Discipline, Not Condemn

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Today’s Devotion: Numbers 23

This chapter has been dubbed, “”The error of Balaam”—ignorance of God’s righteousness.

Balaam has now come to Balak, the king of Moab. Balak takes Balaam to the top of a mountain so that he can see the camp of Israel below. Balak is not satisfied with any of the prophecies of Balaam; so he will take him to four different mountains on four different sides of the camp.

Balaam uses his own reasoning and rationalizing, and concludes that God must condemn Israel because of their sin. Man has a tendency to conclude that God must judge Israel, because of their sin, and that God must judge the individual sinner. However, God does not judge the sinner because He has already judged him in Christ Jesus—when he (we) came to God by faith in Christ.

The world does not understand that and neither did Balaam. He thought that God must condemn Israel. He figured that if God was going to judge Israel, he might as well get the benefit of the rewards from King Balak; thinking that God would condemn Israel and that he would be permitted to get a handsome reward as a result of it.

Balaam did not understand the righteousness of God either. He did not understand that the believing sinner, just like the people of Israel, could not come under the judgment and condemnation of God. When the believer sins, he comes under the disciplining hand of God, not under the condemnation of God.

Aren’t you relieved? I am! Disciplined for our sin, not condemned. That’s not to say the world isn’t out to get us or the devil doesn’t work overtime to discourage us, beat us when we’re down and rob us of our happiness and hope. Today, I’m thankful to have a God who knows my heart, has all things figured out, can right my wrongs and direct my path. I’m so glad that my God forgives, loves, redeems, restores, and rebuilds lives.

Thank you LORD!

Wait Until Your Father Gets Home


Today’s Devotion: Numbers 11

I was fortunate to have an at-home Mom when I was growing up. There were days when my two brothers and I were a bit too much for her to handle. Generally, she would hold the line and usher the discipline, but there were those other days when our energy could not be harnessed and we would see her finger point while she declared those haunting words, “You just wait until your father gets home.”

Once we heard that, our attention shifted from the playfulness, rebelliousness and rambunctiousness to strategizing what we could do to minimize the spanking that awaited us when Mom told Dad about her day.

I remembered this when I read the first verse of Numbers 10. “Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.” Uh-oh, God’s mad! Rightfully so, He helped them escape slavery and what does He get? Tribes of Israelities complaining that His provisions are good enough for them.

If I read between the lines, God does not like whiners and complainers. As a matter of fact, in this passage, He gets very angry. Fast forward to today and I look at my life as it relates to this message and I’m guilty! Guilt of praying for things and circumstances that will make me happy. I may not be praying for meat instead of manna, but I do pray for material possessions, relationships that are challenging and for things to work out “my way.”

Shame on me! I hear God reminding me of 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, “Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Today I’m going to hold my head high, I’m going to be thankful for all God has blessed me with and praise Him for all He has given me and done for me. I appreciate His words this morning to put in perspective how we need to recognize the blessings and all He has done for us, instead of complaining and whining.