Numbers 5:1-3,6-7,12-15 The Lord gave these instructions to Moses: “Command the people of Israel to remove from the camp anyone who has a skin disease or a discharge, or who has become ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person. This command applies to men and women alike. Remove them so they will not defile the camp in which I live among them”... “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If any of the people—men or women—betray the Lord by doing wrong to another person, they are guilty. They must confess their sin and make full restitution for what they have done, adding an additional 20 percent and returning it to the person who was wronged... “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. “Suppose a man’s wife goes astray, and she is unfaithful to her husband and has sex with another man, but neither her husband nor anyone else knows about it. She has defiled herself, even though there was no witness and she was not caught in the act. If her husband becomes jealous and is suspicious of his wife and needs to know whether or not she has defiled herself, the husband must bring his wife to the priest. He must also bring an offering of two quarts of barley flour to be presented on her behalf. Do not mix it with olive oil or frankincense, for it is a jealousy offering—an offering to prove whether or not she is guilty.
Another chapter that rocked my understanding of God and His ways and I am certain any other reader would feel the same way.
Why is God so partial to women and how are men ever held accountable rather than just women?
The chapter starts off with God's instruction to Moses about people with skin disease or those who had become ceremonially unclean. They were to be removed from the camp.
God being Holy and pure did not want to have uncleanness in His presence and therefore addressed this issue. Living among the Israelites in the Tabernacle meant there was a price to pay for those God lived with and is relevant even today.
Before a Holy and righteous God, there is no room for uncleanness. When we enter into a relationship with God, the filth of our lives is not welcome anymore because we become Holy vessels that carry the Spirit of God within.
The only means for us to be able to connect with this Holy God is not through good works or sacrifice but by being washed in the blood of His only son, Jesus Christ, who died for our brokenness and rose from the grave to give us hope of eternity with God.
God then instructs the Israelites about cleansing themselves of their sin. Again, God emphasizes how He detests even the worship of those who are guilty of sin because He can see the secrets in our hearts that we may have hidden from others around us.
This is reminder that we believers, though purified by the blood of Jesus Christ, need to come before God as often as we can to ask for His forgiveness of our sins, both conscious or unconscious.
The joyous aspect of asking for forgiveness when saved by the blood of Christ is knowing that He will forgive us, no matter how grievous the sin, but we also need to bear in mind that it is not a 'Get out of jail free' card that we can keep sinning.
Romans 6:1-4 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
The last instruction is with regards to trial of jealousy. This was a trial wives were to be put through when their husbands suspected their fidelity to them.
Although no record of such trials seem to exist, the fact that God directed the Israelites to follow it sounds harsh and very one-sided because the women were held accountable but not the sinning men.
However, when we consider the previous instruction about sin, it is clear that God held men and women alike accountable and they needed to make restitution.
Even though their actions were sinful, God provided a means for them to be made clean and be forgiven.
Are you drinking the bitter waters of sin and living with the consequences of your actions or do you want to drink the sweet water of salvation provided exclusively by the shed blood of Jesus Christ and be free of an eternity of suffering?
In His Loving Service,
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