What gets your attention? - March 2023

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on March 13, 2023

What gets your attention?

In Mark 12:38-13:13,  the disciples noticed the teachers of the law in their long, flowing robes and the huge stones in the Jerusalem temple.

Jesus noticed the humble, sacrificial gift of a poor widow.

What gets your attention?

In Numbers 11-12  the Israelites focused on the hardships of camping and the monotonous food. Moses focused on the enormity of the task before him. 

The LORD's answer? “Is the arm of the LORD too short?” Focus on the God who can “do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

What gets your attention?

Joshua, Aaron and Miriam focused on public attention.

Moses wasn’t worried about the attention Eldad and Medad were getting in the camp. He celebrated that the Holy Spirit was at work in others. Moses knew that being in the spotlight as a leader results in afflictions (see the note on Numbers 12:3 below).

What gets your attention?

In yesterday’s message, we heard how the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was “pleasing to the eye.” It attracted Eve’s attention.

What gets my attention, filling me with discontent, envy, anxiety? What is the forbidden fruit that Satan is using to draw my focus away from the LORD God, my Savior?

Lord Jesus, give each of us a spirit of discernment. Let each of us search our hearts and see the “forbidden fruit” Satan is using against us.

Then, Lord Jesus, fill each of us… fill each of us with you. “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness” (Colossians 2:9-10). Lord Jesus, let me be "full," content with you!

  • In you I have forgiveness for my grumbling.
  • In you my anxiety is stilled. Your arm will supply my needs.
  • In you the fires of envy and jealousy are extinguished. I am thankful for the gift of the Spirit you give to others.
  • In you I am honored – I wear the garments of salvation and am a beautiful stone in the your holy Temple, the Church.

Lord Jesus, make me like that poor widow, whose focus was on her Savior God. Give me wisdom to know what it means for me to “put in everything.” Then give me the strength of this poor widow and enable me to serve you with that kind of wholehearted devotion. Amen.

Numbers 12:3 is such a strange statement.

(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

Sounds like Moses is proud of his humility!

The Hebrew word can mean “humble.” It can also mean “afflicted.” I’ve often wondered why the translations haven’t used that word. It seems to better fit the context.

As a leader in God’s Old Testament Church, Moses was afflicted. In Numbers 11 and 12, the burden of leadership in the church is the focus. Paul talks about that burden as the icing on the cake of all of his afflictions (2 Corinthians 11:23-29, especially verses 28-29).

I think it would be better translated, “Moses was very afflicted, more afflicted than anyone else on the face of the earth.”  I think this is a continuation of Moses’ poor-me complaint from the previous chapter.

Poor me... I'm not the first in God's church who has felt that way. I'm not the last. The amazing thing... the LORD God in his grace continued to use grumbling Moses in his Kingdom Work. That gives all of us hope!


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