As I read and meditate on today's passages, a flood of thoughts and pictures comes to mind. Amidst all of these, one key thought that threads throughout the readings are this: God's abundant grace and love extends to his people in amazing ways.
Continuing his psalm on not fretting about life's ups and downs, David reminds us that God loves, honours and blesses the righteous. Even their possessions, children, and seniors will experience the blessings of God's protection and provision.
In Luke 16, Jesus spoke with deep compassion to the crowds who had gathered with expectations of healing and hope. Instead of rebuke and condemnation, they heard about the blessings of knowing and trusting God. In contrast, those who had no need for God in their pride and material wealth were warned of pending woes.
Numbers 21 points us to the time when the Israelites were tired, angry, hungry, and resentful about their plight in the wilderness. "Where is this Promised Land? The food and water supply are terrible, and this is nothing like in Egypt." Their attitude and behavior deeply hurt and angered God. He sent poisonous snakes and many died from the snake bites. The Israelites quickly recognized and acknowledged their sin and requested Moses to plead for God's forgiveness. God extended grace and mercy to his people time and time again by providing a way out of their misery. Sound familiar? In my own life, I have had to humbly learn to repent of my self-will. By God's grace, he did not send poisonous snakes my way!
Numbers 22 tells us of King Balak of Moab, Balaam, the sorcerer, and the Israelites journeying to the Promised Land. It is interesting to see how God kept his promise to bless the Israelites, protecting them each step of the way from all who opposed them. At the same time we see, King Balak, wanting to protect his kingdom, that Balaam curse the Israelites passing through Moab. Three times Balaam was asked to curse the Israelites. Each time Balaam reiterated that God would allow only blessings on his people, never curses. The amazing ending to this story is God could even bless through a sorcerer and a king intent on evil against God's people.
Christ-followers are God's blessed people. May we lean on this amazing grace and steadfast love of our God as we journey through the rest of our lives.
Life Group leader, father or two and husband of one, former Foothills Elder