Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Numbers 31; Psalms 75–76; Isaiah 23 – A word about Judgment

Judgement is a difficult doctrine to preach about. There is a new article posted on the subject which is worth reading.


Posted on May 21, 2018 by Mike Ratliff

by Mike Ratliff

Mat 7:1  Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Mat 7:2  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Judgement Mike writes about is ours, and plays off of what Jesus warned about. He specifically comments on discernment in our lives and specifically speaks to those called out to speak from a discerning spirit….which is what verse 2 above implies when Jesus says “ye judge, ye shall be judged”. Great caution is urged.

Speaking of judgment these chapters in today’s reading contain a heavy does of God’s Judgment. Numbers 31 is so intense and explicit I almost wish we didn’t have to have it in the Bible. A vivid example of God’s Judgment being carried out by God’s people…..Moses leading them. One can imagine how terrible their sin was.

Old John Gill provides some historical insight behind these events:

Numbers 31:2

Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites,…. For the injury they had done them, by sending their daughters among them, who enticed them to commit uncleanness with them, and then drew them into the worship of their idols, which brought the wrath of God upon them, and for which 24,000 persons were slain. Now, though the Moabites had a concern in this affair as well as the Midianites, yet they were spared; which some think was for the sake of Lot, from whom they descended; but why not the Midianites for the sake of Abraham, whose offspring they were by Keturah? Jarchi says, they were spared because of Ruth, who was to spring from them; and so she might, and yet vengeance be taken on great numbers of them: but the truer reason seems to be, either because the sin of the Moabites was not yet full, and they were reserved for a later punishment; or rather because they were not the principal actors in the above affair; but the Midianites, who seem to have advised Balak at first to send for Balaam to curse Israel, and who harboured that soothsayer after he had been dismissed by Balak, and to whom he gave his wicked counsel, and which they readily followed, and industriously pursued:

Numbers 31:16

Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam,…. Who advised the Midianites to send their women into the camp of Israel, and allure them to uncleanness, and so draw them into idolatry, which counsel they followed and it succeeded; for, by this means, they were brought

to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor; by worshipping Baalpeor, the god of the Moabites and Midianites; whereby they transgressed the commandment of God, which forbid them having and worshipping any other gods besides him, and is a sin highly offensive to him, being greatly derogatory to his honour and glory:

and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord; for that sin; and in that plague died 24,000 persons, Num 25:9.

BTW: God’s judgment is spoken about in today’s Psalms:

Psa 75:7  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

Psa 75:8  For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

Psa 75:9  But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

Psa 75:10  All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

And in the example of the prophetic reading see see God’s Judgment on Tyre and Zidon.

Isaiah 23:11  He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms: the LORD hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strong holds thereof.

You can read about warnings on our taking Judgment into our own hands in my previous post:

“1 John 1 – Light”

Today’s reading ends on a positive note as John begins this book.

Perhaps one application is the understanding of how these words of Paul can really over come the sense of the negative events in these Old Testament passages, God’s Judgment is real and severe, not to be taken lightly, and in particular when we ourselves are called to judge others….since we too will be judged.

Mat 7:1  Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Mat 7:2  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

2Ti 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

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