Gilbert House Fellowship #304: Numbers 14-15; Psalm 90

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ACTIONS HAVE consequences. In the case of Israel, the decision to rebel against Moses after the “bad [or ‘evil’] report” of the spies sent into Canaan led to forty years of wandering in the wilderness.

We discuss the intercession of Moses for the people when God declared that He would “strike them with the pestilence,” and the possibility that “Pestilence,” the Canaanite pestilence-god Deber, was an angel sent to carry out His judgment.

The reaction of the Israelites to God’s alternate punishment, which was to keep Israel from entering Canaan until everyone over the age of 20 (except Joshua and Caleb), was about what you’d expect: They decided to go ahead and attack the Amalekites and Canaanites anyway, and were badly defeated in battle.

We also look at God’s reiteration of certain sacrificial laws, including sacrifices for unintentional sin, and a death penalty for a man caught gathering wood on the Sabbath.

Then we skip to Psalm 90, a psalm of Moses that appears to have been written about this time, with special attention to his prayer for wisdom and cry for the Lord’s return.

Some striking differences were noted in this week’s reading between the Masoretic Hebrew text, the basis for our modern English Old Testament translations, and the Septuagint, which was translated around 300 BC by Jewish scholars working with older Hebrew texts. Specifically, we noticed references to other aspects of the personhood of Yahweh (such as His Name, Right Hand, Spirit, and Glory) that are missing from our English Bibles, apparently because the Masoretes, Jewish scholars who completed their Hebrew Old Testament text by the 10th century AD, de-emphasized the “Second Power in Heaven” in scripture after Christians identified that figure as Jesus Christ.

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Gilbert House Fellowship #303: Numbers 11-13

IT’S EASY to criticize the Hebrews of Moses’ day for their lack of faith. After all, hadn’t they seen the plagues that compelled Egypt to let them go, the parting of the Red Sea, and the manna that miraculously appeared six days a week?

We’re not in their shoes. When we take a good, hard look at ourselves, we see that we’re not all that different.

This week, we discuss that complaints of the Israelites that provoked God into sending so much quail to eat that it became “loathsome” to them, followed by “a very great plague.”

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He is risen!

We are celebrating Resurrection Sunday, and so there will be no Gilbert House Fellowship this week. We’ll pick up again next Sunday.

Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Luke 24:46–47


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