Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Today’s Reading: Numbers 25-26

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).


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 the plan was to corrupt them and God would 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 and 24,000 of the people of Israel died. Severe judgment 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 1,500 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.


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!


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 the Celestial city. The pleasures of sin are destructive.” I had no radio or TV, only books, and my imagination was more powerful than any pictures a movie director could create. I still see that picture of Pilgrim 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,”


P.S. On Monday, I read to our group here in Israel parts of Jesus’ longest recorded message known as “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5, 6 & 7). Matthew 5:27-28 shows us that Jesus raised the standard of sexual purity to an even higher standard than that of our Numbers reading. Yesterday I baptized many in the Jordan River. Baptism speaks of repentance for sin. As each one came out of the water, I said with a loud voice, “Buried with Him in Baptism and raised with Him to newness of life.” Just before beginning the water baptisms, I read to our brothers and sisters, Romans 6:1-11. Please read this passage with me and think and pray about the message in today’s reading.

In the photo below from yesterday, Michael T. Wall, a well-known country singer from Newfoundland, is about to be baptized. Earlier in the day in a barber shop on the Golan Heights, the barber brought up on his TV screen one of Michael’s favourite songs. The results were hilarious! Perhaps I can share more about it in my next blog.


10 thoughts on “Wednesday, November 19, 2014

  1. Your pictures and anecdotes of Israel are wonderful especially for those of us who have never been and may never have the privilege of going. The picture today sent me hurrying to Youtube to hear Michael T. Wall’s songs.

  2. God Bless all who were baptised yesterday it is so lovely to see the beautiful pictures I pray for safety and Gods favor to be granted to you everyone Someday we all will see the New Jerusalem I love you all my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ Our Lord Amen

  3. WOW!
    So glad to see that you are strong enough to baptise the 2014 brothers and sisters and that you did not have to rely on Ron’s assistance as you did in 2012.
    We continue to pray for your safety, peace in Jerusalem and I can just imagine you saying “Fear not” to your followers!
    2012 Holy Land Yellow Bus.

  4. “When He has come, He will convict the world of sin.” John 16:8

    Wonderful photos, today, David. Baptism in the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptised–amen! Today’s message about sin, in ‘My Utmost For His Highest’ by Oswald Chambers, is excellent:

    “Very few of us know anything about conviction of sin. We know the experience of being disturbed because we have done wrong things. But conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit blots out every relationship on earth and makes us aware of only one— “Against You, You only, have I sinned…” (Psalm 51:4). When a person is convicted of sin in this way, he knows with every bit of his conscience that God would not dare to forgive him. If God did forgive him, then this person would have a stronger sense of justice than God. God does forgive, but it cost the breaking of His heart with grief in the death of Christ to enable Him to do so. The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. Once we have been convicted of sin, we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary— nothing less! The love of God is spelled out on the Cross and nowhere else. The only basis for which God can forgive me is the Cross of Christ. It is there that His conscience is satisfied.

    “Forgiveness doesn’t merely mean that I am saved from hell and have been made ready for heaven (no one would accept forgiveness on that level). Forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a newly created relationship which identifies me with God in Christ. The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One. He does this by putting into me a new nature, the nature of Jesus Christ.”

    Blessings dear saints.

  5. Dear Rev. David M. and Norma – Jean ,
    So fabulous to see you baptizing the whole group in The Jordan River. One day all of us will gather and rejoice with Our King of kings, Our Lord of lords, in Jesus Precious Name, AMEN.

    Just found out a minute ago that our first grandchild is going to be a boy, please pray with me that with his grandmama we will bring the rest of the family to fall in love with Jesus, surrender their lives to Him and let The Holy Spirit and GODS WORD guide every step of their life.

    Thank you Beverlee and all my sister and brothers in Christ for your personal touch .

    Have a blessed day everyone
    xoxoxo Carole.

    • How wonderful, Carole. May God bless the new family and may they realize the gift of life is from God – tiny little fingernails, tiny little toes. A real miracle!

  6. Thank you Pastor David for Romans 6:1-11…I read it with you and believe it is true!!!

    I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live for Christ lives in me…
    In Him I am dead to sin…thank you Jesus. You paid the debit I could not pay!!!

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