Numbers 8-25 Highlights
- Passover celebrated, remembering when God delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt
- Israel grumbles about their situation in the wilderness
- Elders are appointed to help Moses deal with all of the issues in Israel
- Spies sent to spy out the promised land and give report
- Israel grumbles and complains, wishing they had never left Egypt
- Korah’s rebellion against Moses
- Moses strikes a rock in anger and God declares Moses and Aaron will not lead His people to the promised land; they will never see it
- Balaam’s donkey speaks and Balaam gives oracles
- Israel turns to worship false gods
- Joshua is appointed to succeed Moses when Moses dies
Psalms 28, 113 Highlights
- Psalm 28 is a testimony to the Lord being our strength in times of difficulty. David, the writer of this psalm, wrote this at a time in his life where he was troubled. He is crying out to God, asking for mercy. He is pleading with God to hear him when he cries out. David recognizes the evil around him, and what becomes of those who are evil. They are dragged off and are given the “reward” (i.e. punishment) for the way they chose to live. David ends the psalm noting how God heard, and always hears, David’s plea. In God we can trust in every situation of life. He is our strength and our saving refuge.
- Psalm 113 speaks to the uniqueness of God. The psalmist asks the question, “Who is like the Lord our God?” The answer is no one. He “looks far down on the heaven and the earth.” He sits above everything. All things are under Him. Nothing is His equal or above Him. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap. He opens the wombs of those who are barren (seen in the Old Testament earlier with Sarah and Rachel). This is why God is worthy of our praise that the psalmist speaks about in the first couple of verses. He is unique, holy, and righteous.
Colossians 1-4 Highlights
- Paul gives thanks and prays for the Colossian believers
- Christ is shown to be the perfect Son of God, and fully God as the second person of the trinity
- The goal for the church is to have everyone presented mature in Christ
- We are called to walk in Christ, rooted and built up in him
- Believers are called to put on the new self, consisting of compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, patience and love
- We should put off sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, covetousness, anger, wrath and malice
- Principles for Christian marriages are given to husbands and wives
Luke 1 Highlights
- Birth of John the Baptist is promised and foretold
- Birth of Jesus is promised and foretold
- Mary, the mother of Jesus, is visited by Elizabeth and John the Baptist leaps in his mother’s womb
- John the Baptist is born and his father prophecies about his role in salvation history
Numbers is the fourth book of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible given to Moses. Moses is the author of the first five books of the Bible. A common recurrence in the book of Numbers if God calling His people to remember that He is God and all that He has done for them. In chapter nine, God calls His people to celebrate the Passover, remembering when God delivered Israel out of slavery in Egypt by passing over their homes. This is a common theme throughout the Old Testament, God calling His people to remember who He is and what He has done. This is because remembering God helps us to live in the present. When we face new challenges, we can remember the faithfulness of God. When tempted to look elsewhere for joy, satisfaction, or hope, God calls us to remember Him and his goodness to us. This also helps us remember that God has ALWAYS been faithful, and will always be faithful in the present and future. Whatever we face, we can trust God and remember how good He is.
Another pattern that will continue to emerge is that God’s people tend to forget, grumble, and complain. They forget and forsake the God who saves and delivers, and instead turn and worship false gods or grumble at Moses (or whomever is leading them). God desires worship, because He is worthy and deserving, and also because He knows that He alone can bring us joy. God’s anger is kindled against those who forsake Him and turn to other gods. Israel complains in chapter 11 and turns to worship false gods in chapter 25. Both times we see the anger of the Lord kindled against Israel.
Another theme to track in the Old Testament is that we are reading the Old Testament looking for the promised son that will crush the head of Satan in Genesis 3. Moses is seen as a great leader for God’s people, but no Savior. He committed murder early in His life, and in Numbers 20 we see Moses, in anger, strike a rock for water for Israel. This leads to God telling Moses he will never see the promised land for Israel, and will die before leading God’s people into it. Moses was used by God to do amazing things for Israel, but He was not the promised Messiah. As we read the Old Testament, we are still looking for the promised Son.
Colossians is another New Testament letter written by Paul to churches he has previously planted and visited. He is writing to encourage the believers there, and to correct any false teachings or practices that may or may not be arising.
Colossians 1:15-23 is one of the clearest passages in the New Testament proclaiming the deity of Jesus Christ. To be a Christian, one must believe that Jesus was both fully man and fully God. Colossians 1 makes the latter very clear. He calls Jesus the image of the invisible God, meaning perfectly images God the Father. Paul states that all things were created by, for, and through Christ. Creation is something only God can do, and Paul says here clearly that Christ was active in the creation of the world, also showing he is eternal.
“He is before all things and in him all things hold together.” Christ is seen as preeminent here. Nothing has a superior place to Jesus in all the world, again, because he is God come in the flesh. All the fullness of God is pleased to dwell in Christ. Again, Christ is fully God.
Lastly, Christ reconciled us by his death back to a relationship with God. Only a perfect sacrifice could be a perfect substitute for our sin, and Christ was that. Perfect, as only God alone is. Paul is adamant in Colossians of showing Christ to be fully God.
There is also lots of practical application for us as we read Colossians, which flows out of that theology. We are called to walk in Christ and to put off the old self and put on the new self. The imagery here is easy for us to see; just as we take off old, dirty clothes and put on new, clean clothes, in the same way we who are followers of Jesus are called to put off our old self, which was enveloped in the power of sin, and put on our new self which has been graciously saved by grace through faith in Christ.
Lastly, the gospel also provides application for husbands and wives in marriage. A wives submission and a husband’s servant leadership are both an outflow and picture of the gospel. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. This means husbands are called to lay down their lives for their wives. This is servant leadership. Wives are called to submit to their husband’s servant leadership as the church submits to and follows Christ, who served by laying down his life for the church. Marriage is a beautiful picture of the gospel, a beautiful picture of Christ and the church.