Numbers 25 & 26
How would you fill in the blank?
Modern Day Idolaters
As we see God’s swift and strong judgment on sin in the Old Testament, we need to remember a couple of things. First, He was protecting the people and the bloodline through which He was going to bring forth the Messiah.
But second, though God is patient and merciful with us in our sin and idolatry, it doesn’t mean He’s changed His mind about sin! It’s only the blood of Christ that keeps us from a similar fate and it was the mercy and love of God that made provision for our salvation. And how great a salvation it is!
We tend to write off the idea that we, too, are idolaters. We may or may not bow down to carved images, but we are frequently guilty of having other things on the throne of our hearts besides God Himself. Things like: I must have a spouse to be happy; I must have a godly husband; I must have a wife who respects me, I must have obedient children; or some other, “I must ..” Even good things can become idols if they are the focal point of our lives in the place of God.
Ask yourself, “Is there something or someone I think I cannot be happy without?”
Our idols can become so important that they blind us (Ezek. 14.1-8). In our blindness we can begin to justify sin or even refuse to see that it exists. We murmur and complain like the children of Israel in the wilderness. We compromise our moral standards, resort to sinful anger, or give in to fear.
When we do, it is sin—pure and simple. No amount of sugar coating will change it, but the answer is just as simple—to repent and turn away from our idols (Ezek. 14.6), receive God’s provision of forgiveness, and seek His help to grow and change, beginning with trusting in His wisdom and timing.
With what would you fill in the blank? What is your “I-must-have …”?
TODAY’S OTHER READINGS:
Evidence of Our Triune God
Verse 7 says, “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.”
That phrase “the angel of the Lord” refers to an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ. Even though the term Trinity is not used in the Bible, the evidence of a Triune God is there in both the Old and New Testaments.
Trusting in Riches
“He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.”
Notice it doesn’t say, “he who has riches will fall,” but “he who trusts in riches will fall.” This is true if we’re trusting in anything or anyone other than God Himself. Remember, God said, “Have no other gods before me!”
1 Timothy 6.17-19 warns the rich to not be conceited (proud) or to trust in that fact, but to trust in God who is the source of all material blessings. Paul told Timothy in that passage to instruct the rich, or anyone who has more than he or she needs, to be generous and share. When they do they will be amassing true wealth in heaven.
Are you ready?
In verse 21, as in verse 6, Jesus warns that many false prophets and “messiahs” will come claiming they have solutions to the world’s problems. In the following verses Jesus continues to describe many of the events of the Tribulation period, the 7 years following the removal of the Church at the Rapture.
No one knows exactly when all this will begin. Our job is to be ready, to be alert (watching) and praying, especially for discernment about spiritual dangers.
Let’s be found alert, not sluggish in our attitudes toward sin, the spiritual needs of others, and our need to stay connected to Him in prayer. Let’s be found doing kingdom work: serving Him, spending time with Him in His Word and in prayer, and sharing the Gospel with others.
And when that trumpet sounds … we who are in Christ will rise to meet Him in the air.
If you are not sure you’re ready, talk to someone you believe is. Ask them to explain the Gospel to you. If you understand the Gospel, but have never truly surrendered, don’t wait!
You might survive all the catastrophes that happen when millions of people are suddenly gone from their pilots’ chairs, drivers’ seats, and other places, and the panic that will follow. You might have an opportunity to turn to God during the Tribulation, but you won’t escape from it once it begins. There’s no second chance to escape, except in death. So why take that chance?
Let’s be ready—watching and waiting and praying and sharing the Gospel with those who aren’t!
Many people desire to live godly lives but feel trapped in habitual sins. This book reveals that idolatry lies at the heart of every besetting sin.
A documentary based on Joel Rosenberg’s newest non-fiction book, Inside the Revolution. Both the book and DVD trace the three major factors that are shaping the Muslim world today: Radicals, Reformers, and Revivalists. Viewers will not only come away with a better understanding of these three factions, but they will experience the revival taking place in this region through those who have come to realize that Jesus Christ is the only true hope.
Feature-length, high-definition video, 70-80 minutes in length.
90 minutes of in-depth interviews, including Iraqi General George Sada, Lt. General William “Jerry” Boykin (retired), former director of the CIA Porter Goss, and more!
An exclusive inside look at how Muslims converting to Christianity are affecting Middle East governments.
Filmed in Morocco, Israel, Iraq, Jordan and Washington D.C.
What does the Bible teach about the role of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel today? What is God’s plan for the future of Israel and the neighboring countries? How can believers in Jesus be part of God’s peace process in the Middle East? The People, the Land, and the Future of Israel walks through the Bible’s account of the role of Israel and the Jewish people—both now and in the future. Each contributor offers a profound insight into God’s unfolding plan and purpose for the nation of Israel as the Scripture depicts them. Readers will gain a deeper understanding of both current and future events in the Middle East as described in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. Features an extensive foreword by best-selling author Joel Rosenberg who addresses the question, Will there ever be peace for Israel and her neighbors? Each chapter includes a scannable QR code that links to a short video introduction by the author of that chapter, introducing its topic. Discussion questions in each chapter aid book group and classroom discussion.
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