Posts Tagged ‘Yahweh’


Numbers 24:1-9,15-19 By now Balaam realized that the Lord was determined to bless Israel, so he did not resort to divination as before. Instead, he turned and looked out toward the wilderness, where he saw the people of Israel camped, tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of God came upon him, and this is the message he delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob; how lovely are your homes, O Israel! They spread before me like palm groves, like gardens by the riverside. They are like tall trees planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their offspring have all they need. Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted. God brought them out of Egypt; for them he is as strong as a wild ox. He devours all the nations that oppose him, breaking their bones in pieces, shooting them with arrows. Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you”… This is the message Balaam delivered: “This is the message of Balaam son of Beor, the message of the man whose eyes see clearly, the message of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who bows down with eyes wide open: I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel. It will crush the foreheads of Moab’s people, cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth. Edom will be taken over, and Seir, its enemy, will be conquered, while Israel marches on in triumph. A ruler will rise in Jacob who will destroy the survivors of Ir.”

Balaam, the renowned diviner of the land undergoes a character transformation as noted in the last 2 chapters and now speaks wisdom that can only come from God. How is this relevant to us today? (more…)

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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 8:1-2,5-6,14,16,22 The Lord said to Moses, “Give Aaron the following instructions: When you set up the seven lamps in the lampstand, place them so their light shines forward in front of the lampstand”… Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel and make them ceremonially clean… In this way, you will set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel, and the Levites will belong to me… “Of all the people of Israel, the Levites are reserved for me. I have claimed them for myself in place of all the firstborn sons of the Israelites; I have taken the Levites as their substitutes… After that the Levites went into the Tabernacle to perform their duties, assisting Aaron and his sons. So they carried out all the commands that the Lord gave Moses concerning the Levites.

It seems God was partial towards the Levites in that He chose them from among the many and gave them the princely task of interceding between Israel and God.

What is God speaking to us through this passage and is God’s service only for a few from the many? (more…)


Numbers 7:1-2,4-5,10-12,18,24,30,36,42,48,54,60,66,72,78,89 On the day Moses set up the Tabernacle, he anointed it and set it apart as holy. He also anointed and set apart all its furnishings and the altar with its utensils. Then the leaders of Israel—the tribal leaders who had registered the troops—came and brought their offerings… Then the Lord said to Moses, “Receive their gifts, and use these oxen and wagons for transporting the Tabernacle. Distribute them among the Levites according to the work they have to do”… The leaders also presented dedication gifts for the altar at the time it was anointed. They each placed their gifts before the altar. The Lord said to Moses, “Let one leader bring his gift each day for the dedication of the altar.” On the first day Nahshon son of Amminadab, leader of the tribe of Judah, presented his offering… On the second day Nethanel son of Zuar, leader of the tribe of Issachar, presented his offering… On the third day Eliab son of Helon, leader of the tribe of Zebulun, presented his offering… On the fourth day Elizur son of Shedeur, leader of the tribe of Reuben, presented his offering… On the fifth day Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, leader of the tribe of Simeon, presented his offering… On the sixth day Eliasaph son of Deuel, leader of the tribe of Gad, presented his offering… On the seventh day Elishama son of Ammihud, leader of the tribe of Ephraim, presented his offering… On the eighth day Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, leader of the tribe of Manasseh, presented his offering… On the ninth day Abidan son of Gideoni, leader of the tribe of Benjamin, presented his offering… On the tenth day Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai, leader of the tribe of Dan, presented his offering… On the eleventh day Pagiel son of Ocran, leader of the tribe of Asher, presented his offering… On the twelfth day Ahira son of Enan, leader of the tribe of Naphtali, presented his offering… Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there.

The snippets of verses from Numbers 7 presented above were to give a flavor of the chapter and I encourage you to read the chapter before you begin.

It seems there was great religiosity among the Israelites and they were successful at doing that which was prescribed rather than act on their own faith. Is that what God calls us to do? (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…)


Leviticus 25:1-7,10,54-55 The LORD said to Moses at Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the LORD. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten… Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan… “‘Even if someone is not redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Many aspects of life in those Mosaic times are very odd to us and we find them hard to understand or accept. Slavery is one such concept and keeps us wondering how a God of love would permit such things.

In this long and exhaustive chapter on the year of jubilee, what could be relevant to us in today’s time and how does this draw us closer to God? (more…)


Exodus 12:3,6-7,12-13,30-32 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household… Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door-frames of the houses where they eat the lambs… “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt… Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me”

A bitter end to centuries of bondage and a whole host of new regulations is an apt summary of today’s chapter. 51 power-packed verses of history, prophecy and customs made for a great read but also caused me to wonder what God was speaking through this challenging passage. (more…)