Prayer Focus: Australia

Bible Reading: Numbers 3-5

Scripture

The Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any wayt and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged. (Numbers 5:5-7)

Observation

After pulling His people out of Egypt, God set about the business of making them His own.  He taught them about right and wrong, clean and unclean, and how to tell the difference.  Through the sacrifices he taught them how to move from one state to the other, and in today’s reading he spent time giving them jobs to do and establishing authority, a chain of command whereby some were held in responsibility for others and what the consequences were for breaking those laws.  He was establishing rule and order, and working out those laws into the every day part of their interactions, including how to handle the sins they committed against one another.

Application

Making wrongs right again still involve the same pattern today that God set out in Numbers.  Confession and restitution.    1st John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins He is faithful and will forgive our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness.”    He made a pathway through sin to reach us, knowing that ten minutes after we make ourselves right, we would do wrong again, and need his forgiveness all over again.  Such is His mercy.

I believe that contriteness of spirit (that willingness to agree with God on what sin is, and the resulting repentant behavior), is directly tied to our understanding of what sin is and what it does in our lives.

So, today I will examine my sins more closely.  I always want to be the hero in my own story and I squirm away from the ugly parts of me that I am ashamed of, but today I will be asking myself if I stopped at “I’m sorry” or did I take the next step to make things right?  Did I follow all the way through and burn the bridges I made my internal excuses on?  Did I bring honor to God by sacrificing my pride and humbly approach the people I wronged while I lashed out?  How I answer those questions, will determine how much of my life God can use.  It will either make room for more of Him or it will bar Him from living there in the temple he made in my heart.

Prayer

Lord, forgive me for not only the wrongs I’ve done, but for the times I’ve stopped half way and didn’t clean out the props I used to hold my pride together.  Help me see more clearly where I need to go and make things right with my neighbor.  Then I pray that you give me the courage to trust you and not myself… by making restitution with them.  I want to be clean.  Forgive me for trying to hide behind my excuses.  Give me courage to act.

Amen.

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