Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chapter by Chapter in Numbers 11 to 13

Ancient Israel has something in common with The Wizard of Oz's Lion character. That thing is complete and total cowardice, which is totally out of proportion to the power that it actually has. When I read Numbers 13 just a few hours ago, I found myself wondering if Israel could have left the desert sooner "if [it] only had some courage."

Based on ESV.com's Chronological Bible In a Year schedule. If anyone would like to join in, this blog's comments sections would be a good forum in which to share insights from the text.

Numbers 11` Look, there is nothing wrong with having legitimate complaints - but good grief these people are impossible. At Numbers 11.4-5, they even start reminiscing about the free fish that used to go around in Egypt! Evidently they are forgetting that, in Egypt, all of their male children were killed by Pharaoh. Those were not the glory days. God gets angry with all of this nonsense and promises "I will give you meat... until it comes out your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you." Are you a complainer? Do you provoke God by acting like a spoiled child?

Numbers 12 Moses married a black woman long before Kirk and Uhura kissed on Star Trek (TV's first interracial kiss); it's in sacred history. There is a lot to be upset at when it comes to dating people of different religions -which is clearly not OK in the Bible- but there was nothing to be said about starting a romance with the foreigner among you who worshiped Yahweh. God Himself backs up Moses' marital choices by inflicting leprosy on Miriam for her racism. Racism is wrong, and all people are made the same.

Numbers 13 This is the title chapter: the Israeli army (minus the non-military tribe of Levi) selects leaders to infiltrate the Promised Land on a reconnaissance mission, and all except for the leaders from Ephraim and Judah come back and demoralize the nation of Israel. Except for Caleb and Joshua, everyone was spooked by the giant 7-foot-plus tall Anakites who were roaming around the land. I wasn't there, so I can only guess as to what was going through the minds of these spies, but did they completely forget God's wonders in Egypt?! Nothing is impossible with God. With a little bit of faith, Israel could have stormed the walls of Jericho 40 years sooner.

Other comments and observations can be found in the comments section! Join in!

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