Bible Pathways - Feb. 26, 2009
Highlights In Today's Reading:
Note the godly principles in today's reading. Integrity — If a man vow a vow (30:2). Vengeance — The Lord is the only One qualified to take vengeance (Heb. 10:30).
The judgment of God upon sin is inevitable because His holiness requires it. Twenty-four thousand men died for the idolatrous and immoral sins which they committed with Midianite women at Baal-Peor. And the day came when 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 . . . five kings of Midian . . . they slew with the sword (Num. 31:1-3,8).
Although Israel's army numbered more than six hundred thousand, only a small army of twelve thousand men were used to accomplish God's purpose (26:51; 31:5). Most prominent in this battle was Phinehas the priest with the silver trumpets. Israel's confidence rested in the promise of God: If ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies (10:9). God gave Israel an overwhelming victory without the loss of a single Israelite.
Among the thousands of Midianites that were slaughtered, it is more than coincidental that the Lord had recorded: Balaam also, the son of Beor, they slew with the sword (31:8). Yes, it was the same Balaam who once had said: I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God (22:18) and: Let me die the death of the righteous (23:10). But Balaam died as he had lived — in fellowship with the heathen Moabites. He belonged to the great number of people who pray to die the death of the righteous but who are not living the life of the righteous. Jesus reminded us that not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdomof heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven (Matt. 7:21). There is a day of recompense awaiting both the saved and the lost, so let us live accordingly (Heb. 9:27; John 5:29).
When God's people suffer injustice and cruelty at the hands of the godless they are to remember the divine exhortation: Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord (Rom. 12:19).
Thought for Today:
Our past failures teach us the need to quickly turn from sin: Flee also youthful lusts (II Timothy 2:22).
By Moses who judged Israel's actions and passed sentence (Numbers 31:1-17). In righteousness He doth judge (Rev. 19:11; II Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 1:14-15).
30:2 bind his soul =must not break his word; 30:3 bond =promises; 30:4 hold his peace at =say nothing to; 30:5 disallow =forbid; 30:7 hold his peace at =said nothing; 30:9 their souls =themselves; 30:13 void =invalid; 30:16 statutes =regulations; 31:2 be gathered unto your people =die; 31:11 spoil =plunder; 31:21 ordinance of the Law =Biblical Law; 31:23 purified =ceremonially purified; 31:26 prey =booty; 31:28 tribute =tax; 31:28 beeves =battle; 31:29 for an heave offering =to be presented as a sacrifice to the Lord, by the gesture of waving before the altar; 31:32 booty =spoils; 31:39 tribute =assessment, portion; 31:47 charge =duties; 31:49 sum =count, accounted for; 31:50 oblation = offering; 31:51 wrought =artfully designed; 31:53 had taken spoil =had taken valuables.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Official: Gov. Tim Kaine (VA) • Country: Burundi (6 million) in east-central Africa • Major languages: Kirundi and French • Losing religious freedom • 51% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 11% Protestant; 1% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Trust that God will provide your needs when you put His will first in your life (Matt. 6:31-33).
Optional Reading: Luke 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:10