Numbers 29, Psalm 73, Isaiah 21, 2 Peter 2

DateVersionReading Plan
@May 20, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Numbers 29

Numbers 29:1 (ESV) 29 “On the first day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a day for you to blow the trumpets,

This chapter details offerings for the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement and the Feast of Booths. The Feast of Trumpets was to be a holy convocation (large formal meeting of people) where no ordinary work was performed and a day to blow the trumpets. According to the CSB Notes, the horn blown was a ram’s horn (Hb shophar) was sounded rather than the silver trumpets of [Num. 10:1–10]. The sounding of the ram’s horn was a call to repentance. The designation of this day as Rosh Hashanah, ‘the head of the year,’ was a late postexilic development in emerging Judaism.”

Psalm 73

Psalm 73:25–26 (ESV) 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

This psalm is timely given the most recent message of my church that God is the prize. The psalmist rhetorically declares that there is no one else more important in heaven than God Himself. Heaven is simply the place where we will be in the presence of our greatest Treasure forever. There is nothing else deserving, nothing else more worthy, than our desire for Him. Through every circumstance—even to the failing of our flesh and heart—God provides our needed strength and is our portion forever.

Isaiah 21

Isaiah 21:16–17 (ESV) 16 For thus the Lord said to me, “Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end. 17 And the remainder of the archers of the mighty men of the sons of Kedar will be few, for the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken.”

Similar to Is. 16:14, God through Isaiah proclaims that the glory of Kedar would come to an end within a year according to the year of a hired worker. This was to express precision that their overtaking would not occur one day longer than a year. The FSB Notes provides additional context of their downfall:

Kedar One of the sons of Ishmael. Kedar is another name for the Ishmaelites (see Gen 25:13). Kedar was in the northern part of the Arabian desert, east of the Jordan River and east of Syria. The Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (reigned 669–632 BC) records a military expedition against Kedar, which was apparently a powerful Arabian faction at the time.

2 Peter 2

2 Peter 2:21–22 (ESV) 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

Within the context of Peter speaking of false prophets and teachers, it would have been better that they not even know the way of righteousness than to know it and turn away from it. Let it be said that ignorance of the gospel will avail one no excuse at the time of judgment, but to be aware of it and move forward in complete disregard is a level of rebellion entirely unto its own. By this, the false teachers would be, as C.S. Lewis once said, “like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” (C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory)

Carson on Psalm 73

What attracted Asaph to the wicked was the way so many of them seem to be the very picture of serenity, good health, and happiness (73:4-12). Even their arrogance has its attractions: it seems to place them above others. Their wealth and power make them popular. At their worst, they ignore God with apparent total immunity from fear. They seem “always carefree, they increase in wealth” (73:12).

Carson reflects on the psalmist’s attraction to the prosperity of the wicked and their seeming prosperity. However, as the psalm plays out, Asaph sees their ultimate end which leads him to realize and confess his own sin of bitterness. It is helpful to see in Asaph our own preoccupation with worldly prosperity and also the kind of repentance that should be aroused once revealed. To look on such things with envious eyes is not only covetousness but a longing for that which has no lasting satisfaction.