Monday, November 19, 2012

WEEPING

Suggested Reading: Numbers 25-26

(click scripture link to read online)

 

Salt deposits are abundant in the Dead Sea, which is 10 times more salty than ocean water. In the background, the sun is setting on the mountains of Moab in Jordan.

 

Key Verse: Numbers 25:3

So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel.

Just across the salt deposits pictured above was Moab. The Israelite men committed adultery with Moabite women. The idea was simple. If Balaam could not curse Israel, then corrupt them, and God will have to punish them. Sexual sin was followed by the Israelite men joining the Midianite women in worshipping their gods. The curse of yet another plague came on Israel. 24,000 of the people of Israel died. Severe judgement came on the people of Midian and Balaam himself was killed by the sword (Numbers 31:8). The effects of Balaam’s far reaching influence was still felt 1500 years later. Revelation 2:14 tells us that it was Balaam who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the Children of Israel by introducing sexual immorality and participation in idol worship. The doctrine of Balaam was still believed and practised by some in the Church in Pergamos. The Lord tells this Church to repent or He will judge them severely.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, as you revealed sin in the churches of the Revelation, reveal to me any sin in my life, and I ask for the grace of true repentance. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As a boy, I read John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress.” My imagination was captivated by a sketch of Pilgrim turning aside from his journey to the Celestial City to spend time in “Vanity Fair.” I thought, “No, no, Pilgrim. Don’t go there! You will risk never making it to Heaven. The pleasures of sin are destructive.” I had no radio or TV, only books, and I could see things in a creative way that was more powerful than any movie director could make them. I still see that picture and I cringe at the memory. I’ve just read Proverbs 2:10-22. The writer may have been thinking of the story in today’s reading. Proverbs 2:18, “Her house leads down to death, and her paths to the dead.” Surely this was the experience of the men of Israel with the Midianite women.

Yours for a single-minded pursuit of the “Celestial City,”

David

P.S. Yesterday we visited the Shepherd’s Fields (pictured below) and Bethlehem, which is part of the Palestinian Authority. We felt perfectly safe, even while the conflict continues between Israel and Palestinian Gaza. For those who have been asking about the safety of our tour group, let me quote the first words of the angel who appeared to the shepherds in that field…”Fear Not!”

 

 

8 thoughts on “Monday, November 19, 2012

  1. Hebrews 12:1 (ESV)
    Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that lies before us.

  2. Todays reading leaves me wondering what the idols were which the Israelite men worshiped with the Midianite woman. Could they have also been sexual in nature as was their relationship with the Moabite woman. Two scriptures about temptation come to mind:

    “Because He Himself was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” Heb 2:18 (NIV)

    “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so you can endure it.” 1Cor 10:13 (NIV)

    Thanks for the picture, David. Would like to have been there listening. Keep safe.

  3. Hi David, We are all relieved to see that you are all safe and having a wonderful time! God is good! Regarding the scripture, there is nothing hidden from the Lord, and the devil still tries the same, old tactics. Let’s continue to intercede for people everywhere to be rescued from the crafty ensnarement of the secret sins of our day! Isn’t it marvelous that Jesus came to save us, and to destroy the works of the devil!

    • Dear David
      So fantastic to see all of you doing so well
      Thank you Lord , Thank you JESUS our faithful shepherd

      GOD bless you all and keep you safe

  4. I say Amen to your words, David, as the angel spoke, Fear not, we should
    heed those words now, as things get more tense in the Middle East.
    May our Lord continue to bless and protect you and the tour you are with.

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