Today’s Bible Reading

May 9

Old Testament I
Numbers 20 
The book of Numbers recounts the history of Israel’s wilderness wanderings after their liberation from Egypt. In chapter 20, the Israelites reach the wilderness of Zin and are in desperate need of water. Unfortunately, this need leads to a tragic event that resulted in the punishment of Moses and Aaron.

The first part of the chapter details the death of Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. After her passing, the people of Israel began to complain to Moses and Aaron about the lack of water. Moses and Aaron, seeking guidance from the Lord, went before Him and received instructions to gather the people and speak to a rock to bring forth water.

However, Moses, who was already angered by the Israelites’ complaints, struck the rock with his staff twice instead of speaking to it as God had commanded. Although water still flowed from the rock, God was angry at Moses’ disobedience and declared that he and Aaron would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land.

The chapter concludes with the Israelites continuing their journey and passing through Edom. However, the king of Edom refused to allow them to pass through his land, so they had to go around it. Aaron dies soon after, and the people mourn for him for 30 days.

The lesson that can be learned from this chapter is that obedience to God is of utmost importance. Even a small act of disobedience, such as striking a rock instead of speaking to it, can result in serious consequences. God’s instructions are not to be taken lightly, and we must always seek His guidance in all our actions.

Old Testament II
Proverbs 17

Proverbs 17 is a chapter that provides practical wisdom for living a life that pleases God. The chapter is full of short, concise statements that offer insight into how to live a righteous life, and how to avoid the pitfalls of wickedness.

The chapter begins with a warning about the dangers of dishonesty. It says that "a dry morsel with quietness is better than a house full of feasting with strife" (Proverbs 17:1). In other words, it is better to have little and be at peace than to have abundance and be constantly arguing.

The chapter goes on to describe the importance of wise speech, saying that "a wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame, and will share an inheritance among the brothers" (Proverbs 17:2). This is a reminder that wise words have power, and that they can be used to bring about positive change.

The chapter also touches on the importance of forgiveness, saying that "he who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends" (Proverbs 17:9). This is a reminder that forgiveness is a key aspect of healthy relationships, and that holding grudges can lead to conflict and division.

Finally, the chapter concludes with a reminder of the importance of humility, saying that "a merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones" (Proverbs 17:22). This is a reminder that pride can be a destructive force in our lives, and that we must always strive to be humble and open to correction.

Overall, Proverbs 17 is a chapter that offers practical wisdom for living a life that pleases God. Its teachings remind us of the importance of honesty, wise speech, forgiveness, and humility, and encourage us to cultivate these qualities in our own lives.

New Testament
James 3
James 3 is a chapter in the New Testament that provides practical guidance on the power of the tongue and the importance of living a wise and humble life. The chapter begins by warning against the danger of uncontrolled speech, emphasizing the great influence that our words have over others. James states that even though the tongue is small, it has the power to direct our lives and can cause tremendous harm if not controlled.

James goes on to explain that a wise person must learn to tame their tongue and use their words to build up others, rather than tear them down. He uses several metaphors to illustrate the importance of controlling our speech, comparing the tongue to a small rudder that directs a large ship, a tiny spark that can start a great forest fire, and a spring that can produce both fresh and bitter water.

James then contrasts wisdom and foolishness, noting that the latter is characterized by selfish ambition, envy, and bitterness, while the former is characterized by humility, gentleness, and peacemaking. He urges his readers to pursue wisdom and avoid the pitfalls of foolishness, which ultimately leads to disorder and conflict.

Finally, James concludes the chapter by calling on believers to live out their faith through good deeds and a life of purity. He reminds them that true wisdom comes from above, and that a life lived in obedience to God is the only path to true fulfillment and joy.