Category Archives: Christianity

Year of Scripture – Days 46 & 47

Numbers 8 – Numbers 10
Numbers 11 – Numbers 13

The trip to the Promise Land begins . . . and so does the grumbling. Or, so I should say, the trip to the Promised Land resumes . . . and the the grumbling continues.

We’ve read through he book of Leviticus, and perhaps forgot that our friends, the Isrealites, have been on a journey out of Egypt to the a land flowing with milk and honey. We’ve spent so long focusing on life in and around the Priest and the Tabernacle, that we might forgotten there is a destination in mind for this great crowd of people. Now, the journey resumes, as the cloud of smoke lifts off of the Tabernacle, God guides and directs the travels of the people.

Sometimes they would travel for a day.
Sometimes they would set up camp for days on end.

Lets not forget, this wouldn’t have been an easy process. 1.5 million people, living in tents, herding flocks, traveling with everything they have. Not easy. Add to that the Tabernacle. Every time they moved, each post, beam, curtain, pot, utensil, lamp-stand, altar and Ark of the Covenant had to be moved.

Sometimes only to be set up for a day.
Sometimes to be set up for weeks on end.
But always without notice.
Always as God’s cloud of fire and smoke directed.

Having moved nine times in my 17 years of ministry, I can understand the stress the Israelites must have been under! No wonder they complained! As they complain, what is the one thing they complain about . . . food. “Give us meat to eat!”, they cry out. God responds by providing quail along with another one of my favorite scripture passages:

“You shall eat not only one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days,but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you!”

Good stuff! Quail (very tasty if you’ve never had it) bleeding out of your nose. Yummy!

Finally, after a long journey, the Promised Land is in view, but we aren’t ready to inherit it yet because . . . God won’t protect us over these giants. Oh, you of little of faith.

Peace,
Pastor Bailey

Our next reading: Numbers 14 – 15

Year of Scripture – Day 45

Numbers 7

That was one heck of a party! Twelve days of sacrifices! Twelve days of feasting! For each day:

  • One young bull
  • One ram
  • One lamb
  • One goat
  • Were all sacrificed in thanksgiving or as a sin offering.
  • Then there was more:
    • Two oxen
      Five rams
      Five goats
      Five lambs
  • Were all offered as a fellowship offering. Which, if we remember back to our readings in Leviticus, these were presented at the Tabernacle and then returned to the family (or in this case the entire tribe) for a family celebration.
  • All in all, as the Tabernacle is dedicated, there was one heck of a party!
  • Party on!

    Pastor Bailey

    Our next reading: Numbers 8-10

    Year of Scripture – Day 44

    Numbers 5 – Numbers 6

    Women are set apart . . . men are set apart . . . but for very different reasons.

    Ladies, chapter 5:11-31, doesn’t seem very fair to you. It reminds us of the place and stature of women in the day and time. Then you were just one notch above being a servant/slave. We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go! All I could think of as the women accused of adultery is placed before the priest and made to drink the bitter water, was painting a giant red “A” on her so that everyone would know what had happened. Innocent or guilty, you still had to go through the same humiliating act, and I would imagine you would be labeled regardless of the outcome. And the consequence for the man involved . . . never mentioned. Go figure!

    Then, as we turn to chapter 6, men, and occasionally women, are set apart as a Nazirite, a servant for God. Some individuals we will meet along our year of reading that might be a bit more familiar to us would include Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist. Part of your vow was not cutting your hair, not drinking or eating anything grape related, and avoiding death. I know they seem odd, but think of the purity spoke in Leviticus. That was the goal/task in taking on the vow of a Nazirite.

    Then of course we close chapter 7 with familiar words. Words I speak nearly every Sunday. Words that speak for themselves. So hear them from me spoken to you:

    My the LORD bless you and keep you;
    May the LORD make his face to shine upon you,
    and be gracious to you;
    May the LORD lift his countenance upon you,
    and give you peace!

    Happy Valentines!
    Pastor Bailey

    Our next reading: Numbers 7

    Year of Scripture – Day 43

    Numbers 3 – Numbers 4

    You can tell, I’m not reading ahead, can’t you. I trusted the fact that the Levites weren’t counted in the first two chapters, and then, low and behold, they are numbered in chapter 3. Whoops! Either way, we are still looking at 1.5 million people living in the wilderness. That’s a lot of people that could lead to some very disorganized living. So God gives Moses this divine plan. Some live on the north, south, east, and west of the Tabernacle. Some live on the inner circle near the Tabernacle. All in all, it might have looked something like this:

    Also, did you notice one of the key differences in the numbering? For all the other tribes you were counted if you were twelve years old or older. For the Levites, you were counted if you were one month old or older. Why the difference? One is set apart for battle. One is set apart for worship. Proves you are never too young, and never too old to worship the LORD!

    Peace,
    Pastor Bailey

    Our next reading: Numbers 5 – 6

    Year of Scripture – Day 42

    Numbers 1 – Numbers 2

    1 . . .
    2 . . .
    3 . . .
    4 . . .
    5 . . .
    6 . . .
    7 . . .
    8 . . .
    9 . . .
    603,550!

    That’s a a lot of people!! As the Book of Numbers begins, a census of Israel is taken, counted by tribe, and numbered. Six hundred and three thousand, five hundred and fifty. , but wait there more. Women and children, they weren’t counted. The Tribe of Levi wasn’t counted. All in all, the Nation of Israel could have been close to 1.5 million people. That’s a lot of people!!

    1.5 million people who exited Egypt!
    1.5 million people who crossed the Red Sea!
    1.5 million people gathered to give witness and praise to God!
    1.5 million people now traveling in the wilderness!

    Would there be chaos? You bet! Will there be grumbling? We’ve seen some already, and we will certainly see more! We will see faith in action? Absolutely! The book of Numbers will share the story of all of that and more. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!

    Peace,
    Pastor Bailey

    Our next reading: Numbers 3-4.

    Year of Scripture – Day 41

    Leviticus 26 – Leviticus 27

    I will be honest, I was a little bit disappointed in the ending of Leviticus. I guess I was hoping for a little bit more story to go with it. If you’ve been reading along, you’ve realized we didn’t get that. In fact, I had to look back to the very first verse to remember how it all started:

    “The LORD summoned Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying: ‘Speak to the people of Israel and say to them . . . ‘”
    (Leviticus 1:1)

    Not much of an introduction was there? From the very first verse, we quickly go into the laws and ordinances that God was giving. In the end, there doesn’t seem much of a need for a conclusion either. For what we get, is just about as simple as it all started:

    “These are the commandments that the LORD gave to Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.”
    (Leviticus 27: 34)

    With that, we close yet another book. Three down and sixty-three to go!

    Peace,
    Pastor Bailey

    Our next reading: Numbers 1-2