want to meet us. Our great great great ancestors yes – and we will have RECONCILIATION WITH GOD… FACE TO FACE… We Will See the FACE of God, and LIVE !!!
…there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face…
Revelation 21:22-27 and Revelation 22 – the last chapter the bible – and when we ourselves are the writing of His name on our heads from His Heart for Healing
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: WORSHIP GOD. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
I am blessed to be reading/listening to teachings about Revelation 21 scripture where the NEW CITY Jerusalem will roll in from the new Heaven, faceted with so many gemstones and looking as if the clearest crystal, a diamond like no other – and how big? 1400 by 1400 by 1400 miles – YES that big!… John’s preview from his own eyes: “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;” Ah, to see this all. We WILL if we believe. We could never see this distance with earthy eyes but live in our faith to see us that far ahead.
My eyes are still good for distance and the doctor told me of my eventual need for transition lenses instead of reader glasses. The drops he gives in the exam room give me fuzzy vision, I can’t see the close things. Luckily I can drive. But rest of the day, no headache-inducing computer or phone and because my eyes are “special” with acute angles, it takes hours for me to see normal again as they don’t flush out the medication quickly. Worse than double vision, but temporary.
I now think about FRACTURES in the church and among believers – DOUBLE VISION – not seeing eye to eye and not being able to have movement without coordinated sight. Two eyeballs looking their own way. Double Vision.
Many examples abound for a church body’s double vision: politics, personal choices, games of chance, marriages, divorces, even whether people can dance. Medical procedures as well. Vaccinations (of course) are in the news today. More than one church I connect with has sent out pleas to not let the vaccination discussions or even mask discussions divide the congregation into feudal wars.
We are to be one WITH Christ, one IN Christ, one OF Christ. We are to NOT let the distractions divide and prevent us from LOOKING FORWARD. Let us admonish against this Double Vision that will make us stumble, if one is able to walk at all. One eye vision will not give you depth perception or perspective either. The body can’t walk in two directions for the path forward.
Distractions and arguments take away from study and drive, take away from missions and movement.
Jesus warned about getting lost in blinding hypocrisy (Matthew 23) and warned that those who don’t call Jesus their Lord and Savior will find themselves NOT in Heaven (the path that looks good is too wide leading into destruction). But these modern threats of double vision often come out of from good eyes, people of faith who simply disagree on how to apply the scriptures to the challenges of the day. Spirit and Truth is how we are to worship, trust and obey. Be true to the Word, don’t bend it and prevent water from flowing. God does not change anyway.
Jesus gave sight to certain blind people to glorify God in demonstration of His Power, but Jesus already knew these faithful servants SAW GLORY ahead of them, and they believed in the scriptures of their Savior coming. They were always “watching”. Unlike the seeing unbelievers, the unseeing believers in Jesus KNEW.
We too must be WATCHING. Our Savior will come back and we need to be looking for Him.
And will these double vision challenges in the church and society get deeper? YES. Challenges shake the earth which is temporary anyway. There is only One who can pull us OUT OF THE RUBBLE OF LIFE, away from the earthquakes beneath our feet, arguments in our ears, and the collapse of the world, and especially from the distractions of our hearts: JESUS. Follow Him. Let Jesus be the sole fixture of our gaze, our hearts, minds, souls.
Let’s not divide ourselves but reach out to those drifting. Let us fit not transition lenses on ourselves but simply set our sights on things above. Set aside double vision and walk by faith, not by sight.
Let us all look around the bend and know Jesus comes back sooner than later. Let us be ready to be shown as in His Bride.
I said “Lord I want to go camping!!!” – well, I didn’t mean in my own house, LOL. We are using bottled water because the hurricane rains brought overflow and contamination to our river water source – yes I could boil water but I bought water for convenience (and for only the cost of one less Starbucks drink, now that my daughter is away at college), I got enough for 3 households for this duration of a water emergency, probably 2 more days. $6 each, yeah I will take it. We had TOO MUCH water in near 10 inches of rain – and now we don’t have enough clean water from the spigots. I am glad the Lord is not like that – He gives us enough and really good water in HIM from HIM. He is up, down and all around the source of our life. Jesus is the Living Water – He wants us to “lap Him up” – and never thirst for another source.
Jesus said: “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) John 4:37-39
He may have come to us in a flood of overwhelming proportions, but He never gives watered down advice. The bible is written down so that it can not be watered down, that’s important, for God wants us to pay attention, learn, know. DO what He says and not more or less. He wants to get it across in VERBAL fashion. He wants to hear scripture (which is Himself) read, sent out and returned up to Himself.
His Word is ENOUGH – but we sometimes forget that – we crave action – we force action. Yes, action FROM His calling is important (think Prophet Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.)
Moses, our friend Moses, is walking his/His people towards the Promised Land, but they are by nature complainers (us too) and had nothing to drink. Moses inquired and got a visit from God and an opportunity to help his/HIS people by going to an appointed rock and SPEAKING so that life-giving water would flow out of the rock. His WORD (God’s Word give to Moses to speak) to the rock was enough – but what did Moses do? Moses HIT the rock – He went TOO FAR – He applied an action to the Lord’s Words that did not need to be added. AND WORSE, Moses added the actions in anger not in thankfulness… ***The Lord told Moses and Aaron that they would NOT enter the Promised Land because of that ANGER.*** WOW !!! – Miriam had already passed and Aaron then passed away before going into the Promised Land.
Moses could not cross into the Promised Land (but he was taken care of fine as the Lord’s faithful servant) … So, Let us LISTEN to the Lord and do ONLY what He says and not apply extra force or anger to His Word. Be WALKING HUMBLY (a very important section of Micah 6:8).
I am THANKFUL for these challenges (which are really not bad and nothing to make out worse than they are). I am THANKFUL to rock my water supply from HIM, our ROCK. I am THANKFUL for the house as others clean up their tornado and flood damage.
Let us WALK HUMBLY and also be THANKFUL to listen to the flow – whether a trickle whisper or flood – LISTEN to His Word.
Water From the Rock – Numbers 20:1-13 In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”
Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”
So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.
You must present as the Lord’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.’
I appreciate this long weekend for so many reasons – mostly that I am giving my brain a rest. I went to the beach less than an hour away with a friend, to see the sunrise, to swim and to sit, ahhh…
I left all my worries at home for another day. At home I even napped. So in my short beach pause for scripture reading (don’t you just love smart phones?!), as I continue my methodical reading/writing thru the old testament, the passage that stood out was:the Lord wants an offering of the best of the best – to put your best forward from all that is given to you. It is written about the Israelites that they were to give Aaron the priest a fraction of the best of their grain and then Aaron was to give a fraction of the best of that best. This BEST OF THE BEST honors the Lord BEST.
SO in today’s world, how do we honor the Lord? We can give Him our BEST thoughts – our BEST attention – our BEST practices – our BEST memory of His teachings – and our BEST attempt to be more like HIM. What is better than grain? OUR BRAIN. Give the Lord our BEST THOUGHTS! Give up worry and be at PEACE that HE has things under His Control. Jesus said: “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Imagine the BEST in life and then live that way – it is NOT pretending when we remember that the TRUTH of Jesus bringing us to Heaven, our life is WITH HIM forever. Imagine vs. KNOW. Figure out the challenges for today and leave tomorrow for itself, tomorrow will be dealt with tomorrow not today – today has enough – and Jesus is enough to deal with each of them. Just live in the present.
The BEST OFFERING that I can give the Lord today? TO LOOK for HIM FIRST… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. To KNOW and TRUST that He is in CONTROL. To do my best and help with the rest. It is not my grain that I give back to the Lord but my BRAIN.
And surely our Best of the Best is to share with others that WE WILL BE ALRIGHT! To share that Jesus knows the WAY because He IS the rest in our weary day. Jesus is our Way. “Day by Day – Day by Day – Oh Dear Lord, three things I pray: See Thee More Clearly, Love Thee More Dearly, Follow Thee More Nearly… Day by Day”.
Just keep swimming!
The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering. Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the winepress. In this way you also will present an offering to the Lord from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the Lord’s portion to Aaron the priest. You must present as the Lord’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.’
“Say to the Levites: ‘When you present the best part, it will be reckoned to you as the product of the threshing floor or the winepress. You and your households may eat the rest of it anywhere, for it is your wages for your work at the tent of meeting. By presenting the best part of it you will not be guilty in this matter; then you will not defile the holy offerings of the Israelites, and you will not die.’”
Do Not Worry JESUS SAID: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. Jeremiah 17:14
Being today as the 20th anniversary of 9-11, I have been thinking about the prayer request that I have ALWAYS had: for God to have saved all those people, long-believing or not, may they have ALL found the Hand of Jesus, the Light of Him, the Morning Star. May His Star have risen in their hearts, even if they had known Him only by one Word, His Name, Jesus, more powerful than all. If they sprouted with faith of just the size of a tiny seed. If only they heard and spoke: Jesus, hear our prayer.
I pray the families to have true peace and love and and comfort and healing. To hear the stories is heartbreaking. To see the families and children 20 years later is HOPE. To know there is a Lord who gives comfort, peace, hope in an afterlife for reuniting and reconciliation – I take comfort in that blessing. May all know that true healing comes from the Lord.
Just now I woke up from a very healing dream of my very own, I’m still VERY surprised at it, and thank the Lord for finding me where I am. In my dream I saw my Dad, 2 months gone now, standing, healthy, about middle age, and wearing one of his favorite very thin white undershirt tshirts. His presence showed me that he was alright and gave me a hug, one of those deep hugs that lifts you like a child off the ground for the briefest moment. Wow. A dream not out of nowhere, but a dream out of somewhere, yes from a place, my place, that the Morning Star just found and illuminated within my heart. Peace in knowing God saves. God saves the People. God knows my earthly prayers. God gives of His Peace for me to keep moving. How endless I must praise for this Almighty God who rights my days. Thank You Lord.
I’ve been singing the song God Save the People from the 1970’s Godspell Musical, the song adapted from an 1800’s hymn. It rings thru my head from my continuous internal playlist. It asks: when will God save the people. Many prophets asked that, but at least they knew it as truth, the future truth. As early as written Word, Genesis, recorded by Moses, speaks of a ruler of obedient nations. Balaam, in Numbers, has to speak only the Words God gives him, and speaks of a star rising from Jacob/Israel.
The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.Genesis 49:10
Balaam prophesying the star rising from Jacob/Israel:
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. Numbers 24:15-17
Peter spoke of us taking heed in knowing Jesus: unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
The “Save the People” music asks and so do I:
Flow’rs of thy heart, o God, are they; Let them not pass, like weeds, away,…
God Save the People… And songs be heard instead of sighs.
I pray you all peace and remembrance this 9-11 day – and HOPE.
2nd Peter 1:16-21 speaking of the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, them being eyewitnesses of his majesty: For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2nd Peter 1:5-8
giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I went on a pilgrimage earlier this week, the timing was right, I’ve thought about it for years. I took the train to Ground Zero, New York’s Water fountain memorial for the victims of September 11th attacks. The towers fell, the souls rose, that was and IS sacred ground. Life stopped. But life has moved on 20 years now. Yes 20…. I am sure same could be and has been written about Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg, Oklahoma City, and thousands of other mass graves of death and quick rises to next. Terrorism or war or genocide or “just the way it is” it’s still death decided by others. How HORRIBLE. I will tell this story for the rest of my life, I know where I was and what I was doing on 911. I turned on the TV after the first plane hit, before the second. I remember that I would have first thought accident then thought terrorism… I was glued to the TV but my daughter was screaming to be fed, 6 week old preemie waiting for my routine to stop and nursing to begin. She by being my focus forced me to keep going. I nursed her but I can say that being a mom in the moment nursed me back to reality and that we can’t stop what is needed, life moves forward. 9-11 is a horrible day – but there was another day after it and another, life is forever. Let us keep moving.
With Saturday 9/11/21 just a week away, I appreciated the easy only hour and a half train ride to travel there – I had to go – to see the place – to feel the setting – to see how they have moved forward and where they (and we) will NEVER FORGET. My goal always was to be there with my daughter too. She took a train from campus and met me there, we got to see the 9-11 memorial, the Oculus train station, and of course the new beautiful tall Freedom Tower. My daughter is the competent traveler – preemie no more – 20 year old BOLD. To say life moves on and moves fast is an understatement.
Growing up from Ground Zero was LIFE – vibrant life – you would not have known the area was piled with debris only 20 years ago. The Oculus train station is most GORGEOUS and BRIGHT, the structure like a bird in flight. The tunnel walls are white and clean – the mall atmosphere was quiet with the lack of tourists this covid year (which actually makes it really easy to get around NYC).
Now as I was SURPRISED at how much LIFE that I felt at the 9-11 memorial, life instead of death, it was not from coldness or forget. I have teared up a few times watching a Netflix documentary but not at all in the actual place. Why? Life went on, as the victims would have wanted. All in All, I felt no death. Yes, I had the pause of remembrance, especially when I saw the close-by Fire Station 10, but my scan of emotions did not include any dread of my pilgrimage – I would go again in a heartbeat. It was a needed pilgrimage to honor the memories- a must see for so many – so many compelled to be there – and the memorial was truly powerful and healing. The water flowed and the names surrounded the two artistic pools. Touching the names was touching for my soul. The weather beautiful and the people sweet and real. The photos – the endless photos – so compelling to take – I even volunteered to take a few group photos of other families – that was and is one of my favorite things to do in life. I love seeing people loving life.
The death was not there – but yes the sight of the fire company tugged at my heart strings – the commitment they showed and the dedication and camaraderie were all felt there. Perhaps I did not feel death because I was in the midst of this renewing life moment – one of my own life moments too with my daughter with me. I can say we are not “moving on” or “moving away” from 9-11 but instead GROWING on – GROWING UPON – 9-11 – building upon our memories and vowing to make better ones.
The water sound was life-giving. There is a beautiful display of a “Survivor tree” that survived and was removed to be given a chance for life – and now that it is returned, it THRIVES. The new building towers beautifully and the renovated other WTC buildings shine – with one more still in renovations. There is even a colorful beer garden with that modern recycled CHIC. I took so many pictures and I had to write about the LIFE I saw loved and lived in.
I was delighted in the shadow of the tower with seeing a class of kids – all geared up and doing skateboard jumps down the railings and stairs – cool – not vagabond teens but like an actual class with helmets and kneepads – and this was the joy of the jump! They were middle schoolers at most – the colorful background could only barely touch their excitement – I loved it.
As life was blooming all around me, I started with walking to St Paul’s chapel just across from the modern buildings was this contrast in a classic old graveyard and stone church – its history from much before any Wall Street or WTC envisioned. It sat silent and locked up tight but a testament to a strong presence of history of people of faith
Walking to find the water, I cut thru the Winter Garden building just south of the tower as its arching glass structure intrigued me – I found more life with palm trees and people – the Upper Bay docks – and the boats were IMPRESSIVE and of course so was the Lady of Liberty sitting ready in the water to guide and inspire. Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Bridge were way in the distance but I really noted that I saw the New Jersey Railroad building which I had visited on the Jersey City side last spring. This is where the people who were processed out of Ellis Island started their real new journeys out into America – on the train – the Central Jersey Line – 7 of 8 of my great grandparents came thru Ellis Island and would have seen the same Lady giving them HOPE. I found a shady spot of a closed restaurant and a power outlet – 20 minutes I people watched and wrote on my hand and gathered camera juice to keep going. I loved being content without a time schedule for myself – waiting for my phone and eating my apple and peanut butter from home stowed in my pocket – for I found the ONLY electricity plug accessible in all of lower Manhattan, 20 minutes and 20% battery later I was good to go. Yes, loving being outside – loving being alive – and thriving. I took my camera back to retrace my steps and gather the photos of my head. And yes, more of that beautiful tower and the Oculus. I scaled the side walkway towards the Koenig Sphere – I knew I had seen it before – and I had as they took it from WTC to Battery Park for years while they were rebuilding the area – it was 20 tons of art – battered but intact – it’s battle scars showed but were not showcased as the view was still beautiful. There is a photo online of how the sphere stands tall among the rubble – really remarkable it was not crushed.
That is a good way to sum up this day and this memorial and these people and this life – we are perplexed but not crushed – fittingly scripture to say that our faith and our power is not from us but from an internal source too powerful to crush. The HOPE in this garden was real. The love was real. The memorial was real. But most importantly the power of LIFE was real…
I can not say that people have moved on or moved forward and left this place to the history books – but that we – all of us – in LIFE – WE GROW FORWARD. Let us BUILD upon these memories and times as we continue to see not the destination but the JOURNEY.
God Bless our Heros of the day – God bless and keep those innocent victims in your Hand, Lord – Lord, please let us not see this destruction again. Please let us share LOVE to overtake all hate. Please Lord.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Well, the morning is always the best time for me to give the Lord a portion of my day – the mind is fresh – the praise is real – the morning has broken. We are best grounded from the night before and calm.
A good night sleep is better than most anything else – I would say a good night sleep is better even than a good cry. A “Good morning Lord” is fresher than a tired “good night Lord”. Both are appreciated and blessed.
Moses was told to give a portion – the first portion of the new land’s offerings and every first preparation – as an offering to the Lord. He told Moses this as a task for handling grain and bread – but this extends to modern times as well. As what goes with processing? Time. Processing time. The time to prepare, grind, process, produce is time to think and time to give to the Lord. This is sage advice for us as well. Give the first processing, praising and pieces of peace to the Lord. Say “THANK YOU”.
Reading the Word, processing it, staying grounded in it, this is a great morning routine. This is the same as what Moses did – but on a real human level for this day and age. So, we Read the Word, Which IS Jesus, Who IS Our Daily Bread – we acknowledge Him and He blesses our time with Him and His Guidance. We learn, we are nourished, we are to partake of His whole grain ground, grounded (coming to earth from Heaven) and shared.
Our threshing floor is the base to start our day WITH HIM. Pick a chapter of the Lord and apply it to a chapter of your life. Savor a morsel of His grain. Start from Him for Him. Give Him the first loaf and His next meal given back to you is well worth waiting for.
The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land to which I am taking you and you eat the food of the land, present a portion as an offering to the Lord. Present a loaf from the first of your ground meal and present it as an offering from the threshing floor. Throughout the generations to come you are to give this offering to the Lord from the first of your ground meal.’ ” Numbers 15:17-21
We just got through a major storm last night but it was so SUNNY out today that I barely remembered it… Not even much in my memory banks of the long drive home! And it was long! Today all is well, the strife falls away in memory. It was a temporary situation for me – *not for everyone so pray for them, but I myself was fine. Most importantly that I knew my kids were safe and my mom knew that we were safe.
Even more than the calm before the storm – there was MUCH more calm AFTER the storm – especially when cooler temperatures replaced oppressing heat. The front pulled out and no storm remained. Even after a blizzard often there is bright sunshine. The relief was and is real.
Will Heaven be like that? Will Heaven be our calm after the storm? I bet it will be our calm!!! I bet it will be relief and rest! I even don’t have to bet, I KNOW (for the Bible tells me so) that our Heaven after the Storm will have order, brightness, beauty, and blessings. Our Heaven will also have a view of reckoning of the Broken Lamb for the things and people that broke Him, that He chose to be broken for. We will see the Storms of past pass away. We will see the Heaven renewed.
Will we be chatting with others up in Heaven, like after a storm? – “Did you see how my earth life had torrential times and now I am saved?” – “Did you see the roadblocks I had?” – “Whoa, do you see that person’s plight was way worse than we ever had.” – “Do you remember when God opened a door that I thought was closed?” – “Do you remember that final time we didn’t know Jesus was coming for us?” – “Wow it’s so beautiful here in Heaven, I barely remember Earth!” – “Wow, we’ve been in Eternity for how long now? Earth seems so many light years behind us!”
Will we forget about our lives in earth? Or maybe we will forget about the darkness that we sometimes were in? I bet we will once we have seen the GLORY of the Lord in front of us, illuminating all… Knowing this, can we NOW look beyond any feelings of a current fractured existence and darkness and embrace what we already know will be GLORIOUS and WHOLE? Can we SEE FORWARD, past the current and future storms?
The angel beckoned John: “Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;…And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:10-11, 22-23
We WILL remember God’s children and greet those beloved in Heaven. WE WILL SEE GOD’S GLORY… Our time in Heaven AFTER the Storm… Oh how BLESSED…
Our storms, soothed.
Our darkness, done.
Our fear, fled.
Our hearts, held.
Our losses, gained.
Our tears, counted AND accounted.
Our Heaven, HOME
OH BLESS THE LORD OH MY SOUL, HEAVEN WILL BE OUR HOME!
When my father passed away, he had already known that he didn’t have much time, and I tried to assure him that Heaven was and IS real. That he can believe. I pray that all people reach into their memories of teachings and reach forward for the Spirit and remember and know Jesus is the path to Heaven thru the forgiveness that He Himself secured. I pray for all to “Know Before You Go”. And remember if you are hesitant to leave folks behind without your help that if the Spirit allows us to go – know that He the Spirit will flow to those whom don’t want us to go.
Jesus as a Lamb, slain for our sins, Was IS and Will always be a Living Sacrifice for purification. GRACE thru GOD. Jesus came to earth as the man-image of God, Son of Man, stepping into human flesh and all the difficulties of walking thru this world. Jesus was/had/is the ultimate “Know Before You Go”. Jesus KNEW that He stepped down from Heaven to bring us up to Him.
How do we “know before we go?”… We know to check things before we go on a trip: the stove, the window locks, the pets and their food supplies, the weather, the traffic, our gas tank, our cash, our heads. Do we check our hearts and move sentimental thoughts away so that we actually get clear heads? What filters thru our minds? Do we check in with the Lord? It’s a local example of an eternal question of “are we ready to go?” or “are we ready to leave?”. Are we ready to leave some stuff behind, especially stuff we don’t need, baggage of sin. Know that it is our Lord who purifies our journey home.
The Old Testament offerings in Moses’s time were used to purify sin and included the ashes of sacrifice. Something given to God as atonement, offered thru the priests and only ashes would remain. Even those ashes were useful. “… gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.” Numbers 19:9
As a mom, this reminds me of the unused box of activated charcoal that I never used for potential poisoning scares with my kids. And I am blessed to have never had to use it. It is probably burnt charcoal to make activated carbon, burnt like the burnt animal offerings used in water purification systems of old. Carbon surfaces are porous and ready to absorb impurities. Jesus is our activated Savior, ready to absorb our sin, purify us thru a living water flow. He was/is activated by becoming the slain Lamb, taking on human flesh, rising from the dead. He became the porous absorption of the wrath of God’s anger so that we won’t have to sacrifice in worship again. Praise replaces punishment. Resurrection is God’s and our Restoration.
If we live in this world, and we become closer to passing from this world, let us remember our purification is not a checklist or relying upon sacrificial ashes, not a sentimental heart but by having an engaged mindset and a heart like a child in belief. Our entrance into Heaven, cleansed and called, is by Jesus and Jesus alone. His reach for our heads and he holds us in Heaven.
And Jesus said: “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:38-40
Jesus does not lose anyone. Know before you go that He has gone first. We will reach for Him as He reaches for us. Grab on to Him ahead of time and you will be in the know.
Many years we hear of devastating earthquakes and floods, they are not new, yet each one brings newness of crisis for each affected person. We are so sorry for their struggles. We also get glued to our TVs and now phones because can even pick up the local hurricane TV stations and severe weather chasers with the click of a button on our couches. It’s RIVETING but are we learning anything by just watching it? Hmmmm… I felt like I was goofing off watching, but I did anyway… And how is it that we pay SO much attention to the damage affecting our own countrymen but there is no news on the TV of the simultaneous situation even worse just one country over from ours (Hurricanes Grace and Nora in Mexico vs Ida here in the US). Hmmmmm…. How local we have become!!! How mesmerized when other times we are oblivious… I know it will also become old news very quickly. (and yes it did – by weeks end unless you drove by those areas you would not know of any issues)
Hurricane warning – Tornado watches – Would we evacuate? Would we stay put? Honestly where would we go if we did have the money? Every accommodation seemed full. What would we do especially if we DIDN’T have the money? That is probably why most people don’t go anywhere. And some just choose to ride it out – like life – and I understand that, I don’t leave my house in a blizzard, I just prepare, so they don’t leave in a hurricane. How can a whole 3 states worth of people wander somewhere else anyway when there’s no gas stations to power their trip anyway? How long can people live without electricity and can they prepare enough food and water to live a week or a month. How so advanced in society we have become but can’t live basically on the basics, without creature comforts. And how many people see the services of conveniences and riches as our God-given rights to have. THAT IS DANGEROUS, to think of God-given rights over God-given gifts. We all do on occasion, but it’s dangerous to think that way.
Moses’s people (and there were lots of them) had God providing for them in the present but also knowledge of a life in the past, and were promised a life in the future, but did they appreciate the time in between? Some did not. Do we? Our earth, no matter how cushy or harsh, is desert wilderness if you don’t prepare for life in it, our desert is now like our “in between life” after Eden and before restored life of a restored Eden comes. Our desert, even if we are camping in it, now does come often with luxurious life privileges too (as I sit here writing while wasting gas and A/C, idling in my car) – and yes life comes with challenges, many people have many challenges. But we must rise above and keep going. Helping others along the way.
Moses had MANY challenges and challengers, even WITH God present. Moses had to witness and warn, teach and lead, beg for his people’s forgiveness all the while they didn’t forgive him for making the tough calls of where to go and how to live. What happened to the sections of Israelite people in the desert going against God? They got swallowed up!!! The earth opened, the plagues came, they who rebelled were LOST as a group, even their kids. GONE. (But not forgotten, as teaching moments are written in the Bible like scars on Jesus’s brow). A plague rolled thru as well until Aaron stepped in between to offer forgiveness sacrifices.
What will happen to us and our generations if we challenge God, challenge God’s Ways, if we turn against Him? Swallowed up. Gone. And probably forgotten, like old news, except God Himself has written these stories in His Heart and in the Word. They are not victory stories but sorrow statements. Scripture also tells us ahead of our time (in Revelation 6) of God completing His wrath, finishing sorting the goats from the sheep, and of all earth rolling away. Read ahead, He tells us our future.
How are we SAVED from this wrath? By learning and WAITING ON THE LORD, not waiting and seeing what’s next. God is a loving God, but we must fear Him in respect. He has given us an advocate with Him, to absorb His anger – His Son Jesus. Like the moment Moses’s brother Aaron stepped in between the plague and the people, and the plague stopped – JESUS STEPS IN THE WAY OF OUR DEATH TO GIVE ETERNAL LIFE. We have the ability to step away from the chaos, just like we stop watching the news, and instead go live as we believe in the Good News of life everlasting. But how? Thru God and God alone. We are sheep but not wanderers, we are WONDERERS. We have a choice. God desires us at His Wedding Supper with Him in Heaven, let that be our life direction over lostness…
We have the history and the future known to us. We just have to WAIT ON HIM, grumble less, praise more.
Be Grateful… God gives gifts, not rights. God gives His Life to be with us.
Deborah of Judges 4:14 said “[…Go! This is the day the Lord has given…. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?…]”
Read Moses’s story in Numbers 16
Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”
When Moses heard this, he fell facedown. Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him. You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the Lord. The man the Lord chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!”
Moses also said to Korah, “Now listen, you Levites! Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too. It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?”
Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. But they said, “We will not come! Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us! Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you want to treat these men like slaves? No, we will not come!”
Then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord, “Do not accept their offering. I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, nor have I wronged any of them.”
Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers are to appear before the Lord tomorrow—you and they and Aaron. Each man is to take his censer and put incense in it—250 censers in all—and present it before the Lord. You and Aaron are to present your censers also.” So each of them took his censer, put burning coals and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Korah had gathered all his followers in opposition to them at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the glory of the Lord appeared to the entire assembly. The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Separate yourselves from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.”
But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, “O God, the God who gives breath to all living things, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the assembly, ‘Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’”
Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. He warned the assembly, “Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins.” So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.
Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.”
As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”
And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, to remove the censers from the charred remains and scatter the coals some distance away, for the censers are holy— the censers of the men who sinned at the cost of their lives. Hammer the censers into sheets to overlay the altar, for they were presented before the Lord and have become holy. Let them be a sign to the Israelites.”
So Eleazar the priest collected the bronze censers brought by those who had been burned to death, and he had them hammered out to overlay the altar, as the Lord directed him through Moses. This was to remind the Israelites that no one except a descendant of Aaron should come to burn incense before the Lord, or he would become like Korah and his followers.
The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “You have killed the Lord’s people,” they said. But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the tent of meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared. Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting, and the Lord said to Moses, “Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.” And they fell facedown.
Then Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put incense in it, along with burning coals from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the Lord; the plague has started.” So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. 50 Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, for the plague had stopped.
Read the future (after followers of Jesus are raptured away)
There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”
Did you ever feel against a giant project or a giant problem or just not enough resources or wanted to return back to something not so good or you just didn’t know which way to go?… Remember: The Lord is with us. Do not be afraid.
The story in Numbers (Moses leading His people) shows how God’s people felt like grasshoppers compared to giants in the path to the Promised Land, but God gave them a “way around”, a different route, and promised suitable provisions and protection. To the “wayward” or those who wanted a “way out”, they suffered consequences and even generations after suffered… Lesson to be learned: cooperation and commitment to God is MUCH better than suffering consequences. Stay on track.
God thru Moses tried to lead folks to the Promised Land, but Moses and Aaron and Joshua were in a tough position to convince them to keep them IN position. They saw some fruits of the Promised Land, they heard stories, and they HAD God’s promise. But some people rebelled. They wanted out, they complained, or they went ahead when they should have waited for direction.
We should wait for direction and directions. We know His Promises, so we should just be patient and wait for direction and don’t not take the opposite direction. We should realize God has our best interests at heart. We should know that God will SHOW UP in our lives too.
The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?
We of all people should count our blessings. We should demonstrate our understanding that we can walk in His Strength. If we have a challenge, we are to ask God to champion it, conquer it and confound our foes. If we are as small as grasshoppers, know that God can give us open fields of opportunities to work in, jump in, thrive… Don’t be against God, go with Him. He is very forgiving and ready to have you walk with Him again. Remember: ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion…’
God might get you travelling in a way that goes around something or some enemy in your path, but He is still going to get you where you are going.
Go WITH God. And if you are one of God’s Grasshoppers, JUMP with God!
“ …because my servant [put your name in here] has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it…”
Go With GOD !!!
Please read the story in Numbers 13:23-33, 14:1-45 below – God sent His chosen followers on a different path… Amen Amen
When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.
Report on the Exploration
They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”
Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
The People Rebel
That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”
Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”
Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’
“Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”
The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.”
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.”
So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.
When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised. Surely we have sinned!”
But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed! Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the Lord, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.”
Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.
Ever since I learned about the millennium I’ve been thinking about those 1000 years (not that I can wrap my head around 1000 years but certainly then, in those thousand years, I will have more time to think about it!)… Yes, we think of life as SO SHORT now and HEAVEN AS FOREVER (not that I can wrap my head around forever either). Yet I’ve been more and more intrigued that there will be 1000 years in between our rapture/raising and before “forever” re-starts for us (Hey isn’t it already forever in Jesus’s timeline?)… So, reading Revelation, we will have a stage in our heavenly lives where we are going to be able to see Earth under Jesus’s Reign for 1000 years, and NO DEVIL, the devil sequestered for 1000 years, WE WILL SEE PEACE. So, scriptures say, however “short” they are on the topic, that we will see life on earth be at PEACE… something really good like that…
At that time, we will have MORE time then to understand what PEACE really is like, and how PEACE comes from our PRINCE of PEACE Jesus, and how the absence of evil really means PEACE is the default condition of us and of life. LIFE WITH JESUS IS PEACE. I do know that a thousand years is a long time in comparison to my lifetime so far because that’s 20 of my lifetimes (WOW!!!)… So, that means we are going to be able to see a lot of things, visit all those amazing earth features like the Grand Canyon and Mount Everest and the Amazon. Hey maybe I will get a lot of things done in a thousand years, but most importantly we will meet everybody in heaven, re-connect with loved ones and meet family we never knew, and know everyone as family. Most blessedly, JESUS WILL RULE in those thousand years and we will know Him even more.
Let me say that again: in Heaven we will have the chance to MEET EVERYBODY that made it to HEAVEN – INCLUDING JESUS… WOW WOW, WOW – a THOUSAND years “Meet and Greet”? YEAH, I can NOT wrap my head around that but I CAN imagine we are going to need that much time!!!
So I am half a century old, 1/20 a millennium. I have no more than 40-50 years (probably less) that I expect to still live on earth. Previously I would have said that I want to do more of everything while I am alive. Now I realize that I can say I will probably have MORE TIME for this or that LATER!!! and it will be BETTER!! So now I will do what I can, and worry less about what I can’t… (And let tomorrow take care of itself!!!)
These are the things I still want to do: like camping, sitting at a beach, going zip lining, and being in a healthier body and mindset… and will I ever finish my chores? Get all the dishes done? NO… So, these are SOME of the things that I SHOULD do with my time left on earth:
Maintain a Millenium Mindset
Show Jesus’s love.
Teach that LOVE is from God Himself.
See my kids know Jesus more.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Don’t let the devil get the upper hand.
Don’t forget to invite peace into every day in every way.
Be led by the Lord
Kiss my kids
Hug my family
Love my self
Be open to the Holy Spirit
Roll with the punches
Rely on Jesus
Rest in Jesus
Remember to just BE
(And dishes? mmm… Maybe… At least Jesus will see that we start with a clean plate and clean slate for the Millennium…)
My Millennium Mindset most of all is to Make the Most of My Time Today.
The Thousand Years
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.
There’s so much to appreciate the Lord for, His forgiveness and His favor, His protection and His prodding for us to listen. We are all EACH His favorite children one by one. Let us not be a pest to Him but a blessing of listening and obeying! We are to listen for danger and be humble to accept direction.
Just now I heard a mosquito by my right ear. This summer I have heard quite a few, and realized I haven’t heard that sound in a while. It tells me that I am in a place of quiet, that my hearing is not as bad as the kids say it is, and there’s a mosquito in the house (yikes!). Listening can bless you and get you out of a jam, yet there’s a flip side to listening that can be dangerous when you are paying more attention to what others are doing vs yourself. We are all at risk of getting this jealousy of others who get opportunities that you think you might like. One might be angling for position (like this mosquito), but not everyone gets to pick where they want to be. We all have to take a moment and appreciate where we actually are, where we are blessed, and not think everything is for everyone. If we have forgiveness and one in Christ, then we have all that we will ever need. The world being one body, some are the foot sometimes, some are the eyes sometimes (I just SAW the mosquito), and some are just NOT SURE what they are, but lest we get jealous with our part because others seem to get to be a better part, even if that itself is temporary. Oh, if only we could work together, like one body, and not tear ourselves apart. Don’t get “put out” when God already has a separate specific plan for your alignment with Him.
This reminds me of the story I just read about Moses’s brother Aaron and sister Miriam. They were blessed but JEALOUS and felt like picking on someone. They picked on Moses because of his wife. We know that Moses was truly special, and God made that clear. Aaron and Miriam ALSO had amazing jobs for God, they were saved (like Moses) for they ALSO escaped Pharaoh, Miriam sang a song of saving, Aaron was the priest to allow others to come with saving sacrifices. But they were jealous, and this caused one conversation with God to come from His anger not their humility. (I would rather hear direction than correction from God, wouldn’t you? ESPECIALLY when God Himself is in charge).
I would rather be humble enough to hear and feel God’s direction than be too proud and put out. If you read Miriam’s punishment in Numbers 12, she was put out! Actually put out of camp! (Imagine the mosquitos outside camp!) I bet this angered God and all that people’s complaining pestered Him (like the sound of mosquitos in His ear.) He would not have put Moses in charge if He didn’t intend it.
God said of Moses to the complainers: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord.”
So, can we be face to face with the Lord when we quiet ourselves now? Quiet enough to hear the Lord, not in riddles but in our own hearts? Quiet enough to feel the Lord, not in anger, but in accepting our humble lives? We have an opportunity to face a new chapter and a new page EACH DAY. We are to realize that we have been born to continue walking, not be in aimless in wandering (like the Israelites) but in taking timeless steps WITH JESUS. Jesus personally made Himself into the sacrifice that Aaron’s priests could not offer up “simply” by the blood of animals. God’s Son facing God’s anger FOR us, His blood covering us, His arms holding us up. Him saying “It is finished.”… Yes, how humble we should be in order to stand inside His cloud? How humble we should be to hear His Voice?
We should not anger God and be put out by our jealousy. Apostle Paul realized that jealousy is everyone’s affliction that goes against the commandments of God, our jealousy is a sin – we need the forgiveness of Jesus, realize our place and His plan and keep moving. Jesus covers us.
We are not to be put out. We are to walk free within His plan.
Please read Numbers 12
Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses
Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this. (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!” The Lord replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back. After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
PS – I saw the mosquito follow me – and then move on to the other room – that IS the pest that I need to put out of my camp!
It’s a joy to be in the book of Revelation as a Bible study and to know that God has a plan. There is nothing better to help get through this world than to know the next one is waiting, planned, forever. And He wants us in it.
Driving down the highway gives lots of time to think. The book of Revelation Bible study teacher preacher on my radio was saying the perfect passage, a beauty of Spirit teaching and John’s wisdom building thru understanding: To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
It was a truck that passed me on my left that caught my eye, advertising their business being “The Gutter People” – YUP… Where else to hold all the water for the spring of life but in the GUTTER. Where else to collect the water and keep it flowing. Who else than us ourselves be those people who recognize our need for the water from the spring of life to hydrate us and also wash out the clogs in us…. Oh yes, to be gutter people, Jesus’s Gutter People. Jesus is where we go for thirst and where we know we will be satisfied. That’s overcoming (victorious we will be). That was the teacher preacher’s next point, those who BELIEVE are the children of God, they/we overcome the disbelief in the world, and they/we overcome death. We claim knowledge of His victory ONLY because He won the battle. We overcome because God overcame. He overcame because He wants us to return to Him – to complete His flow. If He is Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, never changing, then He is continuous as a continuous flow of spring water, His Word flows and recirculates, returning His Love to Himself thru us. Jesus LOVES His Gutter People. Jesus finds His Love within His people who are ready to be collected by Him.
Revelation 21:6-7 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious [WHO OVERCOMETH] will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.
My gutter overflows from the love of Jesus. I met the Savior and He was doing His Wash steps of ME. He knows the low spots where we get stuck. He loves us so much He came back from death. He is here and He will come again. SO, STANDUP from the gutter all ye Gutter People, stand ready to catch His flow. Be His Wash.