Monday, February 17, 2014

Numbers 25-27

Even though many have been lost along the way, Israel has survived as a nation in the wilderness for thirty something years in Numbers 25-27.   The Promise Land is literally right around the corner and sexual sin is big struggle for the Israelites.  They become entangled with the local Moabite women, and that leads to nothing but bigger trouble.  Before they know it, they are taking part in  Moabite pagan rituals, worshipping other Gods like Baal.  This is just the thing God had warned His people against, and He's not happy.  He sends a plague, and then orders a second Israelite census.  Moses, Caleb, and Joshua are the only people left from the old generation, and the new generation is ready to take over.

God keeps His Word.  That is clear from watching the Israelites as God saves them from slavery in Egypt and brings them to Canaan.  They have a strong and rewarding relationship with God on the one hand.  God does many miracles and blesses His people.  And on the other hand, we continue to see how the Israelites encounter challenge after challenge with their faithfulness.  

Sometimes God's people get it right, like Phinehas the priest who boldly stands up for God in today's reading.  And sometimes, God's people mess-up royally even though they know better, like Zimri the Israelite leader who got caught sneaking a Midianite woman into his tent.     

God is always faithful to His people, and we will always have to fight our sinful human nature to hold on to our faith for dear life.

What does that mean for us today?  

Lucky for us, um, no, wait.  What I am about to say has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with God's blessings and divine plan for His people.  Thankfully, for us, we have God's grace at work in our lives through His Son, Jesus.

I could say lots about this but there's a bottom line we all need to let sink into our hearts-

God loves us completely, abundantly, powerfully.  Nothing we do or don't do will ever make Him love us less.

Sure, we have the ability to fall short of His will for our lives and suffer the consequences of our unfaithful choices---that's the part we have to be willing to bring to God.  But even then, God is still there for us, loving us.  

10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

His love for you and for me is not about our behavior.  It just is.  God is love, and it lives on from generation to generation as God continues to tell His story through us.

A prayer for today-  

Dear God-

Thank You for Your unconditional love and grace at work in my life. I bring all my fears and worries to You today _______________ and lay them at the foot of the cross with my Savior.  I also praise You and celebrate the beautiful blessings in my life ______________.  

Help me to see You and hear You in all that I do, so that I am living in Your will for my life.  I want to be a reflection of Your love.  I pray Your Holy Spirit will pour itself into all my relationships, those that are easy and those with which I struggle. Guide me in making the right connections with people for Your purpose.  Help me let go of the relationships that get in the way of my faith.  Open my heart, please Lord, to Your divine appointments day to day.

I offer this pray in the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior,

Love of Christ,

 *This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more. 

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