Cover to Cover
Jesus was approached by a man possessed by a demon spirit.
· He had an “unclean” spirit, or a demon, possessing his body and mind.
· The spirit caused the man to take off his clothes.
· The demon caused the man to have extraordinary strength. Chains and shackles could not hold him.
· The man would cry out, tormented, out of his mind.
· The man would cut himself.
· When he saw Jesus from a distance, the man RAN to Him.
· The spirit used the man’s voice to cry out to Christ, recognizing who He was.
· Jesus spoke to the unclean spirit, commanding it to come out of the man’s body.
· Jesus asked the spirit his name. That doesn’t mean we should be encouraged to engage in conversation with a demon. I think Jesus perceived there was more than one. The answer was “Legion” because there were many demons.
· Jesus had the power to send the demons out of the country. The demons begged Him not to do that.
· Legion begged that they would be able to enter the herd of swine, about two thousand pigs. They craved a body, even an animal.
· Jesus gave them permission. He had that authority.
· The pigs were possessed. The pigs violently ran down toward the sea, killing themselves. They would rather die than to be tormented by the spirits.
· The people saw the man free from the spirit, clothes and in his right mind.
· It caused a fearful awe among the people.
· The man who had been freed wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus told the man to go and tell his story to those who knew him. He was to tell of God’s great power.
· Jesus said to tell of God’s compassion, His great love.
· The people marveled.
I know that marveled feeling when God overwhelms us with who He is. It’s a good thing.
God will establish a thing and then continue to establish it.
Verse 2 “Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time.” The Hebrew word for appointed time is mo’ed, and it means, “A fixed time, appointment, appointed season, festival, feast, solemn assembly, appointed place.” The root of this word is ya’ad, and it means, “to set” or “to fix,” like you would set an appointment for a meeting with the day and time.
Mo’ed is used is in Genesis 1:14 when God set or fixed the stars in their place for their “season (mo’adim) and as “signs.” The Universe has order. According to the rotation of the earth in regard to the stars, there are 360 days in a year with twelve months. We see these numbers and the divisions of these numbers through the Bible in the past, in the present, and in the future. God didn’t just splash the stars into their place. He SET them there for times and signs. God is in the details!
The word is also used of the migration of animals, as in Jeremiah 8:7, speaking of how the stork knows her times of migration. I’ve always found migration to be interesting, knowing that these migrating animals often go back to the exact same location year after year. Fascinating!
Also, while we’re reading about the Hebrews journeying through the wilderness, the term “tent of meeting” uses the word mo’ed. The best translation is meeting place. It was a place where God would meet with His people. The word was used for gathering an assembly for specific times, meeting.
Let’s unfold this a little more. The word being used for assembly is also in Job 30:23, Isaiah 33:2, and Numbers 16:2, a calling to assemble. Also, Lamentations 2:6 and Psalm 74:8. Jerusalem and the temple was the prominate mo’ed meeting place, but there were also high places of gathering in Gilgal, Bethel, and Ramah.
Mo’ed is also used for the seven feasts of the Lord. The feasts were set times throughout the year. They weren’t just celebration times of gathering together. They were sacred times God set to people with the people of the nation. Again, these feasts were not set by chance – they had timing and they had purpose. It was not by accident that Jesus was proclaimed king at the same time the Jews were choosing their lambs for sacrifice. It was not by chance that Jesus was crucified at Passover, at the same time lambs were being sacrificed. It was by coincidence that the Jews were gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out and 3,000 people were saved. The fall feasts are not by chance either, and one day, Jesus will fulfill these harvest feasts with His Second Coming. These set mo’ed feasts were started with our redemption in mind. Every year these set meetings are reminders of Jesus.
It was also an appointed sign, or signal, as in Judges 20:38.
Daniel uses the word mo’ed several times in end time prophecy. The word is used four times in his book (Daniel 8:19; 11:27; 11:29; and 12:7). If you ever hear that God is waiting on something before He sends Christ back, that is not correct. God knows the exact time, the appointed time, that Jesus will “gather us together” in the sky. Do you think it is by coincidence that His return will be during the fall feasts, or the gathering of the harvest? It’s not. God knows the exact time, the appointed time, that Jesus will return to the earth for His Second Coming (not to be confused with the rapture). Nations will be assembled for Armageddon, and Jesus will defeat them. It’s mo’ed!
Gathering together with us is precious to the One who loves our soul. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is God’s beautiful idea. When we read end time prophecy, we often see the judgments on the wicked and the culmination of evil, but we can’t miss the description of a loud cry that will call us into the clouds. We can’t neglect the sound of a trumpet blast that will announce or signal the time to be together as One. Okay, I’m crying, because knowing that the idea of gathering together has always been in my Father’s heart shows me how much He loves me. Knowing that from thousands of years ago, my Father was planning not only my redemption, but He was also planning our reunion – how magnificent is His love toward humanity! Thank you, Jesus! You knew how deeply the Father loved us, so You choose to die for us to reunite us to Him. This is a good time to stop and worship. Worship is a time of meeting, encountering His Presence. He loves it as much, if not more, than we do.
In chapter 9, we also read about the amazing pillar of cloud and fire, remaining with the people, and moving the people when it was time. In over forty years, that pillar never left them. I believe this pillar was the Holy Spirit, residing among the people. He is the same Holy Spirit that resides on the inside of each of us, never departing, always guiding. Hallelujah!
Isn’t the Old Testament wonderful?
In chapter 10, we read about two silver trumpets. They were used for calling the people together, not unlike the rapture. Why would God use a trumpet at the rapture? It’s a signal to come together!
In verse 11, we enter into the second of two sections of the book of Numbers. The first part was about instructions at Sinai. Now the Jewish nation leaves Sinai and is on the move towards the promised land.
In Numbers 10:29 Moses said to his father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place of which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’” Here we see a foreigner invited to go along. God has always had the Gentile in mind, but it would be through a lineage where His Son, Jesus, would come through. Hobab wanted to return home, probably wanting to get back to his relatives and his own land; but Moses pleaded with him, saying, “And it shall be, if you go with us – indeed it shall be- that whatever good the Lord will do to us, the same we will do to you.” It’s good to honor the Jewish people and pray for Jerusalem, not because they are superior to any other race, but because JESUS came to the earth through them. Let’s end this reading with prayer: Lord we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, understanding that Jesus will return to this place to meet and gather His people, ruling and reigning over all of us from there. We look forward to the day of peace. Until then, help us to work in Your harvest to bring more people that You love into Your kingdom!