“The First Women’s Lib Movement” – One Year Bible Reading – March 18

Old Testament: Numbers 26:52-28:15

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Numbers 26:52-65  Landing On Their Feet

The land was geographically apportioned by lot (Nu. 26:55) and the size of each tribe was taken into consideration by God (Nu. 26: 54, 56, cf. Prov. 16: 33, “The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the Lord”).

The Levites, whose job was to take care of the Tabernacle and later the Temple, increased by 1,000 men between the two censuses.  The Levites numbered 23,000 at this point and they were numbered apart from the rest of Israel since they didn’t receive an inheritance of land (cf. Nu. 18:23-24).

None of the men in the first census done by Moses and Aaron were still alive.  The exceptions were Caleb and Joshua, the only two spies who had brought back a favorable report after being sent on reconnaissance into the Promised Land (Nu. 14: 29 -30).

Numbers 27: 1 -11  The First Women’s Lib

This passage shows God’s concern for women long before Jesus’ example in the New Testament and decades before any women’s lib movements.  Pagans viewed women as mere chattel. The NT views women as “heirs of the grace of life” (1Pt. 3:7).  Five daughters of a man who had died in the wilderness without any sons came to Moses to determine if they could inherit property in the Promised Land.  The answer came back from Yahweh.  “Sure.”  The line of inheritance ran like this:  to sons first, if no son then to daughters, brothers next, finally to the nearest relative in the family.  Women had received their rights!

Numbers 27: 12 -23  You Can Look But You Can’t Touch

Moses wasn’t allowed to go into the Promised Land (Nu. 20: 12) but he was allowed to see it.  Was Moses ever allowed to go into the Promised Land?  Think before you answer.  Yes.  When Jesus was transfigured, he was there (Mt. 17: 2-3).

Moses asked Yahweh to appoint a successor to him to take the people into the Promised Land.  Joshua got the job (Nu. 27: 18).  He was commissioned before the people showing a peaceful transfer of authority (Nu. 27: 23).

Numbers 28: 1 -15  Date Offerings

Yahweh makes clear the offerings to be given in the Promised Land as the people are about to enter it.

1)  The daily offerings: two lambs  (Nu. 28: 3-8)

2)  Once-a-week Sabbath offerings: two lambs  (Nu. 28: 9-10

(con’t in tomorrow’s reading) 

New Testament: Luke 3:1-22

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Luke  3:1-22   John The Dunker

Remember Luke is the one who writes mentioning the most detail?  He mentions five Roman officials by name and by title.  The fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar would have been 29 A.D. (cf. Bible Knowledge Commentary and the ESV Study Bible).  Jesus would have been about thirty years-old.

John’s ministry would have been in a barren area between the hill country and the Jordan River.  He calls for a “baptism of repentance” (Luke 3:3).  This is not Christian baptism which wasn’t instituted until the Day of Pentecost several years later.  “Repentance” literally means a “change of mind” (metanoia:  meta – change, noia -mind is the Greek word).  John was preaching that the nation needed to “change its mind” and look forward to the new era coming with Christ.  Later in the book of Acts, a group of believers in God had only experienced John’s baptism (Acts 19: 1-7) but had not been baptized in the Holy Spirit.   They had not yet been saved since all Christians are indwelt with the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9)

John’s job was to ready people for the message of Jesus.  “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees” indicated that judgment was coming.  There was an immediate need for repentance.  JB was a serious dude.  Those who were down-and-out responded to his message, the tax collectors (Lk 3: 12, 13), soldiers (Lk. 3: 14) and the common people (Lk. 3 10-11).  He told everyone to straighten out their lives and get ready for Jesus (Lk. 3: 4).

Everyone wondered if John was the Messiah.  If John had allowed any doubt, his ministry would have been ruined.  He made things very clear.  “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Lk. 3: 15).  John’s announcement that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit is found in all four gospels (Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1: 8; Jn. 1: 33).  This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit first came to indwell believers.

Luke  3:21-22   “John Debunker”

Jesus was baptized along with everyone else that John baptized.  There were a couple differences.  One was that Jesus wasn’t being baptized to show repentance.  He was being baptized to identify with mankind.  Another difference was that when Jesus was baptized, the sky was opened.  While Jesus was praying, a dove descended on Him which was actually the Holy Spirit incarnate.   A voice came out of Heaven that said, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”  People got to see and hear the Trinity!  Some people also got to hear the Father speak similar words to Jesus at the Transfiguration (Lk. 9: 35) and during Triumphal Entry (Jn. 12:28).

John was not one to back down from the truth.  It got him in trouble with Herod, the governor of Galilee.  He was the one who put John in prison and later had him killed to please a dinner guest (Mark 6: 24-25). 

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