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April 14: Numbers 33 | Proverbs 24 | John 6

Reading 1 - Num 33

"This serves as a summary of the whole journeyings during 40 years from Egypt to the Jordan. Omitting the starting point in Egypt, and the final camp by the Jordan, there are 40 camps listed. Quite a number are not found elsewhere in Scripture, and some today cannot be definitely located. But that is not surprising. Pilgrims and travelers do not leave the kind of remains that archaeologists can use to make specific identifications. In many cases, the names given were supplied by the Israelites themselves, being derived from some small local peculiarity or crisis in their wanderings. These names, therefore, can provide a hint as to the circumstances of the Israelites at the various points of their wanderings. The chapter divides them into four stages: (1) from Egypt to Sinai (vv 1-15); (2) from Sinai to Kadesh (vv 16,17); (3) from Kadesh to Kadesh again -- the 38 years of wanderings (vv 18-36); and (4) from Kadesh to Moab and the Jordan (vv 37-49). The chapter concludes with the final instructions and exhortation of Moses on the plain of Moab (vv 50-56)" (HP Mansfield, "Christadelphian Expositor").

Reading 2 - Pro 24:33,34

"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest -- and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man" (Pro 24:33,34).

"The worst of sluggards only ask for a little slumber; they would be indignant if they were accused of thorough idleness. A little folding of the hands to sleep is all they crave, and they have a crowd of reasons to show that this indulgence is a very proper one. Yet by these littles the day ebbs out, and the time for labour is all gone, and the field is grown over with thorns.

"It is by little procrastinations that men ruin their souls. They have no intention to delay for years -- a few months will bring the more convenient season -- tomorrow if you will, they will attend to serious things; but the present hour is so occupied and altogether so unsuitable, that they beg to be excused. Like sands from an hour-glass, time passes, life is wasted by driblets, and seasons of grace lost by little slumbers.

"Oh, to be wise, to catch the flying hour, to use the moments on the wing! May the Lord teach us this sacred wisdom, for otherwise a poverty of the worst sort awaits us, eternal poverty. Like a traveller steadily pursuing his journey, poverty overtakes the slothful, and ruin overthrows the undecided: each hour brings the dreaded pursuer nearer; he pauses not by the way, for he is on his master's business and must not tarry. As an armed man enters with authority and power, so shall want come to the idle, and death to the impenitent, and there will be no escape. O that men were wise betimes, and would seek diligently unto the Lord Jesus, or ere the solemn day shall dawn when it will be too late to plough and to sow, too late to repent and believe. In harvest, it is vain to lament that the seed time was neglected" (CH Spurgeon).

Reading 3 - John 6:45

"It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' [Isa 54:13] Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me" (John 6:45).

"The people of God are ever anxious to learn. They have no time for or patience with foolishness. They do not want to be amused, or excited, or entertained -- they want to be taught. They are ever eager to learn more about God and His Word -- what He has said, and what He has done -- the marvelous and beautiful kaleidoscope of divine and human events from Adam in Eden to John in Patmos. They never have time hanging on their hands. They never have 'nothing to do' -- the pitiful bane of empty, infantile minds. All the spare time in their busy, active lives is given to study and meditation on the wonders of the Word. They begrudge time spent -- even necessarily -- on present, passing things: though, in love and faith, and stumbling, slow-learning patience, they realize that these things too, if necessary, can equally be a service to, and communion with, their loving Father" (GV Growcott).


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