Beneath Matthewâ€™s genealogy is the story of Godâ€™s salvation plan through Abraham, David, and Christ. Notice that the record includes not only Jews, but also a few Gentiles, all of them women who had tarnished reputations. But as Paul says, all those who are Christâ€™s are Abrahamâ€™s offspring, heirs according to promise (Gal 3:29).
This is why we celebrate Christmas. This is why we have joy at Christmas. This is why we could say with David, â€œMy heart shall rejoice in your salvation!â€ This is why the angels in heaven rejoiced at the birth of Christ, because his birth was â€œgood news of great joy that will be for all the people.â€
God commands us to worship him regularly and continually. His word is the standard by which our worship would be acceptable to him. We are to offer sacrifices to him to be able to come before him in worship and thanksgiving.
Tens of thousands of people in the Metro Manila area and several provinces suffered in the onslaught of record rainfall from Storm Ketsana. God has encouraging words for them as well as those of us who were not affected much by the storm. Psalm 46 is one chapter that assures and quiets our souls, especially in times of great distress such as this.
With two, not three, swings of his staff at the rock, Moses struck out of the Promised Land! But we have a Mediator better and more complete than Moses. Moses could not give the people Living Water. Only God could. And Moses could not accompany Godâ€™s people into the Promised Land. Only Christ could, by his provision of the Living Water of eternal life.
The new spiritual life that results from looking to Jesus lifted high on the cross by faith corresponds to the new physical life given to mortally snakebitten Israelites in the desert who by faith fixed their eyes on the bronze serpent.
When we worship, we first confess our sins to God. Then we offer our whole lives to God in consecration. Finally, after being purified of our sins and consecrating our lives to God, we can have communion and fellowship with him.
“You wish to go back to Egypt? Then you shall go back in the direction of the Red Sea where you started your march. You wish to die in the wilderness? Then you shall die in the wilderness. Do you fear that your children will be slaves in Canaan? Then your children will be shepherds in the desert for 40 years.”
Christian, Jesus is your “spy” who knows everything about your Promised Land because he came down from there. He assures you that your Promised Land is the heavenly city, beautiful and abounding in Godâ€™s blessings. Its inhabitants are not wicked enemies you have to fight and conquer, but righteous friends with whom you will fellowship for eternity. Its fortifications do not just reach up to heaven, but the city is in heaven itself, safe and secure from all evil.
Numbers 11 and John 6 show us that Jesus as our Mediator is better than Moses the mediator between God and Israel. Unlike Moses, even in his darkest hour, Christ did not grumble against God about the rebellious people he was saving. Instead, he prayed for their salvation and for God to be with them.
When we are fully obedient to Godâ€™s word in our pilgrimage, and when we invite others to join us, God promised to bring us together to our Promised Land, a place that will be for us a “resting place” (Numbers 10:11-36).
The loud trumpet sound will be the universal call to the electâ€”from all nations and all ages, living or in their gravesâ€”to gather to the Glory-Cloud of Christ. This is the final Feast of Trumpets and Feast of Ingathering, when the harvest is full and the time has come to separate the wheat from the weeds, the good fish from the bad, the sheep from the goats.