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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 21, 2021

Daily Reading: Numbers 23-25

Numbers 25:18

For they vex you with their wiles,

The above references the influence that the Midianites had upon Israel. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. This is speaking about Israel being so enamored with the gods of the Midianites that they began to worship them. This resulted in 24,000 Israelites dying by a plague. Notice how God's people were swayed. They were vexed with the wiles of the Midianites.

Influence is a power. Once exerted it searches for those who will adhere to its will. Influence, like all things, can be used for good, or it can be used for evil. But make no doubt, influence has a persuasive, mostly unspoken, manner that continues to chip away opposition until it ultimately wins. Like the mighty waves of the ocean that continually attack the seashore, so too does influence continually attack the heart and mind. If there is a foundational element to influence it must be consistency. It is extremely easy to spot inconsistency, but consistency is like Novocain, it numbs the pain of change through normalcy.

Let us say that a person holds the Bible to be true. Yet, they are continually told, through words and behavior of others, that it is not true. Given time, the influence of non-Bible believers will vex the soul with their wiles. That is unless there is an equally powerful and consistent influence in that person's life that holds to the veracity of the Word of God, both in word and practice. Therein lies a struggle, to which will one yield? Many in Israel yielded to the Midianites, some did not. Proving once again that a person's will and determination always trumps influence. For it is what a person is way down deep inside their very soul that always rises to the surface. To see what a person is in their very core observe how they respond to influence. For no amount of vexation or wiles can overcome that which is person truly is. None!

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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