Breaking the cycle of violence


What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?

“Drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you.” (Numbers 33:52)
It is painful to think about the human victims of Israel’s arrival in Canaan.
It is difficult to reconcile this with how we know God through Jesus.
But it is also hard for us to comprehend how bad the world was at that time.
The nations then constantly victimized their women and children and neighbours.
The corruption and violence ran so deep, it had to be dealt with strongly.
The others had to be driven out or they would “give you trouble in the land”. (Numbers 33:55)
Life for the human spoil wasn’t great in Canaan; it could be better in Israel.
These chapters remind me again of how bad sin is, and how it takes radical treatment.
God enters the violence and corruption to stop it, not because He is violent or corrupt.
He does so again in Jesus, joining us in our gory and shame, to help us out.
The sad violence in these chapters reminds me of the sad violence on the cross.
And how far God will go to crush the serpent’s chains and release His family.
Today we are NOT called to do what Israel did, but to do what Jesus did.
Not to get rid of the nations, but to reach out to them with love to bring them in!
Lord, I find all this violence awful… but this is because of us, not because of You. You step into our violence to break its grip and set us free. Help me to help You break the cycle of violence.

One Comment

  1. God seeks to stamp out the source of seduction – idolatry as practiced by the Midianites – Balaam’s tactic to ruin the Israelite’s – to separate them from the protection of Yahweh. Now God tells Moses to go on a cleansing conquest – and he is serious – not a male remains nor a women carrying a child of midian descent. Like the flood, this is another attempt to cleanse an evil – yet later in the passage the warning is clear don’t let anyone with Idolatrous practices remain – wipe them out. I need to avoid evil too – but I know temptations come back – I live among the weeds – I need to go outside of myself for help – to Jesus – to the gift of the Spirit. I must honour my commitment to Jesus – as the Gadites and Reubenites were faithful to do! I must carry out the mission the God calls me to do – wherever it takes me!

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