Posts Tagged ‘Deceit’


Numbers 25:1-3,5-9,12-13,17-18 While the Israelites were camped at Acacia Grove, some of the men defiled themselves by having sexual relations with local Moabite women. These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, so the Israelites feasted with them and worshiped the gods of Moab. In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the Lord’s anger to blaze against his people… So Moses ordered Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death the men under your authority who have joined in worshiping Baal of Peor.” Just then one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman into his tent, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as everyone was weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle. When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly. He took a spear and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear all the way through the man’s body and into the woman’s stomach. So the plague against the Israelites was stopped, but not before 24,000 people had died… Now tell him that I am making my special covenant of peace with him. In this covenant, I give him and his descendants a permanent right to the priesthood, for in his zeal for me, his God, he purified the people of Israel, making them right with me”… “Attack the Midianites and destroy them, because they assaulted you with deceit and tricked you into worshiping Baal of Peor, and because of Cozbi, the daughter of a Midianite leader, who was killed at the time of the plague because of what happened at Peor.”

God’s anger was justified because of the actions of His chosen ones but the result is hard to understand when we consider God’s love and forgiving nature. What is God speaking to us through this chapter? (more…)


Leviticus 6:1-2,5-6,12,18,30 (NIV, @2011) The LORD said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor… or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering. And as a penalty they must bring to the priest, that is, to the LORD, their guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value… The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it… Any male descendant of Aaron may eat it. For all generations to come it is his perpetual share of the food offerings presented to the LORD. Whatever touches them will become holy’”… But any sin offering whose blood is brought into the tent of meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place must not be eaten; it must be burned up.

God certainly had serious hangups about sin and ensured He communicated His disgust of sin and the sinner and also provided a means for His people, the Israelites to make peace with Him.

The number of sacrifices, the types and the purposes ensured there was enough for the priests themselves and that the Lord’s tabernacle would never be without constant offering.

What is God’s desire for us today that is communicated through this historic text recorded around 1,445 BC? (more…)


Genesis 44:1,2,4,5,9-13,16-17 Then he commanded his house steward, saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. “Put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph had told him… They had just gone out of the city, and were not far off, when Joseph said to his house steward, “Up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? ‘Is not this the one from which my lord drinks and which he indeed uses for divination? You have done wrong in doing this.’”… “With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord’s slaves.” So he said, “Now let it also be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and the rest of you shall be innocent.” Then they hurried, each man lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. He searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. Then they tore their clothes, and when each man loaded his donkey, they returned to the city… So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; behold, we are my lord’s slaves, both we and the one in whose possession the cup has been found.” But he said, “Far be it from me to do this. The man in whose possession the cup has been found, he shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father.”

I’m not sure about you but I was hoping today’s chapter would see the resolution of this great divide between the brothers.

Joseph’s actions are deplorable because he had his cup placed in Benjamin’s sack and then sent out his guards to catch Benjamin stealing.

What is God trying to teach us through Joseph’s treachery? (more…)


Genesis 38:1-2,24-26 And it came about at that time, that Judah departed from his brothers and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in to her… Now it was about three months later that Judah was informed, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot, and behold, she is also with child by harlotry.” Then Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” It was while she was being brought out that she sent to her father-in-law, saying, “I am with child by the man to whom these things belong.” And she said, “Please examine and see, whose signet ring and cords and staff are these?” Judah recognized them, and said, “She is more righteous than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not have relations with her again.

Forgive me for feeling so outraged but why does the Bible record such depressing details of key figures who were supposed to carry God’s blessing?

This chapter – I encourage you to read it before you continue – shows the brokenness of Judah and his family. The reason I’m so upset is that Judah is Jesus’ ancestor!

This is a record of Judah’s disobedience by marrying a Canaanite woman which was forbidden by God, choosing another for his oldest son Er and their brokenness cost him the lives of his first 2 sons, makes him the father of two more sons born through an incestuous relationship with his daughter-in-law and a life of pure shame.

Is there any point to this story and what is God speaking to us through it? (more…)


Genesis 34:1-3,13,30 Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her. His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her… Because their sister Dinah had been defiled, Jacob’s sons replied deceitfully as they spoke to Shechem and his father Hamor… Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”

When I read this chapter, my first reaction was to cringe because of what Simeon and Levi did. Their actions did not reflect well on their family and us as their family in Christ.

I was wondering if I might be able to skip this chapter and look for something more suitable to share but with God, there is nothing in His word that He does not speak to us through and therefore I’m at it.

What is the point that God is speaking to us through this horrible incident and is this just a dark reality of our faith? (more…)


Acts 13:6b-11
There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.”

There constantly was a conscious and orchestrated effort to stop the disciples from sharing the gospel and as the good news was being preached around the world, more and more people were being saved and many were being persecuted. Would it not be discouraging for the elect to continue to fight a never-ending battle? Was it not frustrating to them that everywhere they went, they were up against a never ceasing enemy? Would it not be simpler for them to live their normal, peaceful lives and not put themselves to such difficulties for a man who died many years ago?

To the ones who have found peace in Jesus, there is nothing or no one that can take it away. To the sinner saved by God’s grace, nothing can be more comforting and no hardship can cause them to stop sharing God’s goodness to the world. In Elymas (Bar-Jesus), Paul saw himself and God’s punishment spoken through Paul was evidence of what he was before he met the Lord. Today we are reminded of who we were (If we are now saved) or are and what we have become (Or can become) in the character of Elymas and Paul. The choice is simple, the rewards are eternal but the consequences could be temporarily harsh. Are you willing to be counted on God’s side?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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