March 5: Oddities that Make Sense
Numbers 5:1–31; John 13:1–20; Psalm 6:1–10
Some of the Old Testament laws seem so odd they’re difficult to understand. It’s easy for us to see why, in a day before medicine, God would send people with “a rash … a fluid discharge, and everyone … [who had touched] a corpse” outside the tribe for a period of time to prevent infection (Num 5:2). But why would God severely punish people caught in sins not (or hardly) related to possible medical issues (Num 5:5–31)?
I think it’s because God understands that a culture that allows for amoral behavior will become a culture that promotes such behavior. Considering that Jesus had not come yet and sin was not graciously atoned for, there was a need for a ritual that symbolized religious purity.
We are meant to hate the things that people in this life condone—things that may even seem right to us at the time—for the sake of loving God’s work. When evil was present among His people, God had to take drastic measures to combat it—thus, He gave specific instructions. While today we have Christ, we must still devote ourselves to following God’s calling and changing our evil ways for the sake of the gospel.
In what ways are you loving evil things instead of hating them? Be honest with yourself and God.
JOHN D. BARRY
- An the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel that they put out of the host every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead. Both male and female shall ye put out: out of the host shal ye put them, that the defile not their tents among whom I dwell And the children of Israel did so, and put them out of the host, even as the Lord had commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, and transgress against the Lord, when that person shall trespass, Then they shall confess their sin which they have done, and shall restore the damage thereof with his principal, and put the fifth part of it more thereto, and shall give it unto him, against whom he hath trespassed. But if the man have no kinsman, to whom he should restore the damage, the damage shall be restored to the ord for the Priests use, beides the ram of the atonement, wherey he shall make atonement for him. And every offering of all the holy things of the children of Israel, which they bring unto the Preist, shall be his. And every man’s hallowed things shall be his: that is, whatsoever any man giveth the Priest, it shall be his. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man’s wife turn to evil, and commit a trespass against him, So that another man lie with her fleshly, and it be hid from teh eyes of her husband, and kept close, and yet she be defile, and there be no witness against her neither she taken with the manner, If he be moved with a jealous mind, so that he is jealous over his wife, which is defiled, or if he have a jealous mind, so that he is jealous over his wife, shich is not defiled. Then shall the man bring his wife to the Priest, and bring her offering with her, the tenth part of an Ephah of barley meal, but he shall not pour oil upon it, nor put incense thereon: for it is an offering of jealousy, an offeirng for a remembrance, calling the sin to mind. And the Priest shall bring her, and set her before the Lord. Then the Priest shall take the holy water in an earthen vessel, and of the dust that is in the floor of the Tabernacle, even the Priest shall tkae it and put it into the water. After the Priest shall set the woman before the Lord, and uncover the woman’s head, adn put the offering of the memorial in her hands: it is the jealousy offering, and the Priest shall have bitter and cursed water in his hand, And the Priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, neither thou hast turned to uncleanness from thine husband, be free from this bitter and cursed water. But if thou hast turned from thine husband, and so art defiled, and some man hath lain with thee beside thine husband, (Then the Priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the Priest shall say unto the woman:) The Lord make thee to be accursed, and detestable for the oath among the people, and the Lord cause thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell: And that this cursed water may go into thy bowls, to cause thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot. Thent he woman shall answer, Amen, Amen. After, the Priest shall write these curses in a book, and shall blot them out with the bitter water, And shall cause the woman to drink the bitter and curse water, and the cursed water turned into bitterness shall enter into her. Then the Priest shall tkae the jealousy offering out of the woman’s hand, and shall shake the offering before the Lord, and offer it upon the altar. And the Priest shall take an handful of the offering for a memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward make the woman drink the water. When he hath made her drink the water, if she be defiled and have trespassed against her husband, then shall the cursed water, turned into bitterness, enter into her, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot, and the woman shall be accursed among her people. But if the woman be not defiled, but be clean, she shall be free, and shall conceive and bear. This is the law of jealousy, when a wife turneth from her husband and is defiled, Or, when a man is moved iwth a jealous mind, being jealous over his wife, then shall he bring the woman before the Lord, and the Priest shall do to her according to all his law, And the man shall be free from sin, but this woman shall bear her iniquity. Numbers 5:1–31
- Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come, that he should epart out of this world unto the Father, forasmuch as he loved his own which were in the world, unto the end he loved them. And when supper was done (and that the devil had now put in the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son to betray him.) Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come forth from God, and went to God, He riseth from Supper, and layeth aside his upper garments, and took a towel, and girded himself. After that, he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel, wherewith he was girded. Then came he to Simon Peter, who said to him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do, tou knowest not now: but thou shalt know it hereafter. Peter said unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also the hands and the head. Jesus said to him, He that is washed, needeth not, save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him: therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master, and Lord, and ye say well: for so am I. If I then your Lord, and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do, even as I have done to you. Verily, verily I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his master, neither the ambassador greaer than he that sent him. If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them. I speak ont of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but it is that the Scripture might be fulfiled, He that eateth bread with me, hath lift up his head against me. From henceforth tell I you before it come, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe that I am he. Verily, verily I say unto you, If I send any, he that receiveth him, receiveth me, and he that receiveth me, recevieth him that sent me. John 13:1–20
- O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chastise me in thy wrath. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak: O Lord heal me, for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore troubled: but Lord, how long wilt thou delay? Return, O Lord: deliver my soul: save me for thy mercy’s sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall praise thee? I fainted in my mourning: I cause my bed every night to swim, and water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is dimmed for despite, and sunk in because of all mine enemies. Away from me all ye workers of iniquity: for the Lord hath heard the voice of my weepoing. The Lord hath heard my petition: the Lord will receive my prayer. Alll mine enemies shall be confounded and sore vexed: they shall be turned back, and put to shame suddenly. Psalm 6:1–10