Rebellious Children, Take Heed

Today's film and books teach teens and pre-teens that their 'inner conflicts' must be expressed through rebellion against parents and rejection of society's rules. ('Rebel without a Cause' 1955)

Today’s Bible in 90 Days reading: Deut 8:1 – Deut 23:11

Most parents love their children and want only the best for them. I say ‘most’, because our newspapers tell us daily of parents who have beaten, raped, and even killed their own children–and in these horrifying cases, the children were often young, and usually obedient (even unto death).

But what do you do with a child who is disobedient–a rebel? Today’s modern psychologists will recommend medication, special classes, and indulgence. Don’t let the child see himself or herself as wrong, they’re just ‘different’, ‘unique’, ‘misunderstood’. Boy, such was not the case in Old Testament times.

In today’s chapters, Moses is taking his final opportunity to be a ‘parent’ to Israel. Like a father who is sending his son off to college, Moses repeats warnings from the past, going over and over rules, regulations, recommendations, and remedies. Also like a father, Moses warns the people of the penalty for disobedience: in general, you will a) be cut off from the congregation, or b) simply cut off (killed). Continue reading “Rebellious Children, Take Heed”

Set Apart for Destruction

Baal the Syrian 'storm god'. Don't have a picture like this in your living room. - (credit: art.com)

Consider all the items you bring into your home, the books, the music, the decor. Do these items honor the Lord? Do they edify your family? Do they help you to understand Christ better? Or, do they simply entertain or give you pleasure? Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with amusements, providing these do not bring danger.

Those who are covered with the blood of Christ (believers) are provided a certain amount of protection from so-called ‘charged items’. These are things dedicated to the enemy, those things that provide doorways for demonic influence. As the Israelites begin to take possession of the land promised to them by Yahweh (‘I AM’), Moses uses his final message before dying to warn them about keeping any idolatrous items found in the spoils of war.

Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction. – Deut 7:26

These are hard words, and as Moses spoke them, he probably had a heaviness to his heart, for he surely knew that the people would disobey and fall into heathen practices, worshiping other gods.

So, what’s in your home? Take today to ‘take stock’ of your shelves and your heart. Let the LORD speak to you, guide you, inform you, and if you find any items or any secret desires that serve any master other than Christ, ask the Father to help you remove that ‘detestable thing’.

May Christ be praised and lifted up in all we say, do, and think.

If You Can’t Curse ’em, Kiss ’em!

Today’s reading: Numbers 21:8 – Numbers 32:19

Most of us know the story of Balaam and his donkey, but how many have noticed the follow-up tale? Upon seeing the Israelites enter his land, Balak, king of Moab, was terrified by the enormous numbers. Remember, that the Hebrews numbered over a million people with livestock. Such a huge group could strip the land bare! It’s not hard to understand why Balak wanted to curse Moses and his flock, but Balaam blessed them three times, and cursed Balak!

So, we arrive at the ‘followup’ told in Numbers 25:

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. (Num 25:1, 2)

Since he couldn’t curse the ‘invaders’, Balak decided to ‘welcome’ them–with the open arms of his temple prostitutes. It didn’t take much for the Hebrew men to abandon Jehovah for other gods and soft embraces. This is often the tactic used by the enemy–if open cursing doesn’t work, then subtle kisses might. We have to be diligent and keep our eyes open and our ears tuned to the LORD.

Trusting through Testing

Today’s Reading: Numbers 8:15 – Numbers 21:7

We’ve all done; we’ve grumbled against our circumstances. We’ve wailed about the problems plaguing us day after day: sickness, poverty, unpopularity, loss of loved ones. Or we’ve complained about living in the same old house, wearing the same old clothes, eating the same old meals, or looking at the same old television.

When we read the passages about Israel’s many complaints against God’s provisions, it’s our natural tendency to wonder why those people didn’t ‘get it’. How could these families not see that God was and is HOLY, and that His word is final? Did they not understand that He loved them? How quickly they forgot–over and over again–that God gave them all that they needed. But they grumbled about the manna, they complained about Moses, and they constantly moaned their desires to return to Egypt!

God instructed the Israelites to tie tassels to their clothing as a reminder of their lack of faith and how God answered their sins with anger. Sin has a consequence. And NOT trusting our Savior and King is a sin indeed. Perhaps, we should all wear something to remind us of God’s deep love for us–to remind us of His HOLY nature–to remind us of the miracle of Christ’s sacrifice that gave us the same intimacy with God that Moses enjoyed: speaking to Him without an intermediary. We have been made princes and princesses through Christ’s redeeming blood! If we’ve trusted God for your salvation, then why can we not trust Him and thank Him for all that He has provided and will continue to provide?

Testing will come. But TRUSTING will see us through.