Words of Life

Mercy at Meribah / Judgment in Jerusalem / Gifting for Grace

Numbers 20:

  • After all that Moses and Aaron had done in leading God’s people, they are now excluded from entering the promised land. (vs. 12 & 24) The reason is, because of Moses’ lapse of faith in trusting God in the arid land of Meribah. It seems like an overreaction to me. For Moses nearly obeys, losing his temper and striking the rock (vs. 11) rather than speaking to it (vs. 8). Moses just lost his wife (vs. 1) and will now lose his brother (vs. 28).
  • At times God shows patience and mercy. Even here he allows Moses a 2nd chance. But Moses strikes the rock a 2nd time. (vs. 11) Again, mercy is shown in bringing water “abundantly” anyway. There are other times when God draws a hard line of righteous judgment! We should not presume when mercy is deserved (it’s never), but humbly and gratefully accept our lot when it comes.
    • LORD, I desire to have a sober-minded, self-controlled and humble faith. Help me in this, for Your glory and the good of Your children.

 

Lamentations 2:

  • Jeremiah is witnessing the devastating judgment because of Israel’s stubborn rebellion. The merciless slaughter via the ruthless Babylonians is ultimately God’s doing. (vs. 1-8) A discouraging aspect of Israel’s persistence in refusing to repent of their ways comes from the naive optimism brought from the false prophets. (vs. 14) Optimism has its place, but when it insulates people from remedying their defiance, it is destructive and ultimately unloving, practically hateful.
    • LORD, help me to mourn like Jeremiah. (vs. 11) Let me burn with a desire to offer hope. (vs. 13) But show me a hope that does not cover reality and absolve from legitimate guilt and responsibility, lest there be no healing.

 

Ephesians 4:

  • Unity and endurance are to be hallmarks of the church. This unity is not in function, for God gave various roles for different people to fulfill within His community. (vs. 11) These roles are intended to equip and engage EVERY member of the body of Christ. (vs. 16) There are to be NO peripheral people in Jesus’ church! I don’t care how ill-equipped someone may appear to our eyes, our eyes are liars when in opposition to what God says. “But grace was given to EACH ONE…”! In the church, we must discover what this grace is and utilize it for the good of everyone! (vs. 12-14)
    • Holy Spirit, open my eyes to see Your gifting in everyone, that I may see their value and equip them for Your glorious purposes.

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