(1) Charging Station or Garden? and (2) Honoring to Women
Many of us have shaped an image of our relationship with God and church and the bible and worship like a charging station in a technological age. We plug in to worship and devotion. We recharge. We then unplug and go out into the world. As we wear down, we plug back in. We talk about how worn down we get, how drained we feel and the energy of the spirit.
We have adopted this relationship analogy because it is one we use in other parts of our life. Juggling between different priorities and responsibilities we apply some processing resources to one or the other. We try to have “quality time” with our kids and family. We even do the same thing to our kids and family by getting them plugged in to the right schools, teams, groups and activities.
But, I think our lesson today in Numbers 28-29 shows how that is a flawed mindset. It is one that leads to an idea that we can justify delayed connection time if we “supercharge”. Along the lines of, I can’t be at all of my kids games but when I’m there I’m on the front line, cheering the loudest and all decked out in the appropriate colors and uniform.
But in the list of worship activities for the Hebrews they look less like a recharging station and more like a garden. God is getting ready to move them into their new home, the Promised Land, and He wants them to put down strong roots. He wants to nourish those roots daily in worship to him. He wants to tend the soil around the plantings weekly. He wants to prune the plants and clear the weeds monthly. He wants to prepare the soil and harvest the fruit at appropriate times each year.
How would our lives change if we changed our mindset to a more organic and living garden with God? Would it help us understand the importance of steady nourishment and sunlight (Son-Light)? Would it help us see the storms of life as part of the rhythm of what strengthens us? Would we see our connection with God as a living connection? Would it reduce the amount of up-rooting we do to ourselves with the constant un-plugging and plugging in and the stresses and strains all of that involves? Couldn’t we produce for more spiritual fruit for God’s kingdom if we are firmly rooted in the Word of God?
On a separate note, I thought both Chapters 27 and 30 speak to God’s special love for women. Many have formed an idea of the bible as being demeaning or derogatory to women. I understand this argument when situations like the census where only the men are counted. But, I think these 2 chapters also speak to the love and provision God intended for women. Contrary to any other nation of their time, the nation of Israel in the promised land would have been very progressive. Not only could women own property in their own name and retain title to it (ch 27), but they could also independently enter into binding contracts and agreements (vows) that were impacting not only on themselves but also on their families. I don’t think the people of God did a good job of continuing to walk in the intent of these chapters, but it was heartening to see God’s love and appreciation for all of His creation, not just the male members.
They were children when the Israelites were first at Mount Sinai when the law was first communicated
The pattern, daily, weekly, monthly, passover, first fruits, Builds on past but points to the future.
God expects us to worship him daily, weekly, monthly and on special holidays
Many think the bible message is derogatory to women. This chapter helps show is protective and honoring, progressive and empowering (at least in parts).