What I read today;

1 Corinthians 9; Matthew 25; Isaiah 25; Job 25; Judges 1; Genesis 25

In Numbers 33 vs. 51 to 53 God instructs Moses to tell the people to do the following: Speak to the Israelites, and say to them: When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,  you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their figured stones, destroy all their cast images, and demolish all their high places.  You shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.” NRSV

In Judges 1, we see the failure of the Israelites to follow God’s instructions. They allow some of the people to remain in the land of Israel.  Some people look at this instruction and wonder how a loving God could give the order to displace and commit genocide.  They can’t understand how God would do this.  God understood that the people who were living in the promised land would lead the nation of Israel away from God.  His instructions were meant to ensure that God’s people would remain faithful.  He knew that if left in the area, the worship of their gods and the rituals that they followed would lead God’s people to a place they did not want to go.

In verse 55 God goes on to say to Moses, “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides; they shall trouble you in the land where you are settling.” NRSV

I want to be clear I don’t advocate, as some do, separating people along religious, racial, social, economic, or ethnic lines.  That’s not what God is doing here.

However, as Christians, it is essential to recognize that many things in this world can lead us away from Jesus Christ.  For instance, someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol should not go anywhere near a night club.  A sex addict should make sure that he’s blocked from going into web sites showing pornography.  These things are prominent examples of what I’m talking about. It is crucial to recognize that all of us can be tempted by a society that is moving farther and farther away from Jesus Christ. We need to be on the lookout for those things that separate us from Jesus Christ.  We need to guard our spiritual lives.  That’s why it’s so vital for us to be in God’s Word daily.  That’s why it’s essential to be in prayer every day.  Attending worship and group bible study can protect us by bringing us into contact with people who are searching for God.

Ask yourself this question.  Is there something in my life that is getting in between myself and Jesus Christ?  If there is, how do I get rid of it?

The most important thing in our lives is our savior. It is the only thing that we can leave this earth with.  It is the only thing we can pass on to our children and grandchildren.  Take time to take inventory of your life and push those things that get in the way of your relationship with the savior far away.

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