Numbers 15 & 16
Presumptuous Sins = Shaking Your Fists at God
God had delivered the nation of Israel from Egypt and provided for them over and over in the wilderness. So these chapters can’t help but seem astounding, how these people rebelled again and again in spite of how God had revealed Himself to them. And yet, if we’re honest, once again … they are us and we are them!
Verse 15.30 talks about “presumptuous sins.” That is willful disobedience. It means we know it’s wrong and, yet, we do it anyway! Remember, anytime we sin, it’s first and foremost a sin against God. So when we willfully transgress the Lord’s commands to us, we’re shaking our fist at God just as Korah and his bunch did in today’s reading. Instead of fearing God, we’re rebelling against Him!
It may not be as public when we do it, so we think it’s not as bad. But remember God is looking at our hearts and nothing is hidden from Him. Romans 14.23 says, “… for whatever is not from faith is sin.” And James 4.17 says, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (NASB).
Remember, Remember, Remember
The Nation of Israel failed to remember all that God had done for them and quickly turned back to living by their feelings, instead of walking by faith.
God, in His mercy, is constantly showing us ways to “remember.” In 15.37-41 He instructed the Israelites to put tassels on their garments to remind them of the commandments and the importance of obeying them. He was saying “remember, remember, remember”!
Today, we have the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper as reminders. We hang plaques on our walls and drink our coffee out of Scripture emblazoned cups.
He has given us His written Word, great biblically sound books, teachings on the radio, on TV, on the Internet and in church. Yet, how often do we leave church after hearing a great message and, instead of “remembering,” … we, immediately, start living for ourselves, fighting and quarreling, and sinning willfully … sometimes on the way home!
In the book of numbers, even after the earth opened and swallowed up the rebels, the people turned around and picked up where the rebels left off! Oh, that we might learn from the example of others and not have to suffer the same fate!
When We’re Sinned Against
Notice, though, that even though the Israelites’ rebellion involved threats against Moses, he interceded for the rebels rather than taking it personally. We need to “remember” that when people sin against us. I read somewhere that we are never more like God than we are when we forgive and pray for those who spitefully use us!
TODAY’S OTHER READINGS:
“I will instruct you …”
Psalm 38 is a picture of David’s suffering, depression and misery as a result of his unconfessed sin. Psalm 51 is David’s Psalm of repentance and confession after being confronted by the Prophet Nathan.
Psalm 32 is called a “maskil” or instructional psalm. In verse 8 he says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go …”
What is God, through David, saying to you? Is there some sin for which you need to repent? If so, go to the Lord, confess (agree with Him that it is sin) and repent (change your mind about the direction you are going and go God’s way).
Good for the Soul
Verse 17, “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”
Paul said it this way:
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal. 6.7).
The True King
Verses 1-11 cover Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem the week before Passover. This very important event is one of the few covered in all four Gospels. Although few, if any, fully understood at the time, this was Jesus’ coronation as Israel’s True King. We celebrate this event as Palm Sunday.
The word “mortified” often implies shame or embarrassment. When it relates to the mortification of sin, it means much more than that. Certainly we should be ashamed or embarrassed by our sin, but Scripture teaches that we are to actively subdue our sin; and more radically, kill our sin habits.
In this small volume, the authors compare our chronic fall into sin with the descending hours on a clock, demonstrating a repetitive and perfect pattern for sin. Both practical and challenging, this book demonstrates how God through the work of the Holy Spirit and radical faith can help you conquer sin in your life.
I would love to have you join me on this journey through the Bible. Just sign up for the BIBLE IN A YEAR daily posts so you don’t miss a single one!
Sign up now and receive a copy of “Prayer for Busy, Imperfect Pray-ers: 5 Strategies to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life.”
You can also SIGN UP FOR SPECIAL “CHRISTIAN LIVING” posts, including the new series “A Marriage Make in Heaven?”
I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays Musing Mondays The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking
Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Tuesday Talk
Wednesdays Messy Marriage Christian Blogger Linkup A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Seeking God in All I Do Coffee for Your Heart Women of Intention
Thursdays Booknificent Thursdays
Fridays Missional Women Grace & Truth Faith & Friends Fresh Market Friday
Sundays Spiritual Sundays
This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!
“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.