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March 18, Day #78 – The Best News Ever!

Today we come to Numbers 5:11-6:27. This section begins with “the law of jealousy” (cf., 5:29). This was the test for an unfaithful wife, and at first reading, we wonder about the implications of this test and why it was even necessary. Its procedures almost seem superstitious when the Bible itself condemns superstitious beliefs. However, there is more to this law than meets the eye. In the ancient world, adultery was no less common than it is in our culture today – often a practice within many heathen cultic religions. This particular, Mosaic legal ritual served at least two purposes, and I want to emphasize that, although this text focuses on the wife’s conduct, nevertheless the principle behind it applies to husbands as well. Here, two observations should be made: [1]. We notice that – in God’s sight - a wife who “sleeps with another man” has incurred an “impurity” even if “undetected” (verse 13). God is able to detect the impurity, and He is able to generate feelings of suspicion in an unsuspecting husband. Keep in mind that this represents God’s pathway for righteousness. If suspicion occurs, the man is to employ God’s method for determining truth – in this case - “to take hie wife to the priest,” who is God’s appointed representative to the people. As God is able to detect impurity, He is also able to reveal the truth to His appointed representative before the people. The truth is not bound up in the procedure or the ritual (God could have chosen any procedure He wanted); the truth is bound up in God’s revelation and the woman’s confession “under oath” (verse 19). If the woman lied, she brought a divine curse on herself “and she will bear the consequences of her sin” (verse 31). Those consequences were severe. [2] This law not only had individual ramifications; it had collective, national applications for all Israel which, on more than one occasion, fell into idolatry. Again – in God’s sight – Israel’s idolatry was national adultery. Similarly, those consequences were also severe.

From the days of my youth, I have made an effort to give Proverbs 7:6-20 my own personal, regular, and special attention. I thank God for its truth and wisdom. The writer observed that this young man was “simple” and “had no sense” (verse 7). Growing up, I had often seen several similar young people – simple and without sense - who are compared here to “an ox going to the slaughter, a deer stepping into a noose, and a bird ensnared - little knowing it will cost him his life” (verses 22-23). As a teenager, I witnessed this truth in the lives of many simple and senseless peers who traded their innocence for a moment of temporal popularity. The saddest expression about people like those described in Proverbs 7 is that they are most unfaithful to God and to themselves - the ones to whom they should be most faithful. Although unfaithfulness clearly can be forgiven, nevertheless, its subsequent regret, heartache, and destruction shipwreck one’s own life the most - rendering it largely ineffective. Praise God for His example of faithfulness to us and for His command that we be found faithful before Him. If you are a young person reading this, I would admonish you – never exchange your virtue for anything less than complete chastity.

In Luke 2:1-20, we read the most glorious news ever told – the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This is a divinely inspired, accurate, historical account of God’s entry into His own universe – Mary “gave birth to her firstborn, a son” (verse 7), accompanied by the angelic news, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (verse 11), and followed by “a great company of the heavenly host … praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests’” (verse 14). Since that night, no news has ever been that good!

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