Today’s Tasting: Numbers 28-30: God continues His instructions to Moses, this time regarding observance of the Sabbath and religious feasts, including the Passover and the Day of Atonement. Moses receives detailed instructions for the daily offerings, the Sabbath offerings, and monthly offerings, as well as the offerings for the religious feasts. The Israelites are told to be careful to present the offerings at the appointed times, in addition to any vowed offerings and freewill offerings. Moses tells the people that a man must keep his vows and not break his word if he has sworn an oath. If a woman makes a vow while still in her father’s house and he overrules her, the vow is negated, but if he holds his peace the woman must keep her vow. If a married woman makes a vow, and her husband hears it, he may void the vow in the same way, but if he does not overrule her, the woman is bound to keep her word.
Today’s Nourishment: As we have journeyed in this daily blog through the books of Leviticus and Numbers, it’s been almost impossible to avoid thinking how tedious it must have been for the people to keep up with all the requirements for making offerings to the Lord. It’s a weighty reminder that God is holy and we must not take Him lightly or come into His presence carelessly. The Israelites had lived for over four hundred years in Egypt and had taken on the habits of the culture around them. When God brought them out of Egypt He went to great lengths to break those habits and refocus the hearts of the Israelites on Him. It’s a lesson for us modern-day Christians. We also live surrounded by a culture that stands in opposition to the things of God, yet we are called to follow Him and to live as a people separated unto the Lord. Just as He gave the Israelites instructions for navigating through the foreign cultures around them, so He gives us instructions in the Word for navigating life in the twenty-first century.
Through the Word, the person of Jesus, we have a new Covenant with God. Instead of daily offerings of rams and doves, we are to daily offer Him our hearts, made clean by the blood of Jesus. Under this new Covenant, many of the practices required of the Israelites were set aside. In what’s known as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells His followers (and us) that instead of swearing oaths, “do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; … But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’” (Matthew 5:34-37 NKJ).
Thank God for Jesus! Because of Him we are still being given instructions for living lives pleasing to God. However, by His grace we are no longer required to observe the laws of Moses.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Numbers 31-32
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