Day 37 – October 19, 2023: Numbers 24-27 and I Corinthians 7-8

We find ourselves with Balaam still, I thought he was gone.  But now he is looking at the Israelites with the encouragement of Balak the king, once again.  This time Balaam clearly blesses the Israelites, without any hesitation.  As you can imagine Balak, the enemy of the Israelites, is furious and refuses to give him any of the recompense that he promised when Balaam came to him on his donkey. 

Things then turn on a dime for the Israelites.  We see them begin to worship Baal, and it really got bad.  God commands that each of the Israelite chiefs were to be impaled in order to quench his fury.  As often happens, Moses talks him off the cliff and he commands that each person who is in the act of worshipping Baal be killed.  As they are trying to figure out what to do a Jewish man takes a Midianite woman into his tent to, well, you know.  This was done in plain sight of everyone even as they were figuring out how to calm God down.  One of the sons of Aaron goes into the tent and impales both the man and the woman in that moment, and as a result God was good.  The son of Aaron saved the Israelites, at least those who were worshipping Baal, by his spontaneous act. 

A census is taken of all the tribes and in the midst of that account we find the daughters of a man who died and whose name would be lost forever appeal to Moses in order to claim his land.  God agrees and says that if a man dies and only leaves behind daughters they are entitled to his land.  That was huge, daughters were only going to get what their husbands got, but now it all changes, especially for girl dads. 

Lastly we see that Joshua is given the reins to take over after Moses.  I love 27:22ff where Joshua is taken, they lay hands on him and he is commissioned for this task.  Commissioning is so important, which is why we do it at the church.

In I Corinthians Paul gives the argument that since Jesus is about to come at any moment, we should all stay as we are.  If we are married, stay married, if we are single, stay single, if we are engaged, stay engaged.  This has to do, of course, with marital relations.  He also says, very wisely, that God is okay if you did not want to stay as you are because your passion for each other is overwhelming, then you better get married.  Interesting the word love never comes into the picture.  For Paul the necessity of getting married had to do with controlling your passions, your ardor, your insatiable desire for the other person that just needs to be acted upon.  In that case, you better get married.

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