This post would be another one of my “on location” posts where I write from somewhere that is not my home. Today, I am sitting in a lodge looking out at the sunset on a lake north of Spokane, Washington. It is stupid beautiful. This is the annual InterVarsity Northwest Regional gathering and I will be here until Thursday. I won’t go into all the details of what we do here but it is awesome and I always love coming here.
Anyway, you came here to learn about Numbers 9 right?
This chapter has two basic themes: The importance of keeping the passover no matter what, and The Israelites’ obedience to the LORD in their wanderings.
Passover is the Trump Card
After a brief flashback (Numbers begins in the second month. Chapter 9 starts in the first month), we are given a glimpse into how exceptions to laws were dealt with.
A few men want to celebrate the passover but think they can’t because they have handled corpses, making them unclean. They approach Moses and ask why they must sit this one out.
So what does Moses do?
He goes to God and asks.
And God says they are good to go. Gentlemen, get your Passover on!
God goes on to say that if people have no excuse not to celebrate but still choose not to will regret that decision.
This is fascinating to me. This is a clear moment of God saying that one commandment trumps another. Uncleanliness ought to temporarily stop someone from joining in with an event like Passover. Passover is more important than being clean!
The phrase “Keep the passover” occurs seven times. That leads me to believe it is pretty important.
Are there circumstances that still apply like this today?
At The Command of the LORD
When I tell people the story of Israel, I usually cut right to the part where they start complaining and disregarding God’s commands.
What I didn’t realize was that there was a time when the phrase “obedient” would have been the best one to use for them. No less than nine times in the second half of chapter nine are the Israelites described this way.
I want to get back to this lake so I will leave you with a question:
What word or phrase best describes you?