March 1

Mark 8:22-38

In verses 22-26, Jesus ministers healing to a blind man. Jesus asked him a question that we don’t normally read about. Jesus asked him if he could see anything. I think Jesus perceived that the man had not fully received from the anointing, which he had not. Therefore, Jesus put His hands on the blind man again. The anointing is transfers like electricity. The second transfer of power finished the work.

In verses 27-30, Peter confesses the Christ by revelation of the Holy Spirit.

In verses 31-33, Jesus talked about His death and resurrection. Jesus said He must suffer many things, which we later read details of His crucifixion and the events leading up to it. Jesus also said that He would be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes. This death that Jesus would die came about because He was rejected by religious leaders. He was rejected by His own. He was a sacrifice, killed by the Jews, for their sin and also for the sin of the world.

In verses 34-38, after speaking of His death and resurrection, Jesus tells His disciples and those around Him that they ought to pick up their cross and follow Him. Salvation requires a self-denial. We don’t have to die the same death that Jesus died, but we do need to surrender to His Lordship and the authority of the Father. It’s actually our privilege that we are able to do so. God is our source of life, and one must lean on His loving arms in order to receive it. I’m leaning! How about you?

Numbers 25-27

Balaam was killed in Midian (31:8). Balaam was a prophet, but he was also compromised for money. According to other Scriptures, Balaam was instrumental in leading God’s children into sexual immorality and idolatry.

In Numbers 25, the Israelites were being introduced to the Midianites and the Moabites. Many Hebrews committed sexual sin and idolatry to Baal of Peor with the intermingling of the cultures. The Lord is holy, and the people were disobedient to Him. In order to cleanse the nation, God told Moses to hang the offenders in the sun to die. One of Eleazar son’s, Phinehas, Aaron’s grandson, went after a Hebrew laying with a Midianite woman and pierced them both through with a javelin. This stopped a plague that was spreading through the people, a judgment they had brought on themselves.

In Numbers 26, there is a second census of Israel taken before the Israelites entered into the Promised Land. In this census, we see that every man that was alive 40 years ago had died in the wilderness except Joshua and Caleb, the two spies that were willing to go into the Promised Land 40 years ago.

In chapter 27, The Lord gives inheritance laws.

Moses was nearing the end of his life, and Israel was getting ready to obtain their promise. God prepares Israel for their next leader, a leader of His choosing.

The Lord said, “Let me choose the next leader (paraphrased).” God expressed His heart for Israel to have someone to lead them into the Promised Land because His desire was that have a leader. Having a leader is a good thing. There is guidance, direction, vision – not just from a man, but from a man God chooses. It is God working through the man. Imperfect? Yes, but nonetheless, he is called, appointed, and anointed to do it.

God chose Joshua. The Lord told Moses to take Joshua up the mountain with him. In the past, it was Joshua that would follow Moses up mountains part of the way, camping there, desiring to, to keep watch over Moses. Perhaps, he was even curious about the presence of God, desiring to know God for Himself. Afterall, he was one of the spies who said that God was able to take them into the Promised Land.

God also said of Joshua that His Spirit was in him. The Holy Spirit goes where he is welcome. He also goes where He is invited. The Lord instructed Moses to lay his hand on Joshua. The anointing of God is transferable and tangible, so when we lay hands on someone in obedience to God, His anointing can go from one into another. He was told to inaugurate him in front of the high priest, Eleazer, and in front of the whole nation. This commission was done openly, publicly, so everyone would know, without any doubt, who the leader was. They were to obey Joshua as they went into the Promised Land.

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