Scripture: Mark 7: 21-23 “For from within, out of the heart of man, comes evil thought, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sexuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Observations: Starting in Numbers 21, the Israelites start having to fight battles. All they wanted to do was pass through the country and no one wanted to let them do it. All who rose up against them were defeated. In chapters 22-23 we have the story of Balak calling on Balaam to curse the Israelites. First Balaam said he couldn’t go with them because God said no. Then he went with them and his donkey tried to protect him from the angel of God who was ready to kill him, but the donkey spoke to him. I would be in shock if an animal spoke to me, but he just argued back with the beast. Even though Balak offered him a fortune, Balaam was only able to bless Israel two times. Stay tuned tomorrow for the third time (it’s a charm). In Mark 6 Jesus is rejected by his own home town. He sends the twelve Apostles out in groups of two to testify about him. John the Baptist is beheaded because he made King Herod’s wife mad. Jesus feeds five thousand + with two fish and five loafs of bread. Jesus terrified his apostles by walking on water in the middle of a storm. Jesus continued to heal people. Jesus takes a stance against the tradition of the Pharisees, which of course didn’t win him any popularity awards. At the end of the chapter a foreign woman comes to Jesus and asks him to heal her daughter. She had much more faith in him than the people of Nazareth had just a chapter earlier.
Application: The Pharisees were concerned about outward cleanliness, but Jesus assured them that no matter how clean the outside of a cup was, what mattered was what was inside. We were born with a sin nature, and until we allow Holy Spirit to conquer that sinful nature, we are prone to ugliness.
Prayer: Father, please remove any evil in my body. Give us clean hearts! Do not let us follow the evil course Balaam fell into where he sold his soul. Help us follow you unwaveringly.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Numbers 24-27; 1 Corinthians 13