Saturday, August 06, 2005

Teaching: God's Plan

Today in service we finished going through Numbers in the weekly Torah readings. Our congregation leader at K'vod Yisrael, Ken Levitt, did a very good job of tying together the book of Numbers and showing one of its applications to our life today. Here was one of his key points, in my own words, that I would like to share:

In Numbers we see God bringing order to His people. There is a census to number them (twice actually). God then assigns the tribes and families places to camp, specific responsibilities (Num 3, 4) and their place in the marching order. The Lord gives many other laws and commands in Numbers, all designed to provide order and direction for the people at the current time and in the future.

The Israelites rebelled several times against God's order, most notably when they refused to believe that God could give them the land He had promised. In every case they were punished, but not as severely as was warranted. In the end His commands and directions provided the unity they needed to survive and grow as a people.

In Numbers 33:1-49 we read Moses's log of the journey of the Israelites. There was I believe a reason for each place they went to and stop they made. God had a plan and order for His people. He knew where they were to go and what each was to do. Not everyone did the same things. Each tribe and family had assigned responsibilities.

This same principle applies today. The Apostle Paul reiterates it in I Corinthians 12 where he talks about each person having a specific gift, but not all the same. Although we in our humanness will sometimes (often?) question why we or someone else has a gift we perceive to be better or worse, they all fit together to work God's plan. We should not be like the Israelites in rebellion but exercise the gifts we are given and continually seek the Lord's guidance and direction.

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