NUMBERS 32:1-33:39 | LUKE 4:31-5:11 | PSALM 64:1-10 | PROVERBS 11:22
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It has long been established that Moses was a man of God. Saved by an Egyptian princess to lead the life of an Egyptian royal, Moses is called by God as a young man to lead the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt to the “promised land.”
But Moses was also an excellent record-keeper. These five books called the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament were written by him. And his record management skills were evidently quite exemplary—not only did he faithfully convey each utterance of God back to the people, and served as God’s mouthpiece in that respect, he also kept excellent records of the forty years of travel through the desert.
He kept a list of every stop that was made on this journey– this long journey that saw the rise and demise of at least two generations. We find a long list of the names of the places that they stopped at in this chapter.
But before that, there is an agreement that is made by certain tribes with Moses. Some of the tribes wish to permanently pitch tents on this side of the Jordan, but Moses is not too keen on the idea. And yet, he agrees that so long as the men go out with the rest of them to cross over on to the other side, and help in establishing the people there, they could go back and be released from any further obligations. The men agree, and we therefore have for the record, this set of people, Hebrew children no less, but those who choose to live outside the land of Canaan. The very first sign of the Jewish diaspora, wouldn’t you say?
Turning next to our reading in the Book of Luke, we see that Jesus begins his ministry in earnest. He goes around all of the regions of Judea and Galilee teaching and preaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand. The people, however, were a lot more interested to see him perform the many miracles—everything from casting out demons from people possessed, to healing the sick and the infirm.
Jesus is on a mission, and is intent on carrying it out well. He says: “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
And in order to carry out his mission, Jesus recruits a few good men: humble fishermen, these are. They’re not learned men from the synagogue, neither are they the upstanding citizens of society. Simon Peter is one of the very first. Jesus miraculously provides a huge catch of fish to Simon who is dejected because his labors have been in vain all day. He is astonished at this huge catch of fish, and is at that instant a changed man at witnessing such a miracle.
Jesus displays a small sense of humor with Simon in telling him that from now on he would be a fisher of men!
David’s psalm for the day is a song of praise in God’s great provision. One like many others that David has penned, this one too celebrates the great salvation of the Lord. In times of trouble and distress when evil men are against you, fear not, he says, because God will take care of things. Have faith that he will. May it be that like David we also might say the same:
10 Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD
and take refuge in him;
let all the upright in heart praise him!
And finally, the proverb for the day is one that can’t help but make you laugh. The image of a lovely nose-ring in a pig’s snout is a funny, silly and sad one. Solomon uses that imagery to make the point about pairing beauty with discretion. If you don’t, you may as well be akin to that pig!
22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.