Saturday, 24 September 2016

Numbers 11-15

Here's how the study works: Read the chapters mentioned in the heading during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for several chapters creates the opportunity to revisit them and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people's insights.


Susan Barnes said...

11:4 The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat!

The NLT puts it like this: "Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. 'Oh, for some meat!' they exclaimed." This make it clearer that the problem started with the 'foreign rabble' traveling with the Israelites who had not been slaves. But their discontent spread to the Israelites.

(From Constable's Commentary) "To spurn a regularly occurring, abundant and nutritious food only because it is boring is understandably human – a pitiable mark of our tendency towards ingratitude."

Susan Barnes said...

12:1-2 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this.

Zipporath, Moses' first wife had probably died and Moses had remarried a Cushite. (God had only forbidden marriage to the Canaanites.) Miriam is mentioned first in this verse and the feminine use of the verb talk is used, suggesting this was mostly about her. Perhaps she felt jealous after the appointment of 70 elders in chapter 11 and they prophesied. Perhaps she thought Moses' new wife would have a more prominent leadership role or saw her as a threat to her own leadership.

Miriam teaches us the importance of learning contentment in the role that God has given us and not desire someone else's role.

Susan Barnes said...

13:31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”

Moses directed the spies to report on the land (v. 18-20). They reported back (v. 26-29). But here they are overstepping what they were asked to do.

We need to be careful about giving our opinions without reference to God.

Susan Barnes said...

14:13 Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them."

Notice Moses first response to the Lord destroying the people because of their disobedience is that the Egyptians will hear about it. His first concern is the Lord's reputation. Secondly he wants the Lord to display his strength in terms of patience, love and forgiveness.

Susan Barnes said...

15:38-39 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.'"

God gave the Israelites a visual reminder to keep them from sin. Likewise we need reminders, communion, re-reading the Bible etc.