14th February: Numbers 5-6 – Christ’s atoning death …

Numbers

5:1-31  –  ‘The Lord said…’ (1): Let us hear and obey His Word. God is holy: His people are not to be defiled (3). Sin is not merely moral. It is spiritual. It is not only a deviation from law. It is an offence against God – ‘breaking faith with the Lord’ (6). God is holy:  ‘Atonement’ is more than a provision for our need of forgiveness. It is a ‘restitution… to the Lord’ (8). Christ’s atoning death does two things: (a) It meets the demands of God’s holiness. (b) It meets our need of salvation. We must not do ‘the wrong’ and ‘break faith with the Lord’ (6-7). We are to obey the Gospel call for ‘faith in our Lord Jesus Christ’: This is ‘repentance’. We obey God’s ‘command…to repent’ (Acts 20:21; 17:30). No longer ‘trusting in ourselves that we are righteous’, we confess our sins and look to Christ for mercy  (Luke 18:9,13).

6:1-27  –  ‘Separate… to the Lord,… Separate… from wine and strong drink’ (2-3): These two thoughts are closely connected in the New Testament – ‘Do not get drunk with wine,… Be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18). We are to be ‘holy to the Lord’ (8). ‘Consecrated to the Lord’, our whole life must be controlled by one thing: ‘Do all to the glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 10:31). Motivated by a desire for God’s glory, we will enjoy God’s blessing (22-27). God’s blessing is not a ‘cheap’ thing, something that doesn’t matter very much. Remember Esau (Genesis 25:29-34). He couldn’t be bothered. He couldn’t care less. God’s blessing meant nothing to him. He didn’t want God’s blessing. What did God do? – He gave it to Jacob. ‘The Lord bless you…’: Do you want this? Or must God find somebody else?

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