To obey. To bring oneself to the point of believing another person and following their direction, guidance or command. As we make our transition this weekend from Leviticus to Numbers, obedience becomes an important part of the conversation.
Up until this point in Israel’s history, obedience has been an individualistic thing. We’ve read about Noah’s obedience, Abram’s obedience, Moses’ obedience, Joseph’s obedience, but as we move out of Leviticus, we begin to see obedience in the context of Israel as a whole. Leviticus tells us God’s rules, his desires for how Israel is to live, rules that are continued in the first part of Numbers and recapped in Deuteronomy. But was we move into second part of Numbers, starting at about chapter 11, you will begin to read the story of Israel’s obedience, or lack thereof.
The interesting thing as you make the transition into Numbers, is to realize that lays out the stipulations for blessings and discipline for Israel in the second last chapter of Leviticus. The linchpin that separates the two? Yep, obedience. Obedience to God’s decrees and laws. Obedience to God’s guidance.
There was a guy in the church who commented to me that he was pretty sure Numbers was going to kill him. As I read Numbers again this time through, I came to realize that Numbers is actually a very interesting book, not nearly as boring as I had once thought. Sure the first half is a bunch of more statutes and laws, but the second half walks us through a significant part of Israel’s history and gives us a great study on what it means to be disobedient and the consequences that come about as a result.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Numbers 3-4