Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Drive out

I'm following First 5 - daily Bible study from Proverbs 31 ministries.  In a rather haphazard and lacklustre fashion, actually, as is most of my Bible study at the moment. I know I ought to apply myself better, exercise more discipline (in every way), etc etc but... but.... well, there are no excuses, actually.

BUT this verse caught my heart this morning: Numbers 33:55. God says to this Israelites, just before they are about to enter into the Promised Land: "But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live."

This was actual advice. The native inhabitants worshipped idols, not God, and God knew that the Israelites would wander away from him if they allowed the inhabitants to remain. This did, indeed, happen: man's fallen nature meant that the Israelites disregarded God's wisdom, with unhappy results.

The idea of killing and destroying the lives of others is abhorrent to us, especially at this present time of war and trouble around our world, of an influx of refugees into other countries, of waves of racial hatred and distrust towards those who are 'different' from us, but this is a picture of what happens when - not even IF - we allow sin to stay resident in our lives.

If I substitute 'sin' for 'people', then the Contemporary English Version reads like this:
"If you don’t force out sin, it will be like pointed sticks in your eyes and thorns in your back. It will always be trouble for you,"

Force out sin. Easier said than done, of course. But the chronicle of what happened to the Israelites after they entered the Promised Land and compromised by living alongside the native inhabitants is a sobering reminder of the consequences of living with known sin in our own lives.

Of late, I have experienced these debilitating consequences. Not of the sin or wrongdoing towards others, but the sin of not fully believing and trusting in God's words. Words such as 1 John 1: 9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

I confess my sins of unforgiveness and bitterness, yet keep dwelling on the relationships and situations where I sinned.
I haven't 'forced out sin'. For God is a good God, loving and compassionate to all: as He says about himself when he appeared to Moses, he is : "“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,"  I haven't believed that God has taken my sins away farther than the east is from the west - that is, to infinity and beyond.

I haven't trusted Him and His saving grace. I have relied on myself and do not truthfully claim that 'Christ is enough for me'.
"Christ is my rewardAnd all of my devotion
Now there's nothing in this world
That could ever satisfy

Through every trial
My soul will sing
No turning back
I've been set free
Christ is enough for me
Christ is enough for me
Everything I need is in You
Everything I need

Christ my all in all
The joy of my salvation
And this hope will never fail
Heaven is our home

Through every storm
My soul will sing
Jesus is here
To God be the glory

I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back
No turning back

The cross before me
The world behind me
No turning back
No turning back"

My challenge. To keep on believing His promises in spite of my feelings of inadequacy. Because I AM inadequate because HE IS ENOUGH.

And how do I know that? because I believe His Word.
And how do I believe His Word?
I read and study it.

There we are. Full circle. The answer to my issues.

No comments:

Post a Comment