Numbers 1, Psalm 35, Ecclesiastes 11, Titus 3

DateVersionReading Plan
@April 24, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Numbers 1

Numbers 1:47 (ESV) 47 But the Levites were not listed along with them by their ancestral tribe.

The LORD gave command of Moses to “Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel” (Num. 1:2), but the Levites were not to be included in the census. All other tribes were counted with the criterion of “every man able to go to war”, but because the Levites were appointed over the tabernacle and its furnishings, they were exempt from military service. The Faithlife Study Bible points out the importance of the Levite duty by saying, “Without the integrity of the tabernacle—which enables Yahweh to live among the people—Israel would not succeed in war. In this way, the Levite’s guardianship of the tabernacle is a form of military service in that it ensures Yahweh’s protection for Israel’s soldiers.”

Psalm 35

Psalm 35:17–18 (ESV) 17 How long, O Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their destruction, my precious life from the lions! 18 I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you.

The progression of these verses of David is amazing. He first asks how long the Lord will look upon his destruction, acknowledging both that the Lord is looking on him and also wondering in distress how long this must be. David then petitions for the Lord’s rescue, recognizing His ability to deliver him from the destruction of his adversaries, echoing the words of Zehaniah, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save” (Zeph. 3:17). Finally, David expresses gratitude to the Lord and praises Him in the midst of the throng. This sequence of wonder, petition and gratitude by David demonstrates how we can approach the Lord with questions and request His intervention but all the while be thankful and praise Him in every circumstance.

Ecclesiastes 11

Ecclesiastes 11:5 (ESV) 5 As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

The author uses the life of the pre-born to illustrate our woeful inadequacy to understand the Lord’s work. His ways are so far beyond our own and His reasonings escape our capture. It is helpful to read this in such a difficult season, a humble reminder of who I am in relation to the God of all creation.

Titus 3

Titus 3:4–7 (ESV) 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Paul continues his gospel-saturated address to Titus. Undeserving and incapable of any righteousness of our own, Christ appeared in His goodness and loving kindness, saving us according to His mercy. He washes us and renews us by the Spirit, poured out on us in abundance, justifying us by His grace that we may become heirs of eternal life with Christ. What great joy it brings to my heart to meditate on these wondrous truths.

Carson on Psalm 35

[Jesus] made himself a nobody and suffered the odium of the cross, in obedience to his Father (Phil. 2:6–8), and was supremely vindicated (Phil. 2:9–11). We, too, may suffer injustice and cry for the forgiveness of our tormentors, as Jesus did — even as we also cry that justice may prevail, that God be glorified, that his people be vindicated. This is God’s will, and David had it right.

Carson makes an important point on the balance of forgiveness and desire for justice. As Jesus perfectly models for us, the two are not mutually exclusive. We should see in this how to respond to adversaries with sincere prayers for their forgiveness but also know that justice will be done and God will be glorified.