Showing posts from October, 2015

Donkey Talk, Numbers 22

Numbers 22 gives the account of the donkey that talked. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. [i]   (Proverbs 4:23) Animals do not talk.  What would it be like if one of your animals talked to you?  I do not mean the usual communication that we have every day with our pets.  My dog lets me know he wants to go out to go to the bathroom, and my cat lets me know he wants food.  What would it be like if one or your animals started reasoning with you? The story of Balaam fascinates me.  Balaam’s donkey talked to him.  Balaam apparently had this donkey for quite some time and they were quite familiar with each other.  The donkey left the road and Balaam beat him and forced him back onto the road.  Then the donkey pushed up against a wall and Balaam’s foot was caught.  So again, Balaam beat him and forced him back onto the path.  The third time the donkey sat down.  This time Balaam was in a rage.  However, when he started to beat the d


Numbers 13-14  We have been following the descendants of Jacob on their journey out of Egypt to the Promised Land.  They left Egypt by crossing the Red Sea and traveled across the wilderness to Mt. Sinai.  They stayed at Mt. Sinai 11 months and 5 days as God gave the law.  Moses went up and down the mountain several times meeting with God.  From Mt. Sinai, they traveled toward the Promised Land and camped at a place called Kadesh Barnea.  (Numbers 32:8) It has been quite an adventure.  The people have seen the presence of God in an unprecedented way.  The miracles they have seen are incredible.  For example, they saw Egypt devastated with plagues.  They saw the waters of the Red Sea part before them.  They saw water come out of a rock.  They saw bread from heaven every morning and flocks of quail every evening.  They saw the mountain shake and felt the earth tremble.  On top of all of this, there was the pillar of fire that stood in the camp day and night.  These people we

To the Ends of the Earth

Luke wrote for us an account of all that Jesus began to do from the time of His birth until His crucifixion.  The Gospel of Luke is one of the four eyewitness accounts of the story of Jesus’s life.  One of the unique aspects of Luke’s account is that he treats the story as more of a historian than the other gospel writers do. Luke, the historian, continues the story of what Jesus was doing in his account of the work of the Apostles.  We call the account “Acts.”  The full title is “The Acts of the Apostles.”  Another way of translating or saying this would be “the Works of the Apostles.” It is the continuing story of what Jesus began to do. During His three years of public ministry, Jesus trained 12 men whom He called Apostles.  Apostle means sent one.  Strong’s Greek dictionary says it means, “a messenger, an envoy, a delegate.”  The word missionary or missions originated from the Latin word meaning to send.  The idea of mission in English has come to mean “any import


Oops! Aaron said, “I simply threw it into the fire—and out came this calf!” This is Aaron’s answer to Moses’s question, “What did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?”  (Exodus 32:21) Have you ever made an excuse for what you did?  Or, have you ever tried to explain that it was not as bad as it was?  We all have opportunity to do this.  This is what Aaron was doing. The idea of “Oops!” came to me as I was thinking about Exodus 32:35, which says, “Then the LORD sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.”  What a tragedy!  God says, “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people.  I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live.”  (Ezekiel 33:11)  What had happened was serious.  People lost their lives.  And, Aaron did not have a good reason.  His story does not hold up to scrutiny. The amazing part of this story is the g

The Law

What does it look like when people encounter the Almighty?  What does it look like when the Almighty steps into the lives of men? He is our creator, and the maker of the universe.  We see His appearance to Moses in the burning bush, and His presence in front of the descendants of Jacob in the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. We have been studying the Almighty’s deliverance of the descendants of Jacob from slavery in Egypt.  God intervened and with mighty signs and wonders led the millions of Israelites out of Egypt.  He led them out of Egypt to Mount Sinai to meet with them there. This was a pivotal point in the life of the nation of Israel.  This was a pivotal point in the history of the world.  It is probably safe to say that this occasion has done more to shape history than any other, apart from the life of Jesus Christ. God gave the 10 Commandments on this occasion.  God met with His people. I have heard people talk about the God of the Old