• William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 16, 2021

Daily Reading: Numbers 11-13

Numbers 11:1

And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

This is the way it happens. A person hears a message from the Word of God about something relevant in their life. Perhaps it is the first time they have heard a message on that topic, or even the hundredth time. During the message, the Lord communicates through the Holy Spirit that this is an area in their life that they need to correct, adjust, stop, or start. It is a great revelation one that the hearer takes to heart. So much so that they find their way to the altar during the invitation and pledge to God that things will change in their life, they will be obedient to the Scriptures.

Then they go home and begin. Sometime later, could be moments, could be days, could be months, or even years later, temptation enters in. Living according to the Word of God seemed so right, so easy, so compelling, yet now it is a struggle. The decision was easy, living it for a lifetime is difficult.

This is what Israel faced. Not too many days before this was written: And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. (Exodus 24:7) Now we find them rebelling in their hearts. They complained, preferring to be back in Egypt rather than in the wilderness. Their words reached the ears of God. He was displeased, to the point that His fiery indignation burned. From here on we see the real-life complications that fight against a person simply obeying the clear teachings of the Word of God.

Israel's struggles to keep God's Word was not unique with them. We all struggle likewise, for the pull of the flesh is strong, the pitfalls of our humanity are ever present, and the continual battle in our soul rages. Israel often gave into their baser ineptitudes and much harm came upon them. Their story is a warning to all today to continually guard our lives, hearts, and minds. Always being on guard, always watching for our own weaknesses, always determining to stay faithful. Yes, to live in obedience to God's Word is a lifetime challenge. Israel had to learn this lesson in their day, and we have to learn this lesson in our day.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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