You can read an article I wrote on how we keep Passover by clicking here.
GOOD MORNING, SIBLINGS!
Don’t you just love our family? We are as varied as the colors in a rainbow but we are of one accord in what matters most.
Today’s readings are Numbers 11-13
There is a LOT to unpack in these few chapters, so much so that I could easily pause our reading for a week or more and go into it all. Instead, I hope you will chime in on things you see and pull out of the text in the comments. Pay special attention to the Holy Spirit and how it is talked about, the Nephilim (if anyone wants to go back and do any fun research into what Genesis says about those), etc.
Other rabbit trails you might want to hop on are the animosity towards Cushites, YHWH’s new leadership arrangement to help out Moses, and countless other points in this small bit of text.
Here are my Rabbit Trails
Well we aren’t starting in the best of places as far as the Israelites are concerned…
~The people complained~
Okay, it is important to realize that the verse numbers and chapter numbers we have in our Bibles were put there by man – long after the text was written. Often, in order to get the full picture of what is going on, we need to remove them and see it as a continuous story.
Having said that, I want you to read the last two verses of chapter ten and the first verse of chapter 11:
“And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.” And when it rested, he said, “Return, O Lord, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel.”
“And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.” Numbers 10:35-11:1
WHEWW!! Yes, they did have some nerve! Then, Moses chimed in! Now, in his defense, I can feel for Moses.
Here He is, leading millions of people, YHWH Himself raining down Manna each day and living, actually physically living among them – and all they do is whine and complain.
To be Moses and to go to the Father with that kind of complaint, with that level of honesty – at first it concerned me because of the lack of reverence but then I recall how much reverence Moses has shown to YHWH and I realize that at the end of the day, Moses has a personal, intimate relationship with the Father and here he is going to Him with his problem and laying it all out there in a raw, honest, forthright manner. Moses is being real with God.
However, keep in mind that Moses has a VERY special relationship with the Father. The closer to someone you are, the more honest you can be with them. I think it is important that we be honest with the Father in our conversation and our prayers – it’s not like He doesn’t know the truth anyway. But I do think that should be part of a deep, abiding, and faithful relationship on our part. We should never only approach God with our complaints and wish lists like some department store Santa Claus.
I don’t know why I went on that trail so let me get back to the point here…
In Numbers 12:3 we are reminded of how humble Moses was and this speaks volumes about his character so if you remember one quote about him as a person, remember this one:
“Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all the people who were on the face of the earth.”
Can you imagine being the most humble man on the face of the earth? THIS is who YHWH chooses to represent Him. This is still His way today.
In Numbers 11:4 we see a statement
“Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving and the people of Israel also wept against again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now our strength Is dried up, and there is nothing at all but manna to look at.”
I’m gonna have to take a deep breath after reading that. My first point is that the “rabble” is also referred to as the “mixed multitude”. Note by the second part adds in “the people of Israel also”. This rabble is made up of folks who are not part of the tribes of Israel but who joined themselves to Israel, followed the Father’s instructions, and as a result were granted deliverance from bondage, by Him, just as He granted it to His chosen people. They were not born chosen people but they were grafted in as sojourners, sometimes called strangers, you could say adopted. I want to reiterate, every chance I get, YHWH HAS ALWAYS MADE A WAY FOR US TO JOIN HIM. He has been a God of Grace and Mercy from day one.
This is not to diminish in ANY way what our Messiah did. This is part of the story leading up to that. What this does is help us to see that when YHWH says “I am YHWH, I do not change.” (Malachi 3:6) He means it. He has always been who He is and He will always be. When we take these integral principles of who He is and we separate them and try to say that they only took place in a set time period or that He changed His mind on who He would allow to be His people, it further reinforces errant teachings that have led many Believers to get to the point of feeling the Bible is no longer applicable to us. This is just something to turn over in your mind a bit, ruminate on, and He will bring the knowledge to fullness in each of us over time.
What did the manna look like? Before reading the Bible for myself, I believed it looked like large white flakes due to Exodus 16:14, but here we get further descriptions. We are told it is like coriander seed, and it’s appearance like that of bdellium. By the two terms being separated by “and” we can tell that they are describing different aspects of Manna’s appearance. So we can assume that coriander seed is the size since we are told that bdellium is the appearance.
Here is coriander seed:
Now let’s look at bdellium. According to Wikipedia: Bdellium /ˈdɛliəm/, also bdellion, is a semi-transparent oleo-gum resin extracted from Commiphora wightii of India (also called false myrrh). Here is what that looks like.
So while we are not told the color and that was likely white since folks said it looked like a frost on the grass, this gives us a much better idea of what Manna actually looked like. I find this fascinating!
Numbers 11:7-10 In the same breath we are told of the miracle of Manna and that these Hebrews were able to gather it, grind it, beat it, boil it in pots and make cakes – AND that the cakes tasted like they had been made with oil even though they had not – in this very same breath, we hear of everyone in the camp weeping at the entrance to their tent. We can discern from this angering the Father that this weeping was not out of gratitude. They had JUST taken part in yet ANOTHER miracle so why weren’t they grateful? They had before them blessings and curses, and the blessings by far outweighed any hardship – but they had chosen to focus on the hardship and in doing so, it grew into their mind to such a degree that it outweighed the miracle of living in the presence of the Father, being fed by His mighty hand, and being delivered from slavery and bondage. What you water, grows. If we focus on the curses, we end up in this exact same place. Remember, the Father is not telling us all of these stories so we can feel like we’re such better believers than our spiritual ancestors. He is telling us these stories because He knew we were going to repeat this behavior. And we have. And we are. And we do.
Numbers 11:16 These elders were not random people. The Father had Moses choose men who were trusted and revered. He is rising up more leaders to be accountable for their people – and to serve as examples to follow. Isn’t it amazing that Messiah is our ultimate example? The love and care He showed in living among us, so that we can walk as He walked by simply following in His footsteps!
Numbers 11:23 has a statement we really need to think about OFTEN. YHWH is addressing doubt coming from Moses and I want to share another translation from the NASB for clarity here, it very much matches up with the original Hebrew:
YHWH said to Moses, “Is YHWH’s power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”
Do we REALLY think His power has limits? That He can’t do what He says He will do? You probably answered “No, of course not!”. Then why do we act like we think that?
Numbers 11:25-26 We see the Holy Spirit come upon the elders and Eldad and Medad. Honestly, this happens so many times in our foundational Scriptures that I’m sure I’ve already missed opportunities to point some instances out but I want to reiterate that the common teaching/thought that the “Holy Spirit only came in the New Testament” is easily debunked with a simple reading of the Word, like so many myths and errant doctrines. Isn’t it amazing how much we see, how easy it is to understand, how obvious the obvious is when we just commit to putting in the time at our Father’s feet each day? Daniel 10:12
Precious Joshua, Moses’ right hand man since he was just a boy, sees others having the Holy Spirit indwelling in them and urges Moses to stop them. He had only seen his mentor have this gift before and was leery of anyone else having it for what is likely a myriad of reasons. Moses shows us his understanding of Joshua when he replies by asking him if he’s jealous for Moses’ sake and then goes on to tell him that if it was within his power, ALL of YHWH’s people would be prophets and they would ALL have His spirit within them. The Hebrew used for prophet is a word that is also used for a spokesman. So you could possibly look at this as Moses saying that if he had it his way, all of YHWH’s people would represent Him and have the Holy Spirit within them. Read that sentence again. Did that give you goose bumps? It sure did me.
Numbers 11:31 The plague of quail was 36 inches deep. The Father had reached a point with these people that many of us as parents have reached at some point in our lives. You indulge, you give good gifts, you deliver them from hardship, you counsel them in wisdom, you work harder to provide, you indulge to offer more comfort, etc. And yet, they grumble against you. Incessantly. All I’m saying is that the Father showed far more Grace and Mercy that I ever have. ]
Lest we think we are too close to the Father or advanced enough on our walk that we have no need to practice care – Miraim and Aaron spoke against Moses. We are told this is because of the Cushite woman he had married. (The Cushite wife part is a great rabbit trail with many possibilities should you choose to take it. There are varying opinions.) The Father is not having this. He has appointed a man (Moses was the first mediator, Messiah was the second) to represent Him and His people will show proper regard for that. He illustrates how dear Moses is:
6 And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. 7 Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. 8 With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” 9 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed. Numbers 12:6-9
Numbers 11:34 says they buried the people who had the craving. This is referring to the people who craved the meat they’d had in Egypt. The Father is before them and they do not wish for what He has to offer. They want what the world offers – and they get it. His way is life. The world is death.
Miriam’s Leprosy was not leprosy~ Miriam is struck with “leprosy” according to most translations but this is the tzaraat that we have spoken of earlier, not what we consider leprosy today. It is a physically manifested spiritual affliction caused by God and a temporary one. Her loving brother, Moses, pleads for her healing and after seven days she is healed and allowed to return to camp.
In Numbers 13:16 we see that Joshua was born Hoshea but that Moses changed his name to Joshua. This is symbolic and very intentionally so. Joshua was to be Moses successor and so His name states that faith and hope. Joshua in transliterated Hebrew is Yehoshua or Yeshua and it means “YHWH saves”. This is also the name the angels told Mary to give to her son, our Messiah.
You shall name Him Yeshua (YHWH Saves), because He will save us. Matthew 1:21
It’s amazing what a tiny understanding of original names does for context.
Numbers 13:25 The spies were gone forty days before bringing back their ill report. As punishment, they and their families would go on to wander in the desert a year for each day they were gone. Numbers 14:34
Numbers 13:31 31 Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.”
The implication here is that these men are saying that the people who spied out are stronger than all of Israel, WITH YHWH backing them!
YOU TELL ‘EM CALEB! I love Caleb’s faith when it comes time to give reports of the giants in the land. The other scouts were already defeated, explaining all of the reasons why they couldn’t possibly take that land from the giants within, and Caleb steps up, quietens everyone, and says:
“Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Numbers 13:30
YES!!!! HE knows who his God is!! Let’s have the spirit of Caleb as we go forth in the world! If He be for us, who can be against us? May HIS will be done.
I could add double this amount of notes on today’s reading but I’ll leave you to the word now. Relish every moment of your time with the Father!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!