February 19, 2016

Numbers 6-8
God spoke to Moses: “Speak to the People of Israel: tell them.  If any of you, man or woman, wants to make a special Nazirite vow, consecrating yourself totally to God, you must not drink any wine or beer, no intoxicating drink of any kind...also for the duration of the consecration you must not cut your hair...

The Aaronic Blessing - God bless you and keep you.  God smile on you and gift you, God look you full in the face and make you prosper.

When Moses finished setting up The Dwelling he anointed it and consecrated it along with all that went with it...The leaders of Israel...presented before God six covered wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon from each pair of leaders and an ox from each leader.  Then each day, one leader was to present an offering for the dedication of the Altar.  Day 1 was from the tribe of Judah, day 2 - Issachar, day 3 - Zebulum, day 4 - Reuben, day 5 - Simeon, day 6 - Gad, day 7 - Ephraim, day 8 - Manasseh, day 9 - Benjamin, day 10 - Dan, day 11- Asher, day 12 - Naphtali

The Levites had been selected out of the People of Israel for my exclusive use:  they function in place of every firstborn male born to an Israelite woman.  Every firstborn male in Israel is set apart for my use.  When I struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, I consecrated them for  my holy uses.  But now I take the Levites as stand-ins in place of every firstborn  son in Israel, selected out of the People of Israel, and I have given the Levites to Aaron and his sons to do all the work involved in the Tent of Meeting on behalf of all  the People of Israel and to make atonement for them so that nothing bad  will happen when they approach the sanctuary....At the age of 25 they will join the workforce in the Tent of Meeting:  at the age of 50, they must retire from the work. 

Romans 1:18 - 1:32 -  
But God’s angry displeasure erupts, as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth.  But the basic reality of God is plain enough...

People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither  sense nor direction left in their lives.  They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life... 
So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get,”  It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out.  And all this, because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them--the God we bless, the God who blessed us. Oh yes!  Worse followed.

Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either...all lust, no love.  And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it--emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.  Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose....They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives...and it’s not as if they don’t know better.  They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face.  And they don’t care -- worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!