Daily Hope

April 5, 2022 - Numbers 31-32

Wars must be fought so that peace might reign. Ulysses S. Grant stated, "I have never advocated war except as a means of peace." This is spoken by one that had experienced all the trauma and agony of leading good men to death and killing other good men to regain peace in a land fractured by hate and misunderstanding.

Israel is now commanded to go to war against the Midianites and to destroy them for the wickedness they had committed in tempting Israel to worship false idols and commit immorality. This was a religious war with Phinehas the priest leading the army instead of Joshua. They were to take the holy articles and the trumpets that the priests used and the lead the troops into battle against those who opposed the Lord (31:6).

After destroying the Midianites, the Israelite army brought the spoils of victory to Moses and the people encamped in the plains by the Jordan (31:12). As the spoils were brought from the battle, Moses met them and was angered they had brought the women of Midian to the camp. His anger was due to the Midianite women having tempted Israel at Baal Peor. Moses commanded all nonvirgin women and males to be killed (31:17).

The Israelite men who had done battle were declared unclean and cleansing was needed before they could enter the camp. They were to wash and purify their garments and themselves. After that purification process was accomplished, the division of the plunder was undertaken by Moses. Shortly thereafter, the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh approached Moses for permission to claim land east of the Jordan so these tribes could raise their cattle and sheep.

God pronounced judgment on the enemies of His chosen people. Simultaneously, He took the horror of warfare and used it to strengthen and encourage the people of Israel before they entered the land which had been promised. At times, God uses extremely bad circumstances to bring good to His people.

Persecution and suffering have been inflicted upon the church at different times to purge, cleanse, and declare her as a bride to Christ. Instead of looking at pain and difficulty as judgment, examine the situation and see if it might be God's way of drawing someone closer to Himself.

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