A Harvest from Seeds

When I woke this morning, I went online to listen to a sermon I missed when I was out-of-town. Pastor Monte Knudsen preached about marriage.

He said we plant seeds in three ways:

  1. Our words.
  2. Sexual desire.
  3. Money.

The seeds we plant will bring a harvest, either good or bad.

Balak understood the power of words. He hired Balaam to curse Israel. He understood the power of money. He kept increasing the amount he offered to Balaam.

When both of those failed against the children of Israel, he used the third – sexual desire. Balak encouraged the women to seduce the Israelite men. Once they did, the men started to follow the Midianite gods.

What was the harvest of those seeds? A plague went through the camp, killing 24,000 people, see Numbers 25:9.

The most powerful seeds we plant are the words we say. We need to speak the words of God. We also need to keep our sexual desires under control.

Numbers 25:6, “Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the assembly of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tent of meeting.” Modern English Version

Why were the people weeping before the door of the tent of meeting? Their loved ones were sick and dying because of the plague.

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

The People Spoke Against God and Moses

The first thing I did when I started my devotions today was writing, “Obey. Have Faith.” on my palm. I didn’t want to forget what God showed me yesterday. I want to follow God’s leading.

God moves people in two ways: 1) He leads them, or 2) He drives them. Remember in Exodus 23:28 where God said he would drive the inhabitants of the land out?

God tried for 37 years to get the inhabitants to move out. Instead, they responded in three different ways:

  1. They heard the Israelites coming and attacked them, Numbers 21:1.
  2. They would not allow them to travel through their land and attacked them, Numbers 21:23.
  3. They saw them coming and attacked them, Numbers 21:33.

When God leads us to move, it is not easy. We have to leave people and things we love behind. But, fighting it will only make it worse.

It’s harder on the ones he calls to stay. They watch as their friends and family move on. A part of them goes with them.

It doesn’t matter if we are: led away, driven away, or called to stay when we become uncomfortable our tendency is to complain. But complaining has consequences.

Numbers 21:5, 6, “The people spoke against God and Moses,…So the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and many children of Israel died.” Modern English Version

I just wrote on my palm again – “Don’t complain.”

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

Put Them on Eleazar His Son

I don’t want to write today’s post. Nope, not at all. What I read hit home – really hard.

I read of Miriam dying, (see Numbers 20:1), and thought how hard that must have been on Moses. Miriam helped save his life when he was an infant, (see Exodus 2:1-10). She cooked and did his laundry until his wife joined him in the desert, (see Exodus 18:1-12). She was his big sister.

It has been 37 years since Israel’s first scouting mission into the Promised Land (Numbers 13-14) and 40 years since the Exodus from Egypt. The Bible is virtually silent about those 37 years of aimless wandering….The generation of those who had lived in Egypt had almost died off…the Israelites forgot that their wanderings were a result of their parents’ and their own sin. They could not accept the fact that they brought their problems on themselves, so they blamed Moses for their condition. Often our troubles result from our own disobedience or lack of faith.” Life Application Study Bible Notes

For four years, the captain of our worship band was Joe. He was a typical big brother – either picking on me or pushing me to work harder. Thanks to him, I learned to play in different styles and I memorize the songs every week.

But Joe and Sara are in the “sandwich generation.” They take care of aging parents and help their kids by caring for their grandchildren. God released them, (Sara was our “Momager” – part Mom, part manager), and they stepped down. I really miss Sara.

They worked under Steve, who came to help out until we had a new captain. Steve was the brother I could relate to. He played keyboard and was a great help – sending written music, not guitar chords, and playing difficult portions on youtube.com for me. Steve moved away.

Aaron was the brother Moses relied on. He crossed the desert to get Moses in Midian, (see Exodus 4:14-16). He was Moses’ interpreter and went with him to see Pharaoh.

Numbers 20:28, “Moses stripped Aaron of his [priestly] garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron died there on the top of the mountain, and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain.” Modern English Version

Last week, we got a new captain. Derek went to college on music scholarships and has a Certificate of Ministry from Victory Bible College. He’s also my son.

My baby is my boss! I will be playing “drag triplets” tomorrow. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! And if I have problems, I can’t blame him; I have to examine myself for disobedience or a lack of faith.

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

The Land of Your Dwelling

I’m so excited! It’s a great day!

We returned to the doctor to have David’s stitches removed, and once again, he is “cancer free!” God has healed melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and now squamous cell carcinoma, see here. I happily recorded it on my answered prayer list!

God is so good!!!

And, later today, we are going to witness the closing of my daughter’s house! (No, we are not co-signing or giving her any money!) God led her to the perfect house for herself and her dog. It has a completely fenced backyard and is a few blocks from her Aunt Michele!

This is an answer to prayer! I pray Psalms 112 over our families, “Our children will be successful…” I look forward to the day our sons close on their houses.

I remember when we bought our home. There were 9 months of praying before we had our closing. God blessed us when he gave us this house. He is the One who gives us land for our dwelling.

Numbers 15:2, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When you come into the land of your dwelling, which I am giving to you…” Modern English Version

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

 

Fat or Lean Land

When the developers built our home they scraped off all the topsoil and sold it! There was grass growing when we bought it, but the subsoil was mostly clay.

I planted flowers, shrubs, vegetables, bushes, and over 20 trees. Four trees, 1 bush, and 3 varieties of bulbs survived. It wasn’t until we improved the soil that anything grew. The chives and hosta never gave up and there are ferns and lily of the valley in the back of the house.

When Moses sent the spies into Canaan, he instructed them to check the soil and look for trees.

Numbers 13:20, “And what the land is, whether it is fat or lean, whether there is wood in it or not….” Modern English Version

The New International Version of this verse says, “How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not?…”

I told David, if we ever moved, I would want to live in a house in the woods. I would like to be surrounded by trees.

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

Keep the Passover

Our vacations are few and far between. We try to get away on the weekend of our anniversary. When David is not scheduled to work on a holiday weekend, we take a short trip.

The last time that happened we went to Des Moines for the weekend. While driving to a restaurant we wanted to try, David said, “Look! That’s the church where Perry is the Worship Pastor. Do you want to go?”

“No,” I replied, “I’m on vacation.”

In August, we went to Mason City for the weekend. I felt convicted for not going to church the year before. I went online and checked out the churches. I waited too late, the service of the one I chose started.

Later that evening, I saw a comment on a Facebook group. The church I selected was the one Sarah attended. I could have met her husband and their new baby. (Sigh.) When I skip church, I am cheating myself out of blessings.

Today, God showed me in three different ways that skipping church while on vacation was unacceptable.

Numbers 9:12, “And the Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they came out of the land of Egypt, saying: Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time.” Modern English Version

The children of Israel had traveled for 2 years! God told them to still observe the Passover. They didn’t wait until they entered the Promised Land.

I looked up the cross-references in a few verses in Psalms and found this verse.

Psalms 145:10, “All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you.” New International Version

I opened my email and found a video from Bethel.

I repented. The next time we are able to go away for a weekend, I will choose the church to visit first. All creation is worshiping God and so will I.

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

 

Moses Went into the Tent of Meeting

God is always doing something different. It is not a new thing, it is the next thing.

Romans 11:33, “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable are His ways!” Modern English Version

After God set up and sanctified the “tent of meeting” or tabernacle, Moses no longer went up on a mountain to hear from Him. He went to the “tent of meeting.”

Numbers 7:89, “And then Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, and he heard the voice of the One speaking to him from the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim, and He spoke to him.” Modern English Version

I’m sure the children of Israel didn’t love the new way God set up for them to hear from Him. It was easy to wait for Moses to come down from the mountain and give them instructions.

But this new “tabernacle” cost them. They had to provide everything to build it. They had to provide animals, flour, and incense for the sacrifices. It would continue to cost them.

People like to go out into nature because they feel close to God there. They say they don’t “feel” God in church.

Going into nature doesn’t cost them. They don’t have to examine themselves. They don’t have to clean up. They don’t have anyone telling them to change their behavior to become more like Christ.

There were 2 more times God commanded Moses to climb a mountain: 1) Mount Pisgah, where God reprimanded him, (see Deuteronomy 3:27), and 2) Mount Nebo, where he died, (see Deuteronomy 32:49).

Going back to the old ways leads to reprimand and death. God planned for Moses to take the children of Israel into the land of Canaan. On Mount Pisgah, God showed him what He wanted to give him, but no longer could.

God has a specific plan for each life. We will not fulfill all He has planned for us if we disobey Him. We have to follow our leaders and do the next thing.

Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but let us exhort one another, especially as you see the Day approaching.” Modern English Version

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

 

Jealous Husband

David has fought a cold for two weeks. He spent Saturday watching football in our bedroom with the vaporizer running. After church, he put pajamas on and rested again.

Later in the afternoon, Derek noticed the NyQuil on the counter was the “sleep aid” not the “cold and cough.” It wasn’t helping David much. I laughed and thought, “That’s a status.”

I snuck into my office and posted what happened on Facebook. Two minutes later, God nudged me, and reminded me of this morning sermon, “Didn’t Pastor Monte Knudsen say: Don’t make your spouse the butt of your jokes?”

I hung my head. I went back to my office and deleted the post.

Pastor Monte gave us four hedges of protection for our marriages:

  1. Flirt only with your spouse.
  2. Don’t be alone with the opposite sex.
  3. Break pornography from your life.
  4. Run from sexual sin.

Flirting with others causes jealousy. God knew a man could become jealous, even when his wife was innocent. He told the priests what to do when a husband became jealous.

Numbers 5:14, “And if the spirit of jealousy comes on him, and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself, or if the spirit of jealousy comes on him and he is jealous of his wife, though she has not defiled herself.” Modern English Version

Jealousy is a spirit. It has no business in our homes or marriages.

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

The Firstborn Belong to the Lord

Moses numbered the people to find the number of firstborn among the children of Israel. God said the firstborn belonged to Him. He took the tribe of Levi in place of taking all the firstborn.

The Levites took care of the tabernacle. They spent their lives in service of the Lord.

There were more firstborn than Levites. They redeemed the number of firstborn over the number of Levites by giving money to Moses and Aaron.

Numbers 3:45, 46, “Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel….the Levites will be mine. I am the Lord. For those who are to be redeemed…” Modern English Version

Firstborn children received a double part of their father’s inheritance. God blesses the redeemed and those in His service.

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

The Leader

“Shout out to the Veterans who worked their way up from being a Private!”

Working your way through the ranks is not easy and promotion is not guaranteed. Not only do you have to continue your training, there has to be an opening or empty slot. Many times you have to move to another unit to fill an empty slot there. There could be a soldier in that unit who wanted it! When you switch units, you are not always welcomed with open arms!

When God built his first army, he chose to use already established units, with established leaders. Each unit was a family, and each leader was the head of his father’s house.

Numbers 1:4, “With you there will be a man of every tribe, each one the head of his father’s house.” Modern English Version

God promotes based on the heart of a man. He told Samuel to go to Jesse the Bethlehemite because He had chosen the next king from one of his sons. When Samuel saw Jesse’s first-born son, he said, “Surely this is the one.”

But God replied, “Don’t look at his appearance or height because I rejected him. For the Lord sees differently than a man sees. For the Lord looks on the heart.” (See 1 Samuel 16:1-13.)

God chose David, the youngest! He was the son of a lesser wife. His father did not even allow him to attend the feast. He was shepherding the flock – a job normally reserved for servants or slaves.

Gideon is another example of how God sees a man. When the angel of the Lord appeared to him, he said, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.”

Gideon pointed out that his clan was the weakest in Manasseh and he was the youngest in his father’s house. Manasseh was Joseph’s first-born son, but God chose Ephraim, his second-born over him, (see Genesis 48:1-20). The angel told Gideon not to worry because the Lord would be with him, (see Judges 6:11-24).

“It’s not about the one chosen; it’s about the One with him.”

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