NUMBERS 10:1-11:23 | MARK 14:1-21 | PSALM 51:1-19 | PROVERBS 10:31-32
Click on the link below to listen to an audio recording of this post:
The chapter starts out with the ordinance of the manufacture and use of the silver trumpets—for worship or for war, these were the trumpets to be used to summon the people. Next, the account begins of their setting out from the Sinai desert, and as an aside we learn of Moses’ kind way in asking his father-in-law, an Egyptian—who had apparently tarried with them all along when he came to bring Moses’ wife and children back to him—to accompany them on their way to the promised land.
It is a kindness, sometimes, to insist on offering one’s hospitality, and we see this happening here with Moses who presses his father-in-law, who then relents.
And so they begin their journey across the desert, moving northward, but soon, the people begin to get weary of the heavenly manna that is their daily sustenance. Why only manna, why not meat? And remember those leeks and onions and garlic and melons back in Egypt—we want those things again!
Such was the cry of the people, and so Moses goes back to God and in an almost-scolding manner complains about this new problem.
Why, he says, did you give me this burden to care for the needs of this people? Did I conceive them? And how am I to carry this burden alone? Well, says God, you might have a point. And so, we shall wait to see how this becomes resolved in tomorrow’s reading… because we know an answer cannot be far behind when God says, “Is the LORD’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”
Turning to Mark, we encounter yet again the story of the woman who comes to Jesus and anoints his head with an expensive jar of alabaster. What a waste, they say to her, but Jesus says to them: I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.
Yes, in memory of a woman’s deep love and devotion that caused her to bring the most expensive thing she could find and publicly proclaim her love for this man, who happened to be the Son of God in the form of an ordinary man called Jesus.
Next, there is the account of the Lord’s Supper, the last meal that Jesus has with his disciples. Imagine the memories that the eleven would have had of that last meal for the rest of their lives!
David’s psalm for the day is a poignantly humble one in which he pleads for God’s mercies and provision. Like David, I too would like to say:
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
And finally, in the reading from the Book of Proverbs, Solomon, wise king of Israel, seems to state a fairly well-known truth:
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
But the perverse tongue will be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.