Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 24 May 2022:
Listen to this message on Numbers 25 and “cosmic treason” by Thabiti Anyabwile: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/conferences/the-holiness-of-god/cosmic-treason
Numbers 25:10-11 — And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy.’
Perhaps no sin is addressed more in the Bible than sexual sin. Perhaps nothing is more destructive to a person, a people, or a nation than sexual sin. From the very beginning (Genesis) God placed His standards on sexual activity to be between one man and one woman in one life-long marriage. Marriage is a spiritual union, far beyond the physical, and reveals not only the love we have for our spouse, but also the love we have for God. Marriages are meant to emulate the love Christ has for his Church (Ephesians 5:32-33), and are intended to raise godly children (Malachi 2:15). God takes sexual sin VERY seriously, calling them abominations (Leviticus 18:22), despite the fact that our society rejoices in them. Today, to commit adultery is to “have an affair.” To “whore around” is to be sexually free. Acceptance of homosexuality is “enlightened tolerance” (see (1Cor 6:9, 10; Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13; Gen 19:4-8; Rom 1:26, 27; 1Tim 1:10; and Jude 7). Today’s OT readings offer a shocking story of how seriously God takes sexual sin. In case it is lost in translation, God honors Phinehas’ commitment after Phinehas, seeing a man taking a Moabite woman into his tent to have sex, enters into the tent and runs a spear through both of them while they were having sex. While this may seem like a cruel act, consider how much pain and suffering you have seen over your lifetime directly caused by sex outside of marriage – divorce, abortion, STDs, crimes of passion, destroyed families, child abuse, pornography, sexual assault, etc. Now that our Nation has dissolved most historic standards related to sexual conduct, where do you think our nation is going – to a better condition? I pray that more Christians will be bold enough to stand up for God’s standards on sex and marriage, regardless of what the “culture of death” says is the “enlightened” answer.
1 Corinthians 14:1 — “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.”
Often those who are quickest to boast of their spiritual gifts are the most unloving. Love is the measure of the person.
1 Corinthians 14:6 – “Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?”
Our spiritual gifts are meant to benefit others more than ourselves.
1 Corinthians 14:37 — “If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.”
Many of God’s commands seem foolish to people. Many have developed clever arguments to refute God’s commands based on current cultural standards. You will have to choose what you will believe and upon what you will act. “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15, 16)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 24 May 22: Today, choose to obey God rather than what is culturally and socially accepted. Be set apart for the Lord in your thoughts, attitudes, choices, words, and deeds. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)