Posts Tagged ‘Gracious’


Numbers 9:1-3,6-8,10-12,17,23 A year after Israel’s departure from Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai. In the first month of that year he said, “Tell the Israelites to celebrate the Passover at the prescribed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. Be sure to follow all my decrees and regulations concerning this celebration”… But some of the men had been ceremonially defiled by touching a dead body, so they could not celebrate the Passover that day. They came to Moses and Aaron that day and said, “We have become ceremonially unclean by touching a dead body. But why should we be prevented from presenting the Lord’s offering at the proper time with the rest of the Israelites?” Moses answered, “Wait here until I have received instructions for you from the Lord”… “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If any of the people now or in future generations are ceremonially unclean at Passover time because of touching a dead body, or if they are on a journey and cannot be present at the ceremony, they may still celebrate the Lord’s Passover. They must offer the Passover sacrifice one month later, at twilight on the fourteenth day of the second month. They must eat the Passover lamb at that time with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast. They must not leave any of the lamb until the next morning, and they must not break any of its bones. They must follow all the normal regulations concerning the Passover”… Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp… So they camped or traveled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses.

What amazes me about this Biblical record is the specificity and clarity with which all that occurred in the lives of God’s people was recorded and is available for us to study and understand.

Obviously what we have documented is what is relevant to us for our spiritual edification but what do ceremonial instructions mean to our lives 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…)


Leviticus 26:1-4,14-16,18,21,23-24,27-28,36,40-45 “‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God. “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD. “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit… “‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will bring on you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and sap your strength. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it… “‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over… “‘If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve… “‘If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me, I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over…

“‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over… “‘As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them… “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me, which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God. But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the LORD.’”

Never before have I had to select so many verses to draw what I believe God is speaking to us and I do hope you will read the chapter before your read any further because the above highlighted verses don’t fully draw out the essence of the chapter.

We are now living in times when many great thinkers and authors seem to be using their combined learnings of various religions and beliefs to create a concept of spiritualism, a mantra the seeking world is fast accepting.

Religion appeals to few but a watered down version is palatable and some ex-christians twist the word of God to their own benefit showing the character of God to be different from that of Jesus and revealing the God of the Old Testament as a hateful and heinous God, therefore not deserving of our love or care.

When we read chapters such as today’s passage, it seems easy to be misled by such questions and so what then is really the truth? (more…)


Leviticus 17:1-4,10-12 (ESV) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the people of Israel and say to them, This is the thing that the LORD has commanded. If any one of the house of Israel kills an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or kills it outside the camp, and does not bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting to offer it as a gift to the LORD in front of the tabernacle of the LORD, bloodguilt shall be imputed to that man… “If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.

Over and over again, the LORD God speaks to Moses to instruct the Israelites and the stipulations of the law are so many and so comprehensive that it seems easier to live outside the law than in the confines of it.

With the new regulations on slaughtering animals and eating the blood of animals, what is God speaking to us today? (more…)


Exodus 22:9,20-23,25,28-29,31 In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to bring their cases before the judges. The one whom the judges declare guilty must pay back double to his neighbor… “Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed. “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. “Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry… “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest… “Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people. “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. “You must give me the firstborn of your sons… “You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.

It is obvious that God wanted to set out clearly what His expectation for the Israelites were through of the detail in the laws He laid down for them. The ten commandments were the foundations of the law and each of these laws reflect them in nature and character.

It must have been a great relief to Moses and the elders of Israel that they now had a structure to work in and under and thereby could keep up order among the masses. (more…)