Okay I'm going to type fast because I'm exhausted and it's bedtime. :) But the Lord has been so faithful to teach me some things already the first few days of the fast.
In reading through the Bible I have been in the final chapters of Leviticus and first chapters of Numbers. This is usually where I lose interest but He has shown me so much beauty in these otherwise mundane chapters! Leviticus 26 lays out two options and only two options: walk in His statutes and obey His commands; or walk contrary to His statues and despise His commands. The first one receives blessing and the other, cursing. It hit me that Yahweh sees it as either we are walking with Him completely and embracing His ways, or we are walking contrary to Him and spurning His ways. We really can't do it halfway. He wants complete obedience. It reminded me of all the other places where God sees only two ways: the narrow gate or the wide gate in Matthew. Friendship with the world or friendship with God. Deuteronomy says we choose life or death. Psalm 119 says we love His Word or we abhor it. He wants to spit the lukewarm out of His mouth, preferring us to be either hot or cold. Why is it that we think we can have one foot in the Kingdom of God and one foot in the kingdom of the world?
This morning I was in Numbers 1, where the Lord told Moses and Aaron to take a census of all the males of each tribe who were 21 years of age or older and willing and able to go to war for the God of Israel. My Bible had a detailed drawing of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, surrounded on all four sides with three tribes on each side. Next to the listing of each tribe was the number of able-bodied men trained and ready for war against the enemy. My hand immediately wrote next to the drawing, "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior" from Psalm 127. So this is what it's about. I'm training these little arrows to shoot out into the world and do battle for the Lord's army. By 21 years of age, these young men understood that they were on the Lord's side and would do battle against all enemies of God. What a beautiful picture. I want my children to see themselves like that, members of the tribes in the Lord's army.
The New Testament portion this morning was of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem in Mark 11. What village did He come through? BETHANY. :) From this tiny little village called Bethany He came riding on a donkey and the people waved palm branches and sang "Hosanna!"I've shared this before, but this scene and the one where Mary of Bethany poured the oil from her alabaster jar on the feet of Jesus, are what I want to be thought of about my Bethany. I want her to be set apart for His praise and His glory.