May 24, 2019

What I read today;

1 Thessalonians 4-5; Luke 10; Daniel 4-5; Psalm 144; Job 26; Numbers 33

We have a hard time comprehending why God would tell Moses and the Israelites to destroy the nations they were entering into.  That reeks of genocide that we have come to revile in our modern day and age.  In fact, we sent our military into places like Bosnia and Syria in part, to prevent the slaughter of people’s based on race or religion.  We were repulsed by the wholesale slaughter in Rwanda in the late 1990s.  We still see the mass slaughter of groups like ISIS and the Taliban and wonder how can we be this cruel in our modern and enlightened age.

Yet God gave the order in Numbers 33 vs. 50-56 to completely drive out the inhabitants and not allow them to remain in the new Jewish country.  It’s hard for modern people to understand why.

But God understood that if the inhabitants were allowed to remain it would put his people at risk.  God knew what the people in those lands were doing.  He understood that their religious rights would be a temptation too great for people to resist.  God understood that the practices of worshiping Chemosh, Baal and Asherah included selling sons and daughters into ritual sex shrines.  God understood the practices of child sacrifice that continued under these gods.  God knew that these practices had to be rooted out and destroyed.  They were practices too evil to allow to continue.

We don’t have such practices in civilized society anymore.  At least we like to think we don’t have these practices anymore.  We have become an accommodating society.  A society that wants to allow people to live and let live as long as they don’t hurt anyone else.

However, in our own personal lives, we have allowed things to creep into our own lives that get in the way of worshiping only God.

Maybe, it’s our career or our toys.  It could be our relationships or pornography.  We could be spending to much time witnessing the entertainment communities idea of what spirituality is.  Could it be drugs and alcohol?

The list of things that our modern society has put on an idol is long and growing.  Sometimes it’s necessary for us to remove those things.  Often when we leave those things in our lives they build barriers between us and God.  In those times all we can do is rip those barriers down and destroy them.

The alcoholic just shouldn’t drink.  The drug addict has to stop.  The person addicted to porn probably needs to block that content from his or her computer.  If we leave those things in our lives to fester, eventually, they will be our downfall.

God can and does help us to remove those things from our lives that get between us and him.  We have prayer, the church, scripture, counselors, and therapists we can call on.  Our larger companies offer confidential employee assistance programs.    We have Pastors and Christian friends.

That’s why God told Moses to push them out and to force them to leave forever.

Is God telling you to remove something?

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