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February 2019

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Exodus 30:11-31:18

Two things absolutely jumped out at me in today’s readings, the first, the redemption price for all males when a census is taken and the second, the mandate that priests must wash in the bronze basin before ministering to the people. It is not that I haven’t read this before but I just received an entirely deeper depth of understanding and questions are racing in my head. Anka, you mentioned how both the rich and poor had to pay the same amount, 1/5 of an ounce of silver, when a census is taken. First, note that this only happens when a census is ordered. When is a census taken and for what reason? More importantly, who would order a census in Israel? It is definitely not the “common” folk; it is someone in authority, in leadership like a king. If God orders a census then He knows the state of everyone’s pocketbook.

Perhaps the poor folks, if listening to God, will go fishing and find something in the first fish’s mouth. This explains something we will see happen when we get into the books of history, I and II Samuel and the two books of Chronicles. To understand the impact of this “tax,” leadership would HAVE to be, or not be, concerned about the poor and possibly think that the number of his fighting troops guaranteed victory and not his God. If there are a lot of men folk, then I can risk going to war; however, if God didn’t tell you to fight, well you are using the people as a tool for your own gain and glory, not God’s. Hmmm, Large numbers, or the lack of them doesn’t assure victory or defeat in God’s economy. Anyone old enough to remember the Six day war?

On to the second thing, the basin and washing before ministering. The past couple of days we have read about the costly materials in building the tabernacle and in the making of the priests’ costly outer garments, today we read about the “washing”. Previously Mike asked us about dressing up or down for church and I wondered if some of our desire to dress up, and for some to really dress up, did not come out of hearing the descriptive words and our desire to maybe appear more like priests then “common” people. Jesus rebuked those who wore long robes, dressed up folk, who wore them to give the appearance of their holiness. We will read about those who came to Jesus complaining that His disciples did not participate in ceremonial washing, following the traditions of men and not God.

Could these guys who wanted to set the pace and plans of worship instead of sticking to what God had prescribed, thus adding a greater burden to an already weighty system, be amongst us today? Could we be that someone? Ouch. What has Christ prescribed for us to achieve worship, and what are we doing and calling it worship, holiness and piety (John 4:24)?

I may be back on line to answer some of the other questions; however, those two things really rocked my world this morning.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Wow good commentary Ramona..question/comments: Forgiveness: I feel like when we acknowledge what we have done and verbally confess to the Lord- it is like a weight off our shoulders. When we hold on to things and try to do it ourselves- it eats us up inside- at least it does with me- confess- ask for forgiveness- accept His forgiveness, walk on and sin no more.

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