Today’s readings.. (Numbers 2), (Psalms 145,146,147), (Luke 12)
Many of the sayings of Jesus in today’s 12th chapter of Luke are very challenging. They were addressed to the generation that were about to experience the destruction of Jerusalem and their nation at the hands of the Romans: their lives were going to be turned upside down.
Yet, as it is today, nearly all were self-centred, their religious beliefs were just a sort of ‘decoration’ in their lives. However, many recognised Jesus spoke with authority and one man wanted him to use that authority in the wrong way. He said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me” [v.13] causing Jesus to respond, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” This man’s mind was focused on his life here and now and how Jesus could be a help: but that is the role of Jesus and his saints in his kingdom – ponder Psalm 149.
This exchange caused Jesus to say “to them (not just to him) take care, and be on your guard against covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” [v.15] But that is exactly what the lives of nearly all people do consist of today – plus pleasurable activities such as going on trips.
This leads Jesus to tell the parable “of a rich man” who stored up his possessions and said to himself, “Soul you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink and be merry.” [v.19] But that night God caused him to die! Jesus then made the point, so “is the one who is not rich toward God.”
The future of those who are rich toward God is spelt out in one of today’s Psalms. David looks to the time when “I will extol you my God and King, and bless your name for ever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name …” [Psa. 145 v.1,2] Truly, “The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.” [v.20]
Let us make sure we show our love for him – for he knows what our lives consist of – he also knows what our world will soon experience, but he will preserve “all who love him”.