For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.
they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings.
Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.
Get up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the LORD, God of Israel, “There are devoted things in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.”
In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. And the tribe that the LORD takes by lot shall come near by clans. And the clan that the LORD takes shall come near by households. And the household that the LORD takes shall come near man by man.
And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has done an outrageous thing in Israel.'”
King James Version states:
“… and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put [it] even among their own stuff….”
‘…the accursed thing…’, ‘the devoted things’, ‘what is meant for destruction’ all different translations that simply let us know the command God gave before they went into Jericho was not kept by all of them. Someone had disobeyed the command. We would classify this as sin. Scripture states that the wages of sin is death. We know that death comes to life, to relationships, to jobs, etc. In this case it caused the death of thirty-six men in battle, the death of the fear held by those Israel would come against, the death of victory, for God no longer led them. We can get in the way of God; we can hinder what He means to accomplish through us.
When the Holy Spirit has shown us what needs to be removed from our lives and we don’t remove all of it, we too bear the consequences. Yeast grows and you only have to begin with a little bit. Jesus said a little leaven leavens the whole lump.
[Mat 13:33 KJV] 33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
We can hide what we hold on to but we can’t hide the consequences. It is worth noting the perpetrator was from Judah – the ones who were charged with leading the people. We can and should judge – not to pass sentence – but to determine if we will follow the leadership. In the New Testament we find, first from Jesus, these words of warning:
[Luk 12:1-2 ESV] 1 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Then later instructions to the new churches:
[1Co 5:6-8 ESV] 6 Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
[Gal 5:7-10 ESV] 7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is.
One man in Israel caused the death of others and the loss of the battle. That tells us to be sure we are following the commands of God as given; not as they may be twisted or manipulated. Later on Saul, king of Israel did the same and blamed it on the people. He said he wanted to use the animals for a sacrifice to God. Samuel reminded him that God desires obedience. Saul was stripped of his crown, his life and the life of his son. Jesus says, in follow-up to talking of leaven, Pharisees and hypocrisy, to fear the One who can destroy the soul:
[Luk 12:3-5 ESV] 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. 4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
Who are we to fear? God Almighty. Him only shall we serve…
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