Friday, February 20, 2009

Numbers 18-20

Day 51

I slept in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  JJ is at Meme's house!!!!!!! Wahoooooo! I'm typing with my freshly painted fingernails that are shiny red and match my toes! Thanks Huney!  Thanks mother!

Chapter 18 & 19    These two chapters guidelines for approaching God.  Verses 1-7 is a response to the fear of Israel expressed in  chapter 17.  Here, we have a divine speech directed at Aaron this time and not at Moses as usual.  Aaron is to maintain purity in the tabernacle and in all situations of danger.  If the priests do their job, and do it correctly and holy, then Israel will not experience more divine wrath!  Verse 8-20 begin and end with divine speeches to Aaron.  God is basically telling Aaron what his compensation package is!  BUT!!  They will not get any land because of their office as priest.  Instead, God is their special possession or inheritance among the people of Israel!  One part of their compensation package that they receive is their share of grain & meats offered up in the sacrifices.  They also receive  things that aren't as holy and can be eaten outside of the tabernacle.  The meat and other offerings are holy and can't leave the tabernacle.  

Chapter 19 begins with the law of having to be clean.  You don't say?!  Where have we heard this before?!  Bottom line....the Israelites and "aliens" (foreigners) are both susceptible to defilement from the dead.  Purification lasts for 7 days and requires washing with the water of cleansing on the 3rd and 7th days.  They end up washing with the ashes from the red cow.  Water is mixed with the ashes and creates a red color.  The color red signifies the blood required to purify from sin!

Chapter 20  Water from a rock! Aaron dies!  So....Moses and Aaron are in trouble.  They both are the chosen leaders but even their sin will not go unpunished!  God tells Moses to SPEAK to the rock and water will come from it.  But instead, at the insistence of Aaron (??!), Moses STRIKES the rock for water.   UH-OH!!!  They disobeyed.  There may have been more to the story than we are seeing here, but regardless...they are in trouble.  Their lack of faith and dishonor of the Lord has led them to punishment.  Maybe they thought they were to provide for the people.....rather than the Lord!  They forget their place in this story!  

They are trying to travel through Edom and they are not allowed. They are denied passage and even threatened war by the Edomites.  So, the Israelites turned around.  They have to leave Kadesh and set out for Mt. Hor where Aaron gets marched to the top of the mountain, de-robed, and dies.  Notice that the people mourn for 30 days.  He was a great leader for them! The normal mourning period is only 7 days!!! We also learn that the office of priestly leadership can only be inherited....thus, it was given to Aaron's son, Eleazar.  Aaron was striped of his office of priest before his death.....the punishment for his sin.  Seems harsh to me!  But then again....I'm not God! :)   Thank goodness!!!!! :)  Aaron releases the robe and releases his claim on his priestly robes. This is a sign of the God-given power being transferred.  Aaron died at a ripe old age and was gathered to his people!  

Lesson's learned:  God will provide.  Even when we don't see how, where or when...water will come from a rock and God will provide!  Have faith!  

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