God's Character on Display (Numbers 35:34) - Radical

God’s Character on Display (Numbers 35:34)

“You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell. For I, the Lord, dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.”
– Numbers 35:34

So Numbers 35:34 is the last verse at the end of two chapters in which God has outlined the borders of the Promised Land where he’s leading them into, and he’s established certain cities for certain purposes. Then he gets to the end, and he says, “All right, this land that I’m leading to you, do not defile it because I’m going to dwell among you in the midst of you.” So the whole picture is, “I want this not just to be a Promised Land,” God says. “I want this to be a blessed land and a land that reflects my character, my goodness, my holiness, my purity, my love, my ways, not the ways of this world.”

Jesus has commissioned us to go to the nations. Let’s pray that God’s character will be on display in the church and that God’s glory will be made known in places where Christ has not yet been praised.

A Picture of God’s Design

So it’s a beautiful picture in Numbers 35:34. God’s design, just picture it. A land where it’s like, “Alright, you want to see how God rules his people? You want to see how God’s people love one another, care for one another, take care of one another? You want to see how people serve one another? And, do you want to see how people thrive according to the laws of God? That’s what’s going to happen in this land.” Now, obviously, it didn’t happen. The people of God just continually turned from the law of God, and did not live according to God’s ways. They ended up defiling the land. But see the picture.

God’s Design for the Local Church

Then, now think about our lives today on two different levels. I just want to make two different applications. One, to the church, to the local church, we are intended to be a community of people that shows what relationships look like when we are living in submission to God. That shows what lives look like when we’re living in submission to God. What relationships look like when we’re under the rule and reign of God, loving one another, caring for one another, serving one another, and taking care of one another.

So when you think about the local church of which you’re a part, and if you’re not a part of a local church, I encourage you to plug in, commit your life to a local church, and then in that church be the people. Let’s be the people God has called us to be. Let’s be pure and holy and loving and generous and kind and all these things so that the world will see a picture of the character of God in us as his people.

Jesus’ Plan for the Great Commission

Then the other application, think about the command of Jesus in the great commission. He has not told us to go into a certain geographic area. He has told us to go and make disciples of all the nations in all the world among all lands. Take my presence, my power, my goodness, my love, and make disciples. Gather them together in churches that will show my character all over the world.

So this is what drives us in the great commission, and it’s why we pray for unreached peoples. It’s why we pray for the gospel to go and the church to be planted where it’s not yet gone, where the church has not yet been planted. Just think about today and the unreached of the day with the Joshua Project app, Moroccan Arabs. So Arabs in Morocco, over 19 million of them, 19 million. Do you know how many are followers of Jesus right now? .01, not .1. No, that’d be a lot. But .01% are followers of Jesus among Moroccan Arabs.

So Jesus has said, “Go to that land. Go make disciples of all the nations.” He tells us to go to them. “Go to them. Make disciples. Gather them together in churches, and in those churches I will show my character. I will show my love. I will show my glory among Moroccan Arabs.”

Asking God to Help Us Spread the Gospel

So, God, we pray. We pray right now for the spread of the gospel, for disciples to be made and churches to be planted among Moroccan Arabs. Please, oh God, hear and heed our prayers. Please answer our prayers. Send out workers. Bless the workers. I think of individuals I know who are working among Moroccan Arabs. Please, oh God, bless them. Send more. Bless the few believers who are there. Cause your character to be on display among Moroccan Arabs where followers of Jesus gather together in churches.

Numbers 35:34: Asking God to Help Us Reflect His Character in Our Communities of Faith

God, we pray for the same right where we live, and I pray for the church I pastor. I pray that McClean Bible Church would be a reflection of your character, your purity, your goodness, your love, your compassion. I pray this for all kinds of churches that are represented in those who are listening right now. Oh, God, please help us to reflect you in the communities of faith, the churches, the families, the households you call them in your Word, that you’ve made us a part of, in a way that just resounds to your glory and spreads your gospel to more and more people in the world. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

Less than 1% of all money given to missions goes to unreached people and places.*

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