Today’s Tasting: Numbers 5-6: In chapter 5, the children of Israel are instructed to cleanse the camp by putting ceremonially unclean people outside the camp. Anyone who commits a sin should confess it and make restitution. The Lord also provides instructions for the treatment of wives who are accused of being unfaithful to their husbands. Chapter 6 is about the law that applies to those who take the vow of a Nazarite, to consecrate or separate himself to the Lord. In verses 24-26 the Lord gives Aaron and his sons the words of a blessing to speak over the people of Israel.
Today’s Nourishment: The Israelite’s camp were cleansed, just as we, as Christ followers, need to be cleansed. God calls His people to purity and order. He is pure and full of peace. When we sin, we are to confess it, first to God, then to anyone we may have sinned against, and repent of it. One definition of the word repent means to turn from (stop repeating) the offensive behavior. In this way we keep “our camp” clean and orderly. If we are followers of Jesus, the Holy Spirit pricks our conscious and moves us to right reasoning and right living. I believe the Holy Spirit is pricking our conscience in these times, not only as individuals, but also the entire body of believers. He is calling us to clean the camp.
Numbers 5:11-31 told the Israelites how to get to the truth when a woman was suspected of being unfaithful to her husband. I found it interesting that the water she was required to drink was called bitter water. I believe it relates to our sin, which in the end is always bitter. Our “secret sins” are known to God and will be brought to light and judged by Christ, according to Romans 2:16. Instead of bitter water, today we have His Word that will lead us to repentance and truth.
In Numbers 6:1-21, we see more on the separation of holiness from sin. These verses give the rules for living as a Nazarite. They were to abstain from drinking wine, keep their heads unshaven, and avoid contact with anything unclean. Both Sampson and John the Baptist were Nazarites. Again, we see the call for God’s people to be separate and pure.
The rules were designed to bring awareness of sins, the need for cleansing, and the need for reconciliation to God and to others. Throughout these passages we see Christ, through whose sacrificial death on the cross we are reconciled to a holy God.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Numbers 7