One nation, under gods (Numbers 15)

Summary:

Is there one list of doctrines that you must believe in order to be saved?

Will every saved person believe the same thing?

Is there one denomination that has the truth?

What do you think? Is there? Have you found it?

If anyone was ever supposed to find it, it was the Israelites. They certainly had enough rules and laws to claim they had it.

For example, this chapter. It’s a long list of instructions for special offerings – supplementary ones to go with special vows (verse 3) and offerings specifically given for unintentional sins (verse 24). It’s a lot of stuff. It sounds like a lot of work.

And remember, the Israelites had just been punished with a sentence to forty more years of wandering in the wilderness, the Promised Land out of reach. I wonder if any Israelites stared haggardly at those years looming ahead of them. Were they really going to pitch tents and offer sacrifices for the rest of their lives?

Was this really the way life was supposed to be lived?

The First Sheeple?

Was it?

Maybe some people didn’t enjoy the consistent string of sacrifices. Maybe others wanted to do other things to show God how sorry they were for their sins. Maybe some of the Israelites just wanted to sleep in in the mornings, and not get up to head to the tabernacle.

Why didn’t they?

“Everyone who is native-born must do these things in this way” (verse 13). “…anyone else living among you…must do exactly as you do” (verse 14). “One and the same law applies to everyone” (verse 29).

Maybe that’s why.

No room for discussion? For nuance? For unique ideas to come to the floor? For diverse voices to come to the table?

Well, of course not. There are lots of people, but only one God.

We as people, with our millions of churches and thousands of denominations, cannot seem to agree on a set of doctrines that we all believe. We can’t seem to decide what truth is.

But just because we can’t, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Just because we won’t doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t.

There are lots of people and ideas and beliefs, but there is only one God. He only has one law. He has told one truth.

And we gotta find it. And obey it!

In the here and now, amid the hustle of everyday life and the lightning speed of the news and work and school and social media – it feels like we can put off finding the truth for now.

But there are consequences.

Even though, for all the Israelites and even non-Israelites who did not keep God’s one law, there was mercy. Unintentional sins, committed by those who didn’t know the law, were atoned for with an offering and forgiven (verses 24-25).

But there were still consequences.

Just like an animal had to die for every sin, unintentional or not, every sin we commit leads to death.

We see it all around us. We see it in our news and on our timelines and in our newspaper articles.

And we are traumatized and we are shaken. And we want it to stop. We want the suffering to stop. We want the dying to stop. We want the racism, the abuse, the toxic masculinity, the exploitation of the poor, the concentration camps overseas, the lying, the corruption, the cheating, the poisoning of children’s drinking water, the constant invasion of privacy, the denial of healthcare, the–

All of it. We want it to stop.

But for that to happen we have to get it together. We have to treat each other right. We have to stop being selfish. We have to stop being greedy. We have to…

We have to “do these things in this way”. The same law has to apply to everyone.

And that’s exactly God’s point – in this chapter and since the beginning of time.

We have to listen to the one Person who knows what He’s talking about. I mean, why not?

He’s not dangerous. He loves us. He’s absolutely crazy about us! That’s one barrier down.

He won’t lead us wrong. He is wisdom. He 100% knows what’s best. That’s another barrier crossed.

But will we obey Him? Will we obey His one law? Will we stop coming up with our own colorful interpretations of what He says? Will we stop twisting His words the way we like them?

That barrier stands before you. It stands before all of us.

Will we cross it?

God’s Message: “Nothing comes before me or above me or in front of me.”

Nothing. No law. No idea. No preference. No opinion.

To insist otherwise is aggressive. It’s defiant. It’s sin. It cuts us off from God and His blessings (verse 31). It will eventually lead to our death (verse 36).

This is no time for nonchalance. This isn’t time for laziness. It’s time to search for the truth and live by it and then spread it as far and as wide as it can go so that the dying can stop.

That’s all God wants for us. That’s why He wrote (through His prophets) over one thousand letters to us in the Bible. That’s why He died on the cross for our sins. That’s why He urges us “remember to obey all of My commands” (verse 40). Because they will save our lives.

He’s the only One who will tell you that. He’s the only One who knows.

It’s time to listen to the one and only God.

What do you think? Does the same law apply to everyone? Is there only one truth we must all believe? Comment below or share this with somebody.

One thought on “One nation, under gods (Numbers 15)

  1. You know Lucifer wanted to bring diversity of thought into God’s kingdom. He questioned, why must everything be done just as God says. Why can’t we do it this way? Why not?

    Liked by 1 person

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