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Here Come the Sons


This post is one of those difficult ones because it’s almost pure genealogies. I tried looking for images of sons of sons, and almost used one of Lego Star Wars(tm) stormtroopers training their little ones, but I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work for a post. The image is cute, though, so I’ll share it at the end. So, finally, I found an ApologetiX video about Israel called Here Come the Sons with lyrics, and it’s almost perfect. It’s back to the original sons, so it doesn’t include Ephraim and Manasseh, but the others in the family tree are included.

In today’s reading from Numbers 26:5 through Numbers 26:51, we see the results of the census that was mentioned in the last paragraph of yesterday’s portion. This census is once again for preparing the community of Israel for the battles they will need to fight as they enter The Promised Land. The numbers of descendants of the various tribes of Israel are given by tribe, and I believe these numbers are only those twenty and over who are suitable for soldier material. They total 601,730, so if that is just the battle-ready of the community, there’s still a pretty large group of people considering this is now the second generation.

As I read through and found a few where there were no sons, and the census listed the daughters, I thought about a song written and performed by some friends of mine, Zeb and Joy Son. It’s called She’s Somebody’s Daughter, He’s Somebody’s Son, and it’s about soldiers being more than just bodies in a uniform. You can get it from them on CD, but I don’t think it’s available anywhere online. If you want to contact them, check out the website for Christian Country Cowboy Church of LaGrange, Kentucky, where Zeb & Joy are the parsons. They have a few videos on the YouTube channel for “christiancbchurch,” so you might be able to find the song on one of them.

As with the song mentioned above, the men (and maybe women) mentioned in the census here are more than just bodies being prepared for war and/or redemption. Each one of the names, clans, tribes, etc., has a place in the heart of Our Creator, Yahveh Almighty. He has hopes and plans for them that include an eternity with Him, and He has those same hopes and plans for us and our children.

Sometimes it feels like we’re in this life alone, whether we feel alone with our trials or alone with our victories, but God has every hair counted as He watches and cares for each of us. I cannot stress strongly enough how much God loves us and wants only the best for us. Just because we have to fight for something doesn’t mean He doesn’t desire for us to have it. It’s no different than having to shop for, prepare, and consume our food in order to be filled. Those things that matter to us are worth working and fighting to obtain.

The sons of the sons of Israel have a long legacy of work behind them that has led to their approach to the land which God has promised to them. They still have a lot of work to do, but they will find it worth it. Those of us who are serving God in this day and age have a long legacy of sacrifices that brought us the freedom to seek and find God–especially in the USA, and we also still have a lot of work to do because there are still so many left to reach with His gospel. But, as each new soul steps into a walk of faith on this earth that will lead to an eternity of blessing, we know that our walk, and the walks of the forefathers of faith, is worth the journey.

Oh, and here’s that cute image I spoke of above…

Training Future Soldiers by Flickr User Kristina Alexanderson, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Training Future Soldiers by Flickr User Kristina Alexanderson, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

June 29, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Clans Go Marching One by One


Let’s start with a little bit of fun today…

The clans go marching one by one,
The little one stopped, there was work to be done.
The clans go marching two by two,
Each clan has an assigned task to do.
The clans go marching three by three,
Descendants of K’hat, Gershon and Merari.
The clans go marching four by four,
The last of these will guard the door.
The clans go marching five by five,
Worker bees in God-ordained hives.
The clans go marching six by six,
No non-Levite was in the mix.
The clans go marching seven by seven,
They pack the bread not made with leaven.
The clans go marching eight by eight,
Some lift, some carry, some serve and wait.
The clans go marching nine by nine,
With God’s direction, the tribes align.
The clans go marching ten by ten,
From thirty to fifty years old were the men.

Today’s reading from Numbers 4:34 through Numbers 4:49 (the end of the chapter) again tells of the census counts from the descendants of the sons of Aaron. These counts, however, only cover the men from ages thirty to fifty who are able to work in God’s service. Based on reading stopping at the breaks marked “A” (Ashkenazi) and “S” (Sephardic), you’ll notice an overlap from yesterday. I read to 37 to stick to the pattern I started with, but since 34-37 include census information, I’m backtracking a bit.

Much of the information is similar to yesterday’s reading concerning which jobs will done by which tribes. I combined some of the information from yesterday and today in my little parody above, so all that’s left to be added are the actual numbers. The men who could serve from the clan of K’hat totaled 2,750. Those from the clan of Gershon totaled 2,630. And, those from the tribe of Merari come in with 3200, so our total from the three clans is 8,580 men between the ages of thirty and fifty who would work in the service of Yahveh’s tabernacle. According to God’s order to Moses, the Levites counted each man, and then assigned the men to specific services and works.

Counting people to do specific works for God makes me think of the following verses from 1 Corinthians 12:15-26

15 If the foot says, “I’m not a hand, so I’m not part of the body,” that doesn’t make it stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I’m not an eye, so I’m not part of the body,” that doesn’t make it stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, how could it hear? If it were all hearing, how could it smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged each of the parts in the body exactly as he wanted them. 19 Now if they were all just one part, where would the body be? 20 But as it is, there are indeed many parts, yet just one body.21 So the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you”; or the head to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be less important turn out to be all the more necessary; 23 and upon body parts which we consider less dignified we bestow greater dignity; and the parts that aren’t attractive are the ones we make as attractive as we can, 24 while our attractive parts have no need for such treatment. Indeed, God has put the body together in such a way that he gives greater dignity to the parts that lack it, 25 So that there will be no disagreements within the body, but rather all the parts will be equally concerned for all the others. 26 Thus if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; and if one part is honored, all the parts share its happiness.

I love how The Complete Jewish Bible says that last line, that all parts will share in the happiness. I know that if we all did things God’s way, the whole body of Christ would participate in the happiness created by our obedience. If we all take our marching orders and do our assigned services with praise, we will soon find we are not marching alone but with the presence of God because He dwells in the praises of His people. Now that’s a beat I can march to.

And just for a tad more fun, here’s a video of The Ants Go Marching…

May 18, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

License and Registration Please


Registration by Flickr User NHS Confederation, CC License = Attribution

Registration by Flickr User NHS Confederation, CC License = Attribution
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

“License and Registration, Please.” Aren’t those just some of the scariest words in this life? They usually mean we have done something wrong, or that we have some unfixed issue with our vehicle that we will be forced to deal with now. But how much scarier will it be when a government official can come to your door any time he wants and ask that question? As much as I don’t want to think about it, that day may come for the USA, and it may be here sooner than we think. But until it does come, I will thank God for every day my freedoms are mostly intact.

In today’s reading from Numbers 3:40 through Numbers 3:51 (the end of the chapter), we read more about the census God has asked be taken for the community of Israel. In this chapter, all the males from one month and older have been numbered, and God wants Moses to register all those who are firstborn. From the counting and registration, the total number of firstborn males comes in at 22,273.

You may remember from yesterday that the total number of Levites ended at 22,000. Well, since the Levites are to belong to God as a redemption for all the firstborn males of Israel, there’s a difference of 273 that have no one to redeem them. But all must be redeemed, so God tells Moses what he needs to do for their redemption. God has Moses take 5 shekels for each of the 273 males that is not redeemed by a Levite, and then He tells Moses to give the redemption money for the extra people to Aaron and his sons. Moses, of course, did just as God ordered him to do.

Maybe it’s from watching too many post-apocalyptic movies and/or shows, but the idea of each and every person being registered sounds scary to me. Of course, if it was God asking for the registration, it wouldn’t seem so bad because I know He only has plans for my good and never to harm me. But I don’t know that about the U.S. government–or any government in the world. But even with the fear out there that ungodly governments could acquire information and abuse what it finds, I know that I can trust being in the hands of a God whose only desire is my redemption. And besides that, I’m already registered with Him since even the very hairs of my head are numbered.

May 15, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Church Camp


Church Campground by Flickr User Jimmy Wayne, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Church Campground by Flickr User Jimmy Wayne, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

I’ve never been much into camping, myself, but I suppose if home means camping, being asked to camp around the church is not quite the big deal it would be to me. I have gone to church camp a couple times, and it wasn’t too bad because of having a cabin, but I still prefer my own home and bed.

In today’s reading from Numbers 1:20 through Numbers 1:54, we’ll read about a whole group of people that God wanted to set up a church camp for Him. The portion starts out with talking about the census that God had just asked the leaders to do in order to find suitable soldiers for His service. The numbers are pretty impressive for a group of people forming an entire community in the middle of the desert. You can read the whole list by clicking above, but the total comes out to 603,550 men who were twenty years or older and fit more military service. That doesn’t include the women and children, or any disabled people.

But the part that got my attention came after the counting. The list of men is divided by tribes, and we see that the tribe of Levi is missing. That tribe is reserved for all the work necessary to keep the tabernacle operational and in a holy state. The Levites are in charge of everything associated with the tabernacle, and God even says that if anyone else tries to involve themselves in it, they will be put to death. God commands that the Levites camp around the tabernacle, so that no anger will come upon the community of Israel.

The reason I took note of that last part is in comparing it to the modern church. There are many who claim to be “called” to work for God, but without the connection to a bloodline as they had back in the Old Testament, how do you actually know? I read that part about putting to death any non-Levites who try to involve themselves, and I wondered if there is any correlation to those now who camp out in church leadership without an invitation from God. What risk does a person take if he calls himself a prophet, or she calls herself a prophetess, and they have not truly been called to that position?

I love being used of God for His work, be it as a foot soldier on a small mission, or in ways that can influence many lives. My sister and I just talked about the great feeling of being used even as a link in a chain of events that can lead a soul to Christ. That’s why I created my website at http://www.41soul.com to focus on the idea of being used by God even if it was only for the purpose of saving one soul. I think, whether we are called to soldiers in the community (body of Christ), or to be in leadership positions over the community, we must take heed to do all we do in total obedience to the leading of The Holy Spirit, and if we are called to devote our entire lives to “camping in the church,” we must remember it is to bring joy to the community–and to protect the community, not to have authority over the community or to receive praise from them. God is the only authority, and He is the only one that deserves praise.

May 11, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Desert Draft


Sinai Desert by Flickr User Vyacheslav Argenberg, CC License = Attribution

Sinai Desert by Flickr User Vyacheslav Argenberg, CC License = Attribution
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

Isn’t the desert beautiful where it touches the mountains? Even without any greenery, there is a certain beauty that belongs only to the desert. When I lived in the desert in Arizona, I loved to open the window at night and let in the cool breeze. The crisp, clean smell of desert air is just so fresh and energizing, it made me almost want to stay up all night to enjoy it. It was so much better than the overheated midday sunshine that made it hard to do anything but run for shade. That heat really made me wish for a draft. But that’s not the kind of draft we’re studying today.

With today’s reading from Numbers 1:1 through Numbers 1:19, we begin a new week and a new portion, Parashah 34 is titled in Hebrew B’midbar, and it means “In the Desert.” God is back for another meeting with Moses, this time in the tent of meeting in the Sinai Desert. He is looking for leadership, and He is instituting a draft of soldiers for His army. He tells Moses to do a census of the whole assembly of the people by clans and families. As part of the census, He wants the names of all those who are twenty and older and are subject to military service for Israel.

God tells Moses that Aaron is to help him do the census, and then He says that they should pick leaders from every tribe to help as well. If you click on the highlighted link above, you can read for yourself the breakdown of each of the tribes and the men God chose from each one to help with the task.

Those in the list to help with the counting were leaders in their families and leaders among the people. They were apparently more aware of their surroundings and their history since God was calling on them to give the genealogies of their tribes. They were to give Moses the names of those qualified to be soldiers, plus the totals of all the people. And Moses did exactly as God directed him.

We know from biblical history that Israel will fight in some pretty major conflicts, and we know that God gives them amazing victories–even up to our last century. When God knows there is a battle in our future, He prepares an army ahead of time to fight in His service when needed. We can tell from the signs of the times that there are some battles brewing now, so I’m certain God is already doing His own census as He looks for soldiers to stand up with Him in these last days.

The draft into God’s Army may not be the same as it was back there in the desert, but it is still important to be fit to be chosen to lift up God’s power and light in this dark world. We become fit for service to our King by confessing and forsaking sins that would hold us back from giving our all. Whatever our calling in Him, we must walk upright with integrity, maturity and strength in whatever we do. When God comes through to count those He can depend on, will you be among the numbers willing to sign up for His draft?

May 10, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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