DAILY DEVOTIONALS

Numbers 5

Numbers 5 by Pastor David Groendyk The first ten chapters of Numbers describe Israel’s preparation to go into battle and (hopefully) take the Promised Land. Chapters 1–4 focused on the numbering of the people and the roles of the leadership. Chapter 5 begins a new section about the purity and holiness of the people. Verses 1–4 tell us that anyone who was unclean was put out of the camp. There were any number of reasons…

Numbers 4

Numbers 4 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin Just as the fighting men of Israel were all counted, so too the Lord counts the number of Levites able to assist the priests in their labor for the Lord. We are first introduced to the three sons of Levi in Exodus 6:16 with Gershon being the oldest, Merari the youngest and Kohath the middle son. But you’ll notice the order in which the sons are listed in…

Numbers 3

Numbers 3 Devotional by Pastor Mark Hudson Gordon Wenham’s commentary in the Tyndale provides an interesting discussion on ritual.  Quoting M. Wilson, an anthropologist, “Rituals reveal values at their deepest level . . . men express in ritual what moves them most, and since the form of expression is conventionalized and obligatory, it is the values of the group that are revealed.  I see in the study of rituals the key to an understanding of…

Numbers 2

Numbers 2 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin Once all the fighting men had been counted in Israel to determine the overall troop strength, the next command was to arrange the camp in an orderly manner. When organizing a great number of people such as the Israelites, it was important to utilize flags of various kinds to ensure that if the people couldn’t hear the commands, they could, at least, see their particular unit moving and…

Numbers 1

Numbers 1 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin As one might expect, the book of Numbers does contain some counting but not an excessive amount. There is actually a lot more complaining than there is counting going on in this third book of Moses, for it records how the people continually complained against Moses and against God while in the wilderness. The Hebrew title for the work is actually called In the Wilderness for those are…

Malachi 4

Malachi 4 Pastor David Groendyk This is a very short chapter, but it packs a serious punch. Verses 1–3 continue the dispute between the people and God from the end of chapter 3. Remember the charge that God brought against his people in 3:13: the people had spoken against God by saying that it was vain to serve him, because evildoers prosper all the time and consistently escape God’s punishment. Therefore, what difference does it…

Malachi 3

Malachi 3 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin The Lord’s prophet Malachi brings three more charges against the Jews in this chapter. The first is actually mentioned in the last verse of the previous chapter, in 2:17, when the Lord accuses them of wearying Him by their false accusations. The second accusation, in 3:7, denounces them for having turned away from the Lord and His statutes. And the third complaint, found in 3:13, accuses them of…

Malachi 2

Malachi 2 Devotional by Pastor Mark Hudson Douglas Stuart in his commentary on Malachi in An Exegetical & Expository Commentary: The Minor Prophets edited by Thomas E McComiskey uses the following outline 1:2-5                First Disputation 1:6-2:9             Second Disputation 2:10-16            Third Disputation 2:17-3:5           Fourth Disputation 3:6-12              Fifth Disputation 3:13-4:3           Sixth Disputation 4:4-6                Summary Challenge Most readers will notice the following pattern as seen in 1:2-5 Assertion by God                    I have loved you (1:2a) Questioning by Israel             …

Malachi 1

Malachi 1 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin Malachi was one of the postexilic prophets, along with Haggai and Zechariah, who prophesied to the remnant of Judah upon their return from exile in Babylon. His prophecy comes in the form of an oracle, which, is either a divine response given to a question asked by God’s people or to a pronouncement made by God without His being asked a question. If you skim the book of…

Philippians 4

Philippians 4 by Pastor David Groendyk In many ways, I think Paul’s reminder that “our citizenship is in heaven” (3:20) could be the header for Philippians 4. Remembering where our true citizenship lies changes our perspective about everything in life. In verse 2–9, Paul is exhorting the believers in Philippi to stay focused on the right things. Euodia and Syntyche are virtually unknown in Scripture, except for the fact that they are arguing with each…

Philippians 3

Philippians 3 Devotional by Pastor Mark Hudson One way to look at this book is to divide 1:12-2:30 at the truth of the gospel and 3:1-4:1 as the truth against error.  Then 3:1-11 may be called the gospel against the Legalists; 3:12-16 the already and the not yet; and 3:17-4:1 the gospel against the Libertines (Reformation Study Bible).  The first group we might call the Legalists because they taught the way to come to Christ…

Philippians 2

Philippians 2 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence Bowlin For many years, this has been one of my favorite chapters in the Bible for it speaks so wonderfully of the work of Christ and of the work of the Spirit in the life of a believer saved by grace. It begins in vv.1-2 with Paul’s plea to the believers to share the same mind, the very mind of Christ, and to have the same love, the very…

Job 42

Job 42 Devotional by Pastor Mark Hudson Now we are the concluding chapter.  This is Job’s time to repent and stand in wonder.  Job realizes that he was presumptuous and the way he questioned God and His justice was wrong.  As godly of a man as Job was, Job, like his friends, had put God in a theological box.  Job was somewhat aware of God’s majesty and glory but Job still had God nicely enclosed…

Philippians 1

Philippians 1 by Pastor David Groendyk The letter from Paul to the church in Philippi was written during the first of Paul’s imprisonments in Rome sometime around 61 AD. You can read about the history of Paul founding this church and his experiences in this city in Acts 16:11–40. The very same themes you read about in Acts 16 are the same themes Paul emphasizes in his letter. The major themes are justification (how we’re…

Job 41

Job 41 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence The Behemoth, a land monster mentioned in the previous chapter, ought to be considered together with the Leviathan, the great and fearsome monster of the sea. There are two different schools of thought concerning these monsters that God mentions and that Job must have had some familiarity with. The Literalists have for years stated that the Behemoth was an ancient description of the Hippopotamus and that the Leviathan was…

Job 40

Job 40 Devotional by Pastor David Groendyk God ends his first speech where he began: telling Job to give him an answer. Job’s response in verses 3–5 is prescriptive for every human being on the earth, and especially for Christians. Job has no answer, and he realizes how small he is compared to God. Can there be any other conclusion after hearing God speak in chapters 38–39? “I am of small account.” This is a…

Job 39

Job 39 Devotional by Pastor David Groendyk God continues his speech to Job. Whereas the first half of God’s speech emphasized God’s power in creating the entire universe, from the constellations to the deepest trenches in the ocean, this second half of his speech focuses on his governing of every different kind of creature. The emphasis now is on God’s breadth of knowledge and design rather than his sheer might. Do you know how many…

Job 37

Job 37 by Pastor David Groendyk Elihu concludes his speech to Job in this chapter. The majority of this chapter describes God’s power and control over nature and the weather. The Old Testament wisdom books frequently go back to God’s sovereignty over Creation to teach us about God. Why use nature and weather as their prime examples? Michael Barrett, in a devotional section he wrote on this chapter says, “Few things are less predictable than…

Job 36

Job 36 Devotional by Pastor Lawrence Which is better in your mind, to sin just a little or to be greatly afflicted? The Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs would state emphatically that “there is more evil in the least sin, than there is in the greatest affliction.” But do we really believe that? Most of us would much prefer to avoid affliction altogether then to turn our backs on all sin. And the proof of the pudding…

Job 35

Job 35 Devotionalby Pastor LawrenceIs it truly profitable to serve the Lord? What do we really get if we obey Him? There is nothing wrong with asking such questions. After all, even Jesus exhorted us to count the cost of following him to see whether or not we want to start out on that journey in the first place. The questions are good, but our answers are not always right and good. Back in chapter…

Job 31

Job 31 by Pastor David Groendyk Here is Job’s final monologue in the book. He will speak again later, but only very briefly. These are his final words in an extended format. The whole chapter is essentially Job’s final appeal before God and before his friends that he is innocent and undeserving of the judgment being poured out on him. Job is a good model for us in that, despite all of his trials and…