September 26, 2016: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Numbers 29-32
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Commentary: Chapter 29 continues listing the feasts and offerings required by the Israelites. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us and we can rejoice in knowing Him! In chapter 30, special attention is paid towards women and vows. God has a plan for the well-being of the family. Within a family, it is the responsibility of the husband or father to see to the well-being of the family. If a woman’s vow would threaten the well-being of the family, the vow can be nullified. Women who are not dependent on a man were free to make their own vows. The well-being of the family, of which the woman is a part, must come first. Vows to God should not be made arbitrarily! They are not required, but once one is made, we will be held accountable for it. In chapter 31, Moses leads the Israelites to battle against the Midianites, who sought Balaam to curse the Israelites. God gave the Israelites a great victory, but they did not kill the women who had led them into sin. Chapter 32 remembers the reason the Israelites had been wandering in the desert for the past 40 years. A new generation has come who needed reminded of the hard learned lesson. Two tribes and a half tribe asked Moses if they could remain on this side of the Jordan River. Across the river is the Promised Land. Moses fears that, like their forefathers, the tribes do not trust the Lord to deliver on His promise. Moses grants them their wish, after they promise to send men to help fight on the other side of the Jordan River. Sometimes, we must wait for God’s plan to be revealed to understand the blessings it will give us. We should not be willing or eager to settle for less than what God is willing to give us.
Focus Verses: 30:3-15 What is your initial reaction to this passage? Now, put aside contemporary thoughts and consider the Lord’s plan for family. How is a family to function? Re-read this passage with those thoughts in mind. Why could a father or husband nullify a women’s vow? Consider your idea of how a family should be structured. Does it follow the Lord’s plan?
“Dogs are man’s best friend,” so said Frederick II, King of Prussia, in reference to his Italian greyhound. The phrase, so commonly used today, was popularized by its use in a poem by Ogden Nash. For Cody, this phrase is more than just a phrase. His dog is not only his best friends, but also an assistant, caregiver, companion, and family member. For Cody, is blind.
September is National Guide Dog Awareness Month! Beginning in 2008, the month of September is dedicated to raising awareness and funding for accredited guide dog organizations.
It is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 individuals in the United States who use the services of a guide dog. Guide dogs are most commonly associated with blind or visually impaired individuals, however only about two percent of visually impaired individuals use guide dogs. Guide dogs specifically refer to dogs used by the visually impaired, however, service dogs are used by many individuals with a variety of disabilities.
By using a guide dog, Cody has found it easier to get around in public areas. It has given him confidence to do more activities by himself and even try new activities! Just last week, he felt confident to walk to a local ice cream shop by himself, something he never would have attempted prior to owning a guide dog. He has even found that his dog encourages people to approach and talk to him.
But there is one thing of which Cody has to be aware: people thinking that his guide dog is a pet. Many people fail to recognize that a guide dog, when guiding, is working, just like you do! Petting, or in any way attracting the attention of a guide dog can place both the dog and owner in danger. Cody’s dog loves attention and Cody is happy to let people pet his dog, so long as the dog is not working! If you wish to pet a guide dog, or any service animal, ask first! And walk away if the answer is no!
This month, National Guide Dog Awareness Month, increase your knowledge about guide dogs and other service animals. If you have children, educate them about proper behavior around such animals. Perhaps go to a training facility and let them see the important work guide dogs and other service animals perform. What you learn can help others!
September 23, 2016
IDPN 2016 Issue 39
Iran: On Thursday, September 22, 2016, Saeed T. was executed by hanging at the Neyriz sports stadium in southern Iran. His crime was not reported.
Iraq: On Friday, September 16, 2016, Ahmad Husni Shwahneh was executed by hanging. Ahmad is a Palestinian and Jordanian national. He was executed for collaborating with terrorist groups, although the groups were not specified.
Japan: In recent years, opposition to the death penalty in the nation has slowly increased, with concerns over the fairness of trials. Next month, the Japan Federation of Bar Associates is expected to speak out against the death penalty and call for its abolition. The current administration still supports the death penalty, executing 16 individuals since the current prime minster took officer four years ago. The United Nations and European Union have repeatedly called for Japan to abolish the death penalty.
The High Court has dismissed the final appeal of 13 men who have been sentenced to death for their parts in releasing sarin gas in a Tokyo subway in 1995. Twelve individuals were killed in the attack, while 50 others were left permanently disabled, and thousands of others were temporarily affected by the gas. Executions are carrying out by hanging in the nation.
Philippines: The Philippine bishops’ conference has spoken out against the reinstatement of the death penalty in the nation. Recently elected President Duterte announced his support for the death penalty as he ran for the office. Upon his election, lawmakers have introduced legislation to reinstate the death penalty. The conference president has urged Catholic law makers to oppose the death penalty, arguing that it is not in alignment with the Catholic faith.
Since President Duterte has launched a crackdown on illegal drugs, including authorizing police and vigilantes to shoot drug dealers with no repercussions, over 3,000 individuals have been killed in just over two months. President Duterte’s actions have caused criticism, with the European Union the latest to release a statement against his actions. They have also spoken out against reinstating the death penalty, which has been abolished in every European Union nation, except one.
What does receiving a personal letter mean to you? How does it make you feel? When we look at a return address and realize that the letter is from a friend, we feel loved. We cannot wait cherish every word in the message held inside! In today’s fast-paced world, letter writing is quickly becoming a thing of the past, yet for some, the men and women on death row, it is the only way they can communicate with the world. Since March 8, 2005, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries has strived to give the over 3,000 men and women on death row the same feeling that you have when you receive a letter; loved. Our letters carry more than just the love of every member of The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries’ team, which include the individuals (like you!) who help finance the letter writing ministry. Our letters also, and more importantly, carry the love of Jesus Christ! In each letter, we share how much Jesus loves them. He has already paid the debt of their sin, the debt of the murders for which they are convicted. We share with them that Jesus has freely paid that price, and that they are forgiven! They must only accept Jesus Christ’s forgiveness, making Him Lord of their lives! The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries works toward honoring the “Great Commission,” with our mail ministry to the men and women on death row. View our donations page to discover how you can help The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries minister to the men and women on death row.
Do you know how Noah knew it was safe to leave the ark? Do you know who the first Israelite king was and how he was appointed? Saul did not became the well-known Apostle Paul overnight. Peter did not suddenly go from fisherman to a leader in the early Church. Even Jesus did not go from a carpenter’s son to correcting Pharisees’ overnight! Before reaching prominence and influence, each were faced with trials. Each spent time studying the Word of God, just as we must do today. It is because of their trials, not despite, because of their studying, that they transformed from who they had once been into the influential figures that associate their names with today. To become the person God desires us to be, we too must diligently study God’s word.
Unsure of where to start your study? Let us help! Every year, we at The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, invite you to participate in our “52 Week Bible Reading Plan” (available here). By using this plan, you will, within one year, have completely read through the entire Bible, an excellent way to begin your study!
Paul, Peter, and Jesus each knew the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. They also knew what the prophets had foretold and even the psalms written by David and others! Their knowledge came from years of study. By reading through the entire Bible, your knowledge and understanding of the history of Israel and the key figures in both the Old and New Testament, will grow. Always accompany your reading with prayer, reflection, and meditation. What does God want you to learn today? Check out our Commentary (available under the “Scriptures” tab on our website www.theforgivenessfoundation.org) for 2015, to learn more about world history during each day’s reading.
Diligent study of God’s word does not end upon reading the Bible. As with any subject of study, once you have grasped the basics, you dig deeper and increase your learning! We can help! This year, in addition to providing an overview of each day’s reading, we will also be providing focus verses. After reading through the day’s passages, go back and re-read the focus verses. Contemplate on the questions asked. What questions does the text pose for you? Check back to our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, for each day’s reading. If you miss a day, past commentary can be found under our “Scriptures” tab.
Our 2016 plan begins on December 27, 2015, but join in at any time! Saul spent years as a pharisee, persecuting those who followed Jesus Christ, before understanding the truth. Peter was an adult when he was called to follow Christ. Even Jesus spent time in prayer and meditation, learning, before and during His ministry! It is never too late, or too early, to start studying God’s word. What is God’s plan for you?
The husband and wife thought they were prepared. With elderly parents, they even expected a cancer diagnoses sooner or later. They had discussed what to do in the event of the eventual death. They thought they were prepared, that they couldn't be surprised. In the end, it wasn’t the diagnoses that was surprising, it was who had received the diagnosis.
They never thought it would be her. Kira had not seemed that sick when she went to visit the doctor. She had fallen and received lump and some bruising. But a week later the lump was still there. They went to the doctor, who seemed unconcerned but ran some tests, just to be safe. The results were nothing they expected. Kira was only two-years-old. How could she have cancer?
As her parents later learned, Kira became one of the approximately 43 children in the United States diagnosed with cancer that day. Childhood cancer affects all ethnic, gender, and socio-economic groups. They also learned that thanks to today’s medicine, Kira’s chances of survival were high. Eighty percent of children diagnosed with cancer will survive. Sadly that means one in five children diagnosed with cancer will not survive into adulthood. Often, survival rates depend upon the type of cancer, with some being more deadly than others. Also unfortunately, most survivors of childhood cancer will end up with at least one significant, life-long health problem.
September has been designated as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Take some time this month to pray for children with cancer. Pray for strength for their parents and family. Pray for wisdom for scientists working to cure cancer.