Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Numbers, Chapters 14-15 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Psalms – Book 4 – Psalms 90-106 … To study these psalms, go to this link -
Numbers 14: 39-45: … [False Repentance] … 39 When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. 40 Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the LORD promised. Surely we have sinned!”
41 But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the LORD’s command? This will not succeed! 42 Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, 43 for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.”
44 Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD’s covenant moved from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.
My Journal for Today: Today’s chronological read was rather voluminous, taking me beyond two chapters of Numbers and into a section of Psalms referred to as “Book 4,” where one of the songs of Moses, Psalm 90, is documented along with a number of other songs he wrote. And from this rather extensive read/study today, the section which God emboldened for me is copied above for your edification and meditation – if you’re so led.
Moses was dealing with a lot at this time in the history of God’s chosen people; and finally, as we read in Numbers 14, the people had seemingly come to a conviction of their sinfulness and decided to do something about their ill-begotten lack of faith and sinful decisions. However, as we read above, Moses recognized that the alleged repentance of God’s people was not the “real-deal;” and they were striking out – on their own – trying to make it right with God.
And since it was included in today’s reading plan, if you go to Psalm 90-106, you can read in a number of the Psalms attributed to Moses. But in Psalm 90, linked here, we read of Moses singing his plea that God will, with His mercy and grace, open the minds/hearts of the people so that they can see what real repentance is all about. But again, in our highlight passage above from Numbers 14: 39-45, we see that Moses discerns that the people’s enthusiasm for repentance is misdirected and they are going off on their own rather than following the God’s leading, which at this time is coming through Moses.
So, the people ignore Moses’ leading; and they rush off to worship God by exhibiting their worship in their own, self-conceived manner, not following the dictates of God’s direction – through Moses – to make their worship conform to God’s directions. Moses recognizes that the way the people are trying to worship will not be effective and God-honoring; and that, unfortunately, is the plight of many of us today who’re not living out our lives worshipping God as HE desires. We’re trying to build our own styles of worship, which conform to worldly designs of what worship is all about but do not present lives of living worship (see Romans 12: 1-2) before the Lord.
And is it NOT surprising that such self-directed pursuits of “worship” are met with worldly defeat just as we read happened to the Israelites. After going off to worship God in their own style, they were swept aside by the Amalekites and the Canaanites. Christians today want to set up their own forms and styles of worship to make them FEEL GOOD; and they attempt to do so in ways that are entertaining and exciting. But God sees through our “seeker friendly” and “selfishly designed” methods of worship; and we can see that God’s Church is losing out in many of its battles with the world. And I don’t think I need to document the reality of how the Christian world is being decimated in our culture in our warfare against the world’s big guns of p0rnography, drugs, gambling, abortion, and the ever-present search for worldly power.
How can mankind call themselves seekers after God by going off to their palaces of worship on Sundays, and getting a self-induced “high” from the delusion of worshipping God? And then these same, self-labeled “christians” go off on Monday and succumb to the world’s ungodly pursuits of pleasure and painlessness. BUT … God sees through it all; and unfortunately He’s going to let us die out in our misdirected and misled formats of worship and false-repentance just as the Lord let His chosen people die out in the dessert as they traversed to the promised-land.
But I am encouraged that God always protects the remnant of true believers, as he did with the families of Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, who remained true in their lives of worship to their God. And if we can retain true-hearts of worship, traveling through life (i.e., our wilderness) toward our promised-land of Heaven, God is going to direct and protect us just as He did the true believers and followers of the One, True God.
My Prayer Today: … Lord help us to worship YOU in Spirit and in Truth. Amen