Study from Numbers 20 – 21, then on to Num. 33; Passage for Reflection: Numbers 33: 2 … NIV At the Lord’s command Moses recorded the stages of their journey.
My Journal for Today: A number of years ago, I had waded through the Book of Numbers, reading it like a history text book as part of compulsory exercise of biblical study. But now, some years later, as I have committed to read through the Bible this year, being led by The Daily Bible, edited by F. LaGard Smith, and his companion devotional book, The Daily Bible Devotional, reading and studying in Numbers now takes on a whole different light.
First, … there is the fact that my wife and I went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land about a year ago, seeing and walking in many of the places brought out in the Book of Numbers. Being in this very special area on God’s earth does have an enlightening influence when one thereafter studies God’s word. Today, reading about the Israelites coming out from the Desert of Zin and about the travels of God’s people from Kadesh into the land of Edom and Moab, I know where all those places are because we’ve walked there. And when I read of Moses’ journaling about what transpired where he struck the rock and his pride, along with that of his brother, Aaron, kept them from entering the land they saw from Mount Nebo, west of the Dead Sea, all of that is personally meaningful, having been there and “owning the t-shirt,” so to speak. I hope that some day any of you who’re reading here might have the opportunity to visit and travel in the lands described in the passages which were journaled by Moses in the Book of Numbers, in the Old Testament, and especially where Jesus walked in the New Testament times.
But on to the subject of today’s devotional passage, where, in Numbers 33 Moses was commanded to journal the trek of God’s people in the wilderness during those 40 years of purging carried out by God for His chosen people, and where they were finally allowed to enter and take the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua [later in the book by his name]. And the subject of today’s verse points to the importance of journaling in our devotional lives, as we attempt to go deep in building a very personal and lasting relationship with God.
Years ago, my personal mentor helped me to see the value of journaling in my devotional life. (Oh, how I pray that you have had or now have a Godly, and biblically knowledgeable, mentor to be your guide as possibly Elijah was for Elisha or Paul was for Timothy.) And so, … as I began to develop the discipline and techniques I now use in journaling, much as I am here in writing this blog, I came to realize that God’s truth could, if I surrendered myself to the enlightening ministry of God’s Spirit, become so much clearer - for me personally - if I tried to put into words – possibly for others – what God was trying to show me in order to help me become more like my Savior and Lord, Jesus.
And so now, today, I journal about journaling, …an interesting bit of circular redundancy, isn’t it? But God wanted Moses to journal; and much of what we know of in the Bible, especially in OT books like Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Proverbs, Psalms … and in the NT in books like Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation are really just journaling, led and inspired by God’s Spirit [see 2nd Tim. 3: 16-17] which has become canonized and incorporated into God’s word for our edification and enlightenment so that we, as Christian believers, can deepen our understanding of our God and His work (i.e., that of the Holy Spirit) to shape us into the image of God’s Son, Jesus.
So, I’ve come to recognize and realize the importance of journaling as I attempt to go deeper and deeper into God’s word, which really is His journal, in my attempt to know my Lord and to share Him with others. Therefore, if you are not into journaling, I would strongly exhort you to consider doing so. And for Heaven’s sake (literally), don’t get hung up in the “HOW” of journaling, which is not so important as the “WHY” you would do it. Don’t fret over technique; just begin journaling your prayers or your thoughts as you have your “quiet time” with God each day. Obviously the regularity and the discipline of doing it daily is important; but just rely on God’s Spirit to do His thing of giving you His wisdom as you seek to know God more today than yesterday … and even more tomorrow than today. That’s the promise of James 1: 5,6; and as you journal in your devotional life, you’ll see it unfold in truth for you in a very personal way.
And I’m here to give witness to the truth that God can and will do that more powerfully in your life if you begin journaling what He’s bringing to you than just being a sponge, soaking up what He has for you. The latter is not a bad model of devotional life [it’s better than no devotional model at all]; but journaling will add so much more to your time with God each day. …. Trust me! … It works!!!
My Prayer for Today: Lord, … precious Holy Spirit … I thank You for Your ministry of enlightenment, which grows exponentially in my heart/mind when I journal what You share with me. Amen