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Numbers 35

February 26, 2023

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge

“Do not defile the land where you are, for bloodshed defiles the land, and there can be no atonement for the land because of the blood that is shed on it..”

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Numbers 35

“Do not defile the land where you are, for bloodshed defiles the land, and there can be no atonement for the land because of the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of the person who shed it. Do not make the land unclean where you live and where I reside, for I, the Lord, reside among the Israelites.” Numbers 35:33-34

Following the institution/instruction concerning cities of refuge, the Lord completed the thought by stating that murder is more than a sin against humanity & Himself. Murder is also a sin against the land itself.

In the book of Genesis, the Lord told Cain He knew about Abel’s murder because his blood cried out from the ground.

“Then He said, ‘What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground! So now you are cursed with alienation from the ground that opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood you have shed. If you work the land, it will never again give you its yield. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” Genesis 4:10-12

Leviticus tells us of a Sabbath rest for the land every 7th year.

“But there will be a Sabbath of complete rest for the land in the seventh year, a Sabbath to the Lord: you are not to sow in your field or prune your vineyard.” Leviticus 25:4

At the end of the 2 Chronicles, the Lord tells Israel that He has expelled them from the land to give the LAND the “Sabbath rests” that had been denied by Israel.

“This fulfilled the Word of the Lord through Jeremiah, and the land enjoyed its Sabbath rest all the days of the desolation until 70 years were fulfilled.” 2 Chronicles 26:31

Why is there such an intimate link between mankind and the land? Perhaps, it is because Adam came from the ground (God-breathed dust). Either way, ever since the fall of man, creation has groaned!

Our sin has ripple effects that we may never understand. In many ways, our environment is groaning from the way people who came before us have mismanaged it and how we are mismanaging it ourselves. Inversely, our faithful commitment to Messiah has positive ripple effects. When we follow Jesus as He commands, we may never fully realize our long-term positive Kingdom impact, but we should continue to follow Him faithfully.

While the world does not revolve around us individually, our personal righteousness (or lack thereof) leaves its mark wherever we go. Your impact on the world can be very profound. Isn’t it interesting how Jesus’ righteous blood fell to the ground, atoning for our sin, including our sins that affect the land? I look forward to that day when this sin-stained earth passes away and the New Jerusalem descends from heaven! (Revelation 21:1)

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©Steve Wiggins 2021

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