Today’s Reading: Numbers 4:1-5:31 (additional reading Psalm 48:1-14 and Proverbs 10:26)
Key Verse: “They are to remove the ashes from the bronze altar and spread a purple cloth over it.” Numbers 4:13
You may remember, one of the jobs of the priests in the Old Testament was to never let the flame on the altar go out, because the flame represented the presence of God. Since the altar flame burned day in and day out, night in and night out, the priest [on a daily basis] would have to go to the altar and clean the ashes off — because if they left them there, the ashes were subject to put-out the fire.
We see a similar situation in a candle lamp. As we place the candle in a lantern it shines brightly in the room, but as the ash and sot increase in the lantern it’s brightness dims until the candle became all but invisible.
Many of us need to go and clean off the old things that are causing us to miss out on what God has and is causing our fire to dim. If you are wondering why you feel so stuck, it’s could be because you’re trying to come to God for a blessing, but you’re holding on to mess in your life!
For example, You want God to bless your finances, but you’re still playing the lottery! Or you want God to fix your marriage, but you still want to lust! You want to be used by God to minister in the church on Sunday, but you haven’t learned how to stop complaining about the people you see every day! God is waiting for you to scrape- off your ashes.
Ashes are bitter! Some of you have been eating the ashes of painful relationships and experiences for so long that now, you’re just bitter all of the time with everyone you come in contact with! It’s time to clean off the ashes!
Ashes provide no strength. David wrote in Psalm 102:9, “For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.” In other words, David is saying: “I became so busy dealing with yesterday’s junk that I forgot to eat the bread of life!” What happens when we forget to eat, we grow weak! It’s time to clean off the ashes!
The priests would have to daily clean off the ashes and if we are going to go to a higher level in our relationship with God we need to do the same.
- What ashes are dimming your flame for God?
- What bitter life experiences are holding you back from God’s calling?
Father, Thank You that You give us new life in Christ. Thank You that the old has gone and the new is here. Help us then to magnify you in our lives and not allow our past to darken our flame. In Jesus’ name, Amen