Living with our choices (Numbers 33-34)

“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.”  Leviticus 33:55

There he sat, dejected and facing a dismal future.  The prognosis was not very good.  The man asked his doctor, “Why am I facing this?”  His response, “You have made poor health choices throughout your life, and now you are going to have to live with your choices.”

The above illustration should be one that awakens us to this reality: “Ever choice has implications.”  And even more awakening reality is: “There are no redoes in choices.”

This morning I was brought to the above realities as I walked through Numbers 33-34.  Here is the outline of the chapters:

  • In chapter 34 Moses reminds Israel of her journey from Egypt to the edge of the Jordon river.  40 plus years have passed as God has been gracious to Israel despite her poor choices.
  • In chapter 34 Moses gives instructions for Israel’s battle plan for the conquest of the Promised Land.
  • In chapter 35 Moses leads Israel to plan ahead for both the borders of their battle as well as the dividing of the land.

This is extremely important for us:  “Israel was at a moment of choice.”

Here was her choice:  “Obey or disobey the battle plan set by the Lord.

I.  Consider the battle plan, Vs: 52-53:

a.  She was to drive out the inhabitants of the land.

b.  She was to remove all marks of idolatry from the land.

c.  She was to take possession of the land.

2.  Consider the implications of the wrong choice, Vs: 55-56:

a.  She would face the daily pain of seeing her enemy in her sight.

b. She would have thorns in her side as she faced and endured captivity.

c.  She would be judged by God.

For a deeper understanding of Israel’s failed choices, I challenge you to read Psalm 106:34-48.  I also point you to Hebrews 4:1-13.

God was being very clear with Israel and God is very clear with us.  We cannot possible have rest apart from doing the will of God, His way.  We cannot possible enter into eternal rest apart from His Son Jesus Christ.

May this chapter remind us to seek the right choice every day in obeying God’s battle plan!!!


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