Day 16

Remembering and Obeying God’s Commands

from the reading plan

Numbers 15:1-41, Leviticus 20:26, 1 Peter 1:15-16

Growing up as the middle child in a pretty straight-laced family, I was a vehement rule-follower. I wouldn’t dare talk during class, take someone else’s crayon, or cut in the lunch line. What if I got into trouble? What if my parents found out? What if I hurt someone else’s feelings? The stakes just seemed too high to ever strive for anything other than perfect behavior. 

But as I got older, I began to notice something. It seemed like the other kids, the rule breakers, were having a whole lot more fun than I was. I started to wonder if I was missing out on something. So somewhere along the way, I became an “in-between” kid. I did my best to give off the perception of a rule-follower and did what was right whenever people were watching. But when all eyes were not on me, I learned to cut corners and do things my own way. However, my shortcuts and little fibs always seemed to catch up with me in the end. I learned that the rules were there for a reason.

As we read about all the different laws and offering requirements God gave to the Israelites, the long list of dos and don’ts can seem pretty overwhelming. But like so many of us, these were people who had seen the rescue, salvation, and miracles of God. Yet here they were, wandering in the wilderness instead of walking into their promise. These instructions for their offerings were put in place to help point them back to God. The Lord knew that the nature of the human heart is deceitful and they would need guidelines for holy living when they entered the promised land. He put these instructions in place for the Israelites, not to put a major cramp on their style but to help them become more like Him. God’s commands are a gift to His people. 

“This way you will remember and obey all my commands and be holy to your God.”
—Numbers 15:40

I don’t know about you, but reading through these laws and instructions just makes me appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus that much more. We are called to be holy because God is holy, and Jesus’s sacrificial offering covers every sin, mistake, and offense that prevents us from being set apart. 

Lord, help us to not chase after the desires of our own hearts that can so often lead us astray. May our lives be a reflection of who You are and what You have done for us. Amen.

Written by Abby Flynn

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