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First Reading: Numbers Chapter 9 and 10
9:1 The Second Passover
Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying: 2 "Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time. According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it." 4 So Moses told the children of Israel that they should keep the Passover. 5 And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, at twilight, in the Wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did.
6 Now there were certain men who were defiled by a human corpse, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day; and they came before Moses and Aaron that day. 7 And those men said to him, "We became defiled by a human corpse. Why are we kept from presenting the offering of the LORD at its appointed time among the children of Israel?"
8 And Moses said to them, "Stand still, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you."
9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep the LORD's Passover. 11 On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they may keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it. 13 But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of the LORD at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin.
14'And if a stranger dwells among you, and would keep the LORD's Passover, he must do so according to the rite of the Passover and according to its ceremony; you shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger and the native of the land.'"
15 The Cloud and the Fire
(Ex 13:21,22; 40:34-38)
Now on the day that the tabernacle was raised up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the Testimony; from evening until morning it was above the tabernacle like the appearance of fire. 16 So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. 17 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. 18 At the command of the LORD the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the LORD they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped. 19 Even when the cloud continued long, many days above the tabernacle, the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not journey. 20 So it was, when the cloud was above the tabernacle a few days: according to the command of the LORD they would remain encamped, and according to the command of the LORD they would journey. 21 So it was, when the cloud remained only from evening until morning: when the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they would journey; whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud was taken up, they would journey. 22 Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey. 23 At the command of the LORD they remained encamped, and at the command of the LORD they journeyed; they kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
10:1 Two Silver Trumpets
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "Make two silver trumpets for yourself;
you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation
and for directing the movement of the camps. 3 When they blow both of them,
all the congregation shall gather before you at the door of the tabernacle of
meeting. 4 But if they blow only one, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions
of Israel, shall gather to you. 5 When you sound the advance, the camps that
lie on the east side shall then begin their journey. 6 When you sound the advance
the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall begin their
journey; they shall sound the call for them to begin their journeys. 7 And when
the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but not sound the advance.
8 The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and these shall be
to you as an ordinance forever throughout your generations.
9 "When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies. 10 Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the LORD your God."
11 Departure from Sinai
Now it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second
year, that the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle of the Testimony.
12 And the children of Israel set out from the Wilderness of Sinai on their
journeys; then the cloud settled down in the Wilderness of Paran. 13 So they
started out for the first time according to the command of the LORD by the hand
14 The standard of the camp of the children of Judah set out first according to their armies; over their army was Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 15 Over the army of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethanel the son of Zuar. 16 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.
17 Then the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set out, carrying the tabernacle.
18 And the standard of the camp of Reuben set out according to their armies; over their army was Elizur the son of Shedeur. 19 Over the army of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 20 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel.
21 Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy things. (The tabernacle would be prepared for their arrival.)
22 And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set out according to their armies; over their army was Elishama the son of Ammihud. 23 Over the army of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 24 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni.
25 Then the standard of the camp of the children of Dan (the rear guard of all the camps) set out according to their armies; over their army was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 26 Over the army of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran. 27 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan.
28 Thus was the order of march of the children of Israel, according to their armies, when they began their journey.
29 Now Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said,'I will give it to you.' Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the LORD has promised good things to Israel."
30 And he said to him, "I will not go, but I will depart to my own land and to my relatives."
31 So Moses said, "Please do not leave, inasmuch as you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. 32 And it shall be, if you go with us indeed it shall be that whatever good the LORD will do to us, the same we will do to you."
33 So they departed from the mountain of the LORD on a journey of three days; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them for the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them. 34 And the cloud of the LORD was above them by day when they went out from the camp.
35 So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said:
"Rise up, O LORD!Let Your enemies be scattered,And let those who hate You flee before You."
36 And when it rested, he said:
"Return, O LORD,To the many thousands of Israel."
3:1 God's Judgment Defended
What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much
in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For
what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God
without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.
As it is written:
"That You may be justified in Your words,And may overcome when You are judged."
5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath?(I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?
7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.
9 All Have Sinned
(Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-4)
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
10 As it is written:
"There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands;There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside;They have together become unprofitable;There is none who does good, no, not one." 13 "Their throat is an open tomb;With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips"; 14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." 15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 God's Righteousness Through Faith
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed
by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith
in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified
freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom
God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate
His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that
were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness,
that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Boasting Excluded
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
WHO IS GOD?
Part 5 of 11
God is described in the Bible as being righteous and not capable of being tempted to sin. He takes no pleasure in evil.
We know that God is a loving God and compassionate. However, he hates evil and sin and according to many parts of the Bible will judge the evil and the evildoer:
God's character of mercy and judgement is stated clearly in Romans 11:22 (NIV) "Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off."
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