God’s Purposes Run Deeper
The purpose of laws can sometimes be misunderstood. We look on the outside but God looks on the inside. And we look at the rules as something we have to do. God gives us commands with the purpose to bless and protect us. God’s purposes run deeper than our own. Today’s reading offers a couple of examples of this.
Bible Reading of the Day: Numbers 5-8
God is so good, friends, to give us guidelines and commandments. Our flesh strays and we are prone to wander. Here in Numbers today we read about things that might be a bit foreign to us, but there are always things we can learn, right?
Overview of Today’s Reading
In Numbers 5 we read about the isolation that being unclean brings. One commentary I read this morning said that we all are unclean at one time or another. In one breath we can feel sorry for the unclean being banished to isolation. But another view is that God made provision for the unclean while also protecting those who were clean.
During this pandemic, we can assuredly see the damage that germs can do today in our culture, right? But the uncleanness in Numbers had more to do with God’s holiness than just protecting people from germs.
There was also the jealousy ritual in chapter 5 which was an interesting read, right? Here again, we can feel sorry for the woman being accused by her husband, but this jealousy ritual also protected her from her husband and placed her judgment in God’s hands.
In Chapter 6 there are details about the Nazirite vow. Gotquestions.org had this to say about this vow:
“The Nazirite/Nazarite vow is taken by individuals who have voluntarily dedicated themselves to God. The vow is a decision, action, and desire on the part of people whose desire is to yield themselves to God completely. By definition, the Hebrew word nazir, simply means “to be separated or consecrated.” And the Nazirite vow, which appears in Numbers 6:1-21, has five features. It is voluntary, can be done by either men or women, has a specific time frame, has specific requirements and restrictions, and at its conclusion a sacrifice is offered.”
Of course, we know that Samson was one such person who took this vow. And in chapters 7-8 we see the offerings from the leaders and consecration of the Levitical priests.
God’s Purposes Run Deeper—Covering Our Sin
Numbers 5:5-7 is the crux of the matter regarding sin and the reason for all of the rules and commands. Our sin separates us from God and harms others. It destroys us. We need our sins covered. We think God’s rules limit us. But the truth is, they free us. God’s purposes run deeper than our own.
“5 The Lord spoke to Moses: 6 “Tell the Israelites: When a man or woman commits any sin against another, that person acts unfaithfully toward the Lord and is guilty. 7 The person is to confess the sin he has committed. He is to pay full compensation, add a fifth of its value to it, and give it to the individual he has wronged.”
- Our sin is against God first and foremost. We violate His commands.
- Our sin hurts others around us, too. There are consequences for sin.
- Still God provides for us and covers us.
Psalm 51 is such a beautiful demonstration of the confession we see here in Numbers, as well:
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
Scripture of the Day: Numbers 6:24-26
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. And may the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you His peace.”
From olivetree.com “The priestly blessing (Num 6:22-24) is the most familiar passage in Numbers 5-6. The central message of the blessing is stated in the closing Hebrew word, שׁלום (šālôm), translated “peace”. In English, “peace” connotes the absence of war. It can also describe a state of tranquility. These meanings are also in the Hebrew. But the peace of God in the priestly blessing embraces even more aspects of life. It includes good health, security, inner harmony, wellness, material prosperity, and a long life. The broad and rich meaning of “peace” in the priestly blessing reinforces the role of holiness in the life of Israel. It brings about both social and physical health.
What does God’s blessing mean to you, friend?
- Trust God’s purposes—they lead to His promises.
- We are blessed to bless others and glorify God.
- God’s blessing on our lives might look different than what we thought blessing meant.
- All of us are unclean at some point in our lives but thanks be to God that He has provided for our atonement. We are covered in Christ.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #218: Numbers 5-8
Scripture of the Day: Numbers 6:24-26
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