Sunday, March 19, 2017

March 19: Numbers 28:16 – 29; Psalm 62; Proverbs 11:18-19; Luke 3:23-38



Overview

            Numbers: The Lord continues to repeat the specifications for different offerings with the Passover, Festival of Weeks, Feast of Trumpet, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Tabernacles lasts eight days and the offerings countdown each day from thirteen bulls and fourteen male lambs. The other offerings, two rams and a male goat stay the same each day except for only one ram on the last day. These offerings are to be observed on the specified days along with other vow, freewill, and peace offerings.
            Psalm: David asserts that God is his only salvation and he will not be shaken by evil people who physically or verbally abuse. All his hope is in God. He advises us to trust in the Lord at all times. We can pour out our hearts to him because he is our refuge. Neither high nor low people in society are worthy of trust because they are mortal and disappear. Don’t trust in ill gotten gain or riches of any kind. Power belongs to God and he takes care of us according to our work.
            Proverbs: The wicked think they are prospering but in reality, they are dying. The righteous are rewarded with life.
            Luke: When Jesus is about thirty years old, he starts his public ministry. Luke uses this starting point of his ministry to explain his human ancestors. He traces Jesus lineage from Joseph, who some think was his father, backwards all the way to Adam.

What Stood Out

            Numbers: “These you shall offer to the Lord at your appointed feasts, in addition to your vow offerings and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your grain offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings” (Num 29:39).
            Psalm: “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us” (Ps 62:8).
            Proverbs: “The wicked earns deceptive wages” (Prov 11:18).
            Luke: “The son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli” (Luke 3:23).

Insight

            Numbers: The seventh month was a very busy month for Israel. It started with the Feast of Trumpet on the first day. On the tenth day, they had the Day of Atonement. On the fifteenth through the twenty-second of the month, they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. In addition, they would have the offerings for the beginning of the month, four Sabbaths, and all the daily offerings. That means they had about half of the month covered with special days and that included a maximum of eight days when they were not supposed to do any ordinary work.
            Some people advocate that Christians should also observe all the Jewish feasts. Some say only Jews who have become Christians must observe them. The majority of Christians don’t even know when these days occur during the year, much less observe them in any way. The early church didn’t do much better agreeing about observing days, as is evident from Romans 14:5-6. Paul’s advised setting aside days, whether it was the Sabbath, Sunday, or feasts to honor the Lord; are all valid. The problem comes in when one group decides that the other group passes judgment on the other. One group implies that the other group is not saved or they are weak, unspiritual people.
            These days were not set aside so that a person could obtain salvation by keeping them. If that were true, then they would still be required. Paul says that righteousness can’t be gained by the Law. If it could, then Christ died for nothing (Gal 2:21). However, the Law and all these offerings, especially for sin, were constant reminders that we are sinners. Even now we need to be alert to sin in our lives and walk by the Spirit instead of our sinful natures (Gal 5:16). Many of the offerings were to show our gratitude to and reliance on the Lord.
            So how should we view the feasts now that Jesus has come and fulfilled the Law (Matt 5:17). We should recognize that they are no longer required. We should also recognize that the items required to make the sacrifices, the temple, altar for burnt offerings, the Ark of the Covenant, and the mercy seat are all gone. Without these things, the true and correct observance of these festivals can’t be observed. The veil has been torn and we have entrance to the Lord by the blood of Jesus. Jesus has replaced them all when he made the sacrifice of himself. Since they are not required, any observance of them can only be a memorial without anything more spiritual attached than recognizing the original significance and that Jesus is the true fulfillment of each. The reality is that we should be observing every day by asking for forgiveness, expressing out thanks, and depending on Jesus our Lord.
            Psalm: There are times when we just have to wait for God in silence. We can pour out our hearts to him, but the implication of this Psalm is to do that silently. In other words, we shouldn’t share some things with everyone, especially if we think they can do something to relieve our situation instead of God. God is our refuge, not other people.
            Proverbs: People who don’t know Jesus and spurn him think that everything is all right in their lives. Atheists even think that their way is better than those who have “religion,” especially Christians. They think that accepting oblivion after death frees them to be better people than those who are shackled by outmoded religious ideals. Their wages are death, but not oblivion. They will be conscious and alive for eternity in torment of their punishment (Rev 14:11). On the other hand, the righteous, those who have put their trust in Jesus will live forever in the presence of the Jesus and God (Rev 21:3-4).
            Luke: There is a difference between Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38. Matthew lists Joseph’s father as Jacob but Luke lists Heli. The lists go through different people until they meet in Zerubbabel and Shealtiel. Then they take different paths as Sheiltiel’s father is listed as Jechoniah in Matthew and Neri in Luke. The two merge again with David and from there, they are almost the same down to Abraham with differences explained by different spellings. Matthew only goes from Abraham.
            All genealogies to establish rights in Israel are listed by the males. Jesus is listed as Joseph’s adopted son in Matthew to establish Jesus’ credentials as the descendant of David and establish that he is both Messiah and legally able to be king. On the other hand, Luke is not Jewish; he is a Gentile physician. He is also writing to Gentiles and their logic works different from Hebrew logic. They would want to know the physical lineage of Jesus. Luke uses the Hebrew custom of substituting the woman’s father in place of the man’s father to establish the lineage and the fact that Jesus was born of Mary but without having relations with Joseph. So his lineage starts with Heli, who is actually Joseph’s father-in-law.[1] Luke traces Jesus’ ancestors through Mary to Adam establishing that Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Genesis 3:15.[2] “The virgin birth is an essential (and biblical) doctrine; it is necessary if Christ was to be sinless. If He had been born of Joseph He would have possessed the sin nature.”[3]

Application

            There are times when the Bible seems to have contradictions but Jesus’ genealogy is not one of them. It is correct in both Luke and Matthew even though they come at it from different angles. The point of application is that we can trust the Bible to be true. We may not have the research abilities or inclination to sort out every point that some people hold in contention. However, others have worked through these things before us. Therefore, I can trust without reservation that Jesus is my Savior and that he is Lord and God. That gives me confidence in my eternal life with him.


[1] Adam Clarke, Clarke's Commentary, (Seattle, Biblesoft, 2006), Luke 3:23, Electronic Database .
[2] Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008), 4554-4560, Kindle.
[3] Ibid., 4575-4576.

No comments:

Post a Comment