Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Welcome to Day 59 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Numbers 24, Balaam speaks prophetically against all the nations of Canaan (the inhabitants of the Promised Land) in which Israel is about to enter. Balak is none too happy about it either!
“Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. 2 When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him 3 and he spoke his message…”
Balaam was prophesying by the Spirit of the Lord, but he also had no problem using “divination” in the process. In this case, he didn’t… but overall, Balaam is not considered a true prophet.
Numbers 25, this is insanity… Israel has now completely lost their mind! v 1 “The men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, 2 who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. 3 So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the LORD’s anger burned against them.”
Keep in mind, they are within SIGHT of the Promised Land…
One guy (the son of one of Israel’s leaders) brought one of the Midianite women into his tent… Very bad idea. They are both killed, which incidentally stops a plague God had sent upon the Israelites! 24,000 people died that day…
Numbers 26, God tells Moses to take another census of all men age 20+… Remember what God said? “No one over age 20 will enter the Promised Land, the land of inheritance… except for Caleb and Joshua… v 64 “Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai. 65 For the LORD had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.”
Numbers 27:1-11 is a great picture of justice! And, the reward for their father NOT sinning as all the others had done! “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the LORD, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. 4 Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.” 5 So Moses brought their case before the LORD, 6 and the LORD said to him, 7 “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right.”
Moses is then given additional laws about inheritance because these girls stood up and made their situation known. Love it.
Interesting left turn from the book of Mark to 1 Corinthians 13… (Would love to know their thinking on this.)
v 1 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Note to self…
Two observations stand out to me today…
The first is yet again how easy it is to fall into sin… Israel did it over and over. One would think with all they had seen over a generation (parting the Red Sea, manna, glory cloud, hearing His voice, etc, etc, etc…) that it would have prevented them from turning away so quickly… But no…
The second is works without love are just works. They are good, but = nothing. They are just noise. We gain nothing and it says, “I am nothing.” Good works without love are just good works. But insert love, and the purposes of extending God’s Kingdom, and fruit is produced. Fruit that will last!
John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit thatwill last…”
Be on the lookout… live a measured life. Live a life of purpose to extend the Kingdom with LOTS of LOVE.
Yet again I come to you, asking for strength… Let me see things as you see them. I want to bear fruit that lasts, not just good works, not just feeding the hungry, but extending your Kingdom to those in need. To the lost, broken and hurting of our city. Our city needs a lot of love…