Page 15 - September 2020 - Truth & Tidings
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hearts turned back again into Egypt.”   anything but God-honoring. Revelry
        The Thessalonians kept waiting for the   and indulgence marked the feast that
        Son from heaven, while the Israelites lost   pretended to be worship to God. Much
        sight of the man who went up.         could be said about the application of this
          We must now face the overarching,   apostasy to our modern religious climate
        aggravating factor of the wilderness   that puts forward any and every method of
        journey: it was full of failure because the   gathering and ritual as worship, rejecting
        people refused to live by faith. Faith is   God’s truth in the process. However, we
        the obedient response to the word of God   must now look at the discipline required
        and a conviction of that which is unseen,   to cleanse the camp in Exodus 32:26-28.
        but the people ceased to recognize that   Before separated men can use the sword
        principle in their dealings with Jehovah.   to rid the congregation of those holding
        In Hebrews 11, the recounting of faith’s   fast to error, a decision must be made: Do
        heroes and God’s faithfulness, we find   we continue in this sensual perversion of
        a gap in the account of the Israelites’   worship or abandon it? There could be no
        journey. By faith they crossed the Red   fence-sitting.  The question “Who is on the
        Sea (v29), but verse 30 skips ahead forty   Lord’s side?” left no room for compromise.
        years to the conquering of Jericho before   The sword is a picture of the Word of
        faith is noted again. Why? Was it not   God used to correct false doctrine and
        because they chose to live in disobedience,   consequent immorality. While it may seem
        viewing God’s presence and promises as   extreme, the future of the entire camp
        insufficient for the trials and testings? We   depended upon the use of the sword to
        are told in Scripture that their aimless   address the issue. So it is in a NT assembly,
        wandering all those years was a direct   as discipline for doctrinal error and moral
        result of unbelief. 4                 departure are both necessary. Thank God
          As their Egypt-aimed hearts of unbelief   that under grace all discipline will be done
        sought for a tangible object of worship,   with the recovery and restoration of the
        they cried, “Up, make us gods.” Aaron,   offender in mind, but with the glory of
        the leader responsible to stand against   God and the preservation of the Lord’s
        error, stands in contrast to Moses, who   people being paramount.
        would show holy hatred toward this      Moses is now commanded to lead
        sin. Aaron’s fear of the people led him   the people forward. There will be much
        to fashion a molten calf. Immorality and   glory for God in the coming days as the
        division in the camp naturally followed,   tabernacle is built, praise is offered and
        which reminds us that deviating from   His purpose fulfilled. Failure is never
        truth into doctrinal error will always have   meant to be final. Error is to be corrected
        an effect on behavior. Wrong teaching in   by truth, offenders are to be addressed as
        all its forms must be confronted if the   the Scriptures demand, and recovery is
        Lord’s  people  are  to  remain  pure  and   to lead to progress. There is yet glory to
        unified.                              be gained for the Lord. Notwithstanding
          They offered to this idol in rituals   that other believers may have gone back
        supposedly motivated by devotion      to Egypt, let’s encourage one another  to
        to Jehovah, but the entire scene was   remain  focused  on  our  Lord  who  has
        ⁴ Heb 3:19                            gone up!

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