Archive for September, 2011


Numbers 6:2-3,5-6,13-15,22-27 “If any of the people, either men or women, take the special vow of a Nazirite, setting themselves apart to the Lord in a special way, they must give up wine and other alcoholic drinks. They must not use vinegar made from wine or from other alcoholic drinks, they must not drink fresh grape juice, and they must not eat grapes or raisins… “They must never cut their hair throughout the time of their vow, for they are holy and set apart to the Lord. Until the time of their vow has been fulfilled, they must let their hair grow long. And they must not go near a dead body during the entire period of their vow to the Lord… “This is the ritual law for Nazirites. At the conclusion of their time of separation as Nazirites, they must each go to the entrance of the Tabernacle and offer their sacrifices to the Lord: a one-year-old male lamb without defect for a burnt offering, a one-year-old female lamb without defect for a sin offering, a ram without defect for a peace offering, a basket of bread made without yeast—cakes of choice flour mixed with olive oil and wafers spread with olive oil—along with their prescribed grain offerings and liquid offerings… Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing: ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’ Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.”

God certainly went to great lengths to set expectations for His people and it seems very hard to keep up to them, not just because of the detail but also because of the purity one needed to have to keep them.

How would any of this be relevant to us today and is it even applicable in our day and age? (more…)


Numbers 5:1-3,6-7,12-15 The Lord gave these instructions to Moses: “Command the people of Israel to remove from the camp anyone who has a skin disease or a discharge, or who has become ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person. This command applies to men and women alike. Remove them so they will not defile the camp in which I live among them”… “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If any of the people—men or women—betray the Lord by doing wrong to another person, they are guilty. They must confess their sin and make full restitution for what they have done, adding an additional 20 percent and returning it to the person who was wronged… “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. “Suppose a man’s wife goes astray, and she is unfaithful to her husband and has sex with another man, but neither her husband nor anyone else knows about it. She has defiled herself, even though there was no witness and she was not caught in the act. If her husband becomes jealous and is suspicious of his wife and needs to know whether or not she has defiled herself, the husband must bring his wife to the priest. He must also bring an offering of two quarts of barley flour to be presented on her behalf. Do not mix it with olive oil or frankincense, for it is a jealousy offering—an offering to prove whether or not she is guilty.

Another chapter that rocked my understanding of God and His ways and I am certain any other reader would feel the same way.

Why is God so partial to women and how are men ever held accountable rather than just women? (more…)


Numbers 4:1-4,21-22,24-25,29,31-32,46-48 (NLT) Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Kohathite division of the tribe of Levi. List all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle. “The duties of the Kohathites at the Tabernacle will relate to the most sacred objects… And the Lord said to Moses, “Record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Gershonite division of the tribe of Levi… “These Gershonite clans will be responsible for general service and carrying loads. They must carry the curtains of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle itself with its coverings, the outer covering of fine goatskin leather, and the curtain for the Tabernacle entrance… “Now record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Merarite division of the tribe of Levi… “Their only duty at the Tabernacle will be to carry loads. They will carry the frames of the Tabernacle, the crossbars, the posts, and the bases; also the posts for the courtyard walls with their bases, pegs, and ropes; and all the accessories and everything else related to their use. Assign the various loads to each man by name… So Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel listed all the Levites by their clans and families. All the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle and for its transportation numbered 8,580.

8,580 strong men were selected to carry the Tabernacle and it seems like a lot of talent wasted instead of using them to fight a war.

Why was God so caught up about who would carry the Tabernacle and how does this relate to us today? (more…)


Leviticus 4:2-4,13,22,27,35 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. This is how you are to deal with those who sin unintentionally by doing anything that violates one of the Lord’s commands. “If the high priest sins, bringing guilt upon the entire community, he must give a sin offering for the sin he has committed. He must present to the Lord a young bull with no defects. He must bring the bull to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and slaughter it before the Lord… “If the entire Israelite community sins by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but the people don’t realize it, they are still guilty… “If one of Israel’s leaders sins by violating one of the commands of the Lord his God but doesn’t realize it, he is still guilty… “If any of the common people sin by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but they don’t realize it, they are still guilty… Then he must remove all the sheep’s fat, just as he does with the fat of a sheep presented as a peace offering. He will burn the fat on the altar on top of the special gifts presented to the Lord. Through this process, the priest will purify the people from their sin, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven.

Another record of the seemingly senseless brutality of the Israelites is on display as God instructs them to make atonement for their unintentional sins by sacrificing animals.

We know today there is no blood shed for sins but why did God insist on such a gory sacrifice and is it relevant today? (more…)


Numbers 3:5-9,12-13,17,39,43,45-48 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Call forward the tribe of Levi, and present them to Aaron the priest to serve as his assistants. They will serve Aaron and the whole community, performing their sacred duties in and around the Tabernacle. They will also maintain all the furnishings of the sacred tent, serving in the Tabernacle on behalf of all the Israelites. Assign the Levites to Aaron and his sons. They have been given from among all the people of Israel to serve as their assistants… “Look, I have chosen the Levites from among the Israelites to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me, for all the firstborn males are mine. On the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, I set apart for myself all the firstborn in Israel, both of people and of animals. They are mine; I am the Lord.”… Levi had three sons, whose names were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari… When Moses and Aaron counted the Levite clans at the Lord’s command, the total number was 22,000 males one month old or older… The number of firstborn sons who were one month old or older was 22,273… “Take the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. And take the livestock of the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me; I am the Lord. There are 273 more firstborn sons of Israel than there are Levites. To redeem these extra firstborn sons, collect five pieces of silver for each of them (each piece weighing the same as the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs). Give the silver to Aaron and his sons as the redemption price for the extra firstborn sons.”

Genealogies were always the most boring part of any chapter of the Bible for me and glossing over them was my natural attitude.

Why does God stress on genealogy so much when what really seems important is His son, Jesus Christ? (more…)


Numbers 2:3-4,9-11,16-19,24-26,31,33-34 “The divisions of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun are to camp toward the sunrise on the east side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Judah’s side of the camp is 186,400. These three tribes are to lead the way whenever the Israelites travel to a new campsite. “The divisions of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad are to camp on the south side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Reuben’s side of the camp is 151,450. These three tribes will be second in line whenever the Israelites travel. “Then the Tabernacle, carried by the Levites, will set out from the middle of the camp. All the tribes are to travel in the same order that they camp, each in position under the appropriate family banner. “The divisions of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin are to camp on the west side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Ephraim’s side of the camp is 108,100. These three tribes will be third in line whenever the Israelites travel. “The divisions of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali are to camp on the north side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Dan’s side of the camp is 157,600. These three tribes will be last, marching under their banners whenever the Israelites travel”… But as the Lord had commanded, the Levites were not included in this registration. So the people of Israel did everything as the Lord had commanded Moses. Each clan and family set up camp and marched under their banners exactly as the Lord had instructed them.

Two million slaves that were freed from exile are now being transformed into a nation that is on the move. How improbable that sounds just like how impossible it is to image the parting of the Red Sea or the daily portion of manna God provided them when they journeyed in the desert.

Is there any relevance to these stories in the Bible and if so, how do they relate to us today? (more…)


Numbers 1:2-4,16-19,45-50,54 “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their clans and families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war. You and Aaron must register the troops, and you will be assisted by one family leader from each tribe… These are the chosen leaders of the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes, the heads of the clans of Israel.” So Moses and Aaron called together these chosen leaders, and they assembled the whole community of Israel on that very day. All the people were registered according to their ancestry by their clans and families. The men of Israel who were twenty years old or older were listed one by one, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. So Moses recorded their names in the wilderness of Sinai… They were registered by families—all the men of Israel who were twenty years old or older and able to go to war. The total number was 603,550. But this total did not include the Levites. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Do not include the tribe of Levi in the registration; do not count them with the rest of the Israelites. Put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with all its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and all its furnishings as you travel, and they must take care of it and camp around it… So the Israelites did everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Theocracy is the rule by people in positions of political authority all of whom share the same religious beliefs and preferences. Theocracy may manifest in a form of government in which a state is understood as governed by immediate divine guidance provided to ruling clergy or other ruling officials (Credit – Wikipedia).

As the fleeing Israelites are being shepherded by God into their own land, it seems God is raising a nation. How is that relevant to us today? (more…)