How would you like to read through God's Love Letter—His Word, the Bible, with a group of like-minded, Christian girlfriends? We're doing that over in the private, Sweeter Than Honey, Facebook group. Did you know you don't have to start a Bible reading plan on January 1? You can begin today! This simple plan, and an accountability partner, will help you succeed. Who will be your accountability partner? Share this post with them and invite them to the private Facebook group.
Sweeter Than Honey is patterned after this Bible Reading Itinerary. On Tuesdays, here at the blog, I would love it if you and I could take a trip through God's Word and Sweeter Than Honey, together! I would also encourage you to Join us over in the private, Sweeter Than Honey, Facebook group, introduce yourself, meet new friends, and share your thoughts there as well. We're waiting for you!
Numbers 19-21: Consequences of Sin
Numbers 20 begins with the death of Miriam: “And the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. And Miriam died there and was buried there” (20:1).
Miriam had been such a help to her brother Moses, first when he was just a baby in a basket floating in the Nile and then as he led the people through the wilderness. Back in Exodus 15, we read where she led the women in a song of victory after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea. But then, in Numbers 12, we read of Miriam and her brother, Aaron, talking negatively about the woman Moses married all because Miriam was jealous of Moses' special relationship with God. Because of this, God spoke directly to Miriam and Aaron and told them it was not right for them to speak against their brother Moses. As a result of her disobedience, Miriam had the terrible disease of leprosy. That’s the last thing the Bible records about her life until it records her death here in chapter 20.
We also read here about the waters of Meribah. The people of Israel were once again complaining to Moses because of the lack of water. The Lord instructs Moses to tell the rock to yield its water, but instead, Moses strikes the rock twice with his staff.
“Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, ‘Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?’ And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe in Me, to uphold Me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.’” (20:10-12)
Chapter 20 of Numbers serves as a reminder to us that even God’s people, even people ordained by Him to do His work, are not perfect. They make mistakes. We make mistakes, and there are consequences.
Miriam was jealous. Moses was angry. Both were wrong. Miriam became leprous for seven days and had it not been for the pleading to God by her brother Moses, she may have been leprous for the rest of her life. Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of his anger.
These are two excellent reminders for us today that sin has real consequences, and even leaders like Moses and Miriam are not perfect. We all need God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness. I am so glad that His grace, mercy, and forgiveness are available to us today! Aren’t you?
As we read about the consequences of sin today, I am reminded of chapter 26 of Leviticus and the promises of both obedience and disobedience listed for us there.
Promises of Obedience:
Promises of Disobedience:
About Sweeter Than Honey
When I read God’s Word each morning, I find inspiration and insight that keeps my day on track. Join me on this journey. Let’s settle in with His Word—it’s His Love Letter to us. Did you know that? Let’s read it like a love letter, expecting to glean something for our walk with Him every day. Let’s look for peace in the chaos and strength for our weaknesses. Even on our busiest days we can carve out a few minutes to refocus on the important—the eternal. Can’t we? We may have to get up a little earlier, when the house is still and quiet, or stay up a few minutes after the others are all tucked in for the night, but we can do this! I know we can!
Let's be intentional about focusing on God’s Word and the truths found there. Let's let it inspire us to live out our faith each day in a way that causes those we come in contact with to want what we have found. God sees you. He knows you by name, He knows the number of hairs on your head, and He cares about every detail of your daily existence. He wrote you a Love Letter. Let’s dive in!
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