Being thankful for God’s mercy.

The Lord gave these instructions to Moses: “Command the people of Israel to remove from the camp anyone who has a skin disease[a] or a discharge, or who has become ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person.  – Numbers 5:1-2

The LORD commanded Moses and Aaron to assign the duties of Tabernacle service to the Levitical men aged 30-50. When that task finished, the LORD then came to Moses again and gave him instructions about people who had defiled themselves and were ceremonially unclean. The people of Israel were to take these people outside the camp to prevent them from defiling it because God would live in the camp among the people. God demanded complete holiness and purity in the surroundings around his presence.

To us today who live in the Age of Grace, these types of situations often seem harsh or over-the-top to our limited thinking, but G-D is holy! Sin and anything unclean cannot and will not be permitted to enter his presence. Any person with such a condition died immediately in ancient times if they approached G-D in an unclean state. They always had to ceremonially purify themselves so as not to die in his glorious presence! These ancient stories of G-D’s strict demand for holiness and purity should give us cause to pause and thank the LORD Jesus for bridging the spiritual gap that existed between the Father and humanity caused by Adam’s initial sin. Without the shedding of blood, there could be no remission of sin. Animal blood could never eternally atone for sin, so a substitute was required. Thus, G-D took on the form of one of us, his ultimate creation even though we are fallen, and became like one of us. He lived a pure life and died a sinner’s death only to be resurrected pure and holy and given the position of authority at the Father’s right hand! Because Grandpa Adam did us all a disfavor through his dastardly deed in Eden, we cannot stand in the presence of G-D on our own merits. We are born with sin in us and would die in the very presence of G-D. Thus, Jesus corrected the issue through his blood sacrifice and restored what was lost in Adam. Now we can boldly approach the throne of Grace and make our petitions known to the Father and speak to him intimately and even commune with him as though we’d never sinned or been made unclean at any time in our lives. It’s all because of Jesus that we’re alive. So stop and give thanks to the LORD for his mercy and grace and for being able to serve him through Jesus.

Father, most gracious of all and loving, omnipotent One, you are the only One worthy of praise, glory, honor, and power. You are the beginning and the end, the first and the last. There in none like you in all of creation. Thank you for today’s morsel of living bread and living water contained in the confines of holy scripture. Help me to take what I’ve learned about being pure and holy before and apply it to my life. Although I have been made right in your eyes through the sacrifice of Lord Jesus the Anointed One, I still need to take on his mindset and keep my life whole and pure before you. It is no small thing that you told ancient Israel to be holy as you are holy. By the power of your saving grace and the leading of G-D the Holy Spirit, I will be able to walk out each day in relationship to you and commune with you and do those things which you’ve assigned to me. I desire to be holy and you’re holy. Show me how to live the pure and holy way as prescribed in your Word. May your will be done in and through me, not mine. In Jesus’ name, Amen.