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The Bible Day 91: “Faith, Healing, & Heritage”

Readings Psalm 40:1-9, and Luke 8:40-9:9, and Numbers 31:25-32:42


Introduction to Psalm 40:1-8

Psalm 40:1-9, the fortieth psalm following the thirty-ninth, is a testament to the transformative power of prayer. David, the psalmist, serves as a beacon of hope, a type of the new people in Christ. In this psalm, the "pit" represents the depths of evil, and the "rock" symbolizes Christ, the solid foundation upon which our faith is built. He is the One who has come to save us, answering our prayers and lifting us from the depths.

We sing the song of those renewed, celebrating God's favor, not to manipulate Him but to praise Him. God grants righteousness as a gift of grace to the believer. Great are the wonders of divine providence. Christ offered Himself as a voluntary sacrifice, fulfilling Old Testament types.

The book prophesying Christ refers to the Psalms, the Law, and the Prophets—the entire Scripture. Our sacrifice is prefigured in Him. He is the true sacrifice, offered according to His will and the Father's for our sake. The message of grace has been declared, and the Church worldwide responds in worship. As believers, we have a crucial role in spreading the message of Christ's sacrifice and grace, maintaining a faithful and bold witness in the world, and proclaiming righteousness imputed by grace.

The great congregation includes all who have believed in Israel, both past and present. In Christ, mercy and truth meet, guiding us by love and fear. Though we are all imperfect, we have nothing of our own and depend on Christ. We are entirely in His care.

Prophetic Breakdown of Psalm 39(40)

Psalm 39(40) is a profound prophecy of Christ's Incarnation, as referenced in Hebrews 10:5-7. In this psalm, Christ's assumption of a mortal body (v. 6) is highlighted, emphasizing His taking on a rational soul and a body subject to death and decay, described as "a miserable pit" (v. 2). This prophetic insight into Christ's coming is a testament to the divine wisdom and foresight embedded in the Psalms.

By His death in the body, Christ destroyed death, and through His Resurrection, He overcame the decay that binds man's body in the grave. This victory is symbolized by being "brought up" and set upon "a rock" (v. 2).

Christ's ability to accomplish this is rooted in the two wills present in His one Person. He willed (v. 8) by His Human will and energy, in unity with God the Father, because He is of "one essence" with Him, as stated in the Creed. Through the means of His two wills and energies, Christ destroyed death and decay.

This triumph has given the Church a new song (v. 3), celebrating the victory over death and the promise of resurrection. The psalm thus underscores the significance of Christ's dual nature and His role in salvation.

Comparative Study of Luke 8:40-9:9

Healing of Jairus' Daughter and the Woman with the Bleeding Issue (Luke 8:40-56)

Comparative Analysis:

  • Luke 8:40-56:

  • Jairus' Daughter: Luke uniquely mentions that Jairus' daughter is 12.

  • Woman with Bleeding: Luke also notes that the woman had her bleeding issue for 12 years.

  • Cultural Context: Jews could not come into contact with blood (Leviticus 25), which makes the woman's action of touching Jesus significant and bold.

  • Matthew 9:18-26:

  • Jairus' Daughter: Matthew's account is shorter and does not specify the age of Jairus' daughter.

  • Woman with Bleeding: The woman's healing is briefly mentioned without detailing the length of her illness.

  • Mark 5:21-43:

  • Jairus' Daughter: Mark, like Luke, includes the girl as being 12 years old.

  • Woman with Bleeding: Mark also highlights the 12-year duration of her condition, emphasizing the chronic nature of her suffering.

Connection Between Jairus' Daughter and the Woman:

  • The number 12 connects the girl and the woman, symbolizing completeness and the nation of Israel. The girl has lived for 12 years, and the woman has suffered for 12 years, showing a parallel in their experiences with life and suffering.

Theological Explanation:

  • Verses 43-44: The woman's act of touching Jesus, despite the Jewish laws against contact with blood, shows her desperation and faith.

  • Verse 45 ("Who touched me?" ): Jesus' question highlights the significance of personal faith, connecting to Matthew 23:17, where understanding and recognition of faith are emphasized.

  • Verses 47-56:

  • 47-48: The woman confesses, and Jesus affirms her faith as the means of healing.

  • 49-50: News of the girl's death comes, but Jesus encourages Jairus to have faith.

  • 51-53: Jesus takes only a few disciples and the girl's parents to witness the miracle, emphasizing its intimacy and sacredness.

  • 54-56: Jesus raises the girl, showcasing His power over death and foreshadowing His resurrection.

Commissioning of the Twelve (Luke 9:1-6)

Comparative Analysis:

  • Luke 9:1-6:

  • Verses 1-2: Jesus gives the disciples power and authority over demons and diseases, sending them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

  • Verses 3-5: Instructions for their journey, emphasizing reliance on God and the hospitality of others.

  • Verse 6: The disciples obey and carry out their mission.

  • Matthew 10:1-4:

  • The twelve were similarly commissioned, detailing their names and emphasizing their mission to the "lost sheep of Israel."

Theological Understanding:

  • The sending of the disciples with power and authority signifies the extension of Jesus' ministry through His followers, emphasizing the continuation of His work.

Herod's Perplexity and the Beheading of John the Baptist (Luke 9:7-9)

Comparative Analysis:

  • Luke 9:7-9:

  • Herod hears about Jesus and is perplexed, wondering if He is John the Baptist risen from the dead.

  • Verse 9: This Herod is the same ruler who will later encounter Jesus during His trial (Luke 23:7). He is also the son of Herod the Great, who ordered the massacre of infants in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16).

  • Mark 6:14-28:

  • A detailed account of John the Baptist's beheading, ordered by Herod after Herodias' daughter requested it.

Theological Understanding:

  • Herod's Perplexity and Fear highlight the spread and impact of Jesus' ministry. The connection to the Herod family shows a continuity of opposition to God's work. Herod's eventual role in Jesus' trial emphasizes the political and spiritual conflict surrounding Jesus' mission.

Conclusion

This study reveals the intertwined nature of faith, healing, and mission in the Gospel narratives. The detailed comparisons highlight the unique contributions of each account, enriching our understanding of Jesus' ministry and its profound theological implications.

Study of Numbers 31:25-54: The Division of the Spoils of War

Context and Overview

In Numbers 31, the Israelites engage in a battle against the Midianites, as God commands. Following the victory, there is a detailed process for dividing the spoils of war, which include livestock, goods, and captives. This passage instructs how these spoils will be allocated among the warriors, the community, and the Lord.

Division of the Spoils (Numbers 31:25-47)

Verses 25-27:

  • Command to Divide: The Lord instructs Moses and Eleazar, the priest, to take inventory of the spoils and divide them equally between the soldiers who fought in the battle and the rest of the community.

Verses 28-30:

  • Tribute to the Lord:

  • From the soldiers' half, a tribute is to be given to the Lord: one out of every 500 persons, cattle, donkeys, and sheep.

  • From the Israelites' half, one out of every 50 will be given to the Levites who maintain the Tabernacle.

Verses 31-47:

  • Execution of Division: Moses and Eleazar follow the Lord's command precisely, detailing the specific numbers for each category of spoils and ensuring the correct portions are given to the soldiers, the community, and the Levites.

Biblical Connections and Parallels

1. Principle of Firstfruits and Tithing:

  • The tribute to the Lord from the spoils echoes the biblical principle of first fruits, where the first portion of any harvest or gain is given to God as a sign of gratitude and acknowledgment of His provision (Exodus 23:19, Proverbs 3:9-10).

2. Support for the Priesthood:

  • The allocation to the Levites aligns with the broader biblical mandate to support the priestly tribe, who did not have an inheritance of land and relied on the people's offerings for their sustenance (Numbers 18:24, Deuteronomy 18:1-2).

3. Equitable Distribution:

  • The division of spoils ensures fairness and communal support. This principle can also be seen in the New Testament, where early Christians shared their possessions so that no one was in need (Acts 2:44-45).

4. Recognition of God's Sovereignty:

  • The Israelites recognize God's role in their victory by dedicating a portion of the spoils to the Lord, mirroring the practice of building altars or offering sacrifices in gratitude for God's intervention and blessings (Genesis 8:20, Exodus 17:15).

Verses 48-54: Offering of the Captains

Verses 48-50:

  • Voluntary Offering: The army officers approach Moses, bringing an additional offering of gold jewelry as atonement, Thanksgiving for the lives of the soldiers who survived the battle.

Verses 51-54:

  • Acceptance and Dedication: Moses and Eleazar receive the gold and place it in the Tabernacle as a memorial before the Lord, signifying the people's gratitude and dedication to God.

Conclusion

The division of the spoils of war in Numbers 31:25-54 demonstrates principles of fairness, gratitude, and devotion to God. The allocation ensures that the warriors and the broader community benefit from the victory while supporting the Levites and honoring God with a tribute. These actions highlight the Israelites' recognition of God's sovereignty and commitment to His commands. The parallels to other biblical teachings on offerings and communal support reinforce the timeless nature of these principles.

Study of Numbers 32:1-42: The Request of the Tribes of Reuben and Gad

Context and Overview

In Numbers 32, the tribes of Reuben and Gad request to settle in the land east of the Jordan River, which is suitable for their large herds of livestock. This chapter details their request, Moses' response, and their agreement.

Verses 1-5: The Request

  • Request for Land: The tribes of Reuben and Gad notice that the lands of Jazer and Gilead are excellent for livestock and ask Moses if they can settle there instead of crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land.

Verses 6-15: Moses' Initial Reaction and Warning

Verses 6-7:

  • Moses' Challenge: Moses questions the tribes' request, asking if their decision will discourage the other Israelites from crossing into the Promised Land.

Connection to Verse 14:

  • Historical Parallel: Moses references the earlier rebellion of the Israelites when the spies discouraged the people from entering Canaan (Numbers 13-14). In verse 14, he warns them not to repeat the sins of their ancestors, who angered the Lord with their lack of faith and led to 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.

Connection to 1 Chronicles 5:25-26:

  • Future Consequences: This passage recounts that the tribes east of the Jordan eventually turned away from God, leading to their exile by the Assyrian king. This connection underscores the potential spiritual dangers of separating from the main body of Israel.

Connection to Luke 12:15:

  • Warning Against Greed: Jesus' teaching in Luke 12:15 about the danger of greed and the need to guard against all kinds of greed can be seen as a warning relevant to the tribes' desire for good pastureland. Their decision should not be driven solely by material considerations but aligned with God's will.

Verses 16-32: The Agreement

Verses 16-19:

  • Offer to Fight: The tribes offer to build pens for their livestock and cities for their families, but they promise to join the other Israelites in battle until all have received their inheritance.

Verses 20-24:

  • Moses' Conditions: Moses agrees to their request, provided they fulfill their promise to fight. If they fail, they will have sinned against the Lord.

Verses 25-27:

  • Tribes' Assurance: The tribes of Reuben and Gad affirm their commitment to fight with the Israelites until the land is subdued.

Verses 28-32:

  • Formal Agreement: Moses instructs Eleazar, the priest, Joshua, and the tribes' leaders to hold Reuben and Gad accountable. The agreement is formally established.

Verses 33-42: Settlement in Gilead

Verses 33-38:

  • Granting of Land: Moses grants the land of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. They rebuild and rename the cities.

Verses 39-42:

  • Manasseh's Role: Manasseh's half-tribe also captures and settles in additional territories.

Theological Understanding

Faith and Obedience:

  • The passage emphasizes the importance of faith and obedience to God's commands. Moses' initial hesitation and subsequent conditions stress that the tribes' decision should not undermine Israel's collective mission to inhabit the Promised Land.

Spiritual Unity:

  • Moses's concern reflects the need for spiritual unity among the tribes. Despite their physical separation, the tribes of Reuben and Gad must remain spiritually and communally integrated with the rest of Israel.

Material Wealth and Spiritual Responsibility:

  • Reuben and Gad's request highlights the balance between material wealth and spiritual responsibility. Their commitment to fighting alongside the other tribes before settling in their chosen land exemplifies their acknowledgment of collective duty over personal gain.

Long-Term Consequences:

  • The later exile of these tribes (1 Chronicles 5:25-26) is a cautionary tale about the long-term spiritual risks associated with their separation. This historical context emphasizes the importance of remaining faithful to God and the community.

Conclusion

Numbers 32:1-42 provides a rich narrative about the interplay of faith, obedience, and communal responsibility. The request of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, Moses' conditions, and the subsequent agreement illustrate the necessity of prioritizing spiritual commitments over material desires. This passage, with its connections to other biblical teachings and historical outcomes, underscores the timeless principles of unity, faithfulness, and the consequences of our choices.

 


In Christ, love Jared W Campbell





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