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Today: Psalms 35:11-18; Luke 2:41-52; Numbers 7:66-89; Numbers 8; Numbers 9:1-14

Psalms 35

Did you know that David describes cancel culture in Psalms 35? Human nature has always bent toward evil but in this day of instant internet news and conspicuous social media it is more obvious than ever. We are surrounded by “malicious witnesses” who rise up seeking to “destroy” (cancel) anyone who disagrees with them. They “repay evil for good” and rejoice at the afflictions and stumbles of those they disagree with. They “slander without ceasing,” hurling out the insult du jour (racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, misogynist, etc.) so frequently that these words no longer have any meaning. They troll and “gnash their teeth” and “gather together” to bring down their perceived opponents, people who in many cases have done nothing wrong but to hold a differing opinion.

Trolls have always existed. David described them right there in Psalms 35. This is nothing new. Take courage in knowing that we are suffering nothing that believers haven’t experienced before. We must strand strong and continue forward without cowardice against those who tell us we are “anti-science” because we believe that life begins at conception and that God created two genders. Don’t fear the “godless jesters” who mock Christians for our belief in Jesus and accuse us of believing in fairy tales. They cannot harm our souls. God is the one who “rescues our soul from their ravages” so that we are able to “give [God] thanks in the great congregation” (publicly) and “praise [God] among a mighty people.” (v.18)

"Young Jesus in the Temple" painting by Jean-Baptiste Bottex

Luke 2

Luke gives us an interesting glimpse into Jesus’ childhood in Luke 2. After losing track of young Jesus when He remained at the Jerusalem temple after the Passover, His mother told Him, “Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You!” (v.48)

But Jesus responded, “Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (v.49)

Even at 12 years old, Jesus was aware of His identity as the Son of God.

Lest we think of Jesus response as bordering on insolence (kind of like a “you aren’t my real father!” response, perhaps), Luke immediately tells us that “He continued to be subject to [Mary and Joseph].” (v.51)

Even though Jesus obviously understood His amazing identity, He willingly submitted to the authority of the parents God had given Him. What an interesting lesson Jesus has given us on humility and submitting to authority from His own example in this short story.

 

Numbers 8

Moses has always been my favorite Old Testament character, mainly because of the relationship he had with God. They spoke face to face; they had two-way conversations as friends. Not even David, whose passionate love affair with God is recorded for the world to see in Psalms, enjoyed such intimacy with God. Moses spent time with God, listened to Him and obeyed Him.¬†Moses was so in tune to God’s voice that he was able to be given intricate details and instructions, including specific measurements, dates, and patterns for the temple build. And Moses obeyed “in accordance with everything the LORD had commanded.” (v.9:5)