A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
In this section the people win their first battle, are punished by God for their continuously disrespectful attitude, are rescued by the bronze snake (which becomes an advance symbol of Christ), and approach Moab with the intention of conquering it. There is also a long discussion of the trials and tribulations of a man named Baalam.
Later on we will see that the destruction of Canaanite cities comes not only to benefit the People of Israel, but to punish the excessive wickedness of the Canaanites themselves. What is noteworthy in this incident at Arad is that LORD is the one who delivers cities and battles into the hands of the Israelites and they know it.
But the people can try even the patience of God with their complaining so He sends venomous snakes into their camp to punish them (aren=t you glad it was a different era than our own?). In response to the repentance of the people, God sets up a bronze snake on a pole and the people who put their trust in God through this symbol are healed.
Picking & choosing their battles was a characteristic of the Israelite success, and since God is guiding them they always have an advantage. We tend to rush into battle too often and to pick the wrong ones to fight.
Baalam's story is self-explanatory, and the miracle of a talking donkey makes interesting reading. The point of the story is that there is no safety apart from God=s will so we should learn it before we act, and follow it as we do.
In your life, what battles are you fighting? Are they the right ones? Have you brought your concerns to God and talked over with Him in prayer what strategy you should adopt?
Have you ever caught yourself complaining about the details while God was working on a bigger picture? Do you believe God is the One who can and does deliver you?
Make a list of 10 Ways in which God has protected and blessed your life in the past (if you are a new Christian list as many as you can). Then thank Him for the peace and security of knowing His love and His grace. Ask Him to give you the patience to live through the problem times you cannot avoid and the strength to master the obstacles which can be overcome.
God's support makes all the difference in our battles. His love makes all the difference in the world.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2011