Note the vital principles in today's reading. Integrity — If a man vow a vow (Num. 30:2). Vengeance — The Lord is the only One qualified to take vengeance (Heb. 10:30).
When Pharaoh sought to slay Moses, he fled Egypt and went to Midian, a shepherd country on the eastern gulf of the Red Sea. Jethro was its priest (Gen. 25:2; Ex. 18:1; Num. 10:29; Judg. 1:16). The Midianites were descendants of Keturah, whom Abraham married after Sarah died (Gen. 25:1-4). Moses married Zipporah, one of Jethro's daughters. Later, after nearly forty years in the wilderness, the Midianite women and girls, through the influence of Balaam, were able to seduce the men of Israel. The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites. . . . And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian. . . . And they slew the kings of Midian . . . Balaam also, the son of Beor, they slew with the sword (Num. 31:1-3,8).
Yes, it is the same Balaam, the son of Beor, and he chose to settle in Midian to gain his reward. It is doubtful that he intended to stay there long. Listen to his earlier testimony: Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his (Jacob's)! (23:10). What a pathetic example of a double-minded man who knew the will of God.
Balaam still has many followers today with reputations as spiritual leaders, who believe they can ignore the will of God and still be, eventually, welcomed into heaven. Like Balaam, many may believe in the love, mercy, and patience of God, but forget that He is also a righteous and Holy God who must judge sin.
There are spiritual laws that are just as absolute as natural laws. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7). Sin results in consequences affecting generations to come that often include sorrow, suffering, and a wasted life. God has graciously provided His Word to guide us to the true values of life. To help us set our priorities straight, the Apostle Paul wrote: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Col. 3:2).
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. Mortify (put to death) therefore . . . evil concupiscence (lusts) and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience (Col. 3:4-6).
Thought for Today:
No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11).
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: Ukraine (51 million) east-central Europe • Major languages: Ukrainian and Russian • Religious freedom • 55% Orthodox (various jurisdictions); 15% Catholic (mainly Greek-Catholic); 3.2% Protestant; 1% Jews; .5% Muslim; 25.3% Agnostic/Atheist/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to show you what to do, and then be willing to do it (Acts 9:6).
Optional Reading: Luke 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Exodus 20:5