Numbers 26, Psalm 69, Isaiah 16, 1 Peter 4

DateVersionReading Plan
@May 17, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Numbers 26

Numbers 26:63–64 (ESV) 63 These were those listed by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who listed the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. 64 But among these there was not one of those listed by Moses and Aaron the priest, who had listed the people of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai.

Moses took a census of the new generation of Israelites. All of the previous generation that had been forbidden by God to enter the promised land had passed except for Caleb and Joshua. The taking of this census reveals how God is true to His word in two notable ways. First, God was faithful in His declaration that all but two of the previous generation would not enter the promised land because of their insolence. Their behaviors and actions had consequences and these were carried out to the full. Secondly, God was faithful in allowing Caleb and Joshua to reach the land. Of the thousands who died, the two men were preserved through the forty-year wilderness wanderings.

Psalm 69

Psalm 69:16–18 (ESV) 16 Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. 17 Hide not your face from your servant, for I am in distress; make haste to answer me. 18 Draw near to my soul, redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies!

In his extreme lament, David beseeches God to answer him, not hide His face and draw near to his soul. What is remarkable about David’s fervent pleas of God—both here and in other places in the psalms—is that David seems at times to be commanding God. David is in such deep distress that he goes beyond mere request or supplication. It is helpful to see this because it models the kind of desperate heart cry with which we can approach Lord when hit rock bottom. Our Lord knows our circumstances intimately and is able to hear our heart through our tone.

Isaiah 16

Isaiah 16:13–14 (ESV) 13 This is the word that the LORD spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the LORD has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”

God through Isaiah announces that Moab would fall in three years. As the CSB Study Notes states, “Most scholars associate this Moabite devastation with the Assyrian king Sargon’s campaign against the people of northwest Arabia in approximately 718 BC.” The wording in these verses demonstrate a strikingly high level of prophetic precision. The time frame would be “like the years of a hired worker” and no longer. We see in this how the events God spoke through the prophets were certain to transpire exactly in accordance to His will.

1 Peter 4

1 Peter 4:3–4 (ESV) 3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you;

Peter describes how unbelieving Gentiles will be surprised when followers of Christ do not join them in the same flood of debauchery. As those set apart for divine purpose, the saints will be perceived as outcasts. This should be so expected that concern should be wrought if our manner of living does not constantly collide with the rest of the world. This rings personal and is a point of great difficulty for me. I would love nothing more than to live peaceably with everyone but, as an ambassador of Christ, I simply cannot affirm any incongruence or opposition to God and His Word.

Carson on Psalm 69

If King David could endure scorn for God’s sake (Ps. 69:7), how much more the ultimate King — who certainly also suffers rejection by his brothers for God’s sake (Ps. 69:8). If David is zealous for the house of the Lord, how could Jesus’ disciples possibly fail to see in his cleansing of the temple and related utterances something of his own zeal (John 2:17)?

Carson reflects on how this psalm is highly quoted or paraphrased in the New Testament, tying David’s endurance to the suffering of Christ and David’s zeal to His cleansing of the temple. It is simply stunning to see how these qualities come to perfect expression in Christ.