by Rev Lai Kai Ming
Readings: Numbers 15:17-16:40; Psalm 65:1-13
READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!” And a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.
Not too longer ago, we read from Hebrews that our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29). Today, we see what that meant. For their rebellion against Moses, the Lord killed Korah and all who colluded with him. Why so serious? Why death and not just a stern warning? We could only assume that the Lord knew the condition of these men’s hearts. Although God is patient and compassionate, it was likely that those who were killed would have spurned His offer of mercy and love anyway.
It is natural for us to get worried when we read an account of God’s judgement like this. We wonder when our sins would bring upon the Lord’s fire upon us, or cause the earth to split. No, I do not believe that God’s children should respond in such fear. God knows that we are weak, and He has already forgiven us in Christ. While we do not want to take God’s grace for granted, neither should we live as though Jesus did not die for us. For the sake of sinners, the fire had consumed the Savior. The next time we sin – do some reflection, say sorry, ask God to help you not to do it again, and move on in peace.
Lord, I know I am weak. Sometimes I feel so helpless against the temptations of this world. Thank you for your promise of help, and of forgiveness when help fails.
by Rev Joel Yong
Tell believers to live the kind of life that goes along with accurate teachings. Tell older men to be sober. Tell them to be men of good character, to use good judgment, and to be well-grounded in faith, love, and endurance. Tell older women to live their lives in a way that shows they are dedicated to God. Tell them not to be gossips or addicted to alcohol, but to be examples of virtue. In this way they will teach young women to show love to their husbands and children, to use good judgment, and to be morally pure. Also, tell them to teach young women to be homemakers, to be kind, and to place themselves under their husbands’ authority. Then no one can speak evil of God’s word. Encourage young men to use good judgment. Always set an example by doing good things. When you teach, be an example of moral purity and dignity. Speak an accurate message that cannot be condemned. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed because they cannot say anything bad about us. Tell slaves who are believers to place themselves under their masters’ authority in everything they do. Tell them to please their masters, not to argue with them or steal from them. Instead, tell slaves to show their masters how good and completely loyal they can be. Then they will show the beauty of the teachings about God our Savior in everything they do.
You see, how we live matters.
“Then they will show the beauty of the teachings about God our Savior in everything they do.”
The word printed in our Bibles is ink upon paper. But when we take what we learn from it and live it out – the word comes alive and all can see it at work.
They see the drunkard cease drinking.
They witness the hot tempered man mellow.
They see the slothful take upon themselves responsibility and carry their own loads.
They see how the Word changes lives.
If your faith is waning and doubt is creeping in- ask this question: “When was the last time, I let the Word I read each day change a particular habit of mine?”
Pray about it.