Numbers 31… Consider Him Who Executes Vengeance

“Take full vengeance for the sons of Israel on the Midianites… Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian to execute the Lord’s vengeance… [31:2-3]

Consider Him Who Executes Vengeance

The scene that ensued was horrific, the brutal violence and merciless cruelty, the rampant slaughter and carnage was really too much to take in.

So much we can’t explain, but God is beyond man’s ability to explain. Numbers 31 is all so very difficult to reconcile with the God of grace and love revealed through the gift of His Son, Jesus. But His love and grace does not eradicate His righteous vengeance. We simply cannot comprehend His vengeance, His holiness or the seriousness of rebellion and sin.

The events described in Numbers 31 are hideous, shocking and offensive, the tragic result of sin. As we consider Him Who Executes Vengeance we must not attempt to align Holy God with man’s vengeance. As we seek Him in the pages of Scripture He reveals His truth; He is holy and perfect in His wisdom, justice and vengeance.

  • Vengeance belongs to only the LORD, never to man.
    • …that they may go …to execute the Lord’s vengeance… [31:3]
  • Only the LORD is perfect and right, faithful and without injustice.
    • “For I proclaim the name of the Lord;
      Ascribe greatness to our God!
      “The Rock! His work is perfect,
      For all His ways are just;
      A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
      Righteous and upright is He.
      [Deuteronomy 32:3-4]
  • Only the LORD knows the heart of man.
    • “They have acted corruptly toward Him,
      They are not His children, because of their defect;
      But are a perverse and crooked generation.
      “Do you thus repay the Lord,
      O foolish and unwise people?
      Is not He your Father who has bought you?
      He has made you and established you
      . [Deuteronomy 32:5-6]
  • Only the LORD has the authority to give or take life, to heal or wound.
    • ‘See now that I, I am He,
      And there is no god besides Me;
      It is I who put to death and give life.
      I have wounded and it is I who heal,
      And there is no one who can deliver from My hand. [Deuteronomy 32:39]
  • Only the LORD is sovereign to render vengeance on His adversaries.
    • I will render vengeance on My adversaries,
      And I will repay those who hate Me.
      [Deuteronomy 32:41]
  • Only the LORD is to avenge the wrongs committed against His people.
    • “Rejoice, O nations, with His people;
      For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
      And will render vengeance on His adversaries,
      And will atone for His land and His people.”
      [Deuteronomy 32:43]

How do we respond to Him Who Executes Vengeance?

  • Numbers 31 is a graphic description of the enormity of the ramifications of sin and wickedness against holy God. Rather than being offended by His Vengeance, let us be sickened by our own sin. Let us obey His Word, making no provision for the flesh that we would walk by His Spirit.
    • But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. [Romans 13:14]
    • But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. [Galatians 5:16]
  • Numbers 31 is a frightening reminder of the wrath of God each of us deserves. Let us pray for those who have yet to come to Him in repentance to escape His Vengeance, that they may receive His gift of salvation.
    • Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” [Matthew 9:36-38]
    • First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men… This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. [1 Timothy 2:1, 3-4]
  • Numbers 31 is a persuasive portrayal it is only the LORD Who Executes Vengeance; let us trust our enemies to His perfect justice as we strive to obey His command to love.
    • Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. [Romans 12:19-21]

Let’s Grow Together!

Numbers 30… Consider Him Who Does All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth

This is the word which the Lord has commanded. If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. [30:1-2]

And there is the plain and simple command; do what you vow to do. There is a call to be careful with words, to be cautious in making vows. The LORD provides meticulous instructions in all He expects of His children.

When my children were young, after asking permission to partake in some activity and unhappy with their parent’s decision, they often retorted, “So and So gets to!” My husband and I would always reply, “What’s your last name?” They knew immediately what this meant. It mattered not at all what “So and So” could do, our family followed the Oliver’s rules and ways, not “So and So’s.” It was an effective method to halt their argument; there simply was no denying who they were.

The LORD expects His children to be faithful in their vows because He is. Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine. [Leviticus 20:26]

The LORD will always do what He says He will do; He Does All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth

Consider Him Who Does All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth

  • All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth is Fact
    • The sum of Your word is truth,
      And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.
      [Psalm 119:160]
  • All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth is Faithful
    • For the word of the Lord is upright,
      And all His work is done in faithfulness.
      [Psalm 33:4]
  • All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth is Forever
    • The grass withers, the flower fades,
      But the word of our God stands forever.
      [Isaiah 40:8]
  • All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth is Fruitful
    • “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
      And do not return there without watering the earth
      And making it bear and sprout,
      And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
      11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
      It will not return to Me empty,
      Without accomplishing what I desire,
      And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
      [Isaiah 55:10-11]
  • All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth is Fulfilled
    • God is not a man, that He should lie,
      Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
      Has He said, and will He not do it?
      Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
      [Numbers 23:19]

How do we respond to Him Who Does All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth?

  • In Faith
    • For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. [1 Thessalonians 2:13]
    •  For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. [Hebrew 4:2]
  • In Obedience
    • But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. [James 1:22-25]
  • In Love
    • Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. [John 14:23]
  • In His Likeness
    • Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. [Matthew 5:48]
    •  Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” [1 Peter 1:13-16]
  • As we seek to grow in His likeness, trusting Him Who Does All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth, we must pay careful attention to what proceeds from our own mouths; it is always a precise gauge of the condition of our hearts.
    • But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 These are the things which defile the man; [Matthew 15:18-19]
  • May we grow in His likeness and represent our family well, known as His children who do all that proceeds from our mouths.
    • “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes ‘ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.” [Matthew 5:37]

Let us not deny our family name, who we are in Christ; may we wholeheartedly trust Him Who Does All That Proceeds Out Of His Mouth, as we grow in His Likeness through faith, obedience and love.

Let’s Grow Together!

Numbers 29… Consider His Summons to Participate in Grace

The seventh month was a busy, demanding month; commencing with the blowing of trumpets, days and days of offerings ensued. So many days, so many offerings, it all seems so exhausting, severe, demanding, so…legalistic. But as we press in, something altogether greater emerges… Grace.

Consider His Summons to Participate in Grace

Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets. You shall offer a burnt offering as a soothing aroma to the Lord: [29:1-2]

Then on the tenth day of this seventh month you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall humble yourselves; you shall not do any work. You shall present a burnt offering to the Lord as a soothing aroma: [29:7-8]

Then on the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work, and you shall observe a feast to the Lord for seven days. [29:12]

On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly; you shall do no laborious work. 36 But you shall present a burnt offering, an offering by fire, as a soothing aroma to the Lord: [29:35-36]

You shall present these to the Lord at your appointed times, besides your votive offerings and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings and for your grain offerings and for your drink offerings and for your peace offerings. [29:39]

  • His Summons to Participate in Grace was extended to the entire assembly through the blowing of the trumpets, ensuring none would miss His Summons.
  • His Summons to Participate in Grace was experienced in the holy convocation, a gracious opportunity to corporately and humbly seek His unmerited favor.
  • His Summons to Participate in Grace revealed the need for atonement, turning attention to man’s need for redemption.
  • His Summons to Participate in Grace was an invitation to demonstrate faith in His Grace through numerous continual offerings.
  • His Summons to Participate in Grace provided days set apart unto Him, eliminating competing enticements and foster a desire for obedience.

How do we respond to his Summons to Participate in Grace?

His Summons to Participate in His Grace is a resounding appeal to our will. The world will try to convince us the LORD is too demanding, too severe, it’s simply too exhausting to be a Christian. However the LORD does not ask us to answer His Summons by our own strength. His demand has been satisfied in His Son. As we surrender our will, let us come to Him for rest and Participate in His Grace.

 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30]

His Summons to Participate in His Grace is a resounding appeal to our desires. The world will try to convince us the LORD is too limiting, too narrow, the reward cannot compare with the self-satisfaction we find here on earth. Let us respond to His Summons to Participate in Grace and forsake all else to follow Him.

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Mark 8:34-36]

Let’s Grow Together!

Numbers 28… Consider His Dichotomy

In making ready His new generation to walk in obedience, to enter His Presence and take the Promised Land, the LORD recounts the laws of the offerings. The old generation has passed and Aaron’s son, Eleazar, is now high priest. Take Aaron and his son Eleazar and bring them up to Mount Hor; 26 and strip Aaron of his garments and put them on his son Eleazar… 27 So Moses did just as the Lord had commanded… [Numbers 20:25, 27]

I found myself, once again, confused. All the preparations, all the sacrifices, the burnt, grain and drink offerings, the Sabbath, the feasts, the holy convocations… How would the people and priests have time to do anything but work to prepare the offerings?

It all seemed to me, well… completely laborious. Yet three times the LORD repeats: you shall do no laborious work. [28:18, 25, 26]

And this one word flooded my thoughts…dichotomy.

Dichotomy: division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups; a contrast between two things; being twofold; a classification into two opposed parts or subclasses.

Consider His Dichotomy

  • His Dichotomy is a call to exertion and careful preparation in following His regulations in presenting His acceptable offerings.
    • Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be careful to present My offering, My food for My offerings by fire, of a soothing aroma to Me, at their appointed time.’ [28:1-2]
  • His Dichotomy is a call to absolute abstinence from any laborious work.
    • On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work… 25 On the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work…26 Also on the day of the first fruits, when you present a new grain offering to the Lord in your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. [28:18, 25, 26]

How do we respond to His Dichotomy?

How do we reconcile these two, seemingly diametrically opposed commands, to carefully prepare His acceptable offerings, and do no laborious work?

The seeming contradiction also appears in the New Testament.

  • On the one hand, James says there must be works to demonstrate saving faith:
    • What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself… 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. [James 2:14-16, 26]
  • On the one other hand, Paul emphatically states saving faith is only by God’s gift of grace and nothing whatsoever to do with our works:
    • For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. [Ephesians 2:8-9]
  • We must remember the law was never a means to salvation but a means to point to our total inability to save ourselves and our desperate need for what only He could do, His salvation that could only be accomplished through His Son, Jesus Christ.
    •  For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. [Romans 8:3-4]
    • Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions… 21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. [Galatians 3:19, 21-24]

Salvation has always been by faith. From the Patriarchs, to the Prophets, to the New Testament believers, it is only by faith we are granted the privilege of eternal life and His Presence.

I am not a theologian, but I see His Dichotomy expressing His perfect holiness, power and might. Anything we do for Him is because of Him, not to earn His favor but in gratitude for His miraculous grace and mercy.

When we have tasted so great a salvation, how can we not desire to please and obey Him with every ounce of effort we possess. This exertion will not be laborious work; it will be counted a privilege.

We know we cannot save ourselves; we cannot make ourselves salt or light. Our work is to do what we can, what we must; trusting Him to do what only He will. Our work is to live as a testimony of His miraculous transforming power, to live by faith as representatives of His grace and glorify our Heavenly Father.

 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:13-16]

Gratitude places us in the very midst of His Dichotomy; saved by His grace through faith and performing works by faith out of gratitude; gratitude will eradicate any notion of laborious work. What a privilege and joy we have to offer our works to our gracious and merciful Heavenly Father.

Let’s Grow Together!

Numbers 27… Consider Him, Almighty Adjudicator

Adjudicator: a person who adjudicates: to pronounce or decree by judicial sentence; to settle or determine (an issue or dispute) judicially; to sit in judgment.

Moses, knowing he is approaching the end of his days on earth, continuously pursues the LORD’s wisdom to govern and judge in each and every affair. Moses seeks Him, Almighty Adjudicator; He alone settles legal matters of inheritance, brings judgment against rebellion and determines appointments of leadership. He alone is worthy and He is to take His rightful place on the throne of Judgment as Almighty Adjudicator.

Consider Him, Almighty Adjudicator

  • He is Almighty Adjudicator; by His wisdom and grace He transfers hereditary possession.
    • “Our father died in the wilderness… and he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be withdrawn from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.” So Moses brought their case before the Lord. Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “The daughters of Zelophehad are right in their statements. You shall surely give them a hereditary possession among their father’s brothers, and you shall transfer the inheritance of their father to them. [27:3-7]
  • He is Almighty Adjudicator; in His righteousness He judges rebellion and sin.
    • Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up to this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the sons of Israel. 13 When you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was; 14 for in the wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to treat Me as holy before their eyes at the water.” (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.) [27:12-14]
  • He is Almighty Adjudicator; in His sovereignty He appoints leadership.
    • Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, 16 “May the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, 17 who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the Lord will not be like sheep which have no shepherd.” 18 So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua… [27:15-18]

How do we respond to Him, Almighty Adjudicator?

What peace is ours when we leave our disputes, questions and concerns with Him, Almighty Adjudicator. Let us learn the lesson of Moses, who by faith continually sought Him, Almighty Adjudicator, to the very end of his life.

  • Only in Him, Almighty Adjudicator is there a transfer of our hereditary possession. We who were destined for an eternity of darkness obtain His inheritance of eternal life when we trust Him for our salvation.
    • For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. [Colossians 1:13-14]
    • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ… In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, [Ephesians 1:3, 10-11]
  • Only in Him, Almighty Adjudicator can we be saved from the judgment we deserve. As we trust Him for our salvation, let us also trust His grace and righteous judgment to deal with injustice and evil.
    • But the Lord abides forever;
      He has established His throne for judgment,
      And He will judge the world in righteousness;
      He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity. [Psalm 9:7-8]
    • Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God. [1 Corinthians 4:5]
    • There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy… [James 4:12]
  • Only in Him, Almighty Adjudicator will we follow His Good Shepherd appointed to lead His sheep.
    • “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep… 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep… 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” [John 10:11, 14-15, 18]

When Jesus returns, He will return as Almighty Adjudicator to judge every person who has ever lived. Those who have trusted Him for salvation are recorded in the book of life and will be judged righteous. Those who reject His salvation must stand before Him to be judged according to their deeds.

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds… 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. [Revelation 20:11-12, 14]

Let us not dare to stand before Him, Almighty Adjudicator on our own merit. Only in Jesus will we be declared righteous. Let us humbly go before Him and ask Him to examine us.

 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? [2 Corinthians 13:5]

Oh what joy to know Christ lives in us. Let us not lose heart, but persevere in faith; we have been made new and will one day stand before Him, Almighty Adjudicator who sits upon His throne, to receive His blessed inheritance of eternal life.

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. [Revelation 21:5-7]

Let’s Grow Together!

 

Numbers 26… Consider His Reckoning Revealed

The forty-year mark of wandering is winding down with just over a year to go, and the LORD calls for another census to number the men who are suited for the battles to claim the land. Now, His Reckoning Revealed numbers the new generation who will enter the Promised Land. There are only two remaining from the original census to claim His reward, only two have been judged faithful.

Reckoning: the action or process of calculating; count; computation; calculation; an accounting, as for things received or done; the time when your actions are judged as good or bad and you are rewarded or punished; the act of judging something.

Then it came about after the plague, that the Lord spoke to Moses and to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, “Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers’ households, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel.” [26:1-2]

Consider His Reckoning Revealed

  • His Reckoning Revealed through His Pronounced Judgment
    • Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 Your children, however, whom you said would become a prey—I will bring them in, and they will know the land which you have rejected. 32 But as for you, your corpses will fall in this wilderness. 33 Your sons shall be shepherds for forty years in the wilderness, and they will suffer for your unfaithfulness, until your corpses lie in the wilderness. 34 According to the number of days which you spied out the land, forty days, for every day you shall bear your guilt a year, even forty years, and you will know My opposition. 35 I, the Lord, have spoken, surely this I will do to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be destroyed, and there they will die.’” [Numbers 14:30-35]
  • His Reckoning Revealed through His Fulfilled Judgment
    • But among these there was not a man of those who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest, who numbered the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. 65 For the Lord had said of them, “They shall surely die in the wilderness.” And not a man was left of them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. [26:64-65]
  • His Reckoning Revealed through His Promised Reward
    • But among these there was not a man of those who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest, who numbered the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. 65 For the Lord had said of them, “They shall surely die in the wilderness.” And not a man was left of them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. [26:64-65]
      • But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it…. 38 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive out of those men who went to spy out the land. [Numbers 14:24, 38]
      • So the Lord’s anger burned in that day, and He swore, saying, 11 ‘None of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob; for they did not follow Me fully, 12 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have followed the Lord fully.’ [Numbers 32:10-12]

How do we respond to His Reckoning Revealed?

  • There is coming a time when our wandering through this wilderness of earth will come to an end, when all accounts will be settled and His Reckoning Revealed.
    • So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. [Romans 14:12]
    • Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. [Hebrews 4:13 NIV]
  • There is coming a day of judgment. Only those whose names are recorded in the Heavenly census, the Lamb’s Book of Life, will enter His eternal Promised Land.
    • …and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. [Revelation 21:27]
  • Those who follow the LORD fully by faith, believing His word of promise as Caleb and Joshua, will be recorded in His Heavenly census.
    • Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” [John 3:3]
    • He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” [John 3:36]
  • Do we have the unshaken assurance our name is recorded in His Book of Life? Only by faith in the Son of God will we inherit eternal life.
    • These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. [1 John 5:13]

By faith we can face His Reckoning Revealed with confidence and know we are numbered with those who will enter His Promised Land for all eternity.

Let’s Grow Together!

Numbers 25… Consider His Jealousy

I remember hearing a famous celebrity talk about God’s jealousy. This person found the concept of a jealous God as highly offensive and made the claim something like, “my God would never…”

And therein lies the problem. He is not “my God;” He is God. We do not have the right or privilege to define Him. He has defined Himself, with all He intends for us to know, in the pages of His Holy Word. In the book of Exodus after the golden calf rebellion, the LORD renewed His covenant, claiming for Himself the very name Jealous.

Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst. 13 But rather, you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim 14 —for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God— 15 otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice, 16 and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods. 17 You shall make for yourself no molten gods. [Exodus 34:12-17]

The Hebrew word translated as “Jealous” in Exodus 34 is defined in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: 7067. קַנָּא qannāʾ: An adjective meaning jealous. This word comes from the verb qānāʾ (7065), meaning to be jealous or zealous. In every instance of this word, it is used to describe the character of the Lord. He is a jealous God who will not tolerate the worship of other gods (Ex. 20:5; Deut. 5:9). This word is always used to describe God’s attitude toward the worship of false gods, which arouses His jealousy and anger in judgment against the idol worshipers (Deut. 4:24; 6:15). So closely is this characteristic associated with God that His name is Jealous (Ex. 34:14).

I’ve been in a covenant relationship with my husband for thirty-three years, and I understand the concept of jealousy. I am not the least bit suspicious nor am I consumed in distrust. But I am jealous over our covenant. He is my husband and no other’s. I guard our covenant relationship with passion and zeal, and I am not about to share him as anyone else’s spouse. None of us would stand by and tolerate unfaithfulness in our marriage covenant, why would we expect anything less from Holy, Faithful, Covenant- Keeping God?

Consider His Jealousy

  • His Jealousy endorses His Holiness. The worship of other gods was likened to playing the harlot, an act of sexual impurity, a brazen affront to His Purity and Holiness.
    • While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry against Israel. [25:1-3]
  • His Jealousy endorses His Faithfulness. The worship of other gods provoked His jealousy; never would He neglect His faithfulness to His covenant relationship.
    • Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy.” [25:10-11]
  • His Jealousy endorses His Covenant. His Covenant would be jealously guarded and upheld through atonement, satisfying His holy wrath.
    • Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.’” [25:12-13]

How do we respond to His Jealousy?

He is God. He has defined Himself as Jealous. We will never fully comprehend the character of God, but with our limited understanding let us consider His Jealousy in light of His Holiness, His Faithfulness and His Covenant.

  • His Holiness
    • For thus says the high and exalted One
      Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
      “I dwell on a high and holy place,
      And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
      In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
      And to revive the heart of the contrite. [Isaiah 57:15]
  • His Faithfulness
    • Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
      Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
      Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
      Your judgments are like a great deep.
      O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
      How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
      And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
      [Psalm 36:5-7]
  • His Covenant
    • And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. [Luke 22:19-20]

Let’s be honest; would we truly believe we were loved if our spouse was okay with us dating around? Let us find comfort, encouragement and strength in this also, His Jealousy endorses His Love for us.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. [John 3:16]

Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.[John 13:1]

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:32, 35,37-39]

Oh may we jealously guard our love for Him Who passionately, zealously and fervently loves us; His Jealousy is in keeping with His Holy, Faithful, Covenant Love.

Let’s Grow Together!