February 5

Written by Bill Grandi on February 5th, 2019

If I were to title this devotion it would be Consequences vs Reward.

Background: Numbers 21: the people complain against God and Moses about the lack of food and water. Consequence: a plague of fiery serpents (Can’t help but think of Indiana Jones’ comment: “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?) Answer: God has Moses put a serpent on a pole and all who look on it will live. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so much the Son of Man be lifted up.”

Numbers 22-24: Balaam is summoned by Balak to pronounce judgment against Israel. Instead, Balaam blesses Israel and curses Balak’s people. Some interesting exchanges there which I hope to come back to. Consequence: Balaam knows God’s displeasure.

Numbers 25 (today’s reading): From other Scripture it appears Balaam’s advice to Balak- not seen in these passages but elsewhere (Rev.2:4 for example)- was for the people of Israel to whore after the daughters of Moab. They did. They even went so far as to offer themselves to Baal. The words used is “yoked themselves.” Consequence: God’s intense anger and the mandate to kill all the chiefs of the people who turned a blind eye. It was so bad that while all this was going on one of the Israelites brought a Midianite woman into the camp and into his tent. In plain sight of all!!

Enough was enough for Phinehas, the son of Eleazar the high priest. He grabbed a spear, made his way into the tent and killed them both. The plague stopped. Reward: Phinehas is given a covenant by God. (Numbers 25:12-13)

Scripture is filled with stories of consequences/rewards. Galatians 6 tells us we will reap what we sow. Strange how man sows wild seed and expects a harvest of good seed. Plant corn/get oats. Ain’t going to happen! What makes us/me think I can plant renegade seed and reap a harvest of useful and good crop? There are consequences to our poor choices. But there are also rewards to good ones.

“Father, help me to plant good seed. Help me to remember there are consequences to poor choices and even though they may not be immediate, they will come. Help me also to stand like Phinehas against evil.”


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    I like your analogy regarding the seed… I need to pay closer attention to the seed that I am planting. In a single moment, I can toss a handful of bad seed into a planted garden. What can happen in a single moment could take hours, days, or years to weed out. Great thoughts today!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Ryan. That hit me as i was writing. As you say though…it can happen in a single moment, etc. Let’s plant good seed!

  2. Glynn says:

    Whenever I run across articles about “decoupling” the church from the Old Testament, I’m reminded of stories like the ones you mention here. If for no other reason (and there are plenty of them), the OT is filled with stories about the realities of human nature — the good, the bad, and the ugly. We are as much in need of redemption as we ever were.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’m with you on the “decoupling” the church from the OT. I find that very dubious and somewhat heretical at worst. Those OT stories, though sometimes dry or wild, still pack a meaningful punch.

  3. Yes, there are consequences for our choices in life, Bill. May the ones we make align with the Father’s will for us. Blessings!

  4. floyd samons says:

    Wow… point made… Very powerful.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Floyd. I suspect both of us could attest to this truth. (We’ve both lived a lot of years)