Sunday February 14
The Two-Edged Sword - Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)
“For the word of God is… sharper than any two-edged sword.”
I believe that God’s word is like a two-edged sword, because it proclaims both His judgement on our sin and His grace in our salvation. The Book of Numbers is a marvelous example of this combination of judgement and grace—of God’s double-edged sword! First, let’s look at the message of grace.
Numbers is the story of Israel’s trip through the wilderness after God freed them from slavery in Egypt. On this “road trip” Israel behaved abominably—so much so that at one point God wanted to wipe them all out and start making a new nation from Moses! Primarily the people were complaining. They complained about their troubles (11:1), the food they didn’t have (11:5), the food they DID have (11:6), the leadership of Moses (16:1), the prospect of having to fight the Canaanites (14:1-4), and the lack of water (20:5). In addition, they took up the invitation of the women of Moab to have sex with them in their ceremonies of Baal worship.
In the midst of all this rebellion, King Balak of Moab hires a local seer, Balaam, to curse Israel. But all God will let Balaam do is pronounce a blessing on Israel.
What a picture of grace! Israel is sinning away, but God is above them, protecting and blessing.
And yet we also see the “edge” of God’s judgement. No one who saw God part the Red Sea, saw the Lord part the Jordan River to usher them into Canaan. They all died in the wilderness during the 40 years of wandering. Complaining, idolatry, and sexual sin kept a whole generation from reaching their Promised Land.
And these same things will keep us, as well as millions of Native Americans who have not heard these words of Truth, from reaching our Promised Land of rest, joy, and fruitfulness as well. Paul tells us to “put to death…sexual sin…evil desire…and idolatry”. The hard truth is that either we kill these sinful desires or they will kill us! And keep us from entering our Promised Land.
Thank you for Your loving and forgiving grace. Help us kill the desires to complain, sin sexually, or put something in front of You, so that we reach the Promised Land You have for us.