March 30: Numbers 12-13 | Proverbs 8-9 | Luke 22
Reading 1 - Numbers 13:30,31
"Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, 'We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.' But the men who had gone up with him said, 'We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are' " (Num 13:30,31).
Men of faith, even though they have not as yet received God's promises, may with the eye of faith see that fulfillment, even when it is "far off". Then in spirit they "receive" those promises to themselves, and "embrace" them, and act as though they are already theirs (Heb 11:13).
Ten men who failed to see God saw cities impregnably high;
Two men, looking "far off" to God, saw doom for those cities draw nigh.
Ten men who failed to see God saw giants frightfully tall;
Two men, looking "far off" to God, saw giants as grasshoppers small.
Ten men who failed to see God reported, "We're certain to fail";
Two men, looking "far off" to God, cried, "Up! for with God we prevail!"
Ten men who failed to see God discouraged their brother men;
Two men perceived God everywhere; are you of the two -- or the ten?
Reading 2 - Proverbs 8:1
"Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?" (Pro 8:1).
"We have found the 'Truth': the saving Gospel of the Kingdom of God and the things concerning the Name of Jesus Christ. That is fine. That is indeed vital (and let us make sure we always HAVE it, and not just HAD it. The mind is leaky. We must keep refreshing and replenishing it). But, have we found THE truth? Have we 'gone on to perfection' -- to completion? -- right to the heart and core of the matter? 'He that loseth his life shall save it'... 'A man must forsake all he has to be my disciple.' Have we 'lost' our (natural) life, and forsaken all of it? -- total submission, total self-emptying, total yielding, total humility, total devotion, total service, total love, TOTAL 'peace with God'? This is what God gently, reasonably, lovingly asks of us. Do we love Him enough to give it? This is what 'love' means. Is it worth it? Is eternity worth that much effort and application? Can we give less than all, and safely presume on God's 'mercy' -- or that hopefully He will not notice that we are selfishly 'keeping back part of the price'? Human beings are congenital gamblers: that is part of the ingrained 'works of the flesh'. But are not the stakes here a little too high, the risks a little too great? Doth not wisdom cry a warning?" (GVG).
Reading 3 - Luke 22:14,15
"When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. And he said to them, 'I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer' " (Luk 22:14,15).
"What the disciples could not know is that even while he encompassed them in this simple memorial, his eyes were lifted beyond them down the years that were to be; towards disciples gathered in caves with Roman soldiers dogging their steps; towards men and women dying in the mountains with his Name upon their lips; towards a faithful remnant struggling to keep the faith in a closing age of folly and darkness. He saw countless disciples down the years and over the world, humble disciples who lived and died unknown. He saw them living out their little lives with their hopes and their fears, their struggles and their failures, their prayers and their victories. He came quietly to them with his invitation, 'With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.' And in humble earnestness had come their answer, 'With desire we desire to meet at thy table, Lord.' And so obediently they came, they remembered, they loved, they went back to their tasks inspired by his presence, resolved to struggle on. Eventually they died, faithful to the end, not having received the promise but having seen it afar off" (Melva Purkis, "Life of Jesus" 322,323).