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Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-25
 
Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, "Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at."
 
Moses heard the people weeping throughout their clans, everyone at the door of his tent. And the anger of the LORD blazed hotly, and Moses was displeased. Moses said to the LORD, "Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,' to the land that you swore to give their fathers? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me and say, 'Give us meat, that we may eat.' I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness."
 
 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you.
 
So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.
(ESV)
We Are His Children
Monday of Pentecost 20
12 October 2015
The Bible extolls childlike-ness. We are to become the little ones of God. The child is actually the quintessential believer. The best believer. The most complete believer. Why? Because the child has no internal resources of any kind (Mk 9:42). It is significant that within the Trinity the relationship of the Father and the Son remains eternally the relationship between the Father and His Child. Jesus the Christ is spoken of as someone that is eternally-begotten of the Father. Now, I don't know what eternal begotten-ness is. I know what begotten-ness is, humanly speaking. It has a beginning: I am born. But Jesus has this unchanging relationship with His Father where He is being begotten by the Father from eternity. Now, you're all saying, "Oh Pastor, enough of this deep Trinitarian stuff. I don't understand it." I'm with you, I don't either. But this is the way the Bible describes the relationship of the Father and the Son. The point for us is that you have the child and you have the parent, relating to each other eternally. That's what I want to be. I want to be the child. I want to be the son of God. That my Father would treasure me, care for me, love me, and redeem me in the precious blood of His Son, who was traded for me. Lousy sinner, though I am. The precious given for the perverted.
 
The little ones extoll the cross without any shame. "Cross!  Cross!" they cry. While we adults are like, "Yeah, yeah. I know the cross but I don't want to talk to anyone about it. It's embarrassing." Why? Because God's eternal son was willing to take on the sins of the children of the Father, his brothers and sisters, carry that sin to the cross, and die there. This is what makes Christianity offensive in the world. That we keep preaching, "Number one: sin." People wonder, "Can't you just use the 's-word' a little less, Pastor?" But more importantly, that human sin has been placed on the shoulders of the Son of God, Christ our Lord. And that sin is carried to the cross of Calvary and taken away. If God's son takes it, it isn't yours anymore. Now this has all kinds of ramifications for our faith. We hear again the water of the font; what is that reminding us of?  Well, of course, it is reminding us of our own baptism.
 
I've never gotten beyond my baptism. What's to get beyond there? The very eternal God has placed His name on my forehead and heart to mark me as redeemed by Christ the crucified. This happened a long time ago, but you know what? My baptism isn't dependent on me any more than feeding myself as an infant was dependent on me. If my mother doesn't feed me, I die. If God doesn't feed me, I die. And yet he promises to feed me.
 
I feel sorry for Moses! The people of Israel complain. "We want melons and leeks and onions and garlic" (Num 11:5)! What does Moses say?  "These aren't my people. I don't want to have to carry them." They're always saying, "What have you done for me lately?" to God. And what does God do? Does he cast them off and reject them? Does he say, "Okay, I give up! If you want to go back to Egypt, it's back that way." No. Do we say to our children when they sit down at the dinner table and say, "Ew that again?!" Do we say, "Okay fine, we're never going to feed you again."? No, we would never do that. Children never deserve what they get from us. They never will. And we still give it to them. They are our children. So it is with our Father. We are His children.

 

Martin Luther

 "We are absolved through the Word. On the authority of Christ we are told: "I baptize you; I extend to you the body and blood of Christ; I tear your soul by force from the power of the devil; I set you free from eternal death and damnation; and I make you a child of God and an heir of eternal life." These words which God speaks to us are so grand, eternal, and infinite that we cannot grasp them. For my nature is too weak to be able to endure them. This weakness draws us back and hinders us, so that we do not feel such great joy and gladness as those words and divine promises really bring.
 
"For if I could take hold of them as I desire and wish, it would be not at all strange if I suddenly expired for joy. For think what a great thing it is that by the word of a man and the laying on of hands the kingdom of God is announced and bestowed, likewise victory against the devil, sin, and death, and that one is put into the company of the angels and into possession of heavenly and eternal blessings. But how few there are who believe these things as they should! Much less do we understand them, but we only take hold of them in one way or another. Yet they are completely true. And surely we must die in this faith. Otherwise we shall fall from our salvation and not remain safe and sound against the devil for even one moment. For he rages horribly when he hears that this is taught in this way, and he persecutes those who preach it or who listen to this doctrine and embrace it." 

Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, 28.15
 
Prayer
Lord Christ, You are the Son of the Father, that we might be called sons of God by being adopted for Your sake. Free us from the doubt and unbelief that keeps us from trusting what You have done for us. Send preachers to remind us how You received us in holy baptism, that we might always rest in the arms of Your love. Amen.
 
For Pastor Richard Schuller, who is undergoing therapy for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident on the mission field, that the Lord would grant him a full recovery of his strength
 
For Dodie De Young, that those who care for her would be comforted in knowing that the Lord knows those who are His
 
For Leslie Doiron Roch, as she undergoes chemotherapy, that the Lord of the church would grant her strength and healing
Art: Dürer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 

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