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From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 34
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Numbers 7:89,       The voice of God
Isaiah 40, part 3,  All flesh is grass
Mark 10:46-48,      The blind Bartimaeus

Numbers 7:89, The voice of God

Weekly reading: Numbers 4:21 - 7:89

And  when  Moses  was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation  to
speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him  from
off  the  mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from  between
the two cherubims: and he spake unto him. (Numbers 7:89)

In  this chapter, the princes of Israel, heads of the houses of  their
fathers,  have  brought their offerings, for the consecration  of  the
tabernacle.  When that was done, we read in the text, that  Moses  was
gone  into this tabernacle. He went into the place of the congregation
to  speak with God. Before the setting up of the tabernacle,  God  has
spoken  with  Moses  on  mount  Sinai, and  elsewhere.  But  now,  the
tabernacle  of the congregation was the appointed place for  that.  He
went  in  that  place to speak with Him, and ... he heard  His  voice,
speaking  unto  him from off the mercy seat. That  seat  was  a  place
between  the  two  cherubim. It was a seat of mercy.  Because  of  the
exceedingly great amount of sins of the people, much mercy was needed.
God  was  a  God  of  mercies, for all who called  upon  His  Name  in
sincerity. Here, Moses went in the tabernacle to speak with  Him,  and
he  heard God's voice. The mercy seat was between the cherubim,  where
God  was.  For  that reason is said, that God is "the LORD  of  hosts,
which  dwelleth  [between] the cherubims." (1 Samuel 4:4)  He  is  the
"LORD God of Israel, which dwellest [between] the cherubims." (2 Kings
19:15)  There, on that seat of mercy, was the glory of God, a  visible
light,  shining  into the sanctuary. Therefore Asaph  called  God  the
"Shepherd  of Israel, thou that dwellest [between] the cherubims".  He
asked  that  God  would show His glory, when he said: O  LORD,  "shine
forth." (Psalms 80:1)
    When  Moses went into the tabernacle, the LORD spoke with him.  He
had  promised this to him, when He said: "And there", namely from upon
the  ark of testimony, "I will meet with thee, and I will commune with
thee  from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims  which
are upon the ark of the testimony." (Exodus 25:22)

We  see how clearly God revealed Himself to Moses. We learn from this,
that where God dwells, He also makes Himself known to us through these
kind  of signs. Therefore, if you never have experienced the existence
of  God,  make haste, for He does not dwell where you live.  Go  to  a
place,  where  He  works  powerfully. Go to  places,  where  many  are
converted  to the one God. Go to places, where they visibly serve  God
in truth and uprightness. Make haste, escape your present dead place.
    Moses went into the tabernacle to speak with God. Moses, being the
leader  of Israel through the desert, could not perform this  task  on
his  own. He always needed God's power and strength, for he was unable
to  do it by himself. Therefore, we often read about his entering  the
tabernacle,  namely  to pray and to speak with God.  All  people,  who
think that they are strong enough to do their tasks in own power, will
never  pray for help. Moses however, a very good example for us, daily
spoke  with God, either face to face, or by prayer, or both. The proud
people  think that they have no need of God, but the true servants  of
God  always need Him. Who neglects the prayer, deprives himself of the
salvation. Who chooses the world instead of the sanctuary,  will  also
perish  with  that world. But the faithful, the believers,  are  daily
communing  with God through the reading of His Word, and  through  the
    Moses  went  into the tabernacle, and, he heard God's voice.  Also
now, when people are in distress, and pray unto God in truth, I assure
you  that you will get an answer. Not on your time, of course, but  on
God's time, according to His will. Moses went into the tabernacle, and
got  an  answer of God. So, when you need God, cease not praying,  but
keep  doing it. When you get no answer today, maybe tomorrow, or  next
week,  or  next year. But do not cease, for that would be a sign  that
you not seek Him in truth.
   He still sits on His seat of mercy. We know that the tabernacle was
replaced by the temple, and that the temple is destroyed. So, where is
His mercy seat? The answer is: Do not think so materially of God, just
as  if  He  needs any seat to give mercy. He still sits on  His  mercy
seat,  because He still gives mercy. As long as the world  stands,  so
long  will  He give mercy. But on the end of the world,  the  time  of
mercy  is  gone. While you still live in the time of grace, call  upon
His  Name,  and He will answer you. Maybe, tomorrow the end is  there,
and  then  it may be too late. Today, when you hear God's voice,  call
upon  His Name. Delay may be destructive for you. Today, today is  the
day  of  salvation; while you hear His voice, be not stiffnecked,  but
listen to Him.

Isaiah 40, part 3, All flesh is grass

6  The  voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All  flesh  is
grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:

Here  we have the order to Isaiah. A voice said: Cry! Isaiah, you must
cry,  said God. It is the task of a preacher to cry publicly.  But  he
didn't know what to say, therefore he answered: What shall I cry? This
always  happens in the callings of true prophets, and in the  callings
of  the  present true preachers. They get the command to preach:  Cry!
But  they consider themselves too weak for such an important task. Who
is  able  to  be  God's mouth? They shudder to think about  that  very
important task, that dreadful task to be God's mouth, and to speak  it
without their own thoughts. That is why they ask: "What shall I  cry".
They  say,  O  God,  give me Thine word, because I have  not.  Please,
instruct me, o God, and tell me what I must do. Isaiah, so much having
need  of God's instruction, also gets it. When he asked "What shall  I
cry",  God's  answer was: "All flesh is grass, and all the  goodliness
thereof is as the flower of the field". All mankind is like grass.  In
the  morning, it is green and young, but in the evening it is cut off,
or  devoured by the beasts. All the goodliness of people, that is, all
their  beauty, is like the beauty of the flowers of the field. In  the
morning, they flourish, but in the evening, they come to an end.  That
is a lively picture of the human race. Our life is no more than grass,
nor  more  then flowers of the field. "[As for] man, his days  are  as
grass:  as  a  flower of the field, so he flourisheth.  For  the  wind
passeth  over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know  it
no  more." (Psalms 103:15,16) Also James says of the people that their
lives  are  very short, "because as the flower of the grass  he  shall
pass  away." (James 1:10) To say such things belongs to the charge  of
the  true preachers, sent by God. So, when you hear them saying  these
things, do not think: "What a pessimist". But rather acknowledge  them
as true prophets, who try to execute their tasks.

7  The  grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of  the
LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

The  prophet somewhat extends the picture of the flower and the grass.
As soon as the hot wind blows over the grass, it withers. Likewise the
flower. Flowers are often weak. When the climate is good and pleasant,
they flourish, but as soon as the wind blows upon it, they come to  an
end.  Also  the  people, though many think that they  are  strong  and
healthy, yet, when the spirit of the LORD blows upon them, they wither
and  fade,  and die. So weak are we, people! The spirit  of  the  LORD
blows upon us, and we are gone. Away is the grass. Away is the flower.
Away  is  mankind. A man is born, grows up, and is old before he  pays
attention  to it. In the heath of the daily life, he pays no attention
to  the  fact that he becomes old. Then he begins to wither; he  fades
like  the flowers of the field on their end; then he is thrown in bed,
and  dies.  Many let God be God, that is, they don't worry about  Him.
So,  while they lived without God, they also die without Him, to their
eternal  ruin. A woman is born, grows up, and thinks of  herself  that
she  is  as  beautiful  as  the flowers of the  field.  She  pays  all
attention to her external beauty, to become even better then a  flower
of the field. But before she knows it, she comes to an end. The flower
fades, and also that woman fades. She has paid no attention to the one
God, but gave all her time to her body. While she didn't serve God  in
her  life, she also dies without Him, to her eternal ruin. The  flower
is gone, and the woman is gone, when the spirit of the LORD blows upon

8  The  grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word  of  our  God
shall stand for ever.

In  this  verse, we see the difference between grass and the  word  of
God.  Grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our  God  never
shall  wither. It never shall fade, but it shall stand forever. People
die,  but the word is eternal. This teaches us, that we must  not  put
our  trust in any people, because they pass away as grass and flowers.
A  man depends on his wife, and the wife on her man. They do so, until
they  experience,  that, whereon they leaned, was but  grass;  it  has
gone. Let nobody trust in people, for they will be deceived. People is
like the weak grass. Let us, therefore no longer trust in nothing, but
let we put our trust in the word of God. That will stand forever. "All
flesh  is  as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of  grass.
The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word
of  the  Lord  endureth for ever. And this is the word  which  by  the
gospel  is preached unto you." (1 Peter 1:24,25) God will be  forever,
and therefore also His word will stand forever. Who puts his trust and
belief in God, will also stand forever. Maybe he fades and passes away
like the grass of the field, yet his soul is preserved by God, and his
body will be raised from the death.

Mark 10:46-48 The blind Bartimaeus

And they came to Jericho:
and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples
and a great number of people,
blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the highway side begging.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out, and say,
Jesus, [thou] Son of David, have mercy on me.
And many charged him that he should hold his peace:
but he cried the more a great deal,
[Thou] Son of David, have mercy on me.

Jesus  and  His  disciples came to Jericho. A great number  of  people
followed  them, to hear Jesus preaching. A blind man, Bartimaeus,  sat
by  the  highway  side begging. He was blind, and had often  heard  of
Jesus, who healed the lame, the blind, the possessed, and all kinds of
sicknesses.  "The blind receive their sight, and the  lame  walk,  the
lepers  are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised  up,  and
the  poor have the gospel preached to them." (Matthew 11:5) Jesus  has
done  all these things, like was foresaid by Isaiah: "And in that  day
shall  the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the  blind
shall  see  out  of  obscurity, and out of darkness."  (Isaiah  29:18)
Whereof Isaiah had prophecied, Jesus did in reality. Bartimaeus, being
blind, heard of Him. Some hope came into his heart, that also he might
be  healed.  In  the  course  of time, while  Jesus  was  walking  and
preaching throughout the land, the hope increased in him. "Would it be
possible, that He also heals me?", he asked himself. So, when he heard
that  Jesus  of  Nazareth went out of Jericho with His  disciples,  he
thought: "Now or never. There goes my Healer, Who is able to  give  me
the  sight." He began to cry out, and say: "Jesus, Thou Son of  David,
have mercy on me!"
      We  see,  that when one is in need, he does not contend  whether
Jesus  is  the Messiah or not. When you are half dead, and they  offer
you the life by coming unto Jesus; when you are convinced of your lost
state,  you  will no longer contend; no, you will flee unto  him.  All
those,  discussing about Jesus, whether He is the Messiah, never  have
seen  their  own  miserable estate. When one  really  has  need  of  a
Saviour,  he will shut his mouth, and flee unto Jesus. But  the  self-
righteous,  deceiving themselves by a so-called righteous  life,  will
discuss  till  they  die.  The  poor however,  will  be  saved.  Blind
Bartimaeus, amidst of so many unbelievers, cried unto Jesus: Thou  Son
of David, have mercy on me. The people charged him that he should hold
his  peace. But that was said to a deaf man's ears. What!  Must  I  be
silent  while my Saviour passes? The people charged him  to  shut  his
mouth,  but  he cried the more a great deal. "Thou Son of David,  have
mercy  on  me". Nobody could keep this poor man back from  Jesus.  And
what  happened? We can read it in the continuation of the  story.  The
blind  came  unto  Jesus. When He asked what was his  wish,  he  said:
"Lord, that I might receive my sight." And Jesus said unto him, Go thy
way;  thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received  his
sight, and followed Jesus in the way. (Mark 10:52)
      Bartimaeus  is  a  good  picture of  the  healing  of  spiritual
blindness. He was blind, came unto Jesus in belief, and was healed  by
Him.  Likewise the spiritual blind. As soon as they notice  their  own
blindness, and as soon as they hear of a possibility of recovery, they
come  unto  Jesus  through  a true belief,  and  are  healed  by  Him.
Bartimaeus,  being  healed by Jesus, followed Him  on  the  way.  Also
those, who are healed from their spiritual blindness, follow Jesus  on
His  way.  They follow Jesus on His way, bear the cross with Him,  are
brought to death by the world, but also stand up with Him.

Teus Benschop  |  t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl  |  editor of the list Chr-Exp

           "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel"

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