Today’s reading comes from Numbers 5-6. Before reading I invite you to pray and asked God to speak to you as you read his word.
Sometimes reading a passage like todays is difficult. I think it is so because a lot of the information that we are given doesn’t really mean a whole lot to us as modern day Gentile readers. I write this because many of us have no ancestry relation to the names listed. However, to the Israelites who this was written for these names have great meaning.
When I lived in North Carolina the church I ministered with dated back to the late 1800’s. The church building had been constructed before the turn of 20th century. There was so much history that had taken place. My neighbor told me several times how the property the church building sat on was given to the church by an ancestor. Throughout the building were reminders of those who came before who gave out of their hearts to furnish the building and help the church with its purpose and mission. There was pride (not the bad sort of pride, the good sort) in knowing that their family had been involved in helping that church become who she was.
I think the same can be said of our reading today. We may not swell with pride when read this, but there are and were people who did. Each of the twelve’s tribes were represented in the gifts offered as sacrifices. Each of the twelve tribes was able to look at this chapter in numbers and say “we participated in the dedication and purification of the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle.” I understand that reading passages like this may be difficult, believe me I labor to get through them myself, but remember we are not the original audience. Oh they serve a purpose for us today, but we are not the people they were written to. To a Jew living after this dedication, this had a completely different meaning. Understanding that will help us to understand the purpose of including this in God’s Word.
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