Posts Tagged ‘Touch’


Numbers 19:1-3,9,20,22 (NIV) The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: “This is a requirement of the law that the LORD has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke. Give it to Eleazar the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence”… “A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin”… “But if those who are unclean do not purify themselves, they must be cut off from the community, because they have defiled the sanctuary of the LORD. The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, and they are unclean”… Anything that an unclean person touches becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening.”

Another beautiful animal destroyed for a hard-hearted nation it seems and what is the relevance of all of this in our lives today? (more…)


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 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…)


Leviticus 15:1-2,16,19,25,31 The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean… “If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water and be unclean until the evening… “When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening… “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean… “Thus you shall keep the people of Israel separate from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness by defiling my tabernacle that is in their midst.”

After leprosy, we now move into an area of greater discomfort and one that makes us wonder why. Considering a person unclean for a bodily discharge seems rather harsh and makes one wonder if it was because of a lack of education or awareness.

Is there anything relevant relating bodily discharges to uncleanness and how does it apply to our lives today? (more…)


Leviticus 12:1-8 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, ‘If a woman conceives and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days. As at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Then she shall continue for thirty-three days in the blood of her purifying. She shall not touch anything holy, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed. But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation. And she shall continue in the blood of her purifying for sixty-six days. “‘And when the days of her purifying are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb a year old for a burnt offering, and a pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering, and he shall offer it before the LORD and make atonement for her. Then she shall be clean from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, either male or female. And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.'”

A bizarre piece of the law is upon us and like you, it left me wondering why God would be so biased against women and especially so regarding female babies? (more…)


Exodus 4:1,10-11,13-14,24-26,31 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’”… But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”… But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart… At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision… And the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Moses doubts repeatedly and God quells each of his doubts with miraculous gifts that confound imagination and obviously work in establishing what Moses was sent for to the elders of Israel.

However, the threat to Moses’ life by God Himself is a strange incident and Zipporah’s response seems very crude. What was all that about and what is God’s word for us today? (more…)


Genesis 32:24-28 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,e because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

This journey Jacob made is certainly most significant because it was not just a physical relocation but a mental and spiritual transition.

Jacob was moving from a place of great adversity back to him hometown where he was previously not welcome and the only reason was because God instructed him to.

Jacob tried to win his brother over by sending his messengers over, sending expensive gifts and finally split his entire convoy up to ensure that if attacked, the other groups would have a chance to escape.

What then is this wrestling competition in the middle of all of this meant to be and how could some man simply bless him? (more…)


Genesis 20:1-7,15-18 Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.” Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a nation, even though blameless? “Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. “Now therefore, restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours”… Abimelech said, “Behold, my land is before you; settle wherever you please.” To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; behold, it is your vindication before all who are with you, and before all men you are cleared.” Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children. For the LORD had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

The last time Abraham asked his wife Sarah to say that she was his sister was back in Egypt when they had sojourned there (chapter 12). The problem was similar and the result was the same – God spared Abraham, Sarah and the rulers who took Sarah to be their wife.

We need to remember here that even though Sarah was in her 90s, she obviously looked physically much, much younger and was certainly so beautiful that men found her attractive and wanted to have her as their wives.

Also, Abraham was not lying about his relationship to Sarah because she was his sister through his Dad but not through his Mum. This whole situation seems bizarre but in those days, there were many such cultural oddities that we will not understand till we get our heads around their culture and the growth of polytheism and resultant sinfulness.

The question that comes to my mind when I considered this passage is God’s support for Abraham and the purpose of this situation? (more…)


Mark 7:25b-30
A woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

I wonder if I would have the wisdom of the Syrophoenician woman when Jesus speaks to me in parables because I consider myself very dumb when I read passages like this one selected above. This lady came to Jesus in pain and had a desperate need for Jesus’ miraculous touch on her daughter who was demon possessed. However, she was not Jew and Jesus was there to save the lost sheep of Israel. Would she have any place before a foreign God whose objectives seemed different? In times of desperation, do we seek anything that will give us a solution to our problems?

What Jesus asked her was whether it was right for him to turn his attention to the gentiles before he was done with the Jews and her response showed him that she knew Jesus was here to save sinners, not just a race of people. She must’ve noticed it in the sarcastic language Jesus used to describe gentiles or in his manner of speaking but her answer was apt. I often feel like a servant before Jesus, my Lord, whose crumbs I am not fit to take. In Christ, we have victory from the dominion of sin and suffering because through his death and resurrection, we have the hope of eternity. We all have needs and I know today the Lord speaks to me as clearly as he speaks to you that he wants for us to put our faith in him and know that he will answer our pleas in an amazing way!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Man Made Beauty or A Concrete Jungle?