“The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.” – Winston Churchill
“This will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome except victory.” – George W. Bush
There is something serene and beautiful about turning dirt and planting something. Much of the Bible was written by and to an agrarian society, and there is so much benefit in understanding the intricacies of farming. In our back yard, we have the privilege of planting almost a quarter acre personal garden. In this plot of land, we have planted corn, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers, squash, melons, peas, beans, and so much more.
One of my favorite times of year is planting time. As each season rolls around, I anticipate how I will lay out the garden and what exactly we will plant. There is very little about gardening I dislike, but there is one aspect I absolutely abhor with pure righteous anger. If gardening could be rid of all weeds, it would be the most blissful pastime known to man. Pesky weeds and unwanted grass makes it almost a headache to really grow certain crops.
In my effort to garden, I have learned that half measures with these demonic weeds never works. If I till them under, they will just come right back with vigor and strength. I may have stunted them for a time, but they are still there waiting to come back. A few seasons back the garden got tilled under without any treatment or work done to the weeds, and it was the worst year ever! There were weeds and grass literally everywhere in the garden. After the initial turning of the dirt, they all appeared to be gone, and from my perspective there would be no problems with the weeds… boy was I wrong.
After this year of weeds everywhere, I elected to treat the garden before tilling it. Now each year, a few weeks before tilling the garden, I spray weed and grass killer. It torches everything by giving it an overdose of fertilizer and bursting the cells within the plant. The area in which the garden will be planted is easy to spot in February because it is the brown patch of death. This death of weeds is necessary if I am going to successfully grow a beneficial crop. I am not a vindictive soul who wishes death upon weeds, but I understand the nature of weeds. If I leave them be, they will kill my good and beneficial plants.
Some Christian’s struggle with passages like Numbers thirty one, believing that God is somehow acting unjust in His judgment. Without spending too much time, Midian was the nation that a few chapters earlier tried everything possible to curse God’s people. When that failed they employed their people to comingle with the people and lead them astray to false gods. Midian was a nation that for generations had rejected the goodness of God, and instead chose false gods. They chose to assault the children of God instead of assisting them. The Midianites made a choice to refuse God, and now God is using the Israelites as a form of judgment on them. We might not like that God used His people to accomplish this task, but God’s way is always perfect. Whether Israel was used or some foreign power, the Midianites were under the judgment of God for their sinfulness against God and His people. This is not God passing judgment on an innocent people, this is God being a consuming fire to those who purpose evil against Him and refuse His grace.
Twelve thousand men are selected to go to war, and they are successful in their military campaign. Not one Israelites is killed in the battle. Unfortunately, they only took half-measures and only partially obeyed the command of God. Partial obedience is really disobedience. All the men were killed, but the women and children were spared. God’s command was complete judgment, and they failed to execute God’s plan. Moses expresses the anger of God, and commands them to finish the complete will of God by removing the Midianites ability to continue as a nation or people. Their ability to destroy the people of God was removed completely.
Too often we take half measures in our Christian life. We ought to be willing to disarm sin and temptations from our life by following the clear outline of God’s Word. Are you dabbling with sin, thinking you have it under control? What half measures are you applying in your life, to only see the problem come back again? Today make the decision that no more half measures are going to be practiced. Get serious about this thing called holiness and determine today to go all in.
Daily Scripture Reading
Numbers 31 - 32
“And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.”