Posts Tagged 'Will of God'

1 Chronicles Chapter 17

David had moved the ark of the covenant and had called men of the priesthood to serve in the tabernacle and with the ark. The manner of worshipping the Lord had not been strictly according to what the Lord had commanded the Israelites when they entered the promised land. David was seeking to set things right, or to put things in order. David was devoted to the Lord and it seems that he knew that they would be a better nation if they worshipped the Lord properly. This chapter begins with the following:

1 Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the Lord remaineth under curtains.
2 Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.

David felt that he was living well in the home built for the king, but that the ark of the covenant needed a permanent home as well. He consulted with the prophet Nathan, who told him that the Lord would be with David as he went forward with his plans.

3 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,
4 Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:
5 For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.
6 Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?
7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
8 And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.
9 Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,
10 And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house.

However, the word of the Lord came to Nathan that night and told him to tell David that he was not to build the temple. The Lord made it clear that the tabernacle was designed for its purposes and that it would suffice. The Lord had never asked the Israelites to build a house to him. The Lord told Nathan to remind David that he had been raised by the Lord to be the king, and that the Lord had been with him, protecting him and causing him to become a mighty man. The people of Israel had been given their place to dwell and the promise of their safety continued.

The prophets were and continue to be blessed with the Lord’s trust. When Nathan told David to go ahead, it was not the wrong thing to do. The Lord trusts those who lead his people, to make wise decisions, but if or when those things are not what the Lord would have his people do, He will make his will known to His prophet, as he did with Nathan. (see also 2 Samuel 7)

11 And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.
12 He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.
13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:
14 But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.
15 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

Once David was ready to pass away, his son would have the kingdom of Israel, and would then build a house for the Lord. The son would be blessed with the throne and with the blessings and mercy of God.

16 And David the king came and sat before the Lord, and said, Who am I, O Lord God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
17 And yet this was a small thing in thine eyes, O God; for thou hast also spoken of thy servant’s house for a great while to come, and hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O Lord God.
18 What can David speak more to thee for the honour of thy servant? for thou knowest thy servant.
19 O Lord, for thy servant’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all this greatness, in making known all these great things.
20 O Lord, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
21 And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?
22 For thy people Israel didst thou make thine own people for ever; and thou, Lord, becamest their God.
23 Therefore now, Lord, let the thing that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant and concerning his house be established for ever, and do as thou hast said.
24 Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The Lord of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.
25 For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee.
26 And now, Lord, thou art God, and hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:
27 Now therefore let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may be before thee for ever: for thou blessest, O Lord, and it shall be blessed for ever.

David praises the Lord for blessing him and his house in raising him up to be the king and allowing his posterity to rule. Additionally, David was blessed to have these things revealed to him by the mouth of the prophet. David recognized that the Lord is the only true and living God, and that the nation of Israel was greatly blessed to be His people. The Lord had removed other nations for them, after delivering them from the land of Egypt. David was willing to do according to the will of the Lord for the blessings of the Lord to be with his family.

It would be such a blessing and honor to have the Lord tell me that my children and their families would be blessed after my time. What a sweet comfort that would be. David’s desire to build a temple, was sincere and a show of his devotion and love for the Lord. However, the Lord will do His work in His own time, and this work was not to be in the days of David. David would still be blessed for his desire to do good, even though he was not given the honor of building the temple. In meekness, David accepted that his son would be the one to do that work. He was a good king, who recognized that the honors belonged to God and those to whom God wanted to bless. Good and faithful people, should seek to have meekness as David did at this time. Even though we know we are capable of doing good, even great things, it is better to recognize when we should allow someone else the opportunity to learn, grow and be blessed by doing them. With meekness, all involved are uplifted and blessed.

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1 Chronicles Chapter 13

At this point in the books of Chronicles, David was anointed as the King of Israel and the people of Israel recognized that he was the next leader of Israel chosen by God. David led in righteousness and felt the need for the ark to be moved to the tabernacle where it belonged. In the beginning of his reign, the ark was located in a place called Kirjath-jearim. It had come to be there, because the Philistines had stolen it when they defeated the Israelites in the time that Eli judged Israel (see 1 Samuel 4). Word of loosing the ark was so awful, that it had brought the death of Eli. The Philistines removed the ark to one of their temples, where it brought trouble on them. They decided to move it to Gath, where again, it brought destruction to the Philistines. They moved it then to Ekron, where the people begged for it to be sent back to the Israelites (see 1 Samuel 5). After about seven months of it being in the hands of the Philistines, they took it by cart to the border of Beth-shemesh in the land of the Israelites (see 1 Samuel 6). The Israelite men in Beth-shemesh were tempted to look into the ark, and had been cursed by the Lord, so they asked the men of Kirjath-jearim to retrieve the ark from them. The ark was finally moved to Kirjath-jearim until this time in David’s reign (see 1 Samuel 7). It had remained there for about 20 years.

1 And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.
2 And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the Lord our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:
3 And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul.
4 And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.
5 So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjath-jearim.
6 And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjath-jearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the Lord, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.
7 And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.
8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

David called for the men of Israel to be gathered together and for the ark of the covenant to be brought from Kirjath-jearim (a city not too far from Jerusalem by today’s standards, about 7 1/2 miles). The congregation of Israel agreed that they should do this, so they gathered together and prepared to move the ark. David went to Kirjath-jearim and had it brought out by a cart driven by Uzza (Uzzah) and Ahio. The musicians played and sang for the Lord as they went.

Reading that David gathered the Israelites together to ask for their consent to move the ark to the tabernacle, is an example of his efforts to lead as the Lord wanted instead of by his own design. It is the way of the Lord, for there to be common consent among his people. If the voice of the people were to choose wickedness, the Lord would not force them otherwise. The voice of the people had chosen to be led by a king rather then judges as was prescribed by the Lord, and then the Lord allowed for a king to be their leader. When the voice of the people choose to sustain the Lord’s chosen leader and then follow that leaders inspired course, they will be blessed. This is true in these modern days as well as it was in ancient times.

9 And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
10 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.
11 And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perez-uzza to this day.
12 And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?
13 So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.
14 And the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that he had.

In the area of Chidon, the oxen stumbled and Uzza tried to steady the ark. Uzza was smitten by the Lord and died (see also 2 Samuel 6:6-7). This was against strict commandment to the men of the priesthood, that no one (unauthorized by God) was to touch anything holy from the tabernacle, or they would die (see Numbers 4:15). David was concerned for how they could move the ark if this could happen to his men, so he decided to leave the ark there, at the house of Obed-edom, who was a Gittite or a levite of Gath-rimmon. The ark was left there for three months, and brought the blessings of the Lord to the house and family of Obed-edom. (see also 2 Samuel 6)

This story seems like such a strong act of God against one who thought he was doing something good, but it is more important to see that the Lord keeps His word with strictness. They had been given the commandment long before, and as men of the priesthood they knew these things. The promise had been death and the Lord had to keep that word or men would doubt the power and actions of God. The Lord would have protected the ark as needed and it was to be kept completely holy, but sometimes men use their own wisdom and act upon it instead of trusting completely in the Lord. I am sure we all do this at times, and there are always consequences of some type. The ways of men are not the ways of God, but if we can learn to place complete trust in Him, our ways can become more like His and we will see amazing blessings in our lives.

2 Samuel Chapter 7

David was established as the king over Israel. At some point after this, he had the ark of the covenant brought into the city of David, where he lived. David had desired to do the things that God had wanted him to do. With the Lord supporting him, David had helped Israel to defeat the Philistines and keep the land safe from their enemies. This chapter begins:

1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest round about from all his enemies;
2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.
3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee.

David told the prophet, Nathan, that he felt the home he lived in was better than the home of the ark, which was made of curtains and not some kind of permanent structure. The ark had been moved from place to place and placed inside the tabernacle, which was like a large tent, as the Lord had commanded during the time of Moses. Nathan told him that he could go and do what he felt he should, and that the Lord was with David.

4 And it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lord came unto Nathan, saying,
5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in?
6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.
7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?
8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:
9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,
11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house.

The Lord instructed Nathan, to tell David that the ark had gone all these many years without a house built for it. In all that time, the Lord had been able to give guidance and direction to Israel, but He never asked them to build a house for Him. Nathan was to tell David that He had blessed him to become the great king he had become, and that He had established Israel in this land and kept them safe from enemies. The Lord had built a house for David.

12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
17 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

Eventually, David would pass on and lie with his forefathers, and the Lord would set up a kingdom from the line of David. Then, the Lord would have a house built for him. He promised that a son in the lineage of David would have a kingdom established forever, and that he would have mercy with him. He would not be removed, as Saul had been. The kingdom of David would go on forever. Nathan went to David and told him all that the Lord spoke.

We can read later, of the literal son of David, Solomon, being established as the king, and then raising a temple of the Lord. The line of David would continue to rule in the kingdom of Israel. More importantly, through the lineage of David a Son full of mercy was born. He did not have a kingdom on earth in the time of His life, because of the circumstances of the land of Judah, but He has a kingdom that has been established forever. Jesus Christ was that son of David’s line.

Jesus-Portrait

18 Then went king David in, and sat before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?
19 And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord God?
20 And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord God, knowest thy servant.
21 For thy word’s sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them.
22 Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
23 And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?
24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, Lord, art become their God.
25 And now, O Lord God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said.
26 And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.
27 For thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.
28 And now, O Lord God, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:
29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.

David prayed to God. David recognized that he was blessed by God to have his house established in Israel. He recognized that God knew him and had done these things according to His will. He prayed about the greatness of God and the good things God had done for the nation of Israel, to make them greater than other nations and to bless them to be His people, especially bringing them out from Egypt and from the influences there. No other being could do those things that God had done for them. David accepted the promises of the Lord towards his house, and prayed that his house would be before the Lord forever. He asked for a blessing upon his house.

David gives a good example of what prayer should be. He begins by acknowledging God’s hand in his life and the life of those around him, especially those he loves. He shows gratitude for these things in praise to God. He accepts the will of God in his life, offering himself to the will of God. And then he asks for the blessings he and his family need. These are parts to good communication with God, our Father in Heaven.

David’s desire to build a house for the ark, was a sincere desire to do what he could to show reverence and honor to the Lord. He did not want to be treated better than the Lord. His motives were pure, but it was not the will of God for David to be the one to do this. God would have his house built by someone of the line of David. God has His reasons for doing things, even righteous things, at different times and in different places than we may want or understand. He has wisdom far greater than any man and in his infinite wisdom and love, He will do those things that are best for all His children, when it is the right timing for it to be done.

What a blessing it was for David, to have a prophet and spokesman for the Lord, to help him to know what he should or should not do as the king of Israel. The Lord was not upset with David for having a desire to do good for Him, but instead blessed him with the knowledge that his family would be blessed forever. I can only imagine what an awesome feeling David must have had to hear these words from the prophet of the Lord. Then David, continued to be a great example to the world, in the importance of expressing gratitude to the Lord for his blessings.

When we have good intentions and are striving to do what is right, the Lord will direct us to do the good that He would have us do. The Lord has a plan for each of us in this life and we, like David, will be blessed greatly if we strive to follow that plan. Likewise, our blessings will be great, if we recognize God’s hand in our own lives and show gratitude through prayer and praise.

1 Samuel Chapter 23

King Saul continued to seek for the life of David. David fled from him, going from place to place. At this point, David had gone to the forest of Hareth, which was in Judah. In his anger, Saul had killed a priest who had helped David. Saul made an example of the priest as well, by destroying his family and the entire city of Nob, where David had hidden. Still, David had gained followers as he went. His story continues:

1 Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors.
2 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the Lord said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.
3 And David’s men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?
4 Then David inquired of the Lord yet again. And the Lord answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand.
5 So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
6 And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.

David learned that their enemies, the Philistines, were robbing the Israelites in Keilah, which was a city in the land of Judah. David prayed to the Lord to know if he should go and fight the Philistines. The Lord told David to go and save the people of Keilah. Those who had gathered with David, were afraid to go and fight the Philistines. David prayed again, and the Lord gave him the command to go, with the promise that the Philistines would be delivered into his hand. With faith in the Lord, David took his men and they saved Keilah. Abiathar, who had also escaped the hand of Saul, and was the son of the priest who had helped David, went with David to Keilah. He was prepared with a ephod of the priesthood.

7 And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars.
8 And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.

Saul learned that David was in Keilah, and he was pleased. He felt that David had been delivered to him, because the town was closed off and could be besieged by the king and his men. Saul commanded his men to war against Keilah and David.

9 And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.
10 Then said David, O Lord God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.
11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O Lord God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the Lord said, He will come down.
12 Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the Lord said, They will deliver thee up.

David knew the desires of Saul. He asked Abiathar to bring the ephod to him, which I think means that he wanted the priest to perform the duties of the priesthood in his behalf. David prayed to the Lord because he knew the town of Keilah was in danger because he was there. He asked if they would deliver him into the hand of Saul. The Lord told David that Saul would come to the town. Then David asked if the people there would turn him over to Saul, and the Lord told him that they would.

13 Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth.
14 And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.
15 And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood.

David took his men and left Keilah, going anywhere just to get away. Meanwhile, Saul learned that David had escaped, so he decided not to go to Keilah. David stayed in the strong holds of Ziph. Saul hunted for him, but God protected David and Saul was not able to find him. David knew that Saul was looking for him. He hid in the woods of Ziph.

16 And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.
17 And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth.
18 And they two made a covenant before the Lord: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.

Jonathan, Saul’s son, met with David in the woods, and strengthened him. Jonathan gave David comfort by telling him that his father would not be able to find him, and David would be the king of Israel. He told David, that his father knew that Jonathan would be there to support David. The renewed their covenant of friendship with one another and then Jonathan returned home. David stayed hidden in the woods.

19 Then came up the Ziphites to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself with us in strong holds in the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon?
20 Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.
21 And Saul said, Blessed be ye of the Lord; for ye have compassion on me.
22 Go, I pray you, prepare yet, and know and see his place where his haunt is, and who hath seen him there: for it is told me that he dealeth very subtilly.
23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hideth himself, and come ye again to me with the certainty, and I will go with you: and it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will search him out throughout all the thousands of Judah.
24 And they arose, and went to Ziph before Saul: but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon.
25 Saul also and his men went to seek him. And they told David: wherefore he came down into a rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.
26 And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.

David was hiding in the woods of Ziph, and men of the area went to Saul in Gibeah and told the king that David was hinding there, in the hill Hachilah. The men of Ziph told Saul that they would deliver David into their hands, if he desired to come to them. Saul was glad and told them to prepare for this by searching him out and finding exactly where he was staying at the time. Then, they were to tell him once they knew with certainty, and he would go with them until he found David. The men went to Ziph, while David was in the wilderness of Maon. When David heard that Saul was looking for him, he had left the woods of Ziph and went to Maon. Saul heard and went looking for him there. Saul and David were on opposite sides of a mountain. David wanted to get away from Saul and his men because they were preparing to take David and his men.

27 But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land.
28 Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Sela-hammahlekoth.

When they were very close to capturing David, Saul received word that the Philistines had invaded the land. He left his plan to pursue David and turned his attention against the Philistines. The mountain between them, became known for this near battle between Saul and David.

29 And David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds at En-gedi.

David escaped again, to the strong-holds of En-gedi.

I cannot truly imagine what a life on the run would have been like for David. I can guess that it was not easy being forced to flee and hide so many times. And yet, David was still willing to devote his talents to helping those in need if the Lord wanted him to do it. Knowing that word of his helping would reach the king, David still fought for others. The Lord had blessed him with strength and wisdom, and he was committed to being an instrument for the Lord. Something I learn from this chapter, is the importance for us to sacrifice for the Lord. We are all blessed with talents. Some have a few and some are blessed with many talents. If we are doing what is right, we can know how to use our talents, just as David was able to know these things. When we have a willing heart, the Lord will not only allow us opportunities to use our talents, but he will also bless us greatly in other areas of our lives. I cannot help but think that the Lord continued to watch over David as he fled from one place to another, even possibly allowing the Philistines to come into the land, just so that David could once again flee from Saul and his men. I am so grateful for talents and I believe in the need for us to use them to further the work of the Lord, to uplift others, and to do good continually.

Ponderizing – Week 11 Thoughts

The verse I have chosen to ponderize this week, is 2 Nephi 10:24.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

I know there something beyond this life. I have had personal experiences in my life and have heard stories of family members and friends who have experienced things, that have taught me there is life after we die. My understanding and belief of what that life is, comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ, which teaches me that there are great blessings awaiting me there, beyond anything I can imagine. However, the blessings will not be the same for everyone. This is because, in this life we make choices and every choice has a consequence. These consequences do not only come in this life, but they will also come in our life after death. Every choice that is wrong, separates us from God. Because of the eternal laws of justice, all of us would be separated from God after this life. If this was the consequence we all were to receive, without any hope of changing it, there would have been no point in God’s plan to send us to this earth. We would be lost. God, however, made a plan, which allowed for a Savior, to be sacrificed to answer the law and to show mercy to all of us, if we would choose to accept it. This sacrifice was made by the Lord, Jesus Christ, and is called the atonement. With the atonement, Christ provides mercy and grace, which are the only reason any of us can be saved and hope to receive the blessings of God after this life.

How then, do we choose to accept this gift of sacrifice, which the Lord has provided for us? This verse gives us the answer. We must “reconcile [ourselves] to the will of God”. We have to choose the right way. Everyday we make choices. No matter what the world may tell us, there are choices that are morally right and those that are morally wrong. Not every decision we have to make, will be either right or wrong, but a lot of them will be. Those things that are right, will always be aligned with the things that God wants for us. Those things that are wrong, will always be aligned with the things that the devil wants for us, or those things of the flesh. To be reconciled is to settle differences or to bring harmony into our relationship with God. We can only do this by doing the things that He asks of us. Throughout the scriptures, their is a repeated phrase, that teaches us He wants us to keep His commandments. We become reconciled to the will of God, when we make the choice to keep the commandments of God. If we choose to do those things that we know to be morally wrong, we choose to put ourselves in harmony with the devil and his plan to destroy the work of God.

Sadly, there are things in this world, that confuse what is right and wrong. In order to know that we are doing what is right, we must know the expectations that God has set for us. We must know the commandments, expectations, and statutes of God. We can come to know these through prayerful study of the gospel as found in the holy scriptures, as well as from the mouths of His modern prophets. In order to be reconciled to God, we need to study the scriptures and pray for guidance from the Lord.

Finally, when we make mistakes, we reconcile ourselves with God by repenting of those things we have done wrong. Repentance means recognizing we’ve done wrong, asking for forgiveness, making restitution, turning away from sin, and allowing God to change our hearts through the atonement. When we repent, we settle the differences between our choices and what God wants for us. Reconciliation requires repentance.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

I know that God is real. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Knowing this helps me to know that we can either choose to stand with God, or stand with Satan. I believe that Satan offers me nothing in return for choosing to follow him, while the Lord offers me everything he has if I choose to follow Him. I know that families can be together forever and that is what I desire as my future. This blessing is only offered to me by God, and can only be made a reality if I become reconciled to God. I know that repentance is real. I know that the atonement is real. Grace is the offering that will save me, but I need to do my best to live as God wants me to live, so that I will want to accept His offering. Knowing and believing these things, gives me direction in this life and I am so grateful for that.

Numbers Chapter 22

The journeyings of the Israelites took them to to the lands of Arnon and Bashan, in the area of Moab, where the Lord helped them to kill and drive out the people. They were getting closer to obtaining the land of promise. I am sure the people of the lands near there, were getting worried about the coming of Israel towards them. Chapter 22 of the book of Numbers, begins as follows:

1 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.

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The Israelites were in the land of Moab near to the Jordan River, across the river from Jericho.

2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.
3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
4 And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.
5 He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me:
6 Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.
7 And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak.
8 And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.
9 And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee?
10 And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying,
11 Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.
12 And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.
13 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you.
14 And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us.

Balak, the king of the Moabites, was one of those in the lands nearby, and after learning what they had done to the Amorites, he was worried. The Israelites were a great army host in their midst. The people of Moab, went to the rulers of Midian, with their concerns. Balak sent messengers of the rulers to Balaam, along with things of value and tools for divination. They were to tell Balaam of the Israelites, the threat they posed, and to enlist his help in stopping them. It seems that Balaam was one who they saw as favored, because whomever he cursed, was cursed. They felt that if they could get help from him, the Israelites would be removed from their land. The messengers of Balak stayed with Balaam, while he sought to know what to do. God visited Balaam, asked who the men were that were with him. Balaam answered and asked God if he would curse the Israelites, so they could be driven out of the land. God then told Balaam that he was not to go with these men. He told Balaam that the Israelites were a blessed people. When Balaam told the elders of Balak to leave without his help, they returned to their land and reported back to Balak.

15 And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they.
16 And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me:
17 For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.
18 And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.
19 Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more.
20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.
21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.

Balak sent more men again, but this time there were men of greater honor. They pleaded with Balaam to join them against the Israelites, offering to do all that Balaam wanted of them in return, even giving him greater honor. Balaam said that even if he was given a house full of treasure, he could not go against the words of the Lord. He offered to have them stay, so that he could ask God again. I’m not sure why he wanted to ask again, except that possibly the offering of greater honor was tempting to Balaam. The Lord told Balaam to do what he wanted to do, which was to go with the men, but to speak what the Lord told him. He had already received the answer not to go with the men, but the Lord gave him the answer he was wanting the second time. Balaam woke and went with the princes the next day.

22 And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.
23 And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
24 But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.
25 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
26 And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.
27 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.
28 And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
31 Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.
32 And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me:
33 And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
34 And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.
35 And the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

Balaam was rebelling against the first answer from the Lord. So, an angel of the Lord stood in the way of Balaam and his servants as they journeyed. His donkey saw the angel and turned off the path. I am guessing that Balaam and the servants could not see the angel, because their eyes were not open to seeing such a spiritual manifestation in that moment. Balaam forced the animal back onto the path by hitting her, but the angel of the Lord stood in the way again. The donkey, seeing the angel, threw herself into the nearby wall, crushing Balaam’s foot. Balaam hit her again, getting her back on the path. The angel blocked a part of the path that was even more narrow. When the donkey saw the angel, she stopped and fell down, so that Balaam could not go further on her. Balaam got very angry and beat the animal. The Lord caused the donkey to speak to him, asking why he hit her three times for doing nothing. Balaam, in his anger, said he would kill her if only he had a sword in his hand. The donkey reminded Balaam that she was the donkey he had ridden for a long time and had always been there for him, never doing anything like this before. Then, probably because Balaam recognized the truth in these words, the Lord caused that Balaam could see the angel, and he fell on his face. The angel told him that he had beaten the animal, when she had seen him as he blocked the way. The angel had blocked the path because it was the wrong path for Balaam to take, and Balaam was being stubborn or stiff-necked. The angel said that if the donkey had not turned, Balaam would have been slain, but the animal spared. Balaam realized his sin in not recognizing the presence of the angel, and he said he would return if that is what the angel wanted him to do. The angel told Balaam to continue on, but only speak the words the angel told him to say. Balaam continued to go with the men of Balak.

It seems strange to me to hear a story in the bible, of an animal that speaks. It seems an impossible thing and does not make much sense to me. In the manual I am using along with this study, it points out a few verses of scripture. First, Luke 1:37 reads, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” If God wanted the animal to speak, He would have the power to make her speak. Second, Revelation 5:13-14 which says the following:

13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

This teaches us that all creatures of heaven spoke praise of the Lord and four animals specifically said Amen. This may seem like one of those symbolic parts of scripture, which are not to be taken literally. However, Joseph Fielding Smith, a prophet of this current dispensation, clarified when he said, “[animals in the hereafter] will not then be the dumb creatures that we suppose them to be while in this mortal life” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 2:69). I cannot quite imagine how that will be, but I believe the words of the prophets are true, and so I trust that this story of Balaam and his donkey, happened just as it says.

It is also interesting to note that the animal spoke without much work on the part of the Lord. Balaam, on the other hand, took convincing and coaxing before he was willing to open his eyes to see the angel. The natural man inside us, is stubborn and not willing to listen or be taught. We need to work to overcome that, and to be more willing to listen to the promptings and answers given to us.

36 And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast.
37 And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour?
38 And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.
39 And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjath-huzoth.
40 And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him.
41 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people.

Balak went to meet Balaam, asking him why he had not hurried to come to him, when he was willing to give him great honors. Balaam told him that he was there, ready to speak the words that were given him from the Lord. They went to a place called Kirjath-huzoth, where an offering of oxen and sheep was given. Balak took Balaam to a high place where he could look out over the greater part of the people.

Sometimes we can be blinded by the honors of men in our own lives. It seems as though Balaam was generally a good man, who, as a servant of the Lord, was willing to go to the Lord and follow the instruction he was given. However, he was bribed with things of the world and in that moment, he trusted men more then God. Because of this, he was not able to see the angel who stood right in front of him. It is not bad to have things such as riches and honors, but if they take priority over following the commandments and instruction from the Lord, they become corrupted. We can sometimes fall prey to the temptation to beg with God for answer we want, instead of the answer God gives to us. God will not force us to do His will. I think of Joseph Smith asking the Lord if he could give pages of translation to Martin Harris, and being told no. He asked multiple times and finally, God said yes. Joseph wanted to please his friend, and in doing so, the pages were lost and Joseph had to repent before he was able to translate again. I don’t think that tempting the Lord to do things our way, instead of according to His will, ever works out the way we think it will. This is one of the reasons we need to remain worthy of the spirit always. We cannot afford to let our guard down, and like with Balaam, let things of the world influence us to turn away from the Lord. Our know that our lives will be blessed if we learn to trust in the Lord, and not in the world and wisdom of men.

Numbers Chapter 17

The Israelites struggled with understanding the order of the priesthood and the pattern for being ordained to the priesthood. The Lord had chosen Moses as His prophet. Aaron and his sons were chosen by the Lord, to hold the Melchizedek priesthood and serve in the tabernacle of the congregation. In addition, the Levites were set apart and ordained to the Aaronic priesthood, to assist the sons of Aaron and to bear the tabernacle when they traveled. These men did not choose this of themselves, but followed the plan that the Lord instructed them to follow. There were many thousands more in the host of Israel and some did not have a testimony of this pattern for themselves. Some who had rebelled against God, were destroyed for it. The book of Numbers continues as follows:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod.
3 And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.
4 And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.
5 And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.

The patriarch of each family was commanded to take a rod of their father, or of their tribe and to write their name upon the rod. There would be twelve rods for the twelve houses of Israel. Aaron, who was Moses’ elder brother, was to have his name on the rod of the Levites. The rods were then to be placed in the tabernacle of the congregation, where the presence of the Lord would meet them. The chosen rod would blossom as a sign to the Israelites of who was the chosen family to serve with the Lord’s authority and priesthood. This test and sign were to be given to put a stop to the murmurings of the Israelites.

6 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods.
7 And Moses laid up the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness.
8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.

Moses told the people what God asked of them, and each prince of the twelve tribes, or patriarch, gave their rod to Moses to be put in the tabernacle of congregation. Here it is called the tabernacle of witness, I think because this was going to be a witness to the people of the will of the Lord. The rod of Aaron budded, blossomed and brought forth almonds. Moses brought the rods out to the people, who took their rods and witnessed the rod of Aaron had been chosen.

10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.
11 And Moses did so: as the Lord commanded him, so did he.
12 And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish.
13 Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle of the Lord shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?

Moses was told to keep the rod of Aaron as a token against those rebels among them. This proof to those rebels would stop the murmuring and stay the hand of the Lord against them. Moses placed the rod in front of the testimony, as he was commanded. Those who were not authorized to hold the priesthood of the Lord, would die if they attempted to claim the priesthood and it duties for themselves by trying to enter the tabernacle of the congregation. I think that these questions of the children of Israel, were their way of recognizing the will of the Lord.

This witness to the people, was a blessing of mercy. The wrath of God was upon the rebellious host of Israel, but in His mercy, God gave them a sign to understand His will. They had not had the faith to believe upon the words of the prophet, and for this God had every right to destroy them, but He did not. Instead, the Lord helped them to know His will and gave them a warning and a token as a reminder of it. We are required now to be a people of faith. We are asked to believe upon the words of the scriptures and the prophets, both ancient and modern. These stories from the scriptures are a reminder for us, of the will of God. We each need to take it upon ourselves to seek for a testimony of these things and allow the spirit to be our own personal witness. I am grateful for the desire I have to gain a testimony of these things. The scriptures are a real treasure in my life. The spirit has taught me truth as I have been studying and trying to understand what God wants for me.

Challenge: Is there a principle of the gospel that you do not understand, as the Israelites did not understand the order of the priesthood? Have you studied it out? Take the time now, to study, pray and ponder about these things. If you truly desire for understanding and truth, the spirit can teach you. God blesses those who faithfully seek for these things.

Numbers Chapter 11

03990_000_bible-map-2b (Click here for the original Bible map 2 without emphasis)

At this point in the narrative of the Israelite journey to the promised land, they left the wilderness of Sinai for the wilderness of Paran. They are being led by the Lord, according to his time and way. I imagine that there were those who were not willing to understand that the Lord had reasons for leading them the way He did. Like a child who cries, “Are we there yet?” from the back seat on a long drive, there had to be some who would murmur among the Israelites. We learn in this chapter, what the Lord did to deal with it, or in other words, to teach the Israelites.

1 And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
2 And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched.
3 And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them.

When the Lord heard the complaints of the people, He did not accept it. He was leading them and providing for them, in a way that they should have been grateful for, but they would not see the larger picture in this. I think that the Lord had to deal with these individuals, so they would not cause an uprising rebellion and major apostasy within the camp. The fire of the Lord went through the camp and consumed those who complained. The people begged for Moses to help them, and when he prayed to the Lord, the fire was taken away. Taberah became the name of this area where they camped.

4 And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:
6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
7 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.
8 And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.
9 And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.

It talks here about a mixed multitude among them, which may have been others who were not of Israelite blood, or those who were both of Israelite and Egyptian blood. This mixed multitude began to turn to the worldly ways of lusting, which I think means that they began to have strong desires to please themselves. Then the Israelites, being affected by this lusting, began to murmur about the desire for something other than manna to eat. They cried to have the kinds of food they had eaten in Egypt, rather than the same thing day after day. In this complaint, they had forgotten that the Lord was giving them a miracle from heaven, that would give them all that was necessary to sustain their lives. I am one who doesn’t need a lot of variety in my food, but I understand the desire for a change every once in a while. My kids often complain of the food in front of them, or that they want for more. It is a trait of the natural man in us, to want for foods that will bring us greater satisfaction. The miracle of manna would have been a difficult trial for them to experience, even with the amazing blessing that it was. In 1 Nephi 17, Nephi speaks to his brothers when they murmur about him building a boat, which he had been commanded by God to build. He reminds them of the Israelite journey.

30 And notwithstanding they being led, the Lord their God, their Redeemer, going before them, leading them by day and giving light unto them by night, and doing all things for them which were expedient for man to receive, they hardened their hearts and blinded their minds, and reviled against Moses and against the true and living God.
31 And it came to pass that according to his word he did destroy them; and according to his word he did lead them; and according to his word he did do all things for them; and there was not any thing done save it were by his word.

The Lord was watching over them, and blessing them daily. As they hardened their hearts, they were punished and others were reminded of who was leading them. We are imperfect ourselves and I am sure that each of us falls into murmuring at one time or another. Doctrine and Covenants 59:7 teaches us, “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.” We would do well to find ways to remember the blessings of the Lord in our lives.

10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.
11 And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?
12 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?
13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.
14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.

Moses heard the cries of the people, and was not happy with it. The Lord was angered by the complaints. Moses complained also, that he had to carry the burden of the people. He felt like a father which was expected to care for his own children, but with all the people of Israel. He was not enough to handle this alone. He prayed basically, that he would rather be killed in that moment, then see his own failure in leading the people on his own. He felt incapable of doing the thing that he had been called to do. I know that many feel inadequate to bear their callings, as Moses was feeling. If we become overburdened with our responsibilities, we too can turn to the Lord for help. The Lord will be there to help us with our burdens.

16 And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.
17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.
18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.
19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;
20 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the Lord which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?
21 And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.
22 Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?
23 And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

Moses was commanded to gather seventy elders, to help him with the work. Some would need to be called to lead them. Together the seventy would share the burden of leadership with Moses. They would receive a portion of the Lord’s spirit, which had been given to Moses. This is a part of the true organization of the Lord’s church, and it continues in His order of the priesthood even today.

Next, Moses was commanded to prepare the people, because the Lord would provide meat for them for a whole month and it would become disgusting to them. This came because they had murmured and complained against the Lord. Moses questioned how it would be possible to provide that much meat, and if it would require all the flocks they had, to be killed. The Lord responded by telling Moses if he wondered if the Lord was unable to do this thing, Moses would see if he could. This is a reminder to Moses, that all things are possible by God. It is a reminder to us, that the promises of the Lord will be fulfilled because He has the power to do all things.

24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.
25 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.
27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!
30 And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.

Moses gathered the seventy from the people, as he had been commanded. The Lord came to him, as he had promised, and gave the spirit to the elders. When this was done, they prophesied with the spirit of God. Two of the men, Eldad and Medad, who had received the spirit but instead of going to the tabernacle, they went about in the camp. Moses was told of them by a young man, and Joshua, one who was in the service of Moses, told Moses he should stop them from doing this. Moses told him that He would like it if God would have all people be prophets, and would give them His spirit. If God wanted to impart the power to prophesy on others, He had a reason for it. Who was Moses, or Joshua, to question the workings of the Lord.

31 And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.
32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.
33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.
34 And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.
35 And the people journeyed from Kibroth-hattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.

The Lord brought a wind from the sea, which carried quail to the camp. There were so many that they were covering the ground for a day’s journey on either side. They gathered the quail from that day through the following day and divided them in the camp. As they ate, the Lord sent a plague among them. Many died who had lusted for the meat, and the place was called Kibroth-hattaavah for them. Israel then moved from this place, to Hazeroth.

This is a good example of our need to pray and plead for things according to the will of God. When we have been provided for, and yet, we still beg for those things that we do not have, we are deserving of a lesson on gratitude for what we have already. In Alma 29:4 we read, “I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life”. The Lord has the power to give and take. If our best learning may come from an experience such as this one, the Lord will give us the opportunity to learn. God is good to those who are righteous and faithful. We do not need to have all the things that others have, or that we have even had before, if He has provided enough to sustain us. I am very grateful for the Lord’s hand in my life, and I hope to remember this lesson at those times when I may want for other things I do not need.

Notes on Patience – Submissive as a Child

Patience is something that is tested in my life every day, as I am sure it is for most of us. I thought that perhaps it would be a good idea for me to begin a study that was a bit more in depth so that I could know how to gain a self-mastery that I do not have right now. I hope that my readers will enjoy following this series of posts on patience and that it may help someone else out there, as much as it has helped me. To see more posts, check out Notes on Patience

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19)

  • When I was just entering into adulthood, I often received compliments for how patient a person I was. It was part of my nature to be patient and consequently forgiving of others. I have noticed many times over the years, that I am not as patient or forgiving as I once was. I don’t normally associate patience with children, but in my life I was a much more patient person as a child. I think that part of patience is the willingness to give up some of the control I feel like I must have in order to be happy. I thrive on being able to control things in my life, but it seems that the best lessons I learn come when I give that control to God and allow him to do His will. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said the following:

    Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.

    Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace. (Continue in Patience)

    Patience can be extremely difficult and it is a lesson that I think will continue for a long time to come, but being more patient truly means submitting as child to a father.


  • About My Scripture Study Buddy

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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