Saturday, 27 August 2011

A few thoughts from numbers

Trawled through the counting of the Israelites clan by clan and heading further into Numbers and a few things of note that i thought was worth commenting on...

1) Chapter 5 - the origins of the compensation culture - so actually a prevalence of mitigation and personal injury compensation didn't originate in the States, it came from the Hebrews, who were commanded to make a generous retribution for theft, injuries etc in order that the person was compensated fully. Next time,  i hear a fellow Christian bemoan the compensation tendancy in a bible study or fellowship group - i'll send them back to Numbers 5.

2) Numbers 7 - 89 verses of various leaders bringing offerings for the consecration of the altar. Gets a bit tedious after a while to be honest, but remembering a theme from our away day today of everyone playing their part and how valuable that is. Even the small triangle can be significant in a musical masterpiece. Every gift is valued and recieved and adds to the importance of the whole. A helpful reminder - although its stretching the brain and spirit to extract this from this chapter!!

3) The cloud over the Tabernacle - love this sense that the Israelites have of moving at God's command alone. Reflecting how much i plan and strategise in ministry (not altogether bad) but also, how little i help people just to wait and see and follow God's leading. I'm so keen to get decisions nailed and plans in place - perhaps the culture of the ancients was better at this - just waiting and responding to God's leading. In Mansfield some years ago where i worked for a local church we were involved in the establishing of a town-wide prayer gathering. The first meeting went well, but instead of planning another we decided to wait until the leader felt it was right to have another one. He cited this passage - Numbers 9 - as his inspiration. Yes, there were times when publicity didn't get through and occasions when meetings were called at short notice, but there was a deep sense of the cloud of God's presence whenever we gathered and some significant results came, i'm sure from that prayer meeting movement. Perhaps in my ministry, i'll look for opportunities to wait and see where and when God leads, in some cases less planning, more waiting and swift obedience and see what the results may be.

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