Saturday, July 12, 2014

Numbers 25

Today's reading in our daily plan is Numbers 25. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The men of Israel find themselves in a foreign country and jump into their sinful ways. Not only do they engage in sexual immorality, they also worship other gods.
  • God, of course, gets very angry. He tells Moses to have these men killed and their corpses displayed to warn others of the consequences of sin.
  • In the midst of this, one of Israel's leaders shows complete contempt for God by bringing a Midianite woman home to his wife in front of everyone and arrogantly taking her into the Tent Of Meeting (the holy place where God met with people) and begins to have sex with her. One of the priests (Phinehas) responds by following them in and driving a spear through both their bodies.
  • God tells Moses that Phinehas' passion for His honor has saved the people from being punished for their sinful ways.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Like the Israelites, we live in a "foreign land" filled with people who live by a very different set of values and worship things other than God. And, like the Israelites, we too can find ourselves tempted to join in their behavior. When we do, we violate God's holiness. We live like we don't really believe in or love Him.
  • Like Phinehas, we must be passionate for God's honor. We'll never be required to take as drastic action as Phinehas, but we must live our lives in such a way, and take action when necessary, to make God look good and uphold his honor.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Where do you find yourself pulled towards living the way everyone else does, instead of the way God wants you to live: At work? With your friends? In your neighborhood? At home? And in what way: In how you talk? In your attitudes? In your sex life? With how you deal with money and the pursuit of more? And what steps do you need to take to change your behavior so it lines up with how God wants you to live?