Reading about your God

Thank you all for prayer and concern about my health. I feel better now! I wanted to post something about the Old Testament and God. Right now I’m reading through the biblical book of Numbers. I’m going on a journey through the Pentateuch – genealogies and all. I’m afraid too many of us get bogged down in these books and skip over them, missing the richness in these pages.

Something I’ve been contemplating a lot lately while reading the Bible is that it is God I’m reading about. This is God’s story, His mighty acts and words harkening back to ancient times and ancient peoples. The same God who I talk to every day I find in these pages doing and saying amazing things. I hardly know where to begin in giving examples.

Take the Israelites complaining so heavily about not having any meat in Numbers 11. They were so pitiful about it they were weeping. But worse, they questioned why God ever brought them out of Egypt, rejecting God in a sense because He is the one who did it in the first place – with plagues and miracles no one has ever seen. I like meat with the best of them, but the audacity to reject their loving, miracle-working God on that basis? Yet God responds brilliantly. Shockingly, He actually gives them all the quail meat they could ever want – and more. They have it every day until they get sick of it. Many die of plague. God answers their request while showing His power and disciplining the people for their sin – all in one genius action.

 The rebellion of Korah in Numbers 16 is another example. The leadership under Moses and Aaron were revolting against their authority, hence God’s authority. Serious problem! If these are God’s people through whom God’s glory and salvation would be shown to the world, and through whom the Messiah and Kingdom would come, a rebellion left to stand would be crippling to this purpose. God takes decisive action, and dramatically opens the earth under the 250 rebellious leaders and swallows them up.

Another common thread throughout the Pentateuch when Israel is in grave sin, including the rebellion of Korah, is the mediation of God’s wrath. It usually goes like this: God tells Moses the people are so stubborn He will wipe Israel out and start a new nation from Moses. It takes Moses to intercede and mediate for the people to protect them from God’s wrath. Of course, God knows all along what He is going to do – but there is no better way to picture both God’s holiness and His mercy while looking forward to the Messiah, our eternal High Priest, Jesus.

Who is like our God?

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