We read the end of Balaam’s story in Numbers 31. This contains what I mentioned in a previous lesson about how Balaam advised Israel’s enemies to tempt the Israelites to sin in order to turn them away from their God. In this chapter Balaam is killed by the Israelites. God doesn’t let Israel’s enemies remain. They will fall.
Moses is upset with the Israelites because they don’t kill the women in the battle, but let them live. What’s wrong with that?
It’s related to this verse:
And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell (Matthew 5:30 NIV).
You cut off what causes you to stumble. Those women enticed them away from their God. Cut them off. What needs cutting off in your life?
My freshman year of college, I heard myself say, “I need chocolate.” I cut it off. I didn’t have any chocolate for a month, not in ice cream, not in chocolate chip cookies, and not even my traditional chocolate milk with dinner. I didn’t want to need anything but Jesus.
You may have something more serious than chocolate that needs cutting off. Cut it off. But don’t let a little thing like chocolate fool you, either. There’s no such thing as being good enough, no such thing as just a little sin, a little wandering off the path, a little satisfying of the flesh, a little choosing your own way over God’s.
We’re growing in Christ or we’re shrinking back. Onward Christian soldier! We’re in an all-out war on sin. Take no prisoners.
P.S. I went to a secular college, but I had a relationship with Jesus. It isn’t college that draws kids away from church; it’s that they weren’t walking in a close relationship with Christ when they left home. College was my first mission field. It was an ungodly place and great for my faith. I only grew closer to Jesus there. We’re told to cut it off if it caused us to sin; not to cut off everything that might cause sin. Our family doesn’t use protective filters and such on our computers, even though I have five sons. They need to choose to walk with Jesus and live godly lives. Once they’ve made that choice for themselves, it’s no problem leaving the protection of our home. They will leave hand in hand with Jesus.