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Numbers 19:1-20:29

Numbers chapter 19 has given me a new perspective on Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan. Although it isn’t mentioned in this section of today’s readings, it was mentioned previously and I didn’t “Get It,” then but I get it now, I think.

That teaching began with a question (Luke 10): 29 “But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" (The complete Parable is Luke 10:30-37)

I’ve always looked at this Parable as a rebuke to the Priests and Levites and a praising of the Samaritan, but I now think this was an expansion of who the Jews’ neighbors were not a rebuke. Based on the Laws given by Moses to Israel, both the Priests and the Levites were not to touch or be in the same room or place as a “dead” body because they were to be undefiled (Lev 5, 6; 10) Since the man may have appeared to be dead to them they obeyed the law of Moses. Now one could argue that their duty to a human being took precedent over God’s command, but I’m not sure if that argument could be won and if won would it be correct? Jesus could touch a leper, the dead the blind and lame because He had life within in, not life like we have but life that made things whole again. I’m really going to have to look and ponder this Parable under new light.

Ah, chapter 20 and rebellion, again: complaining and murmuring against God again. In this chapter we are told that because Moses struck the “Rock” twice he would not take Israel into the Promise Land. We are also told in this chapter that Miriam dies, then Aaron because he along with Moses struck the “Rock” when they were told to speak to it. What’s the Big Deal! Could never figure that one out; however, notice that I put rock in quotes and capitalized the letter R. I just realized whom that “Rock” represented, Jesus Christ. In Genesis the forty-ninth chapter, while Israel (Jacob) is blessing Joseph, this statement is made, 24 “Yet his bow remained steady, and his strong arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, …”

When they began their journey in the desert they cried out for water the first time for water and complained against God at Mount Horeb (Sinai) where Moses was told the first time to “Strike the Rock,” (Exodus 17:6) also a reference to Jesus. If I am right and I could be wrong, the first striking of the Rock foretold Jesus being struck for our sins, which would only happen once. After Jesus’ death burial and resurrection we would only have to “Speak the Word!” This was not only a violation of God’s Word, striking the rock twice; it was a perversion of the soon coming work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

For all those who haven’t heard me state this before, I’ve been reading through the entire Bible for over twenty years and each and every time the Word speaks to me, reveals to me things I have never seen before. The more I read the more I know that I don’t know.

Luke 1:1-25

Hmm, I’m intrigued about Elizabeth’s seclusion once she became pregnant. Her seclusion may have been because she had complications but remember there were no fetal monitors or sonograms to give us pictures of the health of the baby. Besides God ordained this pregnancy and I’m betting that God, the great physician that He is kept every cell in Elizabeth and John’s body working perfectly.

Tradition during that time in Judaism, and maybe even today in some orthodox sects said that if a woman was barren she was under a curse from some sin. So this pregnancy would have caused a lot of talk and speculation amongst the town’s folk. Also John was suppose to be raised a Nazirite which meant separation from a lot of things going on in the world (Read Numbers 6). Since she had to take on that oath because he was suppose to be a Nazirite before birth, she may have only been protecting him.

Then there is that other thing that people do, gossip and speculation. Again, she was past the age of childbirth by man’s understanding, but not God’s. Have you ever heard the talk that goes on when a woman who is in her fifties and or sixties gives birth? It hits the news and there are discussions all over the place on whether woman (it’s never about men) should have babies at THAT age. Well, obviously they never took the question to God. Elizabeth may have wanted to forego the drama. There is nothing new under the sun and folks like to run off at the mouth now and they did back then.

Come to think about it Elizabeth’s seclusion was a voluntary being shutting of the mouth that God did, through the Angel Gabriel, to her husband Zechariah involuntary. Our words create our world (Proverbs 18:21) and maybe Elizabeth didn’t want other people’s words constructing a world she didn’t want to live in.

Psalm 56:1-13
When it seems that the enemy has surrounded you, surrounded me this is the Psalm to pull out, study and pray.

Proverbs 11:8
This Proverb is a great companion to today’s Psalm. Ain’t God Good!!

8 God rescues the godly from danger, but he lets the wicked fall into trouble.

Grace and peace, and a whole lot of love,
Ramona

I really like Ramona's perspective on the striking of the Rock twice! I had not looked at it that way...

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