Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse
Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages
â€œAfter you have seen [the land I have given to the Israelites], you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron wasâ€¦â€ ~Numbers 27:13
The seemingly insignificant census report in chapter 26 marks an important transition in the narrative. The new “membership rolls” of the worshipping community are purged of the former generation of doubters. Those men and women are buried in the desert. Sadly, even Moses only sees the land of promise from a distance for he too expressed unbelief. In a fit of temper witnessed by the entire nation, he angrily struck a rock with his staff when the people persisted in opposing him (Num. 20:1-13). Although we can sympathize with Mosesâ€™ aggravation over the peopleâ€™s constant complaining and even his frustration with God for calling him to such a difficult job, God took another view. Mosesâ€™ meltdown in the wilderness was a public disgrace to God (Num. 20:12). He displayed unbelief both in the Lordâ€™s promise to provide for His people and in His commitment to provide Moses with the grace he needed to lead through difficulty. God is no respecter of persons. Even the man whose name still conjures images of courage, greatness, and humility must give an account for his life before his holy God.
Jesus is the ONLY perfect man to ever walk this earth. Even the greatest of men are sinners, whether the greatÂ Moses whose temper got the best of him or the great Peter who was rebuked by Jesus for his devilish words. Yet God uses imperfect people, often in mighty ways. The Scriptures and Christian history are replete with examples in which we can find encouragement. Though we are flawedâ€”every last humanÂ one usâ€”God can still use us, even greatly. So press on with all your might to make a difference in this world. Work gladly alongside all the other flawed creatures of our God and King. And take heed of the arresting reminder in today’s reading: someday, all of us will stand before the holy God we worship. May He use us greatly and help us to live before Him in such a way that we will not be ashamed to give an account of our days.