14 days down…74 to go!
That may sound like a lot, but I feel like we’re cruising through the Old Testament. We already have Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers under our belt and are well into good ol’ Deuteronomy, the book that no one can spell. I did stay on track even though I altered my reading time some days. I decided that if I’m fighting sleepiness, I’m not going to absorb anything. So, some days I read in the morning, some in the afternoon, and some at night. It doesn’t really matter…it just matters that I got it done!
Honestly: last week was b-r-u-t-al. Leviticus and Numbers are so repetitive. So repetitive. So repetitive. And the laws are just fascinating. (insert eye roll here)
I try to keep in mind that the laws were given to keep the people safe and well. I mean, there’s a reason they won’t let you mingle with the masses after you’ve hauled off a dead body. They didn’t exactly have a case of antibiotics lying around if you were to bring disease and pestilence back to camp with you. Still, I struggled understanding a lot of the laws and the culture of the day.
Some of my questions/observations from this week’s readings:
- What’s the difference between the sin and the guilt offering?
- I got my post-women’s lib (and preacher’s wife) panties in a wad when I read that only the male members of the priest’s family could eat meats leftover from certain sacrifices. Humph! But then I read that anyone could eat the meats from Fellowship Offerings (if they were ceremonially clean), and that calmed my nerves a bit.
- However, there were a lot of laws that would ruffle the feathers of modern females. Why would a woman be considered unclean longer if she had a daughter than if she had a son? I understand that time was set aside for healing, but I’m pretty sure that they all come out the same way. LOL! Maybe it was for a little extra mother/daughter bonding before tackling the male dominated world…
- Numbers 11:18-20 is hilarious. The people had been whining about not having any meat, so God gave them a super-duper mom-like response:
“Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days,but for a whole month–until it comes out of your nostrils and you LOATHE it–because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?’”
Go God! Cracks. Me. Up. It reinforces the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”
- Numbers 11–Several times it talks about “the Spirit” (notice the capitalization) that was given to Moses and the new elders that were appointed to lead. Is this the Holy Spirit?
- This wording will make you think about sin in a new way:
“…so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.” (Numbers 15:39).
- By the way, the law wasn’t all bad news for women. How about Numbers 27:5-11 for female equality? God grants inheritance to the daughters of men who die without a male heir. That’s pretty progressive given the day and age!
- I like these verses because I have a mental image of a dad carrying a sleeping son to bed. The people were grumbling about having to go into the land of the Amorites. Moses told them not to be afraid and reminded them about how God took care of them as they left Egypt.
“There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” (Deut. 1:27)
- Hey Americans! Listen up!
“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery……You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” (Deut. 8:10-13, 17-18)
I have several questions to look up regarding violence and some of the reasoning behind certain laws, but there’s also quite a bit of good stuff in Deuteronomy: the Shema (Deut 6: 4-9), being hungry for God’s word instead of food (Deut. 8:2-5), the importance of scripture (Deut. 11:18-21) instructions on how to treat the poor (Deut. 15-7-11) and more.
Yes, I guess I’m a Deuteronomy snob because I like that book much better than it’s law cousins, Leviticus and Numbers.
I think @lbrittin tweeted it best: “If I think READING about the sacrifices is laborious, imagine what having to KEEP DOING all the sacrifices would be like?! geesh!”
Thank you, Jesus. Really….THANKS!