Numbers 29 & Psalm 73

Numbers 29

    “On the first day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a day for you to blow the trumpets, and you shall offer a burnt offering, for a pleasing aroma to the LORD: one bull from the herd, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish; also their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah for the bull, two tenths for the ram, and one tenth for each of the seven lambs; with one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you; besides the burnt offering of the new moon, and its grain offering, and the regular burnt offering and its grain offering, and their drink offering, according to the rule for them, for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the LORD.

    “On the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation and afflict yourselves. You shall do no work, but you shall offer a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma: one bull from the herd, one ram, seven male lambs a year old: see that they are without blemish. And their grain offering shall be of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah for the bull, two tenths for the one ram, a tenth for each of the seven lambs: also one male goat for a sin offering, besides the sin offering of atonement, and the regular burnt offering and its grain offering, and their drink offerings.

    “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days. And you shall offer a burnt offering, a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the LORD, thirteen bulls from the herd, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old; they shall be without blemish; and their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah for each of the thirteen bulls, two tenths for each of the two rams, and a tenth for each of the fourteen lambs; also one male goat for a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering and its drink offering.

    “On the second day twelve bulls from the herd, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, with the grain offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, in the prescribed quantities; also one male goat for a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering and its grain offering, and their drink offerings.

    “On the third day eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, with the grain offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, in the prescribed quantities; also one male goat for a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering and its grain offering and its drink offering.

    “On the fourth day ten bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, with the grain offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, in the prescribed quantities; also one male goat for a sin offering, besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering and its drink offering.

    “On the fifth day nine bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, with the grain offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, in the prescribed quantities; also one male goat for a sin offering; besides the regular burnt offering and its grain offering and its drink offering.

    “On the sixth day eight bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, with the grain offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, in the prescribed quantities; also one male goat for a sin offering; besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering, and its drink offerings.

    “On the seventh day seven bulls, two rams, fourteen male lambs a year old without blemish, with the grain offering and the drink offerings for the bulls, for the rams, and for the lambs, in the prescribed quantities; also one male goat for a sin offering; besides the regular burnt offering, its grain offering, and its drink offering.

    “On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly. You shall not do any ordinary work, but you shall offer a burnt offering, a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the LORD: one bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish, and the grain offering and the drink offerings for the bull, for the ram, and for the lambs, in the prescribed quantities; also one male goat for a sin offering; besides the regular burnt offering and its grain offering and its drink offering.

    “These you shall offer to the LORD at your appointed feasts, in addition to your vow offerings and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your grain offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings.”

     So Moses told the people of Israel everything just as the LORD had commanded Moses.

(Numbers 29 ESV)


Psalm 73

A Psalm of Asaph.

    Truly God is good to Israel,
        to those who are pure in heart.
    But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
        my steps had nearly slipped.
    For I was envious of the arrogant
        when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
    
    For they have no pangs until death;
        their bodies are fat and sleek.
    They are not in trouble as others are;
        they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
    Therefore pride is their necklace;
        violence covers them as a garment.
    Their eyes swell out through fatness;
        their hearts overflow with follies.
    They scoff and speak with malice;
        loftily they threaten oppression.
    They set their mouths against the heavens,
        and their tongue struts through the earth.
    Therefore his people turn back to them,
        and find no fault in them.
    And they say, “How can God know?
        Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
    Behold, these are the wicked;
        always at ease, they increase in riches.
    All in vain have I kept my heart clean
        and washed my hands in innocence.
    For all the day long I have been stricken
        and rebuked every morning.
    If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
        I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
    
    But when I thought how to understand this,
        it seemed to me a wearisome task,
    until I went into the sanctuary of God;
        then I discerned their end.
    
    Truly you set them in slippery places;
        you make them fall to ruin.
    How they are destroyed in a moment,
        swept away utterly by terrors!
    Like a dream when one awakes,
        O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
    When my soul was embittered,
        when I was pricked in heart,
    I was brutish and ignorant;
        I was like a beast toward you.
    
    Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
        you hold my right hand.
    You guide me with your counsel,
        and afterward you will receive me to glory.
    Whom have I in heaven but you?
        And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
    My flesh and my heart may fail,
        but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
    
    For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
        you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
    But for me it is good to be near God;
        I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
        that I may tell of all your works.

(Psalm 73 ESV)


Something to Consider

Psalm 73: This Psalm provides wisdom in helping God's people rest with contentment even though life may seem more carefree for the non-believer. Often times, the prosperity of non-believers can tempt us to compromise our commitments to God. The psalmist even says that the successes of the wicked make him wonder whether or not his faithfulness to God has truly been worth it. Have you ever felt as if your faith may be holding you back from a more enjoyable way of life that the non-believing world seems to be experiencing?

It can be tiresome and extremely troubling to have such conflicting thoughts and desires concerning the prosperous lives of non-believers up against the pious lives of those who are faithful. The psalmist experiences this inner turmoil and then offers the faithful the proper perspective to resist all envy and jealousy. He writes:

But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.

The key to overcoming any envy of the non-believing world is to "discern their end." Contemplate the outcome of the lives of the arrogant and the lives of the faithful, and consider the different paths on which they're heading. One path leads to separation from God and the other leads us near to God. Therefore, we can find satisfaction and contentment in the hope that we will eternal be near to God and even more so heirs to His Kingdom. Until that day, we can rest in our nearness to God. For He is our strength and portion both now and forever.