Prayer Psalm: 85
Prayer Point: Sometimes life feels like God’s wrath weighs heavy on us. We struggle and we wonder if we will ever feel God’s love again. You may not be in the position today, but I’m sure you know someone who is. Pray that we might know that God, through Christ has “covered all our sins” and “set aside all his wrath.” Pray that we might believe that God will “revive us again.”
What does Jesus’ story of the lost sheep tell us about how he feels about his lost little ones? Think about the story of the Bible as a whole for a moment. Is it we that pursue God or is it God that pursues us?
Now that Jesus has established how he feels about his lost sheep, he calls us, as his disciples, to follow him. How are we called to treat the lost ones who sin against us? Do we let them stay lost? How are we called to pursue them? What is the only circumstance that the lost sheep should be left alone?
Paul has pointed out that both Jews and Gentiles, religious and non-religious people are deserving of God’s judgment. Those two groups are described in this passage as those “under the law” (Jews) and those “apart from the law” (Gentiles).
What will happen to those in both categories who sin, that is break God’s law? What does it take to be declared “righteous” (right with God) whether you are “under the law” or live “apart from the law”?
How well do those who live ‘under the law’ keep it? In other words, who doesn’t need forgiveness if even the religious folks fail to keep the law.
Numbers 12:1-16 Miriam and Aaron Become Uppity
What is the issue between Moses and his brother and sister? (Aaron and Miriam disapprove of Moses’ wife because she was a Cushite – a non-Jew.)
How do Aaron and Miriam justify themselves? (“‘Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?’ they asked. ‘Hasn’t he also spoken through us?’ And the LORD heard this.” (Numbers 12:2 NIV))
How does Moses out-class everyone else on earth? (“Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3 NIV))
Verses 12:4-8 contain some of the most pointed dialog in all of scripture (in my opinion). How does the LORD distinguish Moses from any ordinary prophet? (“When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. [Remember Joseph?] But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles [or parables – j.t.]; he sees the form of the LORD.” (Numbers 12:6-8a NIV))
What question does the Lord ask Aaron and Miriam which should jar them into reality; make them realize that they are as ungrateful as the rest of the nation? (“Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” (Numbers 12:8b NIV))
What happens to poor Miriam? What is the remedy? (Miriam is struck with leprosy and is banished outside the camp for a period of seven days.)
What is the LORD’s quaint way of describing Miriam’s plight? (“The LORD replied to Moses, ‘If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days?’” (Numbers 12:14 NIV) I suppose that in an unflattering way we can see a sort of parental relationship here.)