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April 15: Numbers 34 | Proverbs 25 | John 7

Reading 1 - Num 34

"This section describes the borders of the land of Canaan which Yahweh is about to make available to the Israelites for their possession. However, the area defined was never fully occupied by Israel, simply because the tribes never fulfilled the conditions imposed. The Book of Joshua records that, though Joshua's victories made it possible for each of the tribes to obtain its inheritance, they lacked the faith and courage to completely do it. After his death, the people compromised with the remaining Canaanites, and so ruined their opportunity of inheriting the land promised...

"The chapter is divided into six sections: (1) South border (vv 1-5); (2) West border (v 6); (3) North border (vv 7-9); (4) East border (vv 10-13); (5) Transjordan area (vv 14,15); (6) the leaders appointed to divide the land by lot (vv 16-29)" (HP Mansfield, "Christadelphian Expositor").

Reading 2 - Pro 25:2

"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings" (Pro 25:2).

"We should not have anticipated this thought, but all experience shows that it is fundamentally true. Men have often found that all their attempts to understand the laws of Nature have only opened up a vista of increased complexity. Last century the materialists were in the ascendant and for a time imagined that they were on the point of explaining everything. Now they are discredited and it is acknowledged that the universe is far more mysterious than our forefathers ever imagined. Last century the food experts thought that they knew all about the subject of nutrition; then, through the practical failure of their theories, vitamins were discovered, and now experts, who certainly know far more than their predecessors, admit, as Mr Eustace Miles once wrote: 'We really know very little about the matter.' At one time the ductless glands of the body were regarded as useless, now they are found to be so mysteriously important that some investigators have claimed that they are practically everything.

"As in Nature so in the written Word, God has concealed things and has called upon His servants to exercise their minds in searching for the treasures of divine wisdom. It has always been 'line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.' Faithful men and women try to put the littles together and in the process find the mental exercise which brings their minds nearer to God" (Islip Collyer, "Principles and Proverbs").

Reading 3 - John 7:22,23

"Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath?" (John 7:22,23).

This point of the Law of Moses seems to have been given for the specific purpose of showing that the Law itself could be superseded -- that is, that one requirement of the Law might override another. And if this were a possibility -- then might not a different Law override, or supersede, the whole?

Therefore, Jesus makes the point: to heal a man, truly and completely, by teaching him the way of life is to bring the true Sabbath "rest" -- of which the whole Law of Moses was merely the shadow.


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