Law concerning vows; Midianites conquered; division of booty; officers and captains bring an offering to the Lord.
Verse for Today:
And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves . . . and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian (Num. 31:3).The Midianites descended from Abraham through his second wife Keturah, whom he married after Sarah died (Gen. 25:1-2). The Midianites had devastated Israel, not as enemies who had won a war but as friendly neighbors who invited the Israelites to join them in their pagan celebration and then to commit adultery with their women (Num. 25:1-3). This resulted in the death of 24,000 Israelites (25:8-9).
But the day came when God spoke to Moses saying: Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites (31:2; 25:17-18).
Then Moses sent Phinehas, the priest, and a thousand of every tribe to execute the judgment of God upon the ungodly Midianites. They took with them the silver trumpets. Israel trusted in the promise of God: If ye go to war . . . blow an alarm with the trumpets . . . and ye shall be saved from your enemies (10:9). God gave Israel an overwhelming victory without a single casualty. They slew the kings of Midian . . . Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword (31:5-9,15-17). Balaam had chosen to live in luxury among the Midianites. It was not incidental that the judgment of God also fell on him (Heb. 9:27).
Ironically Balaam had said to Balak: I cannot go beyond the Word of the Lord my God (Num. 22:18; also 22:38; 23:26; 24:13). The Israelites are symbolic of the people of God — the Church (25:1-2). Some "Christians", like Balaam, seek first self-interests and compromise. This has deceived many as they assume they would die the death of the righteous (23:10) but fail to live like Christians.
God has said that Christ is before all things. . . . the Head of the Body, the Church . . . in all things He might have the preeminence (Col. 1:17-18). The children of God are to be faithful in pursuit of His will as revealed in His Word. It is within the Church that Christ professed that his followers would become without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing (Eph. 5:27). For that purpose we were created. Christ . . . gave Himself for it (the Church); That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious Church . . . but that it should be holy (Eph. 5:25-27).
Thought for Today:
Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth (John 17:17).
As the Ruling One who will righteously judge all sinners (Num. 31:1-17). In righteousness He doth judge (Rev. 19:11; II Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 1:14-15).
31:29 for an Heave Offering =by a gesture of willingness, waving the sacrifice in presenting it to the Lord; 31:39 tribute =portion assigned to the Lord; required assessment; taxes.
Pray for Staff: Mike Moore • Government Official: Gov. Tim Kaine (VA) • Country: Armenia (3.8 million) southwest Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia • Major languages: Armenian and Russian • Religious freedom • 78.5% Armenian Apostolic Church; 3.3% Muslim; .05% Protestant; 17.7% Atheist/Agnostic • Prayer Suggestion: Watch and pray that you may be worthy to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 21:36).
Optional Reading: Luke 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Exodus 20:13-16