Daily Reading

A feed containing today's WordLive Session.
  1. Prepare

    Why does God sometimes give us what we want?

  2. Bible passage: Numbers 11:16–35

     16 The LORD said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.

     18 “Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. 19 You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

     21 But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ 22 Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”

     23 The LORD answered Moses, “Is the LORD’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

     24 So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. 25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again.

     26 However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

     28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

     29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

     31 Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It brought them down all around the camp to about three feet above the ground, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. 32 All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. 33 But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the LORD burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. 34 Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food.

     35 From Kibroth Hattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth and stayed there.

  3. Explore

    We were left yesterday on a cliffhanger. The people have sinned, but this time Moses doesn’t intercede for them. Clearly, the burden of leadership is too much for Moses to carry alone. So God appoints 70 elders to help him.

    But there is still the issue of the people’s moan about meat. Moses doubted God’s goodness (v 11), and now he doubts God’s power to provide for so many (vs 21,22). But despite his lack of trust, God is kind to him and simply says, ‘Just wait and see!’ (see v 23).

    And in blow the quail. And they blow in, in such enormous quantities that they pile up three-feet high on the ground. God gives the people what they ask for, but it turns out to be an awful judgement (v 33). The people turn their backs on God. They doubt God is good. They demand he meet their needs. They want to go back to Egypt. They don’t want to follow God’s good plans for them. And God shows them that what they want will destroy them.

    No one deserves God’s mercy in this story. But God is kind to Moses and gives him help to lead. And God limits his judgement on the people so that they are not all destroyed.

    Mark Ellis
  4. Respond

    Give thanks that a good God does not always give us our heart’s desire. Give thanks that in Jesus we have an intercessor who is ableto carry every burden and forgive every sin.

  5. Deeper Bible study

    That the Lord always hears his people’s cries is one of the unequivocal promises of the Scriptures, often repeated. Graciously, he not only hears but answers. Sometimes, however, he answers in a way that we least expect and in a manner that we deserve rather than desire – and that is one of the lessons taught here.

    The inability of Moses to bear the burden of leading the people alone was the substance of his complaint in verse 14 – a truth that his father-in-law Jethro had pointed out to him long ago (Exod 18). God graciously distributes his Spirit upon seventy of the senior men of the community, who will share in the leadership of the people. The principle of plural eldership of God’s people, established here, continues throughout Scripture and is God’s pattern for the church today. Moses’ prayer in verse 29, that all of God’s people would know his Spirit, finds its fulfilment in the New Testament age! (Acts 2:17,18) God also hears and answers the complaints of the people about the manna. They wanted meat, so he promises them meat: meat for 30 days – enough to make them wish they hadn’t asked. Moses’ doubts that God could provide meat for 600,000 men is answered by a verbal reminder of the power of the Lord’s arm (v 23) and then by physical proof of it in the provision of quail (vs 31,32) – but the thing that they had longed for proves to be the means of the outpouring of God’s wrath. Plague and death are the consequences.

    Longing for the wrong things is a timeless temptation to God’s people. James reminds us that it is often a result of uncontrolled lusts and being too deeply involved in the world (James 4:1–4). He counsels us to long, humbly, for grace and to submit to God's will instead (James 4:6,7).

    Gordon Cooke
  6. Background: Quail

    What are quail?

    Quail are small, mottled brown game birds, of the same sub-family as pheasants and partridges. About ten inches long, they have bills and feet similar to chicken, and eat seeds or insects.

    With small, rounded wings, they make a whirring sound when emerging from hiding. They lay up to 18 eggs, and have white bellies.

    Quail in the Mediterranean area

    Quail in this region winter in the Sudan and migrate northwards in vast flocks at springtime. They cannot maintain a long sustained flight, but use wind currents to keep them aloft.

    Since they fly at a low level, about 40 inches above the ground, they are easily caught when exhausted. The Greek historian Herodotus described how the Egyptians spread out the quail to dry in the sun, a means of preserving them.

    Quail in the Bible

    Enormous flocks of quail served as food for God’s people in the wilderness of Sinai. The birds were miraculously swept to the Israelites’ location by winds (Exodus 16:13; Numbers 11:31,32; Psalm 78:26–28; 105:40).

    Their provision showed God’s ability to provide ‘a table in the desert’ for his people (Psalm 78:19). Quail were considered ceremonially clean and the most delicate of all game birds.

    Andrew Clark
  7. Bible in a year

    Read the Bible in a year.

    Judges 21

    Mark 7
  8. SoundCloud Podcast

    Listen to today's podcast on the WordLivewebsite or subscribe to get them automatically delivered to you each day. To download upcoming episodes, visit our Soundcloud.

 

 

Built with from JoomlaShine