God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

March 7 - Numbers 28-30: Sacrifices and Vows

Today’s Reading: Numbers 28-30

The Message

English Standard Version

This is my 100th post! I can't believe I've made it that far. Over two-thirds are Bible readings, but I made it! 

Today's reading has several sacrifice-oriented laws. Scan chapters 28 and 29 if you are low on time.

Thought to Guide Your Reading

The offerings were to remind the people of God's presence and to remind God of the people's presence.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God gave commandments to the priests regarding daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and festival sacrifices. Each included an animal and flour mixed with oil. The people of Israel were to do no work on the days of the festival.
God also gave rules regarding vows. A man's vow was always intact. A woman's vow could be vetoed by her husband or father if he did it when he first heard the vow. If not, the vow would stand. If a woman was married during her vow, the husband could nullify it without the woman being guilty of breaking her vow.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

The Israelites' sacrifices were to remind them of God's presence and to remind God of their presence.

God is not bloodthirsty and needs blood to bless the people. God is a God that wanted His Chosen People to be fully and wholly His. The sacrifices were to help the people remember that God is always with them. The pleasing aromas were to remind God that His Chosen People still served Him. If they stopped sacrificing to God then they might forget and God might kindle his anger against them.

God places spiritual leadership with the father/husband.

As written yesterday, God's decision looks sexist to us in the 21st century. However, the culture and times of ancient Israel are very different than today. At that time, women were cared for but not considered equal to a man. They were not educated as males. They were not taught the Torah as well as their brothers. Because of this, God gave spiritual leadership to the males. Would God give this law differently today? Maybe not. However, we think of male spiritual leadership as a power grab. That's not the intention. God doesn't give fathers and husbands the ability to blithely reject any and every vow their daughters and wives make. If a woman is so intent on something that she makes a vow to do it (or not do it) a man would be embarrassed in the community and/or risk family strife if he went against her wishes. A godly man would not want such embarrassment/tension in the home.

Vows are serious. God expects you to obey your vow.

Vows are something that we do not have as often today. In fact, when we think of vows we think of a wedding. At that time there were vows that meant you offered certain things over to the Lord. This will be exemplified in 1 Samuel. Over time, this law would erode away at the hands of the Israelites and Jesus would correct their misunderstanding in the New Testament.
Do you agree that God protected women in this passage? Leave a comment in the section below or on the Sonoma Mountain Parkway Church of Christ Facebook page.
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