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[2019 ST-CRYSTALLIZATION STUDY OF NUMBERS (2)]-WEEK1-DAY5

WEEK 1

The All-inclusive Christ Being the Allotted Portion of the Saints, according to God’s Choice, as Their Divine Inheritance for Their Enjoyment

‹‹ DAY 5 ››

Morning Nourishment

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet, not My will, but Yours be done.

  Psa. 16:6 The measuring lines have fallen on pleasant places for me; indeed the inheritance is beautiful to me.

  1 Chron. 5:26 …The God of Israel stirred up the spirit of…the king of Assyria;…and He carried them away, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh…

  Christ appreciated the measured possession and the beautiful inheritance given to Him by God. All the nations with the earth (Psa. 2:8) will be not only pleasant but also beautiful to Christ as the man who inherited God's inheritance (Heb. 1:2b). (Psa. 16:6, footnote 1)

  The request of the two tribes, Reuben and Gad (Num. 32:1-5), was not wrong, but neither was it right. Their desire was to receive what God had promised, according to their choice as the best, not according to God's choice as the best. The desire to receive what God had promised was not wrong. However, they were not right in wanting to receive this according to their choice as the best. Eventually, their land was the first part of the land of Israel to be taken over by the Gentile invaders from the east [1 Chron. 5:25-26]. The tribes of Reuben and Gad suffered, and this suffering was related to their having their own choice. (Life-study of Numbers, pp. 317-318)

Today’s Reading

In spiritual matters it is terrible to do things according to our choice. Whatever is according to our choice will not turn out to be profitable. We may think that our choice is the best, but it is actually the worst. Therefore, in spiritual matters we should try not to act according to our choice. It is much better for us to leave matters in the hand of the Lord and let Him do according to His choice.

  The two tribes made their request because of what they had (a very great multitude of cattle—Num. 32:1) and because of what they saw (a land good for livestock—v. 4). This was the reason for their choice. Self-choice, even in the church life, comes from two things—considering what we have and need and considering how a particular situation or opportunity that we see in front of us fits in with our needs. This should not be our situation in the church life or in the service of the Lord. Both in the church life and in the Lord's work, we need to resist the temptation to have our self-choice for the purpose of taking care of our own welfare. We need to learn the lesson of not considering what we have or what is in front of us but leaving our future in the hand of the Lord. We should not try to have our own choice in the church life or in the Lord's service. If you insist on having your own choice, be prepared to suffer as a result. Our choice is not the best selection. We are shortsighted and somewhat selfish, so it is difficult for us to be pure in motive, desire, intention, goal, and purpose. We should be willing to give up our choice and tell the Lord that we do not have any choice of our own.

  In verse 22 Moses uses the word obligation. Whenever we have our own choice, we will owe something for our choice and will be under some kind of obligation. In serving the Lord, we need to learn never to be obligated in this way. We need to learn not to have our own choice and thereby not to be obligated to God and to His people.

  The land given to the two and a half tribes, the land which was according to their choice, could be reached without crossing the Jordan. This indicates that it was outside the death of Christ and thus was not actually a part of the good land. Our self-choice is likewise outside the death of Christ and therefore has nothing to do with the real enjoyment of the rich Christ. If we do not pass through the death of Christ, we cannot enter into His resurrection and ascension. This shows us that we should not have our own choice. Whenever we have our choice, we are outside the death of Christ and, as a result, are not in the realm of His resurrection and ascension to enjoy Him as the heavenly, elevated One. (Life-study of Numbers, pp. 318, 321, 326-327)

  Further Reading: Life-study of Numbers, msgs. 45-46

OUTLINE

5The obligation of Reuben and Gad toward Jehovah and toward Israel (32:22) was due to the fact that they had their own choice regarding their portion of the land (vv. 1-5); in serving the Lord, we need to learn to give up our own choice in order to avoid obligating ourselves to God and to His people.

6Our self-choice is likewise outside the death of Christ and therefore has nothing to do with the real enjoyment of the rich Christ; if we do not pass through the death of Christ, we cannot enter into the realm of His resurrection and ascension to enjoy Him as the heavenly, elevated One—cf. Gal. 2:20; Phil. 3:10-11; Col. 3:1-4.

EObtaining”the land east of the Jordan” reaches God's spiritual goal but not His glorious goal—receiving the rich inheritance in Christ, the glory of the riches of Christ, in the position of His ascension.