READ: Numbers 29-31
THINK: Are you a person of your word? Do you keep your promises and fulfill your commitments? The fact is that God doesn't need promises, pledges and vows; He wants heartfelt devotion and positive action. But when you do make promises or commitments-to God or to others-He expects you to keep them. Of course, you need to make sure that your words are wise and worthy-that your promises are appropriate for a follower of Jesus. Beyond that, God wants your life to reflect honesty, integrity and discipline so that your own words don't come back to bite you. And if you ever do find that you've failed to follow through on a promise or commitment, be humble and apologize-to God and to others-and be more careful what you say the next time.
RESPOND: Why do you think that God established so many annual celebrations? Why did He not want people to work on these days? How does God view the promises people make to Him, and why must we be careful about what we promise or pledge to God? (See 30:2 note.) What kinds of promises or pledges might people make to God, and why? Why did God tell the Israelites to "take vengeance" on the Midianites? (See 31:3 note.) Why was Moses angry at the army officers for sparing the Midianite women (31:15-16)? What is God's attitude toward those who deliberately try to mislead or corrupt His people spiritually? Why doesn't God typically expect New Testament followers of Christ to pass judgment and take the kind of harsh action toward people that they did in the Old Testament? Why must we leave vengeance and judgment to God, and what is our appropriate response to those who defy God and oppose us?
PRAY: Take time to celebrate God's goodness by praising Him in your own words.
ACT: If you can recall a promise or pledge you've made to God but not yet fulfilled-and you feel that He still wants you to do so-take action today and complete it as soon as possible. If you are misleading anyone spiritually- or being misled-make a change or break the relational tie without delay.
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