Category: Numbers


Cities of Refuge

Day 69 Numbers 35-36

  When I read about the cities of refuge this mother of three immediately thought of Quasimodo screaming “sanctuary! sanctuary!’ on  Disney’s version of  The Hunchback of Notre Dame… I’m telling you the kids are eating my brain cells.  Anyhow the concept intrigued me, a place of refuge for those who accidentally kill someone… but they can’t leave till the high priest dies…  odd, what does the death of this random dude have to do with anything?   So I did a little research into it and came across a blog called Maranatha Global … I LOVED how the author found a total Jesus sighting in all this: “The cities of refuge also provide a prophetic illustration of salvation through Jesus Christ – a place where sinners can flee for safety from the burden of their sins, a place where redemption is complete upon the death of the high priest.”  Too cool.

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Maps of the Journey

Day 68 Numbers 33-34

It seemed like another good day to post images..

Day 67 Numbers 31-32

The Transjordan Tribes:  I thought it’d be fun to throw up a few visuals… it’s interesting to hear about the tribes of Gad and Reuben requesting to live on the other side of the Jordan river, but sometimes I like to SEE what they are talking about.

This one explains where Gilead is:

And here are a few photos of what they determined “the land suitable for livestock”

Day 66

Day 66 Numbers 28-30

What’s really the point of all this sacrificing? The Offerings that go along with the Festival of the Tabernacles just seemed a little excessive. Salvation is based on Atonement (which is the reconciliation of God and human kind) PRE-Chirst the Israelites were participating in only a portion of the final atonement we know in Jesus. As Beth Moore put it the Israelites were being “asked to be faithful in accepting the part of Christ God made recognizable to them… there must be payment for sin, and God had a payment plan.” Did you know the person offering the sacrifice was the one who did the killing? It wasn’t the priest, it was the sinner who killed the innocent animal because of the sinner’s guilt. “Although Israel was called to experience sacrifice literally, we are called to experience it spiritually and typically.” So through Christ, the ultimate sacrifice, my sins are atoned for and I can be one in harmony with God. How do I then experience the sacrifice in a spiritual sense and a typical sense? Jesus is the last literal sacrifice, a once and for all sort of thing.. what then can I take from reading about sacrifices such as”offer twelve young bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect” that was just day 2.. they pretty much offered just as much for eight days! I think spiritually God wants us to come to him consistently, and extravagantly. Our guilt in our sin ties us to the sacrifice of His Son, and it’s worth it to be reminded of that. Sometimes there are seasons we need to be reminded of that more often. Our spiritual sacrifices comes in the form of prayers, worship, and seeking His word. Seeking His forgiveness and working towards hitting the mark he has set before us. I think God is still asking for extravagant  spiritual sacrificing.  Are we offering it with a humble and thankful heart?

Day 65 Numbers 26-27

You know  I think I’m going to miss Moses… He was an interesting character.  I especially appreciate that at first he didn’t think he was worthy or capable of doing what God was asking of him.. but God knew he was.  Here at the end of his life I think  it’s evident that Moses understood he was always the right man for the job. After God told him his death was drawing near and he said,   “May the LORD, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community  to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”   Moses not only recognised the hole his passing would leave but knew it had to be someone new to step in and take the Israelites the rest of the way to the promise land.  Our leaders can’t be with us forever but the passing of the torch doesn’t have to be a bad thing.. it could be a good thing in its newness.  God uses us in our uniqueness and will just as effectively use those who step into our shoes after we move on.

Insanity

Day 64 Numbers 23-25

     Balak reminded me of this Albert Einstein Quote “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Boy howdy is THIS GIRL guilty of insanity according to this definition…

       How does one submit to the fact that God is always going to do it His way?  How does this reconcile with the concept of intercession?  I think it has to do with the heart.  No matter where Balak set up camp and sacrificed bulls God was not going to curse the Israelites…  It’s not about the ritual, it’s the heart… God is not ours to control, He is ours to have a relationship with.  It’s a dysfunctional one on our part, but God’s got that covered.  No fancy rain dance devination will ever make God do it MY way. 

 He listens to my prayers when they are my heart songs to God not the “head songs” of good ideas and selfish desires, no matter how many times I try.

Day 63 Numbers 21-22

I can honestly say I’ve never heard the story of Balaam and his donkey before.. kind of got a kick out of this poor half beaten donkey finally looking up at his master and essentially saying “Why are you beating me fool?!” It’s a very”Shrek” kind of moment, all I can hear is Eddie Murphy’s voice when I think talking donkey. I’m eager to find out what happens in the rest of the story.. Got questions.org has an interesting commentary on it: http://www.gotquestions.org/Balaam-donkey.html … especially this: “God can use anyone, even a donkey and a rebellious prophet, to do His will and speak His truth.” 

  I’ve seen this in action… reminds me of being stuck in Ug*nda for additional two weeks waiting for a Visa.  The person God used to help move up that Visa appointment was the most unlikely person in the world.. just dumb enough to think that he could help all the way from his tiny little desk in the States when we’d already been told that even the power of Senators would not be able to help move things along.  He wrote a note that triggered a series of events that landed us an appointment with in two days instead of two weeks.  The looks on our faces when it dawned on us how it all happened was priceless, only God could have moved mountains using THIS guy.   

   Hmm.. a lesson I’d be wise to remember right now in my life.  God can do big things using the most unlikely of people.. and apparently animals too.

Day 62 Numbers 18-20

 I found it interesting that God would talk about all the uses of water to help ceremonially cleanse those who had become unclean, then in the next “chapter” the Israelites had no water. Anyone familiar with Mazlow’s hierarchy of needs?  In a nut shell.. If our basic needs like food, water, and shelter are not being met we will not be capable of enjoying a sense of playfulness, feeling meaningful, moving our relationship with God into intimacy.  If the Israelites didn’t even have the water to drink for survival they would not even be able to CARE about water for ceremonial cleansing. Despite the grumbling, God provided enough water to meet their needs AND I’m sure enough for the water of cleansing too. Be still and know that He is God. This human still has issues with this lesson… that he will not only provide what I need for survival, but provide what I need to be spiritually right with him too.

    God’s not on the hierarchy of needs.. it’s not really a biblical concept, it was one I was taught through a social work class.  So where would we place God on this pyramid?  I can see Him all over it.  If we were to dissect the Lords Prayer we’d see elements of the hierarchy woven through it.. Give us today our daily bread – physiological needs.  Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil – safety and Security.  Forgive us our Sins as we forgive our sinners – Love and Belongingness. The Praise and Worship that begins and ends the prayer meets the needs of our self-esteem and the top of the pyramid where I believe worship takes place…  where God meets us. We need only to be still and He will provide for us in every aspect of our lives.

Day 61

Day 61 Numbers 16-17

So sad.. I keep thinking about the little ones… So much like humanity to rebel against God despite His obvious presence in their lives. Yes, it HAD to be the next generation that entered into the promise land. The generation led out of Egypt had some issues. Digesting the reading is difficult today.

To Fear or Not to Fear?

Day 60 Numbers 14-15, Psalm 90

 

My heart is heavy over today’s reading. I can relate to the Israelites. To be led out of bondage, through the desert ONLY by the Grace of God, then to finally see the promise land and be paralyzed by fear.. they were going to kill Moses and Aaron their fear had grown so big! I can relate to this, on some levels I really can. fear paralyzes me from realizing some of my biggest accomplishments and accepting some of the largest promises. When I’ve stepped out in spite of my fear taken the out stretched hand of the Almighty and leapt out into the great unknown TOGETHER we’ve accomplished some really big things.  You’d think I’d totally be over this fear thing… yet with so many things life has handed to me this year I find myself feeling afraid of my future.  Some of it really looks scary and I think, Lord how can I do this?!  How do I figure out which way is YOUR way in all this “filth” I find myself in?  lucky me, My God’s been busy providing me answers: 

“He lifted me up out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2 

‘Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.”   Isaiah 30:21

  Lord, may this habit of fear in me be broken for good!  This broken vessel is still good for something, fill it, use it, even in all that We’re going through.. Use me.  Lead me to where YOU need me and let not fear be my guide.  YOU are my guide, and its high time I start following you.  Even though I did not choose some of these paths YOU still know where they lead,  My offering today is fear, anxiety, regret, sorrow and anger.  Take it today, instead I choose YOU.