"Protecting Against Outsiders"
BIBLE READING: Numbers 3-4
In today’s reading Moses, Aaron and Aaron’s sons were to camp on the east of the tent of meeting to guard the sanctuary. If an outsider came near to the sanctuary they were put to death (Numbers 3.38-39). Why would God want the stranger to be put to death? Because not only would the stranger be a threat to spy out or take advantage of camp, they were also seen as a threat to interweaving their lives with the children of Israel. This interweaving would have been deemed as a greater threat to the nation. God had been very specific about not allowing the nation to intermarry with the surrounding nations for fear that they would adopt their pagan practices and culture. This threat was so great that God would have them put to death. God wanted the linage to remain pure, unadulterated, without mixing with any other foreign culture. God desires that same type of purity for us today as well. Paul writes to the church at Philippi encouraging them to remain pure using the word “harmless” or “innocent” in Philippians 2.15. The meaning of these words as specific to this text means “without mixture, or the absence of a foreign substance”. It was a word that was used to describe wine that had not been watered down, but was pure juice from the grape. The application for us today is simple. We should view any outside force of this world as a threat to us remaining spiritually pure. We are to not allow this world to conform us, but allow the Word to transform us. Anything in our lives that is foreign to the cause of Christ should be “laid aside”, put to death so that it doesn’t contaminate us with the cares of this world (Hebrews 12.1-2)