October 4, 2018
Read Numbers 31
To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+31&version=NLT
Scripture- Numbers 31:15-18- “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the Lord at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the Lord’s people. So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.”
Observations- Here is one of the places in the Old Testament that make us cringe, but what we don't do is say it isn't God's Word; rather we look carefully at the original context and seek ways in can speak to us in 2018. I'm not a fan of reading about the Israelites wiping out all of the Midianites (Moses’ wife, Zipporah, was also a Midianite) for the sin of idol worship and enticing their men to join them through sexual favors. The New Testament is just as serious about eradicating evil and sin, but offers different alternatives to doing battle with the forces of darkness- within us and outside of us.
Application- This common practice of the time and culture would be called genocide today. How does this speak to us today? God doesn’t like for His people to give into temptations that draw us away from Him. God is deeply concerned about how we choose to do life. Our choices still have consequences. We get to be the light of Christ in the midst of the darkness we find in the world. We are called to be witnesses to the grace of God and the new life to be found in Jesus Christ, so we are in the battle to “win people over” with God's amazing love rather than “take them out.” Jesus desires to draw all people to Himself.
Prayer- Dear God, Your Word is truth, and we pray to mine Your treasures from every chapter. Help us remember that You hate sin in all of its forms, but You died for and love sinners. Thank You for revealing Yourself most fully in Jesus Christ, and I pray for Him to be the model we learn to follow more and more along the way in our life together. Help us become our best selves for Your glory. Amen.
"Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away." (James 1:14),
P.S. - Would you read the Bible Plan, "The Book of John in Song," with me? Go to: https://bible.com/p/7406078/cd33ff9fcf1f6feb22e28eb8b89dd584
To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com