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A Bold God and a Bold People

A Bold God and a Bold People
Numbers 1:1–46; Psalm 1:1–6
Imagine a God so bold that He would say, “Take a census of the entire community of the children of Israel according to their clans and their ancestors’ house … from twenty years old and above, everyone in Israel who is able to go to war. You and Aaron must muster them for their wars. A man from each tribe will be with you, each man the head of his family” (Num 1:2–4). It wouldn’t be easy to hear God tell you that you must be ready for war.
Yet our daily decisions to follow God are not so different than the decisions and preparations Moses had to make. Every day we have opportunities to choose God—or not. It’s easy to agree to this as a principle, but living it is an entirely different story. How often do distractions deter us from actually hearing God? Yet if we can’t hear Him, we can’t obey Him.
It’s also easy to be distracted by sin, but following sinful ways will only make us like “the chaff that the wind scatters” (Psa 1:4). We must be a people constantly seeking God instead—a people that makes His law our “delight” (Psa 1:2). We must “meditate” upon it “day and night” (Psa 1:2).
We’re also distracted by wicked people prospering. It’s easy to think, “Why is that person is moving up in the world while I seem to be falling back?” But we must remember that this world is not “the dream,” and God will bring justice: “for Yahweh knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish” (Psa 1:6).
What’s distracting you from listening to God and following Him? What are you going to do about it?
John D. Barry

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