Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 10, 2014

Special Provision to Handle the Special Grace: “they put new wine into fresh wineskins”

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers Chapter 36.

“1 And the heads of the fathers’ households of the family of the sons of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near and spoke before Moses and before the leaders, the heads of the fathers’ households of the sons of Israel, 2 and they said, “The Lord commanded my lord to give the land by lot to the sons of Israel as an inheritance, and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters.  3 But if they marry one of the sons of the other tribes of the sons of Israel, their inheritance will be withdrawn from the inheritance of our fathers and will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong;  thus it will be withdrawn from our allotted inheritance.  4 When the jubilee of the sons of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong;  so their inheritance will be withdrawn from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.”

5 Then Moses commanded the sons of Israel according to the word of the Lord, saying, “The tribe of the sons of Joseph are right in their statements.  6 This is what the Lord has commanded concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, ‘Let them marry whom they wish; only they must marry within the family of the tribe of their father.’  7 Thus no inheritance of the sons of Israel shall be transferred from tribe to tribe, for the sons of Israel shall each hold to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.  8 Every daughter who comes into possession of an inheritance of any tribe of the sons of Israel shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father, so that the sons of Israel each may possess the inheritance of his fathers.  9 Thus no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another tribe, for the tribes of the sons of Israel shall each hold to his own inheritance.”

10 Just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so the daughters of Zelophehad did:  11 Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad married their uncles’ sons.  12 They married those from the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained with the tribe of the family of their father.

13 These are the commandments and the ordinances which the Lord commanded to the sons of Israel through Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho.”  Numbers Chapter 36.

—————————

Special consideration and privilege was given to the daughters of Zelophehad. 

“They stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the leaders and all the congregation, at the doorway of the tent of meeting, saying, “Our father died in the wilderness, yet he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah;  but he died in his own sin, and he had no sons.  Why should the name of our father be withdrawn from among his family because he had no son?  Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.”  So Moses brought their case before the Lord.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “The daughters of Zelophehad are right in their statements.  You shall surely give them a hereditary possession among their father’s brothers, and you shall transfer the inheritance of their father to them.”  Numbers 27:2-7.

But, in today’s Scripture, the heads of the fathers’ households of the family of the sons of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph were concerned about the application of the general law to this special privilege and the unfair consequences that it would give their tribe.  And, a special provision (a command that the daughters marry within the tribe) was made to avoid the unfair consequences. 

We have been given new and special grace.  But, if we remained yoked to the old and general law, we will fall from grace.  

“It was for freedom that Christ set us free;  therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.  And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.  You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law;  you have fallen from grace.  For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.”  Galatians 5:2-5.

Like the special privilege given to the daughters of Zelophehad resulted in the need for a special provision that they needed to marry and stay within their tribe, the special grace given to us results in the need for the special provision that we need to stay in Christ.   

“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles;  nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law;  since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.  But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin?  May it never be!  For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.  For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”  Galatians 2:15-21.

Simply, the old general law cannot deal with the new and special grace given to us.  We need a new and special provision.  We need to stay in Christ.

“Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins;  otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined;  but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”   Matthew 9:17


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: