Numbers 12: The Inclusive God

I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern emerging in Numbers. And quite frankly, I don’t like it at all.

But before I tell you about it, I want to say that for some reason I can’t fathom, God, in Numbers 12, totally vouches for Moses’ character and life choices.

He is cool with his boy Moses and you speak out against him at your own risk.

Got it?

So here is what’s been grinding my gears. See if you can spot the pattern.

Numbers 9: Some men want to celebrate passover but are unclean. Moses asks God about it and instead of laying down the law on these corpse-huggers, he lets them join in the passover festivities.

Numbers 10: Reuel, Moses’ father-in-law, wants to leave the Israelites to return to his people. Moses invites, nay – begs him to stay so he can be their guide.

Numbers 11: Joshua sees some men in the camp prophesying. This is not sanctioned prophesying under the bylaws of section 6A paragraph 14 of the prophecy constitution. They should be a part of the special meeting and they are just in the camp speaking God’s words to people. Joshua tattles on them like a good little snitch and what happens? Moses says he wishes everyone would do that!

Numbers 12: Aaron and Miram, Moses’ bro and sis, start speaking against him because he has a Cushite wife. God speaks up and, like I said before, vouches for Moses and affirms their relationship.

See the pattern?

Every time someone tries to exclude someone from the Israelite community, either God or Moses shuts them down.

It doesn’t matter if they are unclean, a different race or ethnicity, or not doing something right, they are allowed to be included.

Doesn’t that bother anyone else? Who is running quality control on these people? Who does Moses think he is?

Who does God think he is?!

Does he think he can just create a special people and call them his own and then let anyone join?

Clearly God has no idea how to run a “super-secret-awesome-club-society-of-awesome” (BTW, ask me how you can join me SSACSA but I probably won’t let you in.)

Unless, of course, that is not what he is trying to do . . .

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5 responses

    • Particularly in the realm of ethnicity. Reuel and Zipporah are foreigners who are most welcome in the Israelite camp. I had an excellent discussion with my wife as we tried to figure out what was going on in Numbers.

  1. Reading the Bible through chapter by chapter verse by verse slowly and consistently like you are doing – blew my mind! God astounds me and I love how He wants a consecrated people but He wants EVERYONE to ultimately be His – He is jealous for His creation!
    LOVE IT! Great post!
    Its head wrecking to know where the ‘line’ is though – when are people acceptable in their practices? God warns against mixing with so much – this almost illusive line you do NOT wanna cross!
    Anyway. I used to read and not comprehend (bit slow maybe) Jesus saying to the Pharisees – have you not read I desire mercy not sacrifice? – When I read through these OT books and saw how the Lord puts mercy and justice above tradition in so many places – I started to see it! His nature, He is so forgiving and loving and merciful. Really amazes me the more I read and learn

    • You are right that there are standards, but they seem to be very different from what the people think they should be. It is striking to me how quickly nationalism and ethnocentricity sprang up and also how quickly God begins to tear it down.

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