When you come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving you… – Numbers 15:1
This chapter may seem out of place. It is about sacrifices and not about Israel’s travels. However, it is in place! The journey through the wilderness is also a time of learning. In fact, there is something very amazing about this chapter. In the previous chapters, we read about Israel’s rebellion, God’s punishment and Moses’ intercession. Now, look at how this chapter opens: “When you come into the land you are to inhabit, which I am giving you,” Isn’t that amazing? Doesn’t this speak of God’s willingness to forgive? He seems to have forgotten about the previous rebellion. He has thrown Israel’s sin behind His back.
He will bring them in, but they certainly need to learn how to live with a holy God. This chapter points to several aspects to be kept in mind. The regulations about sacrifices stress the need to be totally dedicated to the LORD. The laws about unintentional sins highlight the urgent call to repent. Yes, we fall into sin, but we should not continue to live in sin but return to the LORD and ask for mercy. The law about breaking the Sabbath reminds them that they have to observe the day of the Lord and keep it holy. The tassels in their garments teach the people that every aspect of their lives is to be ruled by the commandments of the LORD.
What a gift that God forgives our sins in Christ. Now He calls us to a life of thankful service.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank the Lord that He removes our sin as far as the east is removed from the west. Pray for His grace to serve Him in thankful obedience. Ask for the Spirit to help us serve God in all aspects of our lives.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Douwe G. J. Agema is currently minister of Living Word Canadian Reformed Church in Guelph and also teaches several courses at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers’ College.