Category: Devotional

Splinters & Thorns

Today’s devotional is a quick one. While the desire of Reuben and Gad to settle OUTSIDE of the Promised Land is a curious one, what stood out to me the most from today’s reading is the final two verses. Numbers 33:55-56:

55 But if you fail to drive out the people who live in the land, those who remain will be like splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land where you live. 56 And I will do to you what I had planned to do to them.”

God is warning the Israelites that if they do not do what they are told, to totally set themselves apart the influences of the surrounding culture will contaminate them. The Canaanites will be like splinters and thorns. Irritants that will prevent you from ever feeling comfortable and settled. They will cause peace to elude you.

I wonder if maybe we need to hear this today. Jesus called us to be in the world, but not of the world1. How much influence do we allow the world to have on us? We are called into the mission field of our nations, our cities, our neighbourhoods, our workplaces/schools, maybe even our homes. But in which direction is the influence flowing?

It may not seem like it, but this is a life-or-death question. Because if we do not set ourselves apart for God, but rather allow the influences of this world to rule us, change us, and conform us… then the judgement of God out of which we were asked to lead others will be visited upon us. When our hearts grow cold and far from God, He will have no choice but to turn us over to the fate we have chosen through our rejection of Him.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58
Numbers 32-33 | 069/365
  1. John 17:14-16 ↩︎