Saturday, February 14, 2009

Numbers 5-6

Day 45

Happy Valentine's Day! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!  For Valentine's Day JJ got me ... .....sleep.  He stayed in his own bed (finally after 2 weeks!) and didn't get up until 7:30!!! And HannaLee went right back to bed after she woke up at 5.  THAT is love! But JJ was also at the basketball game with his daddy until after 9:30 last night too.  Wore him out! :)  I don't think Dusty and I have celebrated a Valentine's Day without pizza!  So, tonight I'm sure we'll all go eat pizza (or better yet a calazone) and then go to a basketball game!  Love the ones your with!!!

Chapter 5  Well.....Dusty read both chapter to me last night....with JJ "listening" in our bed and telling me the story of Goldilocks at the same time!  Here we have a terrible form of legislation for women! Argh! Really?!  The impurity test.  Who knew....the biblical version of the lie detector test?!  Purity is of utmost importance to God because it is about holiness.  Again, holiness!  Chapter 5 and 6 are about protecting the camp from impurity.  And notice how the laws move from talking about relationships outside of the camp (v. 1-4) to life within the camp (5:5-6:21) and the laws that focus on life at the center of the tabernacle.'re dying to know about this test for unfaithfulness for the women.  Don't get yourself in a wad....its okay....kinda! :)   Obviously this has a hint of "magic" to the test and we must think clearly about the interpretation of this to contemporary society! We don't even for one moment believe that this potion can be used to manipulate God.  How we interpret this must include the POWER OF GOD to move and work within the ritual itself and the guilt that may or may not come about from a woman for cheating on her husband!  If one is guilty, and ingests HOLY WATER, there are bound to be physical consequences....get it?  I'd say guilt and not living a holy life are bound to come into play here. Not so much "magic" of the potion.

One of my commentaries states that "much of the language of the text is no longer clear even to experts."  You must always remember to keep the scriptures in their historical context to understand them AND THEN apply them to our contemporary lives.    That is especially true here.  Here they are saying that an innocent woman might be subjected to the test for an unfaithful wife.  But this test did provide physical protection for the wife from her husband if need be.  Without it, a jealous husband might be inclined to take matters into his own hands....beat her or even kill her.  But this test at least provided a structured system for dealing with an unfortunate situation of suspected adultery.    Now, I know what your  contemporary minds are thinking, "well...what about a test for the man?" those days, physical protection wasn't near as necessary in their male dominated society.   However, both men and women were subjected to the same punishment for adultery---death!  

Chapter 6  The Nazarite vow....this provides leadership for the is a special calling for laypersons and only for a designated period of time.  Nazarite comes from the Hebrew word "nazar" which means "to separate" so they are special people who have devoted themselves to God.  They couldn't even eat grapes.....not just grapes...but the point is to not eat anything that would prevent them from being ruled by anything other than God's Spirit.  

And this is my favorite scripture of all....the blessing in verses 24-26!   This is  a blessing of peace (meaning an absence of war!) and even a state of tranquility.  But the peace of God embraces more than either of those aspects. Amen?!  Amen!  God's peace embraces our health, security, our inner being, etc.  The point is that a holy life will bring about all areas of life.   This blessing is even an "ideal vision" of the camp and camp life.  This is even something that I used to SING to my congregation as the "sending forth" at the end of worship.  I used it as the closing benediction.....a divine blessing not from the priest but a power of God let loosed on the people!!! It is used to call forth God's favor....what are your prayers?  Can you imagine.....praying with your husband or even a friend....placing your hands upon them and praying God's blessing on them by reciting (or singing) this prayer?   I dare you!  :)  

What power we have with God!  

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