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March 29: Numbers 11 | Proverbs 7 | Luke 21

Reading 1 - Numbers 11:10,11

"Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent. The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. He asked the LORD, 'Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?' " (Num 11:10,11).

"Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not [1Pe 1:7]: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord's faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father's countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, 'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him' [Job 13:15], is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts His servants to glorify Himself, for He is greatly glorified in the graces of His people, which are His own handiwork. When 'tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope' [Rom 5:3,4], the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which His vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights" (CHS).

Reading 2 - Proverbs 7:2,3

"Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart" (Pro 7:2,3).

"That is the final object of all good writing. Much that is written on paper is destroyed without even being read. Even commandments written and engraven on stone have been neglected until the stones have crumbled into dust. But when the commandments of God are written on human hearts, the final object of writing has been achieved. Words written on paper, parchment or stone, or words spoken by inspired lips have then been received by the senses, understood and approved by the intellect and the thoughts expressed have been, in some measure at least, woven into the character" (Islip Collyer, "Principles and Proverbs").

Reading 3 - Luke 21:8

"Watch out that you are not deceived" (Luk 21:8).

"We must fervently pray God to free us from our illusions and delusions. He sometimes does it roughly, but it is wholesome and beneficial. How we tend to make special rules and exceptions for ourselves, and give new, excusing definitions to sin and folly! But God's holy laws are impartial for all, and wisdom will not seek to bend them for personal gratification or self-justification. We must seek the divine blessing of... impartiality and honesty in our necessary, constant self-examination. It is grimly interesting and amusing to see how deceptive our minds can be, and how contrary to our true and larger well-being" (GVG).


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