Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Numbers 31-33

Israel is still right on the border of the Promise Land in Numbers 31-33.  They are on the plains of Moab by the Jordan, right across from Jericho.  The Lord tells Moses to rally the Israelite troops for war against the Midianites.  He takes care of all the details and keeps every single one of His people safe.  It's another one of God's miracles for His people.  Meanwhile, the Israelites struggle, yet again, to follow God's instructions.  They fail to get rid of the Midianite women (the cause behind the Israelites' unfaithfulness) following their success in battle.  Moses remains God's faithful leader through it all, even as his time is coming to an end.  Throughout his call to lead, Moses has recorded the Israelites' spiritual journey with God for us, as well as their physical journey to the Promised Land.  It is an amazing story, a firm foundation and faith builder for us in our own walks with God.  

One theme I picked up on today is how important it is in our faith to completely separate ourselves from people in our lives who cause us to stumble in our relationship with God.  

We see this play out with Balaam, Israel's so-called old friend and sorcerer, and the Midianite women.

14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.
15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people.17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,

Sin disguises itself as "good" for us sometimes.  Remember Balaam, who appeared to support the Israelites when he blessed them instead of Balak?  Well, as it turns out, Balaam was the mastermind behind tempting the Israelites to make bad decisions against God's will later on.

Sin is tricky.  It has the ability to work it's way into our lives and sneak up on us.  When we know something leads us to trouble (and sin), God doesn't want us to ignore it and pretend like it's not there.  God wants us to deal with it.  And if we talk to Him about it, He will offer us a way to handle it. 

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Since Christ died for us and our sins, God tells us we have work to do for Him.  We have to let go of our old ways and make room for the new forgiven people we are in Christ.

Hmmm.  What do I need to let go of in my life right now?

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for the new life I have in Christ.  Forgive me my sins, Lord, and help me let go of my old, unfaithful ways.  

I need Your help letting go of _________________.  It is a weakness of mine.  I pray You will guide me and give me the strength and the resources to find renewal through my relationship with You.  Redirect me to Your will, and help me to share Your grace with those You bring into my life.

I pray for ____________ today.  You know exactly what they need, Lord.  

I pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus, my rock and my redeemer,


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


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