Scripture: Acts 28:27-28 “For the heart (the understanding, the soul) of this people has become dull (calloused),
And with their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have shut their eyes [to the truth];
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return [to Me],
And I would heal them.”’
28 Therefore let it be known to you that [this message of] the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they indeed will listen!” 29 [h][And when he had said these things, the Jews left, arguing among themselves.]
Observations: In Numbers 8, the Levites were cleansed for their service in the tabernacle. Funny, I never noticed before that they had to shave their entire body! That took time! The other thing I never noticed before is that they retired from heavy work at age of 50. They were still kept around, but didn’t have to do anything heavy. Very thoughtful! In Chapter 9, God made a special provision for men who were ceremonially unclean, not of their own accord, to celebrate the Passover one month later. Again, a very thoughtful and gracious and merciful God. But if you were not unclean, and failed to celebrate the Passover, then you were cut off from the people. Chapter 9 also told how the Lord would appear as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night over the tabernacle. As long as the cloud or fire was there, the Israelites were obligated to stay in camp, but if the cloud lifted, the people followed it. In Acts, Paul gets to Rome after being bitten by a deadly snake and having brought God’s healing to an entire island of people.
Application: I think today’s passage is a wake up call to the United States. There is great healing in simply humbling ourselves, and depending upon the glory of God. While the Israelites followed the cloud all went well. When they chose to do their own thing, everything fell apart. Seems history repeats itself.
Prayer: Father God, I am reminded of Nehemiah and Daniel’s prayers. We confess we have sinned. We confess we have gone our own way. Lord, forgive our sins. Forgive our pride. Show us the way. Amen.
Tommorow’s Reading: Numbers 10-11; Psalm 27; Mark 1