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Protective Provisions

Daily Reading: Numbers 5

Scripture Focus: When the spirit of jealousy comes over a man and he is jealous of his wife. Then he shall set the woman before the Lord, and the priest shall carry out for her all this law. (Numbers 5:30)

Devotional Thought: Numbers 5 give us a perplexing ritual for the Israelite man who suspects his wife of adultery, involving a priest, a sacrifice, water of bitterness, and a swollen womb and thigh. This lengthy description is sure to leave us scratching our heads in bewilderment!


The cultural context of some of the Old Testament is difficult for us to understand today. Our equality and freedoms are so engrained in us, we balk at the thought of oppression or unfairness, and rightly so. When these commands were given, however, they were revolutionary and provided an uncommon mercy towards the wife in question. In those ancient days, no proof or witness was required to stone the woman suspected of adultery… if the husband so much as suspected her of infidelity, she would be murdered without further question. The Lord gives the Israelites this law to ensure that the wife has a path to justice and is not susceptible to her husband’s “spirit of jealousy.”

In these cases, the woman was set before the Lord, rather than being subject to judgment by other people. The Lord alone would determine her guilt. So it also is for us – we are commanded to not judge the unbelieving around us, because justice belongs to the Lord. Our perspective is limited, but the Lord’s is not. Our compassion and mercy is prone to failure, but the Lord’s is everlasting. There will be a day of judgment, on which all of those who rejected the Son of God will be eternally condemned, but until then the days stretch on as the Lord continues to extend his love and mercy to the lost souls that he desires to come to him. Will you be a worker in his harvest?

Jenny

Prayer: Lord, please help us to remember that it is not our place to judge those around us. That when we do so, we hurt your name and fail to bring you the glory that you are due. Give us supernatural love for the lost around us, and lead us to those who you would claim as your own.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures forever." 3 Let the house of Aaron say, "His steadfast love endures forever." 4 Let those who fear the LORD say, "His steadfast love endures forever." (Psalms 118:1-4)

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