For we have forsaken your commandments, which you commanded … saying, ‘The land that you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness.Ezra 9:10-12
Therefore … never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.’
Author: <span class="vcard">Liz Smith</span>
There are many lessons we can learn from the people of Israel and their experience in the wilderness. Some examples are pointed out to us blatantly by Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:6–11: 1) we should not lust as they lusted, 2) become idolaters as were some of them, 3) commit sexual immorality as some of them did, 4) tempt Christ as also some did, nor 5) complain as some of them complained. Whew. That’s quite the list to keep in mind as we walk the Christian walk.
While I was reading the book of Numbers this morning, I came upon another example that resonated with me:
Lately, God has been showing me the importance of my role as a mother. This might sound ridiculously obvious to some, but sometimes we get so bogged down in the “everyday” that we lose sight of what we’ve been gifted with. The other day, upon opening to the dedication page of the book I had just received, I was moved to read this: “To My Mother.”
1) Jesus had nowhere to lay his head (Matt. 8:20), yet many of our church buildings have become little (some not so little) country clubs complete with swimming pools, cafés, bowling alleys, and Frisbee golf parks, built to entertain ourselves and draw in the world with the world’s methods. Even our most conservative churches today are not immune to the lure of fabricating comfortable little kingdoms in the name of Christ, putting faith in “if you build it, they will come,” and completely ignoring the teaching of God’s word to the contrary (Matt. 6:19–20; Phil. 3:19–20).
Two summers ago, over the Fourth of July weekend, I visited a friend in the hospital. As I walked into the ICU room, the TV mounted on the ceiling glared into the darkness. The movie Jaws was playing, which I suppose has become standard fare for Independence Day television viewing. The patient was sleeping, so I sat down and began to watch. It had been several years since I’d seen it, and I picked up at (of course) the Fourth of July scene on the beach.
If you’re familiar with the movie, this is a very tense scene. The beach had been closed because of recent shark attacks, but the City of Amity had made the decision to reopen for the Fourth since a large shark had been caught and destroyed. The beach was the town’s only industry, and without tourism dollars, the town couldn’t survive the long winter months. So of course, the beach was packed with residents and tourists celebrating the holiday.
But there was a problem. No one was going in the water.
by Gale Carter, Founder and Executive Director, D.O.L.L.S., used with permission
I ask, “With what confidence will your family bury you?” because this past week I watched as one of the D.O.L.L.S. ministry’s dear young ladies was faced with the unspeakable reality of having to bury her mother. Hannah’s mom passed away very unexpectedly, due to a blood clot after a small surgical procedure. No one saw it coming. It happened less than twenty-four hours following sweet Hannah’s eighteenth birthday.