Saturday, 5 March 2011

Be Careful What You Ask For, You Might Just Get It

Numbers 9-11

The Israelites spent a year at Sinai, receiving the Law, setting up the Tabernacle and restructuring the lines of administration since they were no longer a tribe, but a nation. On the way from Egypt to Sinai the people rebelled against the LORD three times. The journey from Sinai to the boarder of the Promised Land, has much in common with the former journey from Egypt to Sinai. Both journeys begin with Passover and there are three rebellions.

Even though they are a people under incredible covenant blessing, like spoiled brats, (see above right) the people grumble about their hardships, (refusing to remember the promises of God) and God sends out fire, consuming some of the outskirts of the camp, no one appears to have been killed, God simply warns/reminds them that he is not to be trifled with.

They don't heed that lesson and grumble that their food is boring.  They obstinately refuse to slaughter any of their own cattle and livestock to provide the meat they crave and instead, expect God to dance to their every whim and fancy! (Prosperity theology in a nutshell.) There are parallels with Eden here.
  1. Desire for forbidden food (Adam - Tree of Knowledge. Israel - food of Egypt)
  2. They are allowed what they crave.
  3. They are disciplined for their foolishness. (Adam - exile and pain. Israel - plague and death)
Note that Manna - God's food from Heaven fell inside the camp. The quail fell outside the camp i.e. it did not fall with a blessing but with a judgment.

Moses again comes to the fore as the one who (like Christ) intercedes for his people. But this time asks for help, he cannot bear this alone. So the 70 elders are given a portion of the same Spirit who Moses has. A picture of Pentecost - where the church is caught up in Christ in intercession for the world.

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