Another month is over, marking the end of the first quarter of 2017! I am happy to announce that I made it through March, barely though. During my two-week trip to Dakar, it had been impossible to keep up with my reading plan. By the time I got back home, I was 11 days behind and had to read a lot to catch up. But with God’s help I made it in time.
The Old Testament has been particularly interesting, a lot like a movie to be honest, a gripping if not terrifying one. From the ground swallowing people up and relentless plagues, to Phinehas impaling a Israelite man and Midianite woman on his spear. But I’ll be sharing just a few.
Cases for Suspicious Husbands
Numbers 5:11-31 suggests that if a man were jealous and suspected that his wife was cheating on him but has no proof, He is to take his wife to the priest along with the required offering. After the necessary ritual are done, She is to take an oath saying “If you have not committed adultery, you will not be harmed by the curse that this water brings. But if you have committed adultery, may the Lord make your name a curse among your people. May he cause your genital organs to shrink and your stomach to swell up. May this water enter your stomach and cause it to swell up and your genital organs to shrink.” Quite gruesome and extreme in my opinion.
Now, I kept reading hoping for something for the women too. If a woman were to be jealous and suspected that her husband had been cheating, what was she to do? To my dismay, nothing. There was nothing. I take it that in those days, wives had no right to complain about their husbands indiscretions. Following Eve’s punishment in Genesis 3, I’ll assume that women were subject to men and are not permitted to hold them to the same marital standards.
God Can be Pretty Scary
Reading the book of Numbers has me really scared of who God is. Granted the Israelites were really annoying but still, God is quite fearsome. Let me explain.
Numbers 11 says “The people began complaining out loud to the Lord about their troubles. When the Lord heard them, he became angry, and fire from the Lord began to burn among them. It destroyed some people on the outskirts of the camp.” Small complain oh, next thing fire! Moses then had to prayed to God, and the fire died down.
Next, the Israelites had lost their appetite for the Manna God had been providing them and were craving for other kinds of food, (which in my opinion is normal). So, they complained and reminisced about all the fish and other foods they had in Egypt. Moses heard them and became upset. The Lord again became very angry. He said He had heard their cry and they will eat meat. “So I will give them meat. hey won’t eat it just for one or two days, or five, or ten, or twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of their ears and they’re sick of it. This is because they rejected the Lord who is here among them and cried in front of him, asking, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?’”
Finally, in Numbers 16 “Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent and rose up against Moses”. Long story short, Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea…But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.” As soon as Moses finished talking, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its “mouth” and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled…”, heaven knows I’d have fled too. As if that was not enough, fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.
The next day the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron saying “You have killed the Lord’s people,”. The Lord heard them and said to Moses, “Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.”. God had had it with the Isrealites and their whining. Hurriedly Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put incense in it, along with burning coals from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the Lord; the plague has started.” So, Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the middle of the assembly. But the plague had already started among the people. Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them and the plague stopped. But by then, 14,700 people had already died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah.
Summarily, God really hates being questioned on any level, He does not like grumbling or complaining. When God says He will do something, he expects us to sit tight and wait patiently in faith. He states His will and expectations and demands absolute obedience. So please, never say “Why me?” or “Lord why?”. Please never question God.
Some Interesting Laws Noone Obeys Anymore
The book of Leviticus lists a number of God’s Law that hardly anyone adheres to today
“‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.” Everyone is wearing Jeans these days and its made of Cotton and spandex I think?
“‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.” Medium Rare Steak is very much a gourmet thing
“‘Do not practice divination or seek omens.” Nigerians are still visiting Baba as often as they go to church
“‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” Well, hardly any man obeys this, and those who keep there beards do so as a trend.
“‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” This is interesting for me since I have ink.
I’ve always been divided on the issue of Same Sex Relations. However, Leviticus 18:22 says “No man is to have sexual relations with another man; God hates that. No man or woman is to have sexual relations with an animal; that perversion makes you ritually unclean.” It was interesting to see that “God hates that”. For me this means that God hates the sexual act and not the person. On this note, I am tolerant of everyone however, I will not endorse the act. Long story short, it feels like all these laws are outdated if not ignored or completely forgotten.
Unintentional Sin is Still Sin
I’ve always assumed that ignorance exonerated us from sin, that if you committed a sin and didn’t know it at the time you can’t be held accountable for it. Well, it will appear that I am wrong. Numbers 15 says “‘But if just one person sins unintentionally, that person must bring a year-old female goat for a sin offering. The priest is to make atonement before the Lord for the one who erred by sinning unintentionally, and when atonement has been made, that person will be forgiven”.
God Does Not Understand
Very often, when we deliberately commit sin it is common to say “God understands“. See, let me tell you now, God does not understand oh. “‘But anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or foreigner, blasphemes the Lord and must be cut off from the people of Israel. Because they have despised the Lord’s word and broken his commands, they must surely be cut off; their guilt remains on them.’”
Summarily, I don’t know if reading the whole Bible is helping my faith or just really shaking it. I finished March confuse and pretty scared of God, His unfathomable power and His wrath. It has become hard to pray because I have to check myself over and over again. Hopefully subsequent books will fix this. Let me know how you feel about Leviticus and Numbers.