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February 15 - Evening

“Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.” - Numbers 12:1

God Defends Moses

Moses’ older siblings, Miriam and Aaron, began to speak against Moses because of his Cushite wife. The reason or motive for their slander is not clear, but their charges appear to be unfounded considering the fact that in the end God punishes Miriam.
Their reason, or the smokescreen, for their verbal attack against Moses could have been that Moses married a foreign woman. Ethnic purity was important in Israel, for example, they are commanded to drive out the Canaanites, yet within the Israel camp foreigners were present and welcomed. Foreigners could join Israel in the covenant blessing by following the statutes and being circumcised. Foreigners could even celebrate the Passover along with Israel. (Exodus 12:48-49; Lev. 24:22; Numbers 15:14-16: 15:29)
The account seems to indicate that the attack on Moses by Miriam and Aaron is based more on a motive to undermine Moses authority.  They said:
“Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? (or “…spoken only to Moses?”) – Numbers 12:2

It would seem that Miriam felt her position and importance was threatened since, Aaron and his family already have a significant place in the Israelite camp. 
The Lord immediately calls all three of them to stand in front of the Tabernacle where he defends Moses ministry and rebukes Miriam and Aaron. The Lord then leaves Miriam with leprosy until Moses intercedes for her.
Amerimnos (Gr) – Free from Anxiety Eng) - amerimnos is a Greek word is found only in Matthew 2:14 and First Corinthians 7:32. Amerimnas means “free from anxiety,” “without anxiety,” and “free from worry.”
Do I realize that complaining is both habit forming and it has a tendency to intensify? Complaining is self-destructive and rarely reverses itself or resolves problems. I will seek to recognize the positive and resolve problems with action or simple perseverance.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Efficient at work


Stand firm in face of opposition and persecution
Local economy

Field ready for harvest in June in Israel in the land of Benjamin.
The details of the Nea Church built by Emperor Justinian in 534 AD. The parts of the church emphasized with highlighted line sections can still be seen today. (details)

Someone to Quote

“Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all.” 
- G.K. Chesterton

Something to Ponder

In his book “Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – and Doesn’t" (book), Stephen Prothero of Boston University claims that though the US is the most religious nation in the developed world, it is also the most religiously ignorant. In a poll:
1. Half of those polled could not name one of the four Gospels. 2. Only 33% knew who delivered the Sermon on the Mount 3. Less than half knew the first book of the Bible 4. 75% believed Ben Franklin’s quote, “God helps those who help themselves,” was instead a Bible verse.
The proud Evangelicals who claim to support biblical literacy with their Bible based sermons scored virtually the same as the non-evangelical Christians.  (Details)

Here’s a Fact

When Moses led Israel south toward the Gulf of Aqaba to go around the land of Edom the people complained. So, the Lord sent venomous snakes that bit and killed many people. (Numbers 21:4-9) This occurred on the way toward the Gulf of Aqaba. Excavations in this area at Timna (15 miles north of the Gulf of Aqaba) an Egyptian temple used around this time was converted by the Midianites about 1150 BC into a tent shrine covered with curtains like Israel’s tabernacle that passed by here in Numbers 21:4. In 1969 inside the holy place of this temple/tabernacle was found a five inch copper snake. It appears that the Israelites episode at this part of their journey left an impression on the style of temple and the use of the bronze serpent. (Map 1, Map 2, copper serpent, details)


"The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit."
- Proverbs 15:4

Coach’s Corner

Do not manipulate justice.

Numbers 21:4-9
New International Version (NIV)
The Bronze Snake
They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.
Exodus 33
New International Version (NIV)
33 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”
When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.’” So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.
The Tent of Meeting
Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. 10 Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.
Moses and the Glory of the Lord
12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
Leviticus 10
New International Version (NIV)
The Death of Nadab and Abihu
10 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:
“‘Among those who approach me     I will be proved holy; in the sight of all the people     I will be honored.’”
Aaron remained silent.
Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, and said to them, “Come here; carry your cousins outside the camp, away from the front of the sanctuary.” So they came and carried them, still in their tunics, outside the camp, as Moses ordered.
Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the Lord will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the Israelites, may mourn for those the Lord has destroyed by fire. Do not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting or you will die, because the Lord’s anointing oil is on you.” So they did as Moses said.
Then the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, 10 so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses.”
12 Moses said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take the grain offering left over from the food offerings prepared without yeast and presented to the Lord and eat it beside the altar, for it is most holy. 13 Eat it in the sanctuary area, because it is your share and your sons’ share of the food offerings presented to the Lord; for so I have been commanded. 14 But you and your sons and your daughters may eat the breast that was waved and the thigh that was presented. Eat them in a ceremonially clean place; they have been given to you and your children as your share of the Israelites’ fellowship offerings. 15 The thigh that was presented and the breast that was waved must be brought with the fat portions of the food offerings, to be waved before the Lord as a wave offering. This will be the perpetual share for you and your children, as the Lord has commanded.”
16 When Moses inquired about the goat of the sin offering and found that it had been burned up, he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons, and asked, 17 “Why didn’t you eat the sin offering in the sanctuary area? It is most holy; it was given to you to take away the guilt of the community by making atonement for them before the Lord. 18 Since its blood was not taken into the Holy Place, you should have eaten the goat in the sanctuary area, as I commanded.”
19 Aaron replied to Moses, “Today they sacrificed their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, but such things as this have happened to me. Would the Lord have been pleased if I had eaten the sin offering today?” 20 When Moses heard this, he was satisfied.

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