Study from Numbers 27: 15-23; Num. 32; Deut. 4: 41-43; Numb 33: 50-56; Deut. 25: 17-19; Num. 34 - 35; Passage for Reflection: Numbers 33: 55 … NIV But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.
My Journal for Today: It happened before in their history. God had commanded His people to eradicate the Midianites; and they were unwilling to follow His commands 100%. Then God led them through the wilderness for 40 years to eradicate an entire generation of recalcitrant and grumbling children. Now, here they are poised and ready to enter the promised land; and God again reminds them of the importance of the eradication of their spiritual enemies.
And being Bible students, you’ve read on ahead; and you know that as they take the land in God’s Name under the leadership of Joshua. However, once again, God’s people, who had pledged to follow God’s will, once again became the fickle children of compromise and character weakness.
If, like me, you’re an application junkie of Bible truth, what does this picture for you? It doesn’t take one with a Ph.D. in Bible lore to see that we, so-called “believers,” have always had a tendency to play patsy with the one major force in our lives which stands to destroy us and our relationship with God; … and that is sin. We know, in our hearts (as defined in a passage like Jer. 17: 9) that we are deceptive and evil beyond our ability to recognize that weakness. We know that we’re all – 100% of us – sinners (see Rom. 3: 23). And fortunately – and yet, unfortunately – we know the truth of Isaiah 53: 6, where in the Old Testament our salvation from our sinful selves is prophesied. And prayerfully all us, as painfully weak lambs, have become part of God’s flock, by placing our faith in the saving grace of what Christ, the Lamb of God and our Good Shepherd, did on the cross to save us from our sin.
But though we may be saved, we still have the charge from God to eradicate sin from our lives; and we still have powerful God-hating enemies who desire to lure us, divide us, and use our deceit-ridden hearts to capture us from the 100% devotion expected by our Savior. Reading today’s passage about the Israelites as they prepare to take what God has promised them, I realize that I’m no different or better than those children of God, who would hear God’s commands and then march off to do life in their own way, … unwilling and/or unable to eradicate sinful, selfish patterns behavior from their lives [i.e., our lives].
F. LaGard Smith asks (for me) today, ”Am I kidding myself to believe that I can rid my life of most major sin and still live comfortably alongside the few ‘insignificant sins’ I allow to remain?” How many of us live with “acceptable” sin patterns in our lives – sins about which even the church will not discipline from it’s members, things like gluttony, gossip, and I’m sure you know others as well. When am I going to get it … that God desires I clean out ALL SIN from my life; and then to do what he charged the young adulteress to do … “Go and sin no more!” ??
And God has even given us way to do that. He’s given true-believers the ministry and empowerment of the Holy Spirit to reside in our hearts and to clean us up any time we’re willing to confess and receive His enabling grace of forgiveness [see 1st John 1:9). He’s given us the ability to wear His full armor into battle each day, and to carry His Spirit-Sword, as well as to go to the high ground of prayer in battle (see Eph. 6: 10-18). Because when we don’t compromise with our weaknesses and our fickle hearts, we can be victorious (see 1st Cor. 10: 13 and 2nd Cor. 12: 9), letting God’s strength cover our weakness and allowing us to eradicate sinful living from our lives.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, … 100% … nothing short of Your goal to eliminate sin from my life. That is my prayer today. Amen