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First Reading: Numbers Chapter 19 and 20
19:1 Laws of Purification
Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 "This is the ordinance
of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying: 'Speak to the children of Israel,
that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect
and on which a yoke has never come. 3 You shall give it to Eleazar the priest,
that he may take it outside the camp, and it shall be slaughtered before him;
4 and Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle
some of its blood seven times directly in front of the tabernacle of meeting.
5 Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight: its hide, its flesh, its blood,
and its offal shall be burned. 6 And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop
and scarlet, and cast them into the midst of the fire burning the heifer. 7
Then the priest shall wash his clothes, he shall bathe in water, and afterward
he shall come into the camp; the priest shall be unclean until evening. 8 And
the one who burns it shall wash his clothes in water, bathe in water, and shall
be unclean until evening. 9 Then a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes
of the heifer, and store them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall
be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of purification;
it is for purifying from sin. 10 And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer
shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until evening. It shall be a statute
forever to the children of Israel and to the stranger who dwells among them.
11'He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days. 12 He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean. 13 Whoever touches the body of anyone who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD. That person shall be cut off from Israel. He shall be unclean, because the water of purification was not sprinkled on him; his uncleanness is still on him.
14'This is the law when a man dies in a tent: All who come into the tent and all who are in the tent shall be unclean seven days; 15 and every open vessel, which has no cover fastened on it, is unclean. 16 Whoever in the open field touches one who is slain by a sword or who has died, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.
17'And for an unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of the heifer burnt for purification from sin, and running water shall be put on them in a vessel. 18 A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, sprinkle it on the tent, on all the vessels, on the persons who were there, or on the one who touched a bone, the slain, the dead, or a grave. 19 The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, wash his clothes, and bathe in water; and at evening he shall be clean.
20'But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person shall be cut off from among the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the LORD. The water of purification has not been sprinkled on him; he is unclean. 21 It shall be a perpetual statute for them. He who sprinkles the water of purification shall wash his clothes; and he who touches the water of purification shall be unclean until evening. 22 Whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the person who touches it shall be unclean until evening.'"
20:1 Moses' Error at Kadesh
Then the children of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; and Miriam died there and was buried there.
2 Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. 3 And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: "If only we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 4 Why have you brought up the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? 5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink." 6 So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD appeared to them.
7 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 8 "Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals." 9 So Moses took the rod from before the LORD as He commanded him.
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them,"Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?" 11 Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.
12 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."
13 This was the water of Meribah, because the children of Israel contended with the LORD, and He was hallowed among them.
14 Passage Through Edom Refused
Now Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom."Thus says your
brother Israel: 'You know all the hardship that has befallen us, 15 how our
fathers went down to Egypt, and we dwelt in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians
afflicted us and our fathers. 16 When we cried out to the LORD, He heard our
voice and sent the Angel and brought us up out of Egypt; now here we are in
Kadesh, a city on the edge of your border. 17 Please let us pass through your
country. We will not pass through fields or vineyards, nor will we drink water
from wells; we will go along the King's Highway; we will not turn aside to the
right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.'"
18 Then Edom said to him, "You shall not pass through my land, lest I come out against you with the sword."
19 So the children of Israel said to him, "We will go by the Highway, and if I or my livestock drink any of your water, then I will pay for it; let me only pass through on foot, nothing more."
20 Then he said,"You shall not pass through." So Edom came out against them with many men and with a strong hand. 21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.
22 Death of Aaron
Now the children of Israel, the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. 23 And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in Mount Hor by the border of the land of Edom, saying: 24 "Aaron shall be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against My word at the water of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up to Mount Hor; 26 and strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; for Aaron shall be gathered to his people and die there." 27 So Moses did just as the LORD commanded, and they went up to Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28 Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 Now when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, all the house of Israel mourned for Aaron thirty days.
Second Reading: Romans Chapter 8
8:1 Free from Indwelling Sin
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who
do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law
of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and
death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh,
God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of
sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the
law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according
to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on
the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things
of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded
is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is
not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in
the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
12 Sonship Through the Spirit
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according
to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if
by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For
as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did
not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit
of adoption by whom we cry out,"Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself
bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children,
then heirs heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer
with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
18 From Suffering to Glory
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be
compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation
of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the
creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected
it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage
of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know
that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we
ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption
of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not
hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what
we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
31 God's Everlasting Love
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against
us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how
shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge
against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It
is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right
hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from
the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
"For Your sake we are killed all day long;We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
WHO ARE THE JEWS?
Part 4 of 6
Isaiah 43 tells us that Israel (the Jews) will be God's witnesses. How will this be? According to Deuteronomy 18, the test of a true prophet of God is whether that prophet's prophecy is fulfilled. The truth that God exists is also witnessed to when what God has said will happen does happen. God has said in the Bible that certain things would happen to the Jewish nation. Have those things happened?
In Deuteronomy the Israelites were given two choices. In Chapter 28 they are told that if they fully obey then wonderful blessings would be theirs:
If they disobeyed then the following would happen:
Either way, the choice to obey or disobey, the result would be the same: the prophecy would be fulfilled. They would either be a nation revered by all nations or scorned by all nations.
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