“The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. Then Israel sang this song: ‘Spring up, O well! Sing about it, about the well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people sank—-the nobles with scepters and staffs.’ That is why the poets say: ‘Come to Heshbon and let it be rebuilt; let Sihon’s city be restored.’ ‘Fir went out from Heshbon, a blaze from the city of Sihon. It consumed Ar of Moab, the citizens of Arnon’s heights.’ Woe to you, O Moab! You are destroyed, O people of Chermosh! He has given up his sons as fugitives an his daughters as captives to Sihon king of the Amorites. ‘But we have overthrown them; Heshbon is destroyed all the way to Dibon. We have demolished them as far as Nophah, which extend to Medeba.’” (Numbers 21:7, 17-18, 27-30)
In verse 7 the people complained against God and Moses, saying: ‘There is no water and we hate this miserable food. So God send venomous snakes and many Israelites were killed for their complaining, their sins, their lack of trust. Not one time did God fail the people by not providing food and water for them, and yet they complained. They sought out Moses and admitted their sins against God and even Moses and asked him to pray to God to remove the snakes. God did not remove the snakes, but He did give the people a way to live if they were bitten. So, the Israelites came away with a bit of an attitude adjustment.
Prayer can be sung to consecrate the results of human labor to God and to remember special events in God’s history with His people. Israel sang to God about wells they dug successfully and battles they won under God’s leadership. In short, the Israelites remembered to praise God for their blessings. Much better attitudes, huh?!
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, today we recognize the gift of praising You for the many times we need to thank You for providing for us as You promised. It is also a reminder that when in the kingdom of heaven, we will praise you all day every day. Today we continue to pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, for those we don’t know, especially the people in Ukraine, as they are fighting for their very lives and way of life. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“If you find yourself with time on your hands—-put them together and pray! It will makes God’s day.”
“But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.” (Job 5:8)
Eliphaz demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of Job. He expected Job humbly to confess his sins and seek God’s pardon. Confession was not an option for Job. He could not discover any sin deserving such horrible suffering. Nor could he discover God’s presence. Job’s honest confrontation with God, not false confession, was the proper mode of prayer in his situation. One person cannot tell another how to pray. No one type of prayer is proper in all situations. The one who claims to be an authority on prayer like Eliphaz may actually stand in need of prayer.
“For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities: rebellion and treachery against the Lord, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering lies our hearts have conceived. So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.” (Isaiah 59:12-15)
The prophet led the people to confessing their sins. Confession involves admitting guilt, listing specific sins, acknowledging that sin is against God, and seeking forgiveness. God responded to Israel’s confession with determination to act.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Let us lift up ou hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: ‘We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven.’” (Lamentation 3:40-42)