03/20 Numbers 10:1-34, 9:15-23, 10:35-36, 11

Numbers 10:1-34, Numbers 9:15-23, Numbers 10:35-36, Numbers 11

Num. 10:29 - All through Exodus, Moses' father in law was called 'Jethro'. Here is says, that Moses' father in law is either Hobab or Reuel, it's not clear to me which name the text is refering to. Additionally, Ex. 18:27 says that Moses had sent him back to Midian. I'm confused. Perhaps the father of an unnamed wife?

Ex. 11:1-3 - Is it just the complaining that angered God so? Simple ingratitude or was it the subject of their complaint? The Bible does not say what they were complaining about, just 'hardships'. In the NT we are admonished to do everything without complaining (Phil. 2:14) and to be joyful always (1 Thes. 5:16). Evidenly it offends God greatly when we fail to acknowledge how he cares for us, putting our troubles in perspective. Num. 11:20 even calls it a rejection of God.

Num. 11-10-15 - Even Moses joins in the whining.

Num. 11:18-23 - This is an interesting 'spat' between Moses and God. It's hard to know what to make of this passage. God seems spitefull and vengeful here. It is not the God of patience or tolerance but the jealous and angry God. What, if any impact should this have on my worship of Him? Does His actions here make him less than the perfect God that I want to be? Just because He has a temper does that make Him flawed? It seems that God is the definition of perfect. His actions are the standard we should live by. If so, do passages like this one give us freedom to be angry and vengeful? Do they silently make such behavior acceptable? Is it perhaps the context that makes this OK? If so, what about it? These type of passages are tough to reconcile with the picture of God we get from Sunday School, the picture we want to believe in. I don't want to just say it's good just because I want it to be, I want to know why it's OK. If we acted this way, would God condemn us? It would seem hypocritical for Him to, and I don't believe that He would. There must be an explination that is out of my reach at the moment.

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If God is love, and love can sometimes mean deliberately allowing people to suffer in order to teach them that their desires are inherently self destructive, then how is this passage not consistent with God's love? Isn't the concept of hell the ultimate statement of how far God is willing to let us follow self-absorbed thinking? I see this passage as the culinary equivalent of making your child smoke an entire package of cigarettes when you catch them smoking one. Love can take many forms, some of them not exactly kind in the instantaneous perspective.

Erik,

Thanks for your comments. This is an interesting role reversal, isn't it? Me questioning God and you reasuring me of His love. :-)

I think your points are valid, God certainly does discipline us as He sees fit. And the snapshiot we see in passage like this is sometmies eay to take wrongly. In hindsight, I was looking at God from my own perspective, trying to make Him fit into my percepion of good and bad instead of shaping my ideas by God's actions. It's sometimes difficult, because you have to read between the lines, try to discern the background of the situation and put yourself there. It just seemed that God was saying, "Fine. You want something to complain about, I'll give you something to caomplain about!" This is not the sort of behavior that people look to in others with admiration, so how do I admire it or at least look at it favorably in God?

What it says to me now is how serious God takes our complaints against Him. Notice it says in Num. 11:20 that it was a rejection of God, that seems to be key to me in discerning more of what's going on. God had this plan for them, to bring them out of Egypt and into Canaan and paradise, but it would take some time. Their complaining was like saying "We don't like your plan God, we don't care how much energy and love you've put into it, we've got a better idea." God's response is an indication of how serious he takes that, how much it offends Him.



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  • Erik, Thanks for your comments. This is an interesting role reversal, isn't it? Me questioning God and you reasuring me of His love. :-) I think your points are valid, God certainly does discipline us as He sees fit...

  • If God is love, and love can sometimes mean deliberately allowing people to suffer in order to teach them that their desires are inherently self destructive, then how is this passage not consistent with God's love? Isn'...

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