Numbers 25 Part 1–Even After All God’s Blessings…

Unbelievable, The Moabite King spent days trying to destroy Israel by having a prophet curse them.  He literally tried every angle to make it happen and God protected Israel. That should have been the happy ending, but sadly it was not.  The Israelite men started sneaking over and sleeping with the Moabite women and taking part in the idol worship, sacrifices and sexual rituals.  

Aaron’s grandson who was now the priest saved Israel from God’s wrath and stopped the ridiculous behavior. He followed  one of the men while he was with 2 Moabite women in camp, walked into the tent and killed them for their horrid behavior! That stopped God’s wrath against His people. Really?!!?

Sadly, as a result, over 24,000 folks died of plague.  How one could think it was safe to act so horribly with God right in camp– it is beyond belief…well, that is until we look at our own lives! We are all notorious of committing acts that are sinful knowing that God is right there! We are, therefore, blessed to have so great a salvation–that forgives us when we sin.  Only God can forgive that sin.  We must trust the Lord, and follow Him daily–to reach a place where we follow Him humbly and gracefully. 

Help me Lord to trust, follow and walk with You daily.

God Bless You

While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the Lord’s anger burned against them.

The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the Lord’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.”

So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death those of your people who have yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor.”

Then an Israelite man brought into the camp a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear into both of them, right through the Israelite man and into the woman’s stomach. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped; but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000.

10 The Lord said to Moses, 11 “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal. 12 Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. 13 He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood,because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.”

Told Ya So, Part 2-Genesis 42, Continued

As Joseph received his first glimpse of the character of his brothers, the jury was still out.  Clearly, the brothers now knew their treatment of Joseph was wrong–but was it wrong because they may now have to pay a price, or was it wrong because they sealed an innocent boy’s fait. That is what Joseph needed to know.  As he listened, they clearly pointed fingers at one another placing blame, but they also at least intimated they were the reason for their own problems.  a beginning of recognition and repentance.  It broke Joseph’s heart, but, it also gave him some hope for their future.

We all fail! When we are willing to take responsibility and face our failure, that recognition and repentance begins the restoration in our lives.  Like any parent, God loves us and wants nothing more than to forgive and move forward. In order for him to do that, however, we have to be willing to be open, honest and submissive to his leadership.  There is no room for placing blame on others, there is simply the choice to submit and honor our Heavenly father.  It is tough, it is humbling–but it transforms us into his image so we can claim with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live–but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

God Bless You

They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.

27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. 28 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”

Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”

Wow You Are Not Kidding!–Genesis 15 Final

There Abram stood looking at the Stars and listening to God promise him the Land of Canaan and many descendants…and he asked the most transparent question imaginable–So how do I know what you promise will really happen…?  God says, “Son go get a Heifer, a goat and a lamb!”  Covenants, in those days, were not nicely drafted components of a contract.  Instead, Covenants were life and death promises that required absolute performance or absolute sacrifice. 

Specifically, the parties would cut an animal into quarters and lay them out on the ground walk between the quarters to signify that failure to perform on the covenant would require like treatment of the failing party! Ouch! Here God took 3 animals as if to say not only me, but the entire trinity makes this covenant.  The Heifer representing the father, the lamb representing the son and the Goat (Scape goat) representing the Holy spirit! God was serious.

That is the same level of commitment God has made to us.  If we will follow him he promises to redeem us from the sin we are enslaved to and restore us to a family relationship with him.  Take comfort, believer–God is not kidding!!!

God Bless You

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”

So the Lord said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.”

10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.

12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi[e] of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

Almost, But Not Quite–Genesis 11 Final

What do we know about Terah?  Oh, he was Abram’s Dad…The sad news is that he was the first man called to Canaan! He scooped up his little family and left Ur–on his way to Canaan.  But somewhere along the journey, he decided to stop in Harran.  Don’t get me wrong–Harran was a nice place, it just wasn’t where God was leading him and his family.  It was a convenient sidetrack that stopped his journey.

So many of God’s chosen take off on the journey the father calls them to and in the midst of it get sidetracked and rendered ineffective. Work, kids, illness, and a host of little foxes enter our lives and nip at us.  We then wake up at AARP + years and wonder where the time went and why did we lose our vision.  God says–its OK! Start a new vision today.  Read the word, pray continually and seek ways to serve.  You may have missed Canaan, but you do not have to miss God!!!

God Bless You

This is the account of Terah’s family line.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran

The Advocate–1 John 2 part 1

As an attorney, one of my favorite qualities of Christ is him as our advocate.  He knows us for the sinners that we are.  He knows we are frail and daily subject to falling into sin and independence from him.  Still, despite that, he intercedes on our behalf.

Oddly, there stands Satan–the prosecutor; accusing us of the sin he so conveniently placed in front of us, swaggering to the bench and saying to God–he is so evil, look at all he has done.  Meanwhile, Christ stands at our side, points to the accuser and says, “That sin is forgiven and forgotten, because I paid the price.

Grace is not a license to sin, though.  We should be seeking to follow him daily and closely.  If we do, we do not desire to disappoint him. We instead seek to be like him—selfless and surrendered.  That desire to follow is the best sign we are a part of the family. Help me Lord to follow you closely today.

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

I get by with a Little Help from My Friends–Mark 2 part 1

Jesus was purposeful in his ministry.  He had a job to do.  He needed to convey to a lost world the true nature of God their creator, redeemer and father.  There is little doubt the man on the mat had no idea the import of his intrusion on the day’s sermon.  His buddies wanted to give him a fresh start and a chance to live a full and meaningful life—well they were more successful than they could ever have imagined.  Not only was he healed physically, but he was also forgiven by God for his sin!  What a foreshadowing, by God’s son.

The Jewish leaders of the day had their own vision of God, healing and forgiveness—sadly Jesus did not fit their mold.  Yet, he showed the people the love a father has and the concern he carries not only for our physical needs but also the spiritual.  That is the same yet today.  God is still purposeful! He still wants us to see him for who he is—not some distorted and controllable view a religious leader might portray.  He also wants us to understand he longs for nothing more than to see us follow him and be free from the chains life has wrapped around us—He loves as only a father can.

Be Glad—Your sins are forgiven, so get up and carry the message to all you know!

God Bless You

 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

God Corrects His Own-2 Samuel 12 Part 1

God disciplines those he loves.  David sinned greatly.  He knew it and God knew it. David had hoped that covering up the sin, would somehow make everything better, but, God was not going to allow it.  God sent Nathan to expose David’s sin, and to help David understand the import of his actions.  The parable put things into perspective for David—David saw for the first time that he had become what he despised.  That was the beginning of repentance and restoration. 

As his kids, God also intervenes in our lives to mold and shape us into his image.  When we allow sin to stay in our lives, God has a way of exposing the sin and helping us to recognize what it has done to us and to others. If we are sensitive to his leadership, he can guide us to repentance and restoration.  He is first and foremost a loving Father—his desire is to shape us to be like him and enjoy the peace and freedom that comes with that. Help me, Lord to be sensitive to your leadership and humble and discerning to your correction.

God Bless You

12 So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”

David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man!