Presentation on theme: "Numbers: Wilderness Wanderings. What is a Nazirite? n 3 Rules: Numb 6 n No dead body touching n No grape products n No razor."— Presentation transcript:
Numbers: Wilderness Wanderings
What is a Nazirite? n 3 Rules: Numb 6 n No dead body touching n No grape products n No razor
What was the function of the Nazirite? n Person separating himself to YHWH n God over one’s food, family & body n Visible memorial n Giving up things for God
Completion of Nazirite vow n Sacrifices n Shave head & burn hair n Samson, Samuel, Paul takes Nazirite vow (Acts 21:24ff) n Jesus not a Nazirite (Nazarene) n Oldest piece of Scripture ever found: Num 6:23ff; 700 BC not= P (450 BC)
Numbers Cycles n Problem n Peoples’ complaint n God’s response n Moses mediates n God relents n Lesson summarized
Mini-cycle: Numbers 11:1-2 n Problem: Desert Hardships n People’s complaint: n God’s response: fire burned in outskirts of camp n Moses mediates: Moses prays to God n God relents: fire dies down n Summary: Place called Taberah because fire of LORD
Why is it the people complain & God judges n Moses complains and God helps him (Num 11:2,10; 11-15) n Complaint versus Lament distinction n Inability of Christians to verbalize lament
Are you supposed to discipline children in anger? n Why does God discipline Israel when He is angry? (Num 11:4ff) n Is anger always wrong? (conditions; justice issues) n Can a Christian person ever long to die? n On workaholic Moses: sharing the load (11:16f)
What do you think about inter-racial marriage? n What does the Bible say? n Moses and the Cushite wife n Miriam and God’s ironic sense of humor
Who wrote Num. 12:3? n Doesn’t this statement from the pen of Moses sound a little odd? Joshua? n Could a humble person write this? n Does humility really fit the context? n Another way of looking at it: “oppressed”
Can a man have impact on God? n Can God change? Is He static or dynamic? n If He can’t change is it possible for Him to think and interact? How is relationship possible? n If He is dynamic in what sense or areas can He change? Is everything up for grabs? n Does God still experience choice?
Giants in the Land: n Was Moses wrong for sending out spies? (Num 13) n Report: Milk and honey -- grasshopper vision (Num 13:26-33) n Accusation against God (Num 14:3-4) n Joshua and Caleb: men of vision (Num 14:5ff)
God’s response: n God’s response: I will strike them down (14:12) n Real issue is belief (14:11) and holding God in contempt (14:11) n Joshua and Caleb the right stuff
God’s response (cont.) n How do you argue with God? (14:13) –Lord’s reputation –Lord’s character n God doesn’t strike them down! (14:20) “as you asked” n Is it possible to be forgiven and yet have to pay consequences? 40 yrs-->death
Korah rebellion: Num 16 n Does God have a sense of humor (ironic)? So you want to be holy? n Moses gets angry (16:15) n On the demand to be special/separated (Num 16:3, 8) n Power struggles & motives of leaders (Num 16:13)
Korah rebellion (cont.) n Moses new role: anti-mediator then mediator n Moses as prophet short term prophecy (vs. 28) n Separated permanently (16:33) Sheol=grave n Some people never learn: (Num 16:41) n Can people really change? n Chapter context: death of Miriam + Aaron
Moses hitting the rock: Num. 20 n Why did God nail Moses so hard just for hitting a rock? n What’s so wrong with hitting a rock? n Real issue: not acting in trust/faith –God as weighs thoughts and intents of heart –On the responsibility of leaders –On consequences for actions—actions matter
Numbers Lessons: n One person can make a difference for a nation, prayer changes things n Faithlessness of Israel // faithfulness of God n Forgiveness yet consequences n God is dynamic not static: relationally interactive n Complaint versus lament
Red Heifer – Numbers 19
BalaamBalaam n Is Balaam good or bad, saint or sinner? –OT = Numbers = good –NT = major bad (Jude 11; Rev 2:14) n Name: destroyer—Deir Alla, Jordan find 1967 n Did Balaam know God?....
Why did the Moabites hire Balaam?
n What have Og and Sihon got to do with it? n Why did Balak send to Mesopotamia to get curser? n Were the Israelites the only ones who knew YHWH?
Balaam’s major struggle: money or God’s word n Faithful to God’s word: Num 22:8, 18 n Donkey narrative: –Why did God tell Balaam to go and then try to kill him? n Irony: donkey sees more than the seer
Balaam’s 4 oracles n First oracle: Who can curse but Yahweh? (Num 22:7f) n Second oracle: God’s character and promises don’t change: Num 23:19
On God and change n How do you fit that with God changing His mind before n Promise keeper n Character n Creative possibility player
Balaam’s 4 oracles n Second oracle: God is their king (Num 23:21f) n Third oracle: Human king –On ecstatic prophets –King imagery (24:7) –Dilemma of Divine / Human king n Fourth oracle: Messianic king (Num 24:17)
BalaamBalaam n Why was he portrayed so faithful in narrative? n Contrast to Israel’s unfaithfulness n Midian link (Num 25:14) How to get Israel cursed n Balaam’s death—Num. 31:8, 16