Growup: Day 38

Numbers 4-6

These chapters deal with the preparations for moving the tabernacle (even Israel had a pack-up team!) and also 2 very specific examples of the role the tabernacle was to play in the life of Israel.

The first of these 2 examples relates to how to resolve jealousy that arises when a husband suspects his wife of unfaithfulness but has no proof. While it’s hard to read chapter 5 without a bit of a cultural cringe (not only does it seem open to abuse but it also kinda superstitious) the fact is that this law is designed so as to protect the innocent and uncover the guilty. There’s certainly no separation of private life and public life here!

The second example is that of the ‘Nazirite’ who decides to set himself apart to the Lord for a period of time. This seems to be a display of devotion to God during which the Nazirite willingly takes on extra covenant obligations. Once again there’s something that seems almost unreasonable about the regulations governing the Nazirite’s period of devotion (like in 6:9-11 where being in the presence of a guy who suddenly drops dead is counted as sin!) but we have to view this in the context of the voluntary nature of the commitment.

Once again, I feel this passage challenging my assessment of God’s holiness and his right to determine what is reasonable and good.

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