The Commands for Purity of the People (Numbers 5:1-10:10)

Numbers 5 – The test for purity in the law of jealousy
Numbers 6 – The Nazirite vow and the Aaronic benediction
Numbers 7 – The offerings of the 12 leaders at the dedication of the tabernacle
Numbers 8 – The setting up of the lamps and the separation of the Levites
Numbers 9:1-9:14 – The observance of the Passover
Numbers 9:15-10:10 – The covering cloud and the silver trumpets

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One Reply to “The Commands for Purity of the People (Numbers 5:1-10:10)”

  1. Growing up in a Presbyterian church was quite a blessing. In the 60’s and 70’s there were many churches that presented the Gospel fully and without reservation, doing the best they could to serve the people. The old guard is slipping away, but the memories are new when I read Numbers 6:24-26,

    “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his fact toward you and give you peace.”

    The benediction was a formal part of the Sunday worship service. Nowadays, we hear things like, “hey y’all, thanks for coming…we have a gift for visitors…have a great day.” Not quite the same sentiment. Lord, help us remember the rich blessings that you desire for us, help us to boldly look back into the past and make new the old blessings. Our contemporary services do not intend to forget the past, but in an effort to be relevant, I think we forget sometimes.

    Numbers 7 provides a detailed (and rather redundant) account of the tribes bringing offerings to the Tabernacle. Each of the twelve provides the exact same offering as prescribed for a grain offering, burnt offering, sin offering and a fellowship offering. The order and structure of these proceedings must have been used to help the people focus on God and provide for them a mechanism to demonstrate their commitment.

    Several times we read, “the whole Israelite community did just as the Lord commanded Moses.” What a refreshing concept! The entire community doing what the Lord requires. You don’t see that everyday!

    “Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out” (Numbers 9:22)

    So the days of wandering are marked with great logistical efforts of setting up and tearing down the camp. I can only imagine the grumbling that was happening in the background, even if we get the impression that they did “just as the Lord commanded” many times, no doubt the grumblers existed then as they do now. Lord, help me not to be in the grumbling section! Whatever you require, however long I am to linger before striking the camp and moving on, please give me patience and help me to honor you with every minute of every day. I will go where you want me, when you want me–this is my pledge to you Lord.

     

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