Numbers 36, Psalm 80, Isaiah 28, 2 John

Numbers 36

Numbers 36:6 (ESV) 6 This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad: ‘Let them marry whom they think best, only they shall marry within the clan of the tribe of their father.

This chapter presents a unique scenario of Zelophehad’s daughters who had previously asked Moses that they be given their father’s inheritance (Num. 27:1-11). The LORD said to Moses that they were to receive the inheritance and that it be transferred from Zelophehad’s brothers to his daughters (Num. 27:7). However, if the daughters married a man from out side their tribe (Manasseh), the inheritance would be added to the tribe in which they married and taken from their fathers in the year of jubilee (Num. 36:4). Thus, the daughters were given order to only marry within their own tribe (Num. 36:6). We see here in this instance that God is not only involved in the high-level affairs of His people but also in the specifics, down to families and even individuals. The LORD is intimately involved in every aspect of His creation and certainly among His rational creatures whom He has chosen as His own.

Psalm 80

Psalm 80:14–15 (ESV) 14 Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, 15 the stock that your right hand planted, and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.

The psalmist pleads that the LORD would have regard for the vine that He had planted. The use of a vine or vineyard as a parabolic representation is used often in Scripture (Matt. 20:1–6; Matt. 21:28–43; Mark 12:1–11; Luke 13:6–9; Luke 20:9–18) and Jesus described Himself as the true vine in John 15:1-11. The Lord plants the vine as is the Source of its nourishment. The health and fruit borne among its branches—His people—are entirely dependent upon the Lord’s provision. Let it be for us to plea as the psalmist that the Lord would regard His vine in order that we may bear good fruit for His glory.

Isaiah 28

Isaiah 28:27–29 (ESV) 27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin, but dill is beaten out with a stick, and cumin with a rod. 28 Does one crush grain for bread? No, he does not thresh it forever; when he drives his cart wheel over it with his horses, he does not crush it. 29 This also comes from the LORD of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom.

Isaiah speaks of how each plant is handled specifically, possibly as an analogy of how God metes judgment on sinners based on individual, situational considerations. However, as the psalm also makes clear, the threshing is not an endless activity but a means of producing something good. As with the threshing, beating and crushing of these plants, our trials will come to an end once they have achieved their purpose. For the faithful, these are but seasons of refinement and discipline, instruments of God’s perfect work of sanctification.

2 John

2 John 6 (ESV) 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

John makes indivisible the union of love of Christ and obedience to His commandments. It is crooked speech to claim a love for the Lord and not walk in His ways. The regenerate heart not only strives for obedience to Him, it is their delight. The desire for obedience is a work of the Spirit, giving us a love for Him and desire for closeness with Him that could never be otherwise.