January 17, 2011
You are not going to take possession of their land because of your righteousness or your integrity. Instead, the LORD your God will drive out these nations before you because of their wickedness, in order to keep the promise He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
God has a heart for us to be near to Him and living in obedience to Him. In these chapters He does promise severe consequences for not following His commands, and I had this thought (though I don't know if it holds any theological water) and wonder if I've been off base for the 30 years I've been learning about the Old Testament. I'd love know what you think. The "commands" all throughout Leviticus and Deuteronomy and Numbers were laws, but they were also sacrifices. The sacrifices were because He knew His people were going to sin and if I remember right He always promises a way back to Him through those sacrifices. So maybe it wasn't really 100% compliance with the laws that He was looking for (because He knew better), but a right heart ready to sacrifice what they could to bring glory to His name after they sinned. The laws displayed their lack of perfection quite well, but the sacrifice was always an opportunity to give Him what was rightfully His... their acknowledgement that He. was. God. So in the long run, it's Grace that He displayed... the undeserved opportunity to run back to Him.
And I loved the way God showed obvious affection for Moses here when Miriam and Aaron were grumbling in jealousy about Moses being more respected than they were.