“For Your names sake You will lead me and guide me” – for HIS name not MINE, it’s about Him and not me and when it’s about Him it’s best for me, when it’s not about Him and it’s about me it’s not good for me.
“Into your hands I commit my spirit…” (v5) – Jesus says this on the cross and so does the first martyr of the church Stephen when he is being stoned
The ant plans, prepares, and makes provision. I should observe her ways and be like that. Do not be like the lazy sluggard who lays down all the time.
Thinking about this in the broad context of chapters 5-7 which address the temptations of the adulterous woman, I need to make sure I have a plan and and prepared to deal with that issue. I better be prepared and have a plan like the ant. If I am like the sluggard and do not prepare or plan regarding this issue I could fall prey to what chapter 7 call “the wiles of the harlot”.
Make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts (Romans 13:14)
People knew Jesus was special they just couldn’t quite put the pieces together, some thought He was John the Baptist raised from the dead while others thought Elijah, but everyone knew He was special, both of those options would make Him very special, but He even better than they thought.
Herod was afraid of John the baptist, he was perplexed by him, and he enjoyed listening to him. When the man of God is proclaiming the word of God in the Spirit of God there is nothing like it. It was said of Puritan Thomas Hooker that when he was preaching in his pulpit it was as if he could pick up a king and stuff him in in pocket. The same was also true of John Knox, Mary the Queen of Scots loved to hear him though he preached hard against her, she was drawn to him. Sadly many if not most pulpits today lack such men.
John the baptist was the greatest man born of woman and he was in prison for preaching the truth and was beheaded because a girl danced and excited a king so that he made a foolish promise. While he was afraid of John, he feared man opinion more. This Herod was a weak man driven by his passions and desires. Reminds me back to Proverbs 5-7 and the notes from today above.
When they found out about what had happened to John, Jesus and the apostles went away to a secluded place, no doubt to remember and thank God for the life of John. It’s ok to mourn the death of a loved one, it’s ok to go to a secluded place for a short time and deal with that loss.
But when they were going people saw and went too, and Jesus gets right back into ministry.
Jesus just lost John the baptist, probably one if the hardest losses for Him. But as with His crucifixion, while He is going through personal pain compassion flows out of Him. When the people follow He doesn’t rebuke them and tell them to go away, no He feels compassion and serves them. At a time when we struggle most with being selfish, Jesus was compassionate and selfless.
v39 “He commanded them all to sit down by groups on the green grass” – this is an internal evidence for the accuracy and eye-witness account of Scripture. It’s a detail that is given that corroborates with the season and it is an extra detail only an eyewitness would give.
v40 “They sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties” – some question whether the counting is accurate, they say it’s exaggerated because it would be hard to count 5,000 people. But the text says the people were sitting in groups of 100 and 50. 5,000 divided by 100 is 50, so there were around 50 groups of 100. Don’t you think a group of fishermen who count their fish, and a tax collector who counts money, would be able to count 50 groups? To further beat this into dust, there are 12 disciples, 50 divided by 12 is about 4. Don’t you think each disciple could have counted at least to 4? All of this to say that we have a very accurate eyewitness account.
Aaron is to take two goats, one is sacrificed and one is set free. This is a foreshadow I what takes place with Jesus. He takes my place and I go free.
There is need for an atonement for sin, and God makes a provision.
The life is in the blood, that’s why blood makes atonement (17:11,14)
Israel is not supposed to act like Egypt (the place God brought them from) nor are they to act like those in Canaan (the land He is bringing them into). We have the same command today, we are to be in the world but not like the world
Chapter 18 talks about laws on immoral relations, our current culture not only breaks them all but even promotes such wicked practices.