22.4 Moses 22, Day 4

Separated From / Gathered To

We look at death from the perspective of the living.  We think of the person who died as being departed.  We mourn the separation we feel from the person.

But in the lesson today we seem some very interesting and heart-warming language.  When it came time for Aaron to die, the language God used in vs 26 was “Aaron will be gathered to his people.”

The illustration that comes to mind is that of a container of play-dough.  One way of looking at it is this:  When the play-dough is taken out of the container we can focus on the separation.  What it was is not the same anymore.  The shell of the container is there, but the contents have been removed.  But, our focus shouldn’t be on the play-dough container, it should be on the play-doh itself.  It is removed to transform it into something new.  To join it together with other dough to create something bigger, better, more beautiful.  Is our focus on the separated from or on the joined to?

Because of sin, under the law, Aaron and Moses were not allowed to enter the promised land.  But, through Christ there is grace.  It is not that the law was overturned, instead it was fulfilled.  Christ lived the life of perfection that we (including Moses and Aaron) could not.  When Jesus died it was not for His own sin, but for ours.

Jesus Christ was and is eternal.  He was present at creation in Genesis 1 and He is present in the last verses in Revelation.  While He had not yet taken the form of a baby in the manger, Jesus was part of the Trinity during Moses’ time as much as during ours.

The only way Aaron could be “gathered to his people” is if his people continued somewhere that exists after death.  The only way Aaron, or any other sinner, could be deemed worthy of entrance is by the grace and redemption of Jesus Christ.

By grace we are saved through faith.  Are you a person with a soul or a soul in a person?  Is your focus on the container or the spirit inside?

 

My Answers:

9.
a.
It was land given to Esau.  God did not tell them to fight them, it was not their promised land and none of it would be given to them.  They were weakened in numbers from the plague and weakened in spirit.  It would have been an offensive act, not a defensive response

b.
stayed in Kadesh then skirted the area by travelling through the wilderness

c.
Is it for my honor or for God’s?  Is it for my glory and comfort of for God’s glory.? Am I being offensive or defensive?  Is there another path?  Is God directing me in a certain direction?

10.
He allowed him to see and participate in the legacy of passing the high priesthood to his son.  He was celebrated by the people

11.
a.
There had to be a documented succession to the priesthood and, in particular, the position of the high priest.  It was not open for debate or discussion but selected by God.  The order of the priesthood did not change so the law and statutes and ordinances did not change, either

b.
Jesus claim to the priesthood was His divinity not as a descendant of Aaron

22.3 Moses 22, Day 3

Law vs. Grace / Trust in the Word

Moses’ times were marked by “The Law.”  In particular, we see in our lesson today the challenge of the law.  Moses was a humble and faithful servant.  At this point in the scriptures he is probably well over 100 years old.  He has not been perfect, but he has been faithful in his God-appointed task of bringing the Israelites up out of Egypt and into the promised land.  But, he will now not be going into the promised land himself.  There is no gray-area in “the law”, there is either obedience or disobedience, adherence or rejection.  Moses disobeyed.  He did not honor God as holy.  Under the law, he was inadequate.  In tomorrow’s lesson, though, we also see God’s grace.

How often in my own life do I put my trust in something tangible over the sufficiency of the Word of God?  I can feel more comfortable and more secure with something I can touch or hold.  I’m often shaped more by the words of Theodore Roosevelt to “speak softly and carry a big stick”, putting my faith more in the stick than the speech.  But the scriptures teach the opposite.  By far, the Word of God is more powerful than any stick.  “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Heb 4:12

God, please give me the ears to hear the power of your word and the voice to speak it boldly!

 

My Answers:

6.
a.
Take the staff, speak to the rock in front of them and it will pour out its water

b.
took the staff, gathered the people, spoke to the people (chastising them – taking credit “must we”), struck the rock twice with his staff

7.
a.
took credit, disobeyed, put trust in the staff instead of in God – they wanted something physical, not just verbal

b.
physical connection with the rock instead of verbal – taking credit

c.
when I live in doubt and worry about a situation

8.
a.
“you will not bring this community into the land I give them”

b.
1. of anyone, they knew better, 2. They each had interceded repeatedly, the fact that neither objected or interceded shows they did not see it as unmerited, 3. They already knew they weren’t going in (God had already said only Joshua and Caleb – Ex 14:30)

22.2 Moses 22, Day 2

Slave Mentality

Before getting into the heart of today’s lesson, we have one verse noting Miriam’s death.  This past week I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by an evangelical group with a mission to help women in the middle east.  In many parts of the world, the middle east in particular, women are extremely dis-empowered.  They have absolutely no say in the conflicts, no voice and no vote.  They normally are not the ones standing up and shouting or raising firearms.  Yet, they face all the consequences and hardships.  While little was said about Miriam’s final days, months or years, we know that she died in the wilderness not in the promised land.  She was not one of the spies.  She was not a shouting voice.  Yet, the consequences of their actions also affected her.  We need to diligently be mindful of and pray for those in similar situations.  We need to be mindful and prayerful in all of our decisions to recognize the decisions affect not only me but also those around me.  We speak for our households in our actions – we need to speak correctly, as Joshua will say, “As for me and my house, we serve the Lord.”

In the core of our lesson today I saw again the “slave mentality” of the Hebrew people.  They saw themselves as victims, as slaves.  There were no armies forcing them to remain.  There were no palace guards.  They were free.  There were huge benefits of staying together, but, it was choice not force that bound them.  Yet, they took no responsibility.  Starting in vs. 4: you brought us into this wilderness, you brought us up out of Egypt, you brought us to this terrible place.  You, you, you.

This wasn’t Moses’ or God’s choice.  They were being provided with daily manna, that tasted like a sweet coriander, but they complained about the lack of grain and figs in the land.  They were shown bunches of grapes so massive it took 2 men to carry, but they complained about the lack of grapevines and pomegranates. They were brought to a land of milk and honey, the promised land, but rejected it.  But, in their mind, it wasn’t their fault.

It almost seems that  Moses could take the Hebrew out of slavery but he couldn’t take the slavery out of the Hebrew.

How are you viewing your life with a victim or slave mentality?  What are you blaming on other people or circumstances?  Are you living as a victim or victor?

My Answers:

3.
The lack of detail.  She did not get a say in the entry into the promised land, none of the women did, yet, she suffered the consequences.

4.
a.
How little things change.  God is providing daily food and again and again they fall into the same patterns

b.
I think they were mostly being dramatic.  No one was forcing them to continue together.  If they wished to separate from the community, it was their prerogative

5.
He did not demonstrate anger against them, as if resolved that they were a path to the next generation

20.2 Moses 20, Day 2

What did they expect?

The people of Israel come to the border line of the Promised Land.  12 “spies” are selected and sent in.  They come out and give a report of what they observed.

First:

Just like the Israelites, God gives us lines in our lives.  Taking your first step as an infant.  Speaking your first word.  Your first day of school.  Graduation.  Wedding.  New job.  Birth of a child.  The journey of our life is filled with not only the day-to-day but also with stages that we cross between.  If we walk with God and trust in Him, He guides us through the stages, going before us to pave the path.  There will be challenges, trials and tests to teach and help us grow stronger, but it is a forward journey.  Some we pass through on our own.  Some with family, class or groups.  But crossing each line into the next stage is also a choice.

The Israelites faced a breakthrough moment.  One they had been looking forward to for 431 years.  God, through Moses and Aaron has been preparing them and brings them right up to the line to cross, to breakthrough, and they choose to put on the brakes.  The look in the rear view mirror.  They reject what God has prepared and, in so doing, they reject God.  Their insistence on clinging to a fear and slavery mindset locks them out of being able to breakthrough to what they can become.  It is not God that keeps them out of the Promised Land, it is themselves.

Second:

What the heck were they expecting?  It is the Promised Land, capital P, big deal, promise from God Land.  It is going to be amazing.  Nothing but the best for God’s chosen people.  Fruit, fully grown trees, fertile land.  There were walled and fortified cities.  There were giants.

Of course there are going to be fortified cities.  Did they think God wanted them to live exposed in tents the rest of their lives?  He even gave rules about the jubilee years and how they applied to “walled cities”, of course there are going to be walled cities.

And, since the garden of Eden, crops and plants and livestock don’t just take care of themselves.  If you’ve got clusters of grapes so big that it takes 2 people just to carry a single cluster, you aren’t going to have wimpy little scrawny care-takers preparing the land and the harvest.  Of course there are going to be giants.  Beside that, in a time when the powerful took what they wanted, wouldn’t giants want the best.  Frankly, if the giants were living somewhere else, then that place would have been a better place than the promised land.

Both of these things go hand in hand.  When our focus is in the rear view mirror, when we refuse to let go of who we were in the past, then we are unable to look forward, we stop thinking and start reacting, we become an emotional uncoupled train wreck instead of a powerful train car coupled to God’s locomotive.  With fear instead of God as our motivation, we uncouple ourselves from the locomotive and just become loco.

 

My Answers:

3.
a.
“Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”

b.
God said, good to understand their enemies, motivating to people to hear that the land possessed all that God promised

c.
Explore and report on the people, land, towns soil and trees and fruit

d.
God has given the goal to me already.  Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.

4.
a.
The land was fruitful and populated.  The cities were old and established.  Everything was built and in place for the Israelites to take possession of a great land.

b.
40 days

c.
They were the Nephilim (Angels had mated with human women) – they were defeated by Caleb who was given their land

 

19.5 Moses 19, Day 5

God speaks through me and you

God is God.  God’s attributes that we have the ability to learn through the scriptures, are revelation of God.  God speaks through the Holy word of Scripture.

But, God’s ability to “speak through” and to reveal His character and attributes is not limited to the words in the Bible.  Nothing else revealed will contradict the bible, nor will it replace or even add to what is revealed in the bible, but it is still real and God still fully has the ability to use it.

For example, nature.  Who can truly look at the beauty and magnificence of nature and not have sense of the Creator within it?  Take hymns, “Holy, Holy, Holy”, “What a friend we have in Jesus”, “How great thou art”.  Take a pastor or preacher with a Holy Spirit enabled gift to paint a picture for us to apply the words of the bible to our lives.  Or a writer who challenges our thinking and pulls our heart closer to God.

For that matter, what about me and you?  Not only can God (who by the way can do anything) speak through us, but He does.  Those around you see the Lord in your life.  They see your deeds.  They see your service.  They see your attitude and your dedication and from these things they learn about God.

All things on heaven and earth are for God’s glory.

Through all of the lives of all the people, God’s glory, all of His attributes and who He is, continues and continues to be revealed.  The same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t always reflect highly on us!

We see this with Miriam in our lesson today.  She asked the question, “doesn’t the Lord also speak through us?”  And, He did.  He spoke in righteous judgment for one who speaks against one of His faithful servants..  He spoke in the power and control over illness and disease (even those we consider uncureable).  He spoke in the mercy He showed in forgiving and healing.  He spoke in the Fatherly love of holding to consequences for significant wrongs and bad teaching from those He has placed in a leadership position in the church.

We see volumes in lessons about God and who He is through this situation with Miriam.  All of it is true and all of it is positive.

But if Miriam sought additional attention from the Israelites, that happened as well.  Not only during the 7 days the entire encampment sat in wait, but, can you even imagine the “walk of shame” as she re-entered the camp?

God does speak through me and you.  Whether we do right or wrong, it doesn’t change who God is and the truth of His revelation.  But when we sin, God’s light isn’t dimmed, but our ability to reflect that light is tarnished and muddied.  People see more of our faults and less of God’s reflection.

Where do you need to “polish your mirror?”  What traits or habits are present in your life that, if revealed, would tarnish your ability to reflect God’s light?  What is going to get you to change?

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to have to hear God use the “Dad voice” with me to get me to change, like He did with Miriam and Aaron :

  1. Listen to my words (what dad hasn’t used that one?)
  2. In my house (about moses, “he is faithful in all my house) – (this is my house and in my house…)
  3. Why then…?  (if you were thinking, how could you have possibly thought this was a good idea?)
  4. The anger burned and He left.  (I think sometimes the most convicting thing (terrifying thing) wasn’t when Dad took action but when he was so angry he walked away from the discussion).

 

My Answers:

10.
a.
Brought all three parties together, called them to the tent of meeting, came down in pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance and summoned Aaron & Miriam, told them “listen to my words”, laid out the circumstances, asked why they were not afraid to speak against “my servant Moses”, anger of the Lord burned, He left them, Miriam skin turned leprous

b.
“he is faithful in all my house”, “my servant Moses”

11.
a.
I speak with him face to face, clearly and not in riddles, he sees the form of the Lord

b.
All of creation is God’s house – Moses is faithful at all times and in all places

12.
a.
skin became leprous

b.
He would have had to examine her and judge her unclean and she would have been sent permanently outside of the camp

c.
He prayed for people who had unjustly wronged him and received a just penalty, but asked for their healing and forgiveness

d.
He healed her disease, but there was still justice and teaching.  God forgives our sins, but still teaches us necessary lessons

19.4 Moses 19, Day 4

Complaining springs from ingratitude

Part of our aim for this week is that complaining springs from ingratitude.  I love the imagery of the spring in that line and we see it in today’s lesson.

Miriam and Aaron have gotten themselves all wound around the axle about Moses’ new wife.  We don’t have a lot of information here.  We don’t know if something happened to his first wife.  We don’t know if there was some other tension or jealousy.  We don’t know if it had anything to do with race or nationality.  We just don’t know and I don’t think it wise to try to fill in the blanks.

What we do know is that “because of his Cushite wife” Miriam and Aaron “began to talk against Moses.”

What is interesting in the imagery of the spring is that, while they were wound up about his wife, that is not what popped out.  They way they sprung up against Moses was by attacking his relationship and standing with God.  The words punched at his relationship as being nothing unique or different.  “has the Lord spoken only through Moses?”, “Hasn’t He also spoke through us?”

There are times in our lives where we, too, can get “all wound up” about something.  Just like that spring, the issue coils around our heart, storing up all this negative energy.  When we release it, it springs out, uncontrolled and normally not in a matter that has anything to do with what the real issue is, but just a way to inflict harm to the other person.

But, not only is that not a healthy approach, but it is also not the biblical approach.  God recognizes we are human.  He recognizes there will be disagreements among us.  Have you noticed all the laws and guidelines He has been putting in place to address these disagreements and disputes?  Have you noticed the 70+ elders he has put in place to help the people in these areas and how he equipped them with His spirit?  God does not paint some make-believe land where everyone just gets along.  God knows we are going to get wound up from time to time especially about family and especially about leaders and especially about family who are leaders and believers.  We hold them to a higher standard and, well, sometimes we see things in them that we consider to be unaddressed faults.

But the biblical approach is not to become a spring.  Instead, we are called to unwind the concern with a fellow family member to the brother in the presence of God.  We are to release the energy, not attack with it, and get to the core of the situations.  We are to trust God and hold to His words, but also to model His mercy and grace.

What are you wound up about?  When have you felt the negative energy stored up in your heart?  Who or what have you sprung out against, especially in a way that is totally unrelated to the core issue?  What fellow christian can you join with to unwind the energy and address the issue with your brother and with God?

Start with a focus on gratitude to God.  Start with the words, “thank you, Lord” and then keep saying it as you let the negativity unwind.

My Answers:

8.
a.
Moses’ sister, watched over him in the nile, approached pharoah’s daughter, lived as a slave in Egypt, was a prophetess, leader, singer of songs
b.
He married a Cushite woman.  We don’t know enough to draw conclusions (what happened to 1st wife)  other than the fact that God, who knew her heart, was displeased and the wording in the bible implies jealousy and lack of humility

9.
a.
He didn’t respond, at least not directly.  He likely talked with God about it (history of doing that)

b.
grow sad, frustrated, humiliated, angry.

 

19.3 Moses 19, Day 3

Joining the Rabble = Rejecting God

 There is always the rabble.  No matter the setting, it seems like when you get a group of people together, there are always some who choose to be unhappy, discontent.  No matter the blessings all around them, they find something to complain about.

If you are one of those people – stop it.  It is not constructive criticism if you are not picking up your tools and helping construct something better – it is just criticism.  Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”  “No corrupting talk”, “building up”, “give grace.”

If you are around “the rabble”, do not fall in with them.  As Christians, we know we are on God’s team.  We love Him and honor Him, but we also hear the voices of the complainers.  Not only in our private lives or at work, but even at church.  But this passage tells us God’s view of us when we turn our attention to the rabble.  From His perspective, we aren’t just casually listening to them, instead, we have turned out back on Him.  By joining with them, even if only in listening and allowing our heart and minds to be stirred, we reject God.

Our passage also clearly points out that we don’t have to live our life in denial.  Sometimes things are hard.  Sometimes our burdens are great.  Sometimes things are not going at all like we want or need them to go.  We get frustrated.  We get annoyed.  We get overwhelmed.

But, when that happens, just like it did to Moses, we are called to do what Moses did and turn it over to God.  The difference is in this question, “Do you want to enjoy wallowing in the complaining or do you want to solve it?”  If you want to solve it, turn to God – He has the power to solve anything and everything.  If you want to just enjoy having a pity party – well – that is not your best idea!

The people lashed out against each other, against God, against Moses.  Ping, ping, ping, drip, drip, drip.  Just like a continual dripping on a rainy day.  Each comment added to the annoyance, but resolved nothing.  But Moses didn’t drip.  He unwound all his issues at God’s feet.  He didn’t lack for drama (just kill me), but god didn’t chastise him.  The difference is that when Moses unwound it all to God, he was done and trusted in God for a solution.

God showed He had the power to provide.  He provided 70+2 elders empowered with His Spirit to help Moses.  He provided quail 3 feet deep.  He had the power to provide.  But, there is also a lesson here as well.  When our heart and words are focused purely on ourselves and not God, God may give us what we think we want, but it is not going to bring us peace and fulfillment – it brings plagues and death and un-fulfillment instead.

My wife had a good perspective on this.  She said, I wonder if, before they left Egypt, God and Moses had sat the Israelites down and had a talk with them and said, “We’re going to take you out of slavery and bondage and into the promised land flowing with milk and honey.  You’ll defeat pharoah’s armies, you’ll have riches of gold and jewels, food will be provided each day that tastes like honey, nations will fear you, and God will dwell among you, but, for a period of time, you won’t have fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions or garlic.”  Just how many people do you think would have stood up and said, “hold on, that’s a deal breaker – just leave me here in slavery.”?

 

My Answers:

5.
a.
free fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic

b.
slavery, hardship

6.
a.
He was troubled – overwhelmed

b.
It is what he was honestly feeling and he took it to God.  A bit dramatic, but, yes, the people were a burden.

c.
Shared the burden with 70+2 = 72 = 12 x 6 elders equipped with His spirit.  (note: 72 is the same number Jesus appointed to be sent out in Luke 10:1)

d.
Through others and by showing He is present and faithful and has a plan

7.
a.
They had rejected Him

b.
Brought a plague on them

19.2 Moses 19, Day 2

Be

Hardships are real.  But in the same way that cataracts can cloud our vision to the point of blindness, hardships can cloud of perspective of God’s purpose for our lives.

I’ve been in situations where people treated hardships as a competition.  This will sound horrible, but I was in a bible study where people were sharing some of their struggles so the group could pray for them.  One man opened up that he had lost his wife to cancer 2 years prior and had just found out that his daughter had leukemia.  The next person started their comments with “well, I can’t beat that.”

There is nothing wrong with facing our hardships and confronting them, but they are situations, not what defines us.  We should name them, not as badges of honor, but as things to be turned over to God for prayer and support.

The challenge is that we, all too often, look to outside influences to make us something.  To make us happy.  To make us content.  To make us fulfilled.  But outside influences whether given (money, food, clothing) or taken away (fear, pain, hardship) do not “make us.”  Case in point, their are incredibly wealthy people, who lack financial security.  There are very well fed individuals, who crave certain foods.

The point is that the only way to “be” something else is from the inside out, not the outside in. Nothing pushing on the outside of a balloon is going to fill it up.  Ful-fill-ment starts on the inside.  That is where God comes in, by, literally coming in to your life.  God is not an influence, He is a “be”ing.  He says, you will “be” my people and I will “be” your God.  He fills us with the Love of Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  He writes His name on us and claims us as His home, a place to fill with Himself.

When your focus turns to struggles, worries and hardships, as the song says, turn your eyes upon Jesus.  In so doing you can “be” delighted in your inheritance, “be” patient and not fret, “be” still, and most rewardingly, you can “be” content.  Content is an interesting word.  The origin of the word is the past participle of the Latin word continere, meaning: to contain.

 

My Answers:

3.
a.
grumbling

b.
fire burned among them and consumed the edges of the camp, that is how He chose to reveal His wrath so they could see what they truly deserved.

4.
a.
Cried to Moses

b.
grumble, worry, pray

c.
16:6 – boundary lines, delightful inheritance
37:7 wait patiently, do not fret about others
4:11-12 be content

18.5 Moses 18, Day 5

Multi-Sensory Experience

I was struck in our lesson today about how God connects with us not only on every level but through all of our senses.  The sight of the cloud by day and fire by night.  The smell of the burnt offerings and incense.  The feel of hands upon the scape goat.  The sound of the trumpet.  The taste of the unleaven bread and roasted lamb of passover.

It reminded me of a Sunday school lesson on Daniel in the Lion’s den from Daniel 6.  After the angel closes the mouths of the lions and Daniel survives his night locked in their den, King Darius issues a decree recorded in Daniel 6:26, “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.””

Our God is alive.  He is not some talisman or good luck charm.  He is not a rock we rub for good luck or a piece of wood we wave about.  He is not your lucky pair of gym shorts (although those may be alive in a different, gross way).  God is living.  He hears, He smells, He gives, He looks, He wept, He is jealous, He created, He has a mighty hand, He breathes, He speaks and He loves.  (some related verses from the bible)

God’s wants to connect with us in every way, not only in every sense (literally), but even ultra-sensory.  He wants to dwell within us, to wash us clean of our sin and to tend to and grow the garden of our heart.  He wants to continue doing this.  With special days of celebration.  With sabbath days and years of peace and rest. But also in every moment.  Accepting God isn’t an event that is done and complete.  It is more like a wedding or even more so, a birth.  It is the start of a whole new life in every way, shape and form.

What dead charms do you put trust in instead of God?  How are you approaching the living God?  Are you doing it with a repentant and humble heart or with pride in the good works you’ve accomplished?  Do you seek a real relationship with Him?

My Answers:

11.
a.
1 year (it was the beginning of the second year, passover occurs on the 14th day of the new year, or at least it did at that time until the Jewish new year was changed after the time of Jesus when the temple was destroyed).

b.
It was a commandment of God.  It was a commemoration of a critical event.  It only happened once a year.  It was defining.

c.
Sometimes get distracted but ask God to continue to show that He is present in the worship

12.
a.
the cloud covered it when the tabernacle was set up and looked like fire at night, whenever it lifted they set out til stopped

b.
2 trumpets, all called to order, 1 only heads of clans, when blast east tribes set out, when 2nd blast south side, sons of A blow

c.
with sight and sound, by what I see and hear

18.4 Moses 18, Day 4

Missed Blessings

My mom relayed a conversation she had with the pastor at her church.  She was talking with him about attendance at church service.  She wanted him to know that there were some days that she just didn’t feel up to making it to church.  It wasn’t because she didn’t like the music or the liturgy of the service.  It wasn’t anything against his sermons.  It wasn’t because she was behind on tithing. To use her term, “some days I’m just old.”  I thought his words back to her were very wise and thoughtful.  He told her that if she could make it at all, come for the last 2 minutes of the service and if she couldn’t make that to call him.  The final part of the service is a benediction.  Most of the time, it is the exact same words that God told Moses to tell Aaron to say.  The pastor explained to her that this was a special blessing for her.  While it was said to everyone in attendance, it was an individual blessing, something special and specific for each individual.  If she wasn’t there to receive the blessing, she would miss out on it.  If she simply couldn’t physically be there, then she should call him and he could give her her blessing.

When we recite the blessing in Number 6:24-26 we forget verse 27. “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

These weren’t just words or good wishes.  While it is a “good word” or benediction, it is more than that.  God told Moses to tell Aaron to “put my name on the people”.  God didn’t say and I might bless them, He said “and I will bless them.”

Aaron didn’t originate the blessing.  Moses didn’t originate the blessing.  God originated the blessing.  But, like in many other things, He allowed the priests, who were brothers to the community, to participate.

When we think about church attendance we tend to focus on the sermon or prayers or communion or songs.  All of those are great and help us pour our heart out to God.  But the blessing – that is something special, a gift from God given through the minister, specifically for you.

What blessings are you missing out on because you aren’t showing up?  When you receive a blessing are you grabbing on to it and pasting it into your heart?  Do you accept the gift? Do you bow your head or raise your hand and receive His name being written on to you? Do you desire His radiance, His grace, His peace, His blessing?

My Answers:

8.
When parting friends, blessing to children

9.
It is for God’s glory not my own.  Give the required tithe plus more. – Tribe of Judah gave first 4th in line, Reuben, Simeon, Levi… But also the lineage of Jesus.

10.
a.
Given wholly to God who took them in place of the firstborn Israelites.  Given as a gift to Aaron and his sons to do the work

b.
1. God can do what He wants (He is God), 2. From the passover every firstborn belongs to God, set apart.  The Levites were taken in their place

c.
25-50