April 30, Reading 1 – Numbers 10:11-11:3

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SAA Notes

Moses’ words re the Ark (v.35,36) centred Israel’s attention on God’s manifold grace in salvation and to a present hope of His interest and leading. The phrase countless thousands of Israel is a reminder that God did keep His promises to Abraham. We too should be encouraged to hope in Him!

SJA Notes

God is at work here, we see that He raises the cloud – A clear sign that Israel was to break camp.

We see that Israel obeys the order for how they should travel, as set by God.

First Judah+. Then the Gershon and Merari clans of Levi who carried the tabernacle. Then Reuben+. Then the Kohath clan of Levi who carried the holy things. Then Ephraim+. Then Dan+.

As well Moses convinces his brother-in-law to stay with them and guide them through the wilderness. An outsider (Midianites were descendants of Abraham through his wife Keturah).

In the chapter 11 verses we see God at work. He consumes some of the outlying parts of the camp in His anger at the people complaining (this continues as something Israel do a lot).

We can sometimes think of complaining as something not really that serious. We all do it.

In complaining Israel were treating the Almighty as an equal, someone they could get annoyed with, being unhappy with His will for them, the direction He was taking them, the commands He gave them.

Sometimes we do this.

This passage should point us to Jesus.

We should be consumed by God’s wrath. There is absolutely no reason we can put together that would balance the scales in a cosmic argument of why God should not consume us all in our disobedience.

But Jesus took on this wrath. He bore the punishment we deserve. And He intercedes. While Moses prayed and the fire died down in this passage, Jesus is continually as we walk through this life at the right hand of the Father making intercession for His people (Romans 8:34).

A good protection against complaining is obedience. When the cloud lifts, go. When it sits, stay. Do we feel the temptation to complain? Get about God’s work.

Another protection is to burrow into God’s word, taking time to meditate upon it, spending quiet time in prayer with Him.

And His word tells us to be thankful! To praise His Name!

So let us be encouraged to praise God, to be thankful to Him.

* Father God,

You are the God from whom all blessing flow, we praise You!

Your Name is above all other names, blessed be Your Name!

Lord, Your steadfast love endures forever, thank You God!

Thank You that You chose us who were enemies to be Your friends, to welcome us with open arms, to cleanse us and work in us and for us, and to give us an inheritance like no other.

Thank You for our rock-solid steady and sure hope in glory Lord.

Amen.

April 30, Reading 2 – Proverbs 8

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SAA Notes

In today’s reading what verses stand out to you? The last three verses summarise the stance of this book. They are reminiscent of Jesus’ words in John 6:35-40, and Revelation 3:20.

SJA Notes

As in chapter 3, here Solomon expounds deeper into the origins and importance of wisdom.

“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.” v22-23

God as He, three in one, created all things, had already spun wisdom into existence.

It’s a strange truth to think about, that wisdom was set up, was _made_.

But when we have a think about the act of creation, whether what we do in tiny reflective ways, or what God did in all of creation – We can see this (in tiny part).

When you create something you follow processes and work over patterns.

You create with rules that make sense.

That’s because God spun all of creation together with wisdom, by making rules that make sense.

But wisdom is more than this.

“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.” v12

We know that humans, whether they recognise God as Lord or not can reflect His creative majesty.

Wisdom is deeper and bigger than knowing what works and following those rules.

So we think back to the beginning of wisdom – The fear of the Lord.

It is not enough to understand the world around us and do things that make sense in that world.

We need to come before the One who MADE the world, fear Him, because that is the beginning of real wisdom.

Some wonderful and strong words end this chapter, let’s be encouraged and convicted by them.

“For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.” v36

April 30, Reading 3 – 1 Peter 2:11-3:7

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SAA Notes

Isn’t it wonderful that a day is coming when God will visit us? Pray that He will visit us in revival, as well as looking for That Day when Jesus returns. There is much thought for husbands and wives here too.

SJA Notes

It is a very strange thought that the Holy God would (and could) suffer.

Here was the true (fully) man, the sinless lamb, the Son of God.

And He SUFFERED.

We remember that He was also the Son of Man. Fully God. Fully man.

The idea that the perfect God would suffer is mind-boggling.

The idea that the all-powerful-without-equal God could suffer is without doubt one of the greatest philosophical queries that we have.

Except we know the truth.

He did suffer.

As He was mistreated and laughed at by His creation (which He energises and continued to uphold). As He went to the cross and experienced the most painful (physical, mental, spiritual) suffering in history.

Our King was rejected by His Father.

For us!

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,”

And, “By his wounds you have been healed.”

See how Peter harks back to Isaiah 53 here. We were like sheep gone astray.

But now have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls.

* Father God,

Thank You for Jesus’ work, that He has called us back, that we who were once Your enemies are now counted as Your people.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour You are!

Amen.