February 21 | Daily Devotion

February 21 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“[The Israelites] did just as the Lord had instructed Moses.” ~Numbers 5:4

The teachings of the book of Moses were never intended to be an arduous burden. Quite the opposite, actually, as God’s instructions are meant to bless His people. He wants them to take purity and beauty seriously as a declaration of God’s purity and beauty (Num. 5:1-4). Those who take advantage of others are to confess their sins and restore what was wrongly taken (Num. 5:5-10). A husband who suspects his wife of immorality is not to take matters into his own hands, instead he trusts God to reveal wrongdoing. “Where there is doubt, the matter must be left in the hands of God who knows all things, “ according to one commentator.[1] The Nazarite Vow is a completely voluntary commitment taken for a season. Imagine a person who goes on an extended retreat or pilgrimage devoting themselves to prayer, mediation, reflection, and spiritual renewal. Not a bad idea even today!

Just as a parent glories in his children when they are doing well so God “glories” in seeing His children experience blessing. He does not want us to be unfruitful (Mark 4:20)! “God’s respect to the creature’s good, and his respect to himself, is not a divided respect; but both are united in one, “ wrote Jonathan Edwards in The End for Which God Created the World. But God’s desire for our happiness does not give us leave to do whatever we want. Since He longs for our happiness, we must do what He has taught us in His Word.

In keeping with God command in Numbers 6 that His ministers pray for His people, I want to extend this blessing to you today: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (vv. 24-26).

[1] The New Bible Dictionary (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity, 1994), 176. The procedure detailed in Numbers 5:16-22 was not magic. It was intended to put pressure on the suspected offender to confess before God and the minister. Furthermore, innocents were protected from retribution.

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.