Friday, June 28, 2024

2024.06.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Numbers 15:32–41

Read Numbers 15:32–41

Questions from the Scripture text: In what context does Numbers 15:32 occur? What did the children of Israel find? What did those who found him do—to whom did they bring him (Numbers 15:33)? What did they do in Numbers 15:34 and why? What did YHWH command (Numbers 15:35)? By whom? How? Where? How does Numbers 15:36 begin? What did they do? What new command do Numbers 15:37-38 now give? What are they to do with these tassels (Numbers 15:39)? What were they supposed to remember? To what are their heart and eyes inclined instead? What is the point of doing all the commandments (Numbers 15:40)? And why is being holy for God so important (Numbers 15:41)?

Why is Sabbath breaking so bad? Numbers 15:32–41 prepares us for the evening sermon on the Lord’s Day. In these ten verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that we must be holy because we belong to our Creator and Redeemer.

The Sabbath is so important because it is a commandment given to us, a day and a pattern of life given to us, especially to know and show that we belong to God, our Creator. And it was all the more important for Israel, for in their covenant with Him, they would also be knowing and showing that they belong to God, their Redeemer. Sabbath breaking is not just a refusal of God’s good gift. It is a rejection of identifying with Him, a rejection of being His, a denouncing of Him as Creator or Redeemer. It says something about us that Israel is so clear that something horrible has been done (Numbers 15:33), but many professing Christians in our place and time just don’t see what the big deal is. 

It says something about us that we would think or feel of the living and good and merciful God that He is overreacting in Numbers 15:35. This is how our flesh responds, but by the Spirit we ought to condemn the response of our flesh and seek instead to remember His commandments, and be holy for Him, because He is ours, and we are His. This is how Numbers 15:32-36 are tied to Numbers 15:37-41. We get so accustomed to the “harlotry of our heart and our eyes” that God actually commanded the tassels as a continual reminder—not only upon oneself, but upon everyone else. We don’t have prescribed obedience clothing; instead, we have the continual wearing of the Name of the Lord Jesus (cf. Colossians 3:17)—both upon ourselves and upon each other. What a glorious thing that YHWH has given Himself to us! If He is ours, then let us be holy for Him—completely and always. What a serious, glorious delight the Sabbath will be, then.

How do you keep the Lord’s Day? How do you stay continually mindful of belonging to Christ? 

Sample prayer:  Lord, thank You for creating us and redeeming us to be Yours. Grant to us to continually remember that we are Yours and live as those who are holy to You, especially on Your day, we ask through Christ, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP119N “Your Word’s a Lamp” or TPH174 “The Ten Commandments” 

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