Today’s Reading: Numbers 25 & 31
How true it is that we, like Israel, leave a door open to temptation, when we don’t control our desires. It can get us into places in life that we never planned to be.
This time it is leaders and that is serious because others will follow! Moses, under God’s guidance, is very forceful – there’s no give, because these leaders are leading others into the worship of another god!
And when one man blatantly brings Midianite women into his tent in front of all the rest, it is Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, who rises to the occasion to defend God’s honour. The Lord praises Phinehas and gives him a covenant of peace and promises him the priesthood forever. Sounds to me somewhat like Ephesians 1 where God tells us that we who belong to Him are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. Certainly we are priest to Him, with the ability to come into God’s presence at all times to worship Him or to find His mercy for ourselves in our times of need, as Hebrews tells us!
But because the Midianites have done this in tempting the Israelites, God says that this nation is His enemy, because they have tempted His people! That’s how strongly God feels about anyone who would tempt us into sin! (do I?). I think I like knowing I am so special to Him! It takes away some of the temptation to replace God with my own desires and preferences!
I’m not sure I understand all that God tells Moses in how strictly He deals with the Midianites, but I sense the sadness of His great heart in being displaced by other things, at least I know or feel that must be the way He feels when He watches me and I’m glad that He in His great love, can not bear to allow anything to permanently draw me away from Him. His great love is so very special!
Again, purification for those who have become unclean, like when He tells me to confess my sin and He promises that He Himself is faithful and just to forgive me and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
I like the gratefulness of the officers when they find out that none of their men are missing and feel (rightly so!) that God deserves a gift for being so good to them! Wonder if I’ve ever done that! I do know that God has been so very good to my family and I, and I can also see it in the lives of the people God has put around me! Wonder what present I can give to Him – a gift dedicated to show my gratefulness for all the goodness He has brought into my life!
I think a sense of sadness is in my heart, as I see God saying to Moses that this is his last task he has to do for God (because I admire his steadiness and relate to his life struggles), but then I feel happy, that after a life of so much sacrifice for God, now He will be able to rest. I’m not sure if we will read about His burial, but that was really special too – done by God Himself and I would have loved to listen to God give His eulogy of Moses’ life (if He did?!).
Congratulations at sticking it out with the reading. It’s fun to do it together and to share what each of us is learning! Have a great week, working with God at your side!