March 12, 2017 @ Cal City MX Park with Over the Hill Gang.
Welcome everyone and thank you for coming out a little earlier than usual … being that the transition to Daylight Savings Time occurred overnight. Everyone got that extra hour of sleep … right? J Yes … I know … one hour less sleep. Personally, I think sleep is overrated. I mean really … take 1/3 of every day and not do anything?!
Today we will look at an action that is claimed by many, but in reality is probably not practiced as much as it perhaps ought to be. Let’s first consider this situation. You’re an Over The Hill Gang vet racer … ok yes you’re here at an OTHG race … maybe you’ve been racing a long time … or maybe got a late start in motocross (like myself). So as “we all know … practice makes perfect” right? Well not always and likely not if you have bad technique. So what do you do about it? There are several ways to get help but the best is usually getting advice from someone you can trust and someone with firsthand experience. Better yet if you have a partner playing cat and mouse on the track can be a great tool to learn from. But what about the situation where you have a family acquaintance who wants to ride with you or maybe you have a new friend to ride with. What’s the typical things that happen? You go ride a few laps, take a few notes along the way, come back to the pit and share what just happened … the almost … could-a … would-a … should-a … did you see me almost …! This is our starting point this morning.
Open your bibles if you will to the book of Numbers Chapter 10.
Reading: Numbers 10:29-32 ESV
29 And Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will do good to you, for the LORD has promised good to Israel.” 30 But he said to him, “I will not go. I will depart to my own land and to my kindred.” 31 And he said, “Please do not leave us, for you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you will serve as eyes for us. 32 And if you do go with us, whatever good the LORD will do to us, the same will we do to you.”
The context of these verses is Moses and the Israelite’s have been encamped at Mt Sinai for over a year after leaving Egypt. We can read in Numbers 10:11-13 that the Lord’s presence in the cloud over the tabernacle of the testimony lifted up and moved to Paran. The Israelite’s were then to break camp and proceed out in a particular order and then to make camp also in a particular order around where the cloud later rested. (Pillar of cloud by day, cloud of fire by night.)
So let’s re-read what Moses said in verse 32 … “whatever good the LORD will do to us, the same we will do to you”.
Audience: Very generally, what does that sound like to you? Anyone?
Let’s briefly see what the Bible says about “good” and to whom God will do good to.
We can start at the beginning … in book of Genesis Chapter 1 during the week of creation:
Genesis 1 ESV
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good.
10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Ok we can see that creation itself is good*. Yes, being alive is a good thing isn’t? If you’re going through tough time right now, I would like to encourage you that no matter your situation, not being alive is nothing to live for.
But in truth we will have to put an asterisk next to that “good” because of the fall of man (Genesis Chapter 3) that occurred after God first created everything. Our understanding of creation today is nothing like how everything was originally created (because of the world wide flood in the time of Noah Genesis Chapter 6). So ok … creation is an example of good that God has done and although the world we have now is somewhat less that its original state, but it’s still far better than trying to live on the moon which is impossible natively!
So what about the good God does to mankind? For starters, we can look to the Psalmist:
Psalm 119:68 ESV – You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.
Psalm 145:9 ESV – The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.
We can read in the Book of Leviticus that the Israelite’s will be blessed by God as they follow the laws and statutes given through Moses:
Leviticus 26:2-6 ESV – 2 You shall keep my Sabbths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. 3 “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, 4 then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. 6 I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land.
So God will provide, rain, harvests, bread, and security from man and beast, if you follow His way of living.
As far as rain is concerned, we can hear something very similar from Jesus in the book of Matthew that God (the Father) makes the sun rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Matthew 5:45 ESV – so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
This reflects back to the Psalmist stating that God is good to all, and it’s Jesus who’s saying it. You can plainly see the harmony between the Old and New Testaments in this context. Keep this thought somewhere in your mind … the Bible is one message, two acts.
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
According to Joshua, reading, meditating the book of the Law (the first five books of the Bible) is a means a “good success” can happen if you live your life according to God’s Word! Interesting isn’t!
So here’s the application part. Another way to look at what Moses stated to his father-in-law is that whatever was freely received from God should be effectively be freely given to others. A kind of “share the wealth” that we might hear in our society today, but I would not affirm that’s only a financial gift. A gift of money may certainly be generous, but I think we can all agree that there’s really much more available to us here.
Listen to what the Apostle Paul says about sharing Jesus with each other:
Philippians 2:1-2 ESV – 1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
We should be sharing with others … for instance the poor. Jesus says that we don’t need a special occasion to help the poor, we can help them at any time!
Mark 14:7 ESV – 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.
The Apostle James (Jesus’ Brother) says to help the widows and orphans
James 1:27 NIV – 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
In closing we can read from the Book of Numbers that Moses’ gesture to his father-in-law that was sincere that he really wanted to bless his father-in-law. Yet as we take in all of Scripture we find that this sharing is really fundamental to our living here on Earth and it’s to the Glory of God!
Matthew 7:7-12 NIV – 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
What’s another way of stating the summation of “The Law and the Prophets”?
Mark 12:30-31 NIV – 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”