Monday, March 8, 2010

Numbers 5


Denise said...

"God included restitution, a unique concept for that day, as part of his law for Isreal. When someone was robbed, the guilty person was required to restore the loss to the victim and pay an additional interest penalty. When we have wronged others, we ought to do more than apologize. We should look for ways to set matters right and, if possible, leave the victim even better off than when we harmed him or her. When we have been wronged, we should still seek restoration rather than striking out in revenge."

Prairie Chick said...

That was one of the concepts that stood out to me as well from this passage. The fact that it's not just about saying "sorry" but righting a wrong by making sacrificial restitution that goes above and beyond, benefiting the one you have wronged not just to the point of righting your wrong, but tipping the scales in the opposite direction.

I was also struck by the thought that in the first part of the chapter, where it talks about banishing unclean people from the camp... that it is not a punishment so much as a PROTECTION. God knew how much pain and loss contagious disease could inflict on his people in a time before modern medicine and He set up strict parameters to protect their health and wellbeing. I was struck by how He does the same now, commanding us to separate ourselves from evil (didn't we just read that yesterday? about not letting the world "ruin" us with its evil desires?). He knows it can and will contaminate us and make us sickly and innefective and even possibly bring about our eventual demise.

I find the end of this chapter so... strange. So hard to process. It seems almost superstitious in some way, like some "ceremony" you coud picture people of any cult practicing. And yet, it's here... have trouble fitting it into my paradigm and that gives me great pause to think what a shaky and transient thing this paradigm of mine really is.

HOw much do I really know of God? How much do I really understand Him and His ways? In how many ways do my views just come up completely short of grasping who He is and how He operates and all of His vastness.

Jude said...

I was also struck by the need to make more than amends for the wrongs I have done. Certainly something that I need to consider as to where I need to implement that in my life.

The last portion of the chapter was also confusing for me....I am glad that I serve a risen savior and am not bound by such passages of the law. Overall, as Denise wrote, God is giving a way to provide restitution rather than ignoring the issue or taking a life or retaliating with the same sin.

Yesterday in church we were studying the passage in Matthew 18, starting at v15 and taking pieces from there, which says "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault.....if he will not listen, take one or two along, so that every matter may be established by two or three witnesses."

This method of reconciliation really challenged me. This is how I work things out within my family but only rarely outside of the family. I have never brought 2 or 3 along in either situation...but I do believe that reconciliation is important to the freedom of our souls. I do not mean this in the eternal sense as we are saved through Jesus but in the day to day freedom...not carrying the heavy load.

Mac an Rothaich said...

Heard a preacher speak on how careful the Jews viewed words spoken. I saw the end of the chapter as a clear example of that respect given words. They strongly believed in blessings and curses. It is so true that the words that come from our mouth always have an effect on ourselves and those around us. Found this chapter very interesting, didn't remember reading that part before. It also reminded me of how clearly God knows our hearts and sins even if we are able to keep them from all around us. He also knows when we are wrongly accused and our hearts are free of such sin so either way this was an interesting and important marriage practice for both the man and the women.