Numbers 16-18, Psalm 26, Luke 4

We see the struggle of God’s people and leaders in these passages. In Numbers 16-17, Moses and Aaron’s leadership is challenged.  Three individuals lead 250 Israelite men to oppose Moses and Aaron.  When God becomes angry with the entire assembly of Israel, not just the 250, for all of Israel has been ungrateful and unfaithful to the Lord; Moses prays for God to spare the people.  Moses has a heart of compassion for the people he leads even though they continually grumble about his leadership and are repeatedly unfaithful to God.

Numbers 18 is a description of what the priests and levites do in the life of the community of Israel.

Psalm 26 is a Psalm of David in which David discusses some of the struggles he encounters.  He stays away from the influence of the deceitful, hypocrites, and evildoers.  Instead, David seeks the congregation of God’s people to worship and praise the Lord.  He remains mindful of God’s unfailing love whether life is good or challenging. May we see through our struggles to the light of God’s unfailing love.

In Luke 4 we find Jesus beginning his ministry.  He endures the wilderness struggle with the devil.  Jesus is tempted as we all are and yet he did not yield to temptation as we all do.  The struggle with satan does not end as the devil “left him until an opportune time.”

Jesus faces struggles in his hometown of Nazareth and is rejected.  He is rejected to such an extent it is hard to imagine. The people of his hometown become so furious with Jesus that, “They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.”  However, thank God, Jesus’ ministry did not end there.  “But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.”  In Mark’s account we read that Jesus “could not do any miracles there,…He was amazed at their lack of faith.”  Can you imagine wanting to throw Jesus off a cliff to end his life?  

Jesus goes to other towns which receive him and there he casts out demons, heals the sick, and teaches.  Having gone through intense struggles, Jesus endures to find people who respond in faith and are amazed at his ministry.  “They tried to keep him from leaving.”

No matter the struggles we face in life may we be people who want God to be present.  May we be those who treasure the love, grace, joy, and presence of Jesus.  He is the One who will never leave us.