21.4 Moses 21, Day 4

Grumbling

I want to talk about the word that the NIV Bible translates as “grumbled”.  I’m not saying this is the wrong word, but I think there is merit into looking deeper.

The dictionary defines grumble as, “to utter (complaints) in a nagging or discontented way, or, to make low dull rumbling sounds.”  It is more growl than bark, more nag than confront.

Let’s look at it in Numbers 16:41, “The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “You have killed the LORD’s people,” they said.”  The word grumbled is a translation of the Hebrew word luwn (Strong H3885).  Depending on the tense of the word, luwn can have a number of different meanings and in Hebrew there are 7 different tenses so, the meanings can be quite varied.  They can range from “to lodge, abide, dwell, pass the night” to “complain, murmur, grumble.”  In the tense used in this verse, the word is translated as, “to show oneself to be obstinate, to be stubborn.”

Obstinate, by definition, means: “stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or chosen course of action, despite attempts to persuade one to do so.”

Isn’t that at the heart of what is really going on?  Despite seeing the ground open up the day before.  After seeing 250 charred to a crisp.  They very next day they still stubbornly refuse to change course.

This is their chosen course, a path of rebellion, a path of wandering, a path of death.  God wanted them in the Promised Land, eating milk and honey, but they chose and continue to choose another path.  They have decided to lodge, abide, dwell in the land of grasshoppers, when God wants them to become giants.

Where are you obstinate in your life?  What mentality about who you are, where you come from, what you deserve, do you refuse to let go of?  Where have you pitched your tent?

Grumbling doesn’t sound so bad, it is just a low murmuring, but it has its roots deep down in our heart and our head where we refuse to change course, despite attempts by others who love and care for us to persuade us to open our eyes and quit being stubborn fools.

There is only one who fully paid the price of atonement.  We are foreigners in this land, spiritual beings wrapped in an earthly shell.  God is calling us to be giants – don’t be a grasshopper, don’t be stubborn, don’t be obstinate.  Choose – do you want to be on the side of the camp dead from plague or the side saved through the atoning act of the High Priest?

 

My Answers:

7.
a.
opened up the ground and swallowed them up (All those associated with Korah) 250 men consumed by fire

b.
He knew God

c.
To cause me not to sin and be jealous, but to be strong and faithful to Him and to trust in Him alone

8.
a.
collected, hammered out flat, overlay on the altar

b.
grumbled

c.
Been faithful, prayed, trusted God, repented of their own sin

9.
a.
God is always on the side of the righteous, those whose battle position is on their knees

b.
Took his censer, put incense in it and burning coals from the altar, made atonement for the assembly running in midst

c.
He has made atonement for us, He sits at the right hand of God as our eternal priest

 

16.2 Moses 16, Day 2

It starts with me

Sin is everywhere.  When we open our eyes and look around, sin is permeating every part of our society.  It is glorified in music, on television, in magazines, in billboards.  It is in politics and journalism.  It is in our dress, our speech, our thoughts.  With open eyes, it feels like we are standing in the middle of an landfill that stretches for as far as we can see.  To make atonement for sin, where does God want us to start.

The temptation is to look to address the biggest areas of sin.  Maybe start by trying to change media channels.  Or maybe a better approach would be to sin of leaders, since they are leaders.  Or maybe the answer is to look to the low-hanging fruit – maybe start with trying to establish dress codes.

But, this isn’t something we need to figure out.  God gives us the answer in Leviticus 16.

When He calls Aaron to see the sin in the community and establish a day of atonement, the first area God directs Aaron to focus on is Aaron.  He starts simple.  Take a bath.  Change your clothes. Bring a bull.

So far so good.  I can do this.  I can start the day of atonement with me.  I can take a bath.  I can change my clothes.  I could even get a bull, at least figuratively, I could bring the stubborn bullheadedness of my sin nature.  I can recognize that I need forgiveness and atonement.

But the next step is the one that can trip us up.  (I apologize, but this is going to be a little gory).  The next step for Aaron was to slaughter the bull.  He wasn’t supposed to give it a pinprick.  He was supposed to kill it, slit its throat and let it totally bleed out.  According to Purdue.edu, blood would make up approximately 7% of the total body weight of the animal.  This comes out to about 6 gallons of blood.  I know that is gross sounding, but think about that in terms of our own confession of our sins in approaching God for forgiveness and atonement.

I’m o.k. bringing my sin before God.  I’m o.k. with a pinprick of bleeding my confession of my sin before God.  But God wants me to let it all drain out.  He wants me to completely abandon that old life and let it die.  Not because He needs it, but because I do.

Only by letting all my sin bleed out in confession to the Lord can I offer up prayers for forgiveness like incense so thick it is like a cloud before God’s eyes.  And only then can I be completely at-one-with (atonement) God, putting me in a position where I can truly make a difference in also praying for others’ sin life.

So where should I start: Start with me.  Do the basics to approach God.  Then let it all come out in confession.

 

My Answers:

3.
MHP: the inner sanctum in the tent of meeting, the area behind the curtain containing the ark of the covenant

AC: The mercy seat.  The lid over the ark of the covenant shaped with 2 cherubim angels, wings streched over it, facing the cover

ARK:

A box of acacia wood overlaid with pure gold inside and out, contains the 10 commandments

4.
a.
16:1 after the death of the 2 sons of Aaron who died when they approached the Lord, 16:2 or else he will die, 16:13 so that he will not die

b.
Honorable preparation is required.  A cleansing of my own thoughts when approaching things that are holy (work, worship)  Have I prepared myself to honor God?

5.
a.
one was to be sacrificed as a sin offering, the other was used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat

b.
For his own sin offering, to make atonement for himself and his household.  His sins needed sacrifice

c.
wash, change, bring  bull, slaughter bull, take censer of burning coals from the altar 2 handfuls finely ground fragrant incense, take behind the curtain, put  incense on fire,(smoke conceal), sprinkle blood with finger on front and 7 times before atonement cover

d.
Am I bringing everything before God.? Are my prayers like the incense smoke; so robust and thorough that it fills God’s most holy place with supplication?