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February 21 Today’s Reading — Numbers 30-32
“Wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel”
We ought always to look each one upon the things of others, ever seeking to help, protect, provide for, and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our pilgrimage through this world is full of pain and heartache, temptations and trials, sorrow and weeping. Let it be our determination to make one another’s lives sweeter, brighter, and more pleasant. May God the Holy Spirit give us grace to enrich the lives of his people and keep us from discouraging one another.
Our Vows and Our Husband
Our Lord Jesus is both the Everlasting Father of his elect and the Husband of his saints. As such he will both confirm and strengthen our souls by his all-sufficient grace to perform all that he directs us to do for his cause, his people, and his honor. And all the rash vows we make, to which we might foolishly and sinfully obligate ourselves, he will rescind and undo by his sovereign power and right of dominion over us. He has by his Holy Spirit begotten us again to new life. We are children by adoption and grace. Moreover, he has betrothed us to himself forever in his marvelous loving kindness. My Maker is my Husband; the LORD of Hosts is his name. In believer’s baptism we publicly dedicated ourselves to him and his service forever. May he give us grace to perform our vow of dedication to him. — “I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the Lord’s house” (Psalm 116:18-19).
In the contemplation of this holy war of Israel with Midian we have the figure and similitude of that war in which our souls are constantly engaged. Pray for grace from God in the strength of his Spirit to make war with our souls’ enemies (the world, the flesh and the devil) and never to seek terms of peace. Do not spare any of those lusts in our corrupt members which war against our souls. May Christ Jesus, as the great Captain of our salvation, go before us and, by the precious influences of his Holy Spirit, prevail against them daily, until at last he drives them out, and they are utterly consumed in resurrection glory. Then we shall sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, giving glory to God for his great salvation. In that great day it shall be said of all the redeemed in the holy army of the Lord, “They overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Revelation 12:11).
Rueben and Gad
The children of Rueben and Gad were terribly injurious to their brethren in the pursuit of Canaan. They rose up as the “increase of sinful men,” loving the world, seeking ease and pleasure, rather than the will of God, the glory of God, and the benefit of God’s Israel. Let them stand as beacons to warn us of such evil. We are strangers and pilgrims upon earth, seeking a better country. What have we to do with the perishing things of time? Blessed Savior, so endear yourself to our hearts that we may esteem it our great happiness to endure affliction, if need be, with the people of God, rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Like your servant of old, enable us to esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt on this side Jordan.