15:24-25 It must be offered along with its prescribed grain offering and liquid offering and with one male goat for a sin offering. With it the priest will purify the whole community of Israel, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven. Before reading further, do you "see" anything in the words I've bolded? Communion-bread, wine, sin offering (Jesus), priest purifies the community, forgiven. This is a shadow of the New Covenant-the Living Torah!
32: I believe this incident is a manifestation of the warning in verse 30-31: "But those who brazenly violate the Lord's will...have blasphemed the Lord, and they must be cut off from the community. Since they have treated the Lord's word with contempt and deliberately disobeyed his command, they must be completely cut off and suffer the punishment for their guilt." Guzik agrees:
This is an immediate example - "case law," if you will - of dealing with someone who sinned presumptuously. All of Israel knew the Sabbath law, and this man no doubt thought him self a courageous social reformer, trying by his example to free the nation from the shackles of heaven's law. Instead, God commands the execution of this presumptuous sinner, that all might fear - and know that the social order and law of God are more important than any individual's "right" to attack or destroy that social order or law of God.
There is a distinct difference to God between unintentional sin and brazen disobedience! Unfortunately, I have practiced the latter plenty of times in my life. And surely I have been disciplined so much more harshly by God in these cases. I learned about this from my kids when I was taught before disciplining them to ask: Is the child being defiant or just being a forgetful/curious/untrained child? This was a huge help in deciding which things to punish for. But I see that God must do the same thing with us-punish the defiance because it is what will destroy us.
15:39 REMEMBER! When you see the tassels, you will remember and obey all the commands of the Lord instead of following your own desires and defiling yourselves, as you are prone to do.
16:2: They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community..." All I could think of after they have seen the Hand of Judgment, time and again, is "Why?? You idiots!"
16:10-11 Personal ambition, pride, and jealousy creep in. It's okay to want God to do great things in your life and your ministry, but not at someone else's expense.
16:13 Isn't it enough that you brought us out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us here in this wilderness, and that you now treat us like your subjects? Wow. Talk about forgetful and ungrateful! How could they associate Egypt with milk and honey? That's what we humans do. We take God's Word and we twist it. They are headed to milk and honey, but instead they get caught up in nostalgia, forgetting who really treated them like subjects!
16:14 What's more, you haven't brought us into another land flowing with milk and honey. You haven't given us a new homeland with fields and vineyards. Are you trying to fool these men? Interesting that they blame Moses for their own sins. They were right on the verge of the Promised Land but rebelled and refused to believe God, who refused to let them enter. So now they blame Moses for denying them entrance, holding out on them, and trickery.
16:28 We are going to be criticized and attacked when we do the Lord's work. But we must do it in unflinching, bold humility.
16:31-32 He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned. This is a lot like the story in Daniel, where the men resorted to trickery to get Daniel into the lion's den. The famished lions didn't touch him-not even a scratch-all night long. But the next day, the king had all the men and their families thrown in because of their trickery, and the lions swallowed them up before they even hit the floor of the den. It's not wise to mess with the Lord's anointed!
Questions for reflection:
People today still blame God and others for the consequences of their choices and behaviors. Why did you let me lose my house? Why did you let me have a heart attack? Why did you let me get pregnant? Why is everything going so terribly? Blame is destructive and deceitful. What people are really asking: Why can't I have my way? Why did I get caught? Why do I have to do it God's way to be blessed? Unfortunately, most of the time we do not see it when we do this. We justify our choices so shrewdly and completely that we don't even know we are blaming. We must ask God for site to help us recognize our sin that has led to our consequences. NOTE: Not all bad things that happen to us are a result of our choices. I am only addressing those times when they are.
Can you think of a time when you brazenly sinned against God, knowing exactly what you were doing? What was the outcome? Most of my defiance in life has come in the area of choosing men that I thought I wanted (didn't want to listen to God), and of course, pursuing habit sins that God has clearly warned me not to continue. Result for me? Death of dreams and destruction of my life.