Daily Reading Numbers 24.2-7, 15-17 2 Balaam looked up and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe. Then the spirit of God came upon him, 3and he uttered his oracle, saying: ‘The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,* 4 the oracle of one who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty,* who falls down, but with eyes uncovered: 5 how fair are your tents, O Jacob, your encampments, O Israel! 6 Like palm groves that stretch far away, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the Lord has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters. 7 Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall have abundant water, his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.
15 So he uttered his oracle, saying: ‘The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is clear,* 16 the oracle of one who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High,* who sees the vision of the Almighty,* who falls down, but with his eyes uncovered: 17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near-- a star shall come out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the borderlands* of Moab, and the territory* of all the Shethites.
Matthew 21.23-27 23 When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’ 24Jesus said to them, ‘I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?’ And they argued with one another, ‘If we say, “From heaven”, he will say to us, “Why then did you not believe him?” 26But if we say, “Of human origin”, we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet.’ 27So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
Prayer for the day: Heavenly Father we pray for those in lands far from our sight who have no food, no clean drinking water and very little hope today. Turn our attitudes of assumptions to practical action. Disturb our thoughts with the plight of others and enable us with clear vision to see what we must do to help. Amen.
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