Sunday, September 21, 2014

Highlights of Numbers 30, 31, 32

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Highlights From Bible Reading ‒ Numbers 30, 31, 32

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Highlights From the Book of Numbers 30-32

*** w04 8/1 p. 27 par. 3 Highlights From the Book of Numbers ***
30:6-8—Can a Christian man set aside his wife’s vows? With regard to vows, Jehovah now deals with his worshipers individually. For example, dedication to Jehovah is a personal vow. (Galatians 6:5) A husband does not have the authority to set aside or cancel such a vow. A wife, though, should avoid making a vow that conflicts with God’s Word or her duties toward her husband.

*** w10 7/1 pp. 17-18 She Opened Her Heart to God in Prayer ***
The next morning, Hannah returned to the tabernacle with Elkanah. She had likely told him of her request and her commitment, for the Mosaic Law said that a husband had the right to nullify a vow made by his wife without his consent. (Numbers 30:10-15) But that faithful man made no such move. Rather, he and Hannah worshipped Jehovah together at the tabernacle before heading homeward.

*** g93 10/8 pp. 7-8 How Can We Protect Our Children? ***
Do not limit such training to a onetime talk. Children need much repetition. Use your own judgment in determining just how explicit the training should be. But be thorough.
Be sure, for example, to forestall any attempt by an abuser to create a secret pact. Children should know that it is never all right for an adult to ask them to keep a secret from either parent. Reassure them that it is always proper for them to tell—even if they had promised not to. (Compare Numbers 30:12, 16.) Some abusers blackmail the child if they know that the child has disobeyed some family rule. “I won’t tell on you if you won’t tell on me” is the message. So children should know that they will never get in trouble for telling—even under these circumstances. It is safe to tell.
Your training should also be threat-resistant. Some abusers have killed small animals in front of a child and threatened to do the same to the child’s parents. Others have warned their victim that they will abuse younger siblings. So teach children that they should always tell on an abuser, no matter what scary threats are made.

*** w10 11/15 pp. 20-21 ‘Let Us Present Jehovah’s Offering’ ***
WHEN someone extends an act of kindness to you, how do you show your appreciation? Consider how the military chiefs in Israel showed their gratitude after an armed conflict with the Midianites. The battle was fought after Israel had sinned in connection with Baal of Peor. God gave his people victory, and the spoils were divided between the 12,000 soldiers and the rest of Israel. In accord with Jehovah’s direction, the soldiers gave a percentage of their portion to the priests, and the other Israelites gave a similar percentage to the Levites.—Num. 31:1-5, 25-30.
However, the military chiefs wanted to do more. “Your servants have taken the sum of the men of war who are in our charge and not one has been reported missing from us,” they told Moses. They decided to present gold and various ornaments as Jehovah’s offering. The total weight of the gold ornaments amounted to over 500 troy pounds (190 kg).—Num. 31:49-54.
Today, many people are likewise moved to show their appreciation for what Jehovah has done for them. Moreover, such feelings of appreciation are not limited to God’s dedicated servants. Consider, for example, a bus driver who took a group of delegates to and from the stadium for the international convention held in Bologna, Italy, in 2009. Because he was a very careful driver with a mild spirit, those who rode his bus decided to write a thank-you note and to give him a tip along with a copy of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? To that, the driver responded: “I gladly accept the card and the book, but I return the money because I wish to contribute it so that you can continue the work you are doing. Even though I am not one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I want to make this contribution because I’ve seen that you do things out of love.”
When moved by appreciation for what Jehovah has done for you, one way to show your gratitude is by making contributions to the worldwide work of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Matt. 24:14)

*** w02 10/1 p. 21 par. 16 Cultivate Obedience as the End Draws Near ***
16 The Christians in Pergamum and Thyatira were commended for their integrity, endurance, and zeal. (Revelation 2:12, 13, 18, 19) Yet, they were influenced by certain ones manifesting the wicked spirit of Balaam and Jezebel, who by means of sexual immorality and Baal worship acted as corrupting influences in ancient Israel. (Numbers 31:16; 1 Kings 16:30, 31; Revelation 2:14, 16, 20-23) But what about our time—“the Lord’s day”? Are the same evil influences evident? Yes, for immorality is by far the leading cause for disfellowshipping among God’s people. How important, therefore, that we avoid association with all individuals—inside and outside the congregation—who are a morally corrupting influence! (1 Corinthians 5:9-11; 15:33) Those who want to be Shiloh’s obedient subjects will also eschew questionable entertainment as well as printed and Internet pornography.—Amos 5:15; Matthew 5:28, 29.

*** w98 1/15 p. 15 pars. 8-9 Keep On Walking With God ***
8 What might cause a person to fall into a similar snare in our day? Although he may know the seriousness of sexual immorality, if he does not also appreciate the danger of self-confidence, he may allow himself to get into a situation where the enticement to wrongdoing overwhelms his reason.—Proverbs 7:6-9, 21, 22; 14:16.
9 In plain language God’s Word warns us not to be misled into thinking that we are so strong that bad associations will not corrupt us. That includes watching television programs that feature the lives of immoral people and looking at magazines that stimulate immoral desires. (1 Corinthians 10:11, 12; 15:33) Even association with fellow believers under wrong circumstances can lead to serious problems. The attraction between the sexes is strong. With loving concern Jehovah’s organization has therefore cautioned against being alone and out of public view with someone of the opposite sex to whom we are not married or who is not a family member. In order to keep on walking with God, we need to shun the snare of self-confidence and heed the warning counsel that he gives us.—Psalm 85:8.

*** w99 4/1 pp. 15-16 pars. 5-6 Life After Death—What Does the Bible Say? ***
5 Interestingly, in the Bible the word “soul” applies not only to humans but also to animals. For example, in describing the creation of sea creatures, Genesis 1:20 says that God commanded: “Let the waters swarm forth a swarm of living souls.” And on the next creative day, God said: “Let the earth put forth living souls according to their kinds, domestic animal and moving animal and wild beast of the earth according to its kind.”—Genesis 1:24; compare Numbers 31:28.
6 Thus, the word “soul” as used in the Bible refers to a person or an animal or to the life that a person or an animal enjoys. (See box above.) The Bible’s definition of the soul is simple, consistent, and unencumbered by the complicated philosophies and superstitions of men. That being the case, the urgent question that must be asked is, According to the Bible, what happens to the soul at death?

*** w97 9/1 p. 17 par. 18 Beware of False Teachers! ***
18 Peter notes that Balaam was hindered when his donkey spoke to him, yet Balaam “loved the reward of wrongdoing” so much that even when that happened, he did not discontinue his “mad course.” (2 Peter 2:15, 16) How wicked! Woe to any like Balaam who try to corrupt God’s people by tempting them to commit immorality! Balaam died for his badness, a preview of what will happen to all who follow his path.—Numbers 31:8.

*** w97 8/15 p. 27 Why Report What Is Bad? ***
When elders learn about serious wrongdoing, they approach the individual involved to give needed help and correction. It is the elders’ responsibility to judge such ones inside the Christian congregation. Keeping a close watch on its spiritual condition, they assist and admonish anyone who is taking an unwise or wrong step.—1 Corinthians 5:12, 13; 2 Timothy 4:2; 1 Peter 5:1, 2.
But what if you are not an elder and you come to know about some serious wrongdoing on the part of another Christian? Guidelines are found in the Law that Jehovah gave to the nation of Israel. The Law stated that if a person was a witness to apostate acts, sedition, murder, or certain other serious crimes, it was his responsibility to report it and to testify to what he knew. Leviticus 5:1 states: “Now in case a soul sins in that he has heard public cursing and he is a witness or he has seen it or has come to know of it, if he does not report it, then he must answer for his error.”—Compare Deuteronomy 13:6-8; Esther 6:2; Proverbs 29:24.

*** w96 1/15 p. 15 par. 2 Jehovah’s Sheep Need Tender Care ***
2 As recipients of tender care, we can say with the psalmist: “Serve Jehovah with rejoicing. Come in before him with a joyful cry. Know that Jehovah is God. It is he that has made us, and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasturage.” (Psalm 100:2, 3) Yes, we are joyful and secure. It is as though we were safe from evil predators in a sheepfold having strong stone walls.—Numbers 32:16; 1 Samuel 24:3; Zephaniah 2:6.

*** w93 11/15 p. 14 par. 13 Courageously Walk in Jehovah’s Ways ***
13 Courageous Joshua and Caleb provided evidence that we can walk in God’s ways. They “followed Jehovah wholly.” (Numbers 32:12) Joshua and Caleb were among the 12 men sent to spy out the Promised Land. Fearing its inhabitants, ten spies tried to dissuade Israel from entering Canaan. However, Joshua and Caleb courageously said: “If Jehovah has found delight in us, then he will certainly bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that is flowing with milk and honey. Only against Jehovah do not rebel; and you, do not you fear the people of the land, for they are bread to us. Their shelter has turned away from over them, and Jehovah is with us. Do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:8, 9) Lacking faith and courage, that generation of Israelites never reached the land of promise. But Joshua and Caleb, together with a new generation, did enter it.

*** w04 6/1 p. 15 pars. 4-5 Blessed Are Those Who Give Glory to God ***
Before entering the Promised Land, members of Israel’s tribe of Gad requested that they be allowed to settle in the cattle country east of the Jordan. (Numbers 32:1-5) Living there would mean coping with serious challenges. The tribes to the west would have the protection of the Jordan Valley—a natural barrier to military invasion. (Joshua 3:13-17) However, concerning the lands east of the Jordan, The Historical Geography of the Holy Land, by George Adam Smith, says: “[They] all roll off, with almost no intervening barrier, upon the great Arabian plateau. Consequently they have been exposed in all ages to the invasion of the hungry nomads, some of whom swarm upon them every year for pasture.”
5 How would the tribe of Gad fare under such unrelenting pressure? Centuries earlier, in his death-bed prophecy, their forefather Jacob foretold: “As for Gad, a marauder band will raid him, but he will raid the extreme rear.” (Genesis 49:19) At first glance those words may seem gloomy. In reality, though, they amounted to a command for the Gadites to strike back. Jacob assured them that if they did so, the raiders would make a humiliating retreat, with the Gadites pursuing their extreme rear.

References consulted on: Watchtower Library 2013 CD‒ROM

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