If you have been following along in your real Bible (reading this blog doesn’t count), you have probably noticed the phrase “The LORD spoke to Moses,” repeat (33 times by the end of this chapter) a lot. Well, it happens three times in Numbers 15 and each one has juicy golden boneless hot-wings goodness in it.
The LORD Spoke to Moses #1
We return once again to laws about sacrifices. We covered these at length in Leviticus. Not much new to see here.
Until you get to verse 15! Leave it to God to drop this bomb in the middle of telling his people how to perform their sacred rituals.
“As for the assembly, there shall be for both you and the resident alien a single statute, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you and the alien shall be alike before the Lord. “
Wait, wait. Foreigners AND Israelites have the same standing before the LORD in the assembly? I knew God was inclusive and all, but this is getting a little ridiculous.
It is one thing to be included; it is another entirely to have the exact same standing.
God repeats this in the next section. He must mean it.
The LORD Spoke to Moses #2
I wondered, some time ago, what happens when someone in the Israelite community sins intentionally. Unintentional sin can be forgiven via a quick sacrifice. We know about unintentional sin, but what about when you do it on purpose?
I finally have an answer!
You get cut off. Cool huh?
Well, not really. See, one time there was this guy was collecting wood on the sabbath. Now you may not think this is a big deal, but if there is one command that guy should have known and been able to follow, it was probably that whole “no work on the sabbath day,” one.
And since he was not given an animal to offer for atonement, I can only guess that he did it on purpose. He did it because he “despised the word of God.”
His act of picking up sticks was an act of insurrection against the God who rescued him from slavery in Egypt, not a harmless midday chore.
The LORD Spoke to Moses #3
Just so this little wood-picking incident is not repeated, God gives Moses some fashion advice.
Yes. Fashion advice. If you like fashion design, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not important. It can be the difference between life and death!
The people are obviously having a hard time remembering and obeying God’s commands. So they are told to sew tassels on their clothes so they can remember and obey what God has told them.
Like a string on your finger. Or a bracelet with letters on it.
Like a WDYS bracelet. (As in, What Did YHWH Say?)
Hmm, so maybe those WWJD bracelets weren’t such a bad idea after all. They have roots in the Old Testament.
Question for you: Which of these three “spokes” connected with you the most today?