Talked Against Moses

“We’ve learned to season our words with salt, we eat them so often.” “It’s Not About Me” – Max Lucado

I love to read and really enjoy fiction written about Bible times. There’s one problem – fiction is not fact.

I wrote a post on Tuesday, November 13th, about the men who served in The Temple. The next day, I read a verse that said just the opposite of what I wrote. I must have read that “fact” in a fiction book. I had to eat my words.

I went back to the post, drew a line through the paragraph and typed in the verse I just read. I published the corrected post. It was a huge piece of humble pie.

I’m not the first to regret what they said nor the last. I’m sure Miriam really regretted her words.

Numbers 12:1, “Miriam and Aaron talked against Moses behind his back because of his Cushite wife (he had married a Cushite woman).” The Message

* * * * * * *

Numbers 12:10, “When the Cloud moved off from The Tent, oh! Miriam had turned leprous, her skin like snow. Aaron took one look at Miriam – a leper.” The Message

I used to wonder why Aaron was not struck with leprosy. Numbers 12:1 lists Miriam first – she started it.

“A Cushite woman – Arabia was usually called in scripture the land of Cush – its inhabitants being descendants of that son of Ham (see on Exodus 2.15), and being accounted generally a vile and contemptible race. (Amos 9.7.)

The occasion of this seditious outbreak on the part of Miriam and Aaron against Moses was the great change made in the government by the adoption of the seventy rulers – and their irritating disparagement of his wife – who, in all probability, was Zipporah, and not a second wife he had recently married – arose from jealousy of her relatives, through whose influence the innovation had been first made (Exodus 18.), while they were overlooked or neglected. Miriam is mentioned before Aaron as being the chief instigator and leader of the sedition.

…The prophetic name and character was bestowed upon Aaron (Exodus 4.15, 16) and Miriam (Exodus 15.20); and, therefore, they considered the conduct of Moses, in exercising an exclusive authority in this matter, as an encroachment on their rights (Micah 6.4).” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol I

How do you react when you have to eat your words? Do you cover up the mistake or expose it? Are you supportive when others have to eat their words?

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As Long As the Cloud Was There

“What time…?”

“Noon.”

“I can’t believe you answered my question before I finished the sentence.”

“Why not, I’ve known you for 10 years.”

I spent the morning with Luke’s wife, Bethany, when this conversation took place. We visited while working on 2 different projects in my office. She wanted to know when we would celebrate Thanksgiving.

Numbers 9:3, “Celebrate it on schedule…” The Message

She left to get groceries before lunch. I stripped the bedding to wash it. I was ready to put the pillowcases back on when she called.

“I just wanted you to know, I had a car accident and I’m in the Emergency Room.”

“Are you alone?”

“Yes.”

“I’m on my way.”

I jumped into the truck – which was a feat in itself because I was wearing my new maxi coat. I tried not to speed as I drove the mile to the hospital.

She was in x-ray when I arrived. I sat down and got comfortable – prepared to wait as long as needed. Luke walked in a minute later. He stayed behind to take care of the car.

Numbers 9:22, “It made no difference whether the Cloud hovered over The Dwelling for two days or a month or a year, as long as the Cloud was there, they were there.” The Message

God graciously protected Bethany. The car spun but did not roll. She missed the utility pole. She slammed into the console, breaking it, without breaking a rib. Her head hit the steering wheel but there was no brain trauma or concussion. She didn’t break any bones. Olivia was still in school and no other cars were involved.

Thank God for His protection. This is why I pray Psalms 91 over my family every day.

Have you walked away from an accident that should have been worse? Has God helped you avoid an accident that seemed impossible?

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All That Went With It

I moved boxes and boxes of sewing and craft supplies downstairs. David moved the bookshelf and cases of books.

I set up a 6′ table perpendicular to the loveseat. I found I could not walk around it. I guess I did not measure correctly. Everything in my design did not fit!

Numbers 8:4, “…It was made precisely to the design God had shown Moses.” The Message

I moved the table parallel to the loveseat. When we play games on it, some will sit on the loveseat.

I’m excited to set up my craft and sewing projects. But there is so much stuff. And I had it stored in 3 different rooms. It will take a while to gather and organize it all.

Numbers 7:1. “When Moses finished setting up The Dwelling, he anointed it and consecrated it along with all that went with it. At the same time he anointed and consecrated The Altar and its accessories.” The Message

I will spend the next week dealing with “all that went with it!”

Do you have items that belong together stored in several rooms? How do you keep track of what you stuck where?

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Men from Thirty to Fifty

In Numbers 1:3, we read they counted the men 20 years old and older. These men were eligible for the army – but not for ministry.

Numbers 4:3, “Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who enter the ministry of work in the Tent of Meeting.” The Message

The same sentence was in 4:23, 30, 35, 39, 43, and 47.

“This age was specifically fixed on (see on ch. 8:24) as the full maturity of bodily energy to perform the laborious duties assigned them in the wilderness, as well as of mental activity to assist in the management of the sacred services. And hence it was the period of life at which [John] the Baptist and Christ entered on their respective ministries. The term prescribed for active duty was a period of 20 years, at the end of which they were exempted from the physical labours of the office, though still expected to attend in the tabernacle (ch. 8:26).” Critical and Explanatory Commentary, Vol. I

Only the Levites worked in the Tent of Meeting. They did not count them and register them in the army, (see Numbers 1:48). But, they did train for war. They were Israel’s “National Guard” or “Secret Service.”

Numbers 1:53, “…The Levites are responsible for the security of The Dwelling of The Testimony.” The

Message

I stand corrected

From the ages of 20-30 20-25, the Levites guarded The Temple. They learned discipline and to follow orders. When they turned 30, their minds were also mature. Then they started the heavy lifting.

The Levites never retired. At the age of 50, they were excused from heavy physical labor but still performed all other duties.

Numbers 8:23-26, “God spoke to Moses: (24) ‘These are your instructions concerning the Levites: At the age of twenty-five they will join the workforce in the Tent of Meeting; (25) at the age of fifty they must retire from the work. (26) They can assist their brothers in the tasks in the Tent of Meeting, but they are not permitted to do the actual work themselves. These are the ground rules for the work of the Levites.’ ” The Message

Ministry looks fun and exciting. But it is discipline, patience, following orders, practice, and heavy lifting.

How do you minister in your church? Usher? Altar worker? Nursery Attendant? Teacher? Janitor? Prayer Partner?

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Say to Them…

“Are you going to move the boxes out of the guest room?” David asked.

“I can’t until I make space in the storage room,” I replied.

I spent the morning in the storage room. I packed the drums and moved the cases to the bottom of the stairs. Then I texted Derek to pick them up.

David moved the drum shield on his lunch hour. (I couldn’t lift it.) I cleared the corner; rolled up the rug, and swept the floor.

“…God is for you. That means you can do the thing you are afraid you can’t do. …Beginning is usually the hard part. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step; after that it gets easier. …Radio commentator Paul Harvey says, ‘You can always tell when you’re on the road to success. It’s uphill all the way.’ ” The Word for You Today, 11-13-18

I spent the afternoon putting fall decorations away. Then I put away the decorating boxes. I cleared the suitcases and boxes off of the bed. When David got home from work, we took the bed apart. We leaned the pieces against the wall in the storage room. We swept the floor and called it a day.

* * * * * * *

This morning, David asked if I had a plan for the game/craft room. I got out my floor plan and showed him. It helps him to see the plan.

“…A Harvard study has demonstrated that our brain cannot tell the difference between a visualized image of our success and reality. However, it can tell the difference between a visualized image and a fantasy. …our brain looks at fantasies as a threat. …” How to Visualize Your Success in 3 Easy Ways, LaRae Quy, FBI Agent

The first step was “Be very intentional with the way you talk to yourself.” We also need to be intentional about how we speak to others.

Numbers 6:23-27, “…This is how you are to bless the People of Israel. Say to them, (24) God bless you and keep you, (25) God smile on you and gift you, (26) God look you full in the face and make you prosper. (27) In so doing, they will place my name on the People of Israel – I will confirm it by blessing them.” The Message

Are you procrastinating on a project? Can you draw a picture of the result? Can you write steps to your goal? What is the first step?

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The Men Who Will Help You

“When things don’t go ‘right’ we blame others or ourselves, muddle through as best we can, often with considerable crankiness… We need a lot of help.

We need organizational help. When people live together in community, jobs have to be assigned, leaders appointed, inventories kept. Counting and list-making and rosters are as much a part of being a community of God as prayer and instruction and justice. ….

And we need relational help. The people who find themselves called and led and commanded by God find themselves in the company of men and women who sin a lot… We need help getting along with each other. Wise discipline is required in becoming a people of God.

It follows that counting and quarreling take up considerable space in the book of Numbers.” The Message Introduction to Numbers

It sounds a lot like life in the military – counting, list-making, rosters. It seems useless but there is a purpose behind it all.

* * * * * * *

We honor our Veterans today. Those who “toed the line” and “stood up to be counted.” They did not sign on the dotted line to go to war. They joined to help.

  • When there are floods – they help.
  • When there are wildfires – they help.
  • When there are hurricanes – they help.
  • When there are tornadoes – they help.

Soldiers are never there to make war; they are there to keep the peace.

* * * * * * *

God notices helpers. In the first 2 chapters of Numbers, God is counting the able-bodied men. He is building an army to protect his people. He gave the names of men in each tribe to help Moses count.

Numbers 1:5, “These are the names of the men who will help you:” The Message

Soldiers are the first to arrive and the last to leave. They will do any duty assigned to them no matter how boring. They do a lot of counting.

God promotes helpers. The men who counted in Numbers 1 were the leaders in Numbers 2.

Military life is a calling. Those called will never be happy until they answer that call. (No matter how hard their mother tries to talk them out of it. Don’t ask me how I know.)

“Moses discovered that when you’re not fulfilling your God-given dream, a king’s palace won’t make you happy.” The Word for You Today, November 11, 2018

Have you thanked a Veteran today?

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More Than Enough to Eat

We settled into our new shared office. David paid bills and I wrote my post. The sun at my back and the heater on the floor kept me toasty warm. It was 12° outside.

The arrangement worked great. When David finished he went to the living room to watch a game. I moved to the main desk and opened my Bible.

Leviticus 26:5, “…you’ll have more than enough to eat and will live safe and secure in your land.” The Message

I planned on organizing our “new” office and eating leftovers for dinner. But – my verse was prophetic.

Our friends called, “Do you want to go to Martini’s tonight?”

We ate at this restaurant on Valentine’s Day. Our friends told us we had to try the “Grazing Meal.” There was another couple who never tried it and the six of us were all free tonight.

* * * * * * *

They seated us by the window and I had a view of the Mississippi River. David and Mike had a view of the Iowa Hawkeye Game.

The first course was Spring Rolls with Plums Sauce, Bacon Pizza, and Chicken Lips with Ranch or Blue Cheese Dip. (I was a chicken and skipped the lips.)

They brought out the second course – Caesar Salad and warm Sourdough Bread with real butter. They may have made it there because it was white. The rolls disappeared but they had to box up half of the salad.

Then they brought out the main course. My eyes kept getting bigger and bigger. I thought they were going to pop out. Petite Filets with Béarnaise Sauce, Pork Chops with Mango Chutney, Pasta with Ham, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and fresh Green Beans with a seasoning I did not recognize. But it was all so good.

I cut the end off of a pork chop and took small servings of the pasta and vegetables. I ate the entire filet because I am all about that beef. I thought I was going to pop when they brought out dessert.

It was a 6″ slice of Neapolitan Ice Cream Pie on a dark chocolate cookie crust. I couldn’t cut the cookie. We think they crushed Oreos and mixed them with melted butter.

Two hours later, I understood my verse for the day. There were windows on 3 sides of us and I was totally safe. This is not a post for frugalfish.org because we spent over 1/4 of our monthly food budget.

We split up the boxes of leftovers. One couple was only interested in that remaining chicken lip. The other couple took the pasta and salad. We brought home a filet, pork chop, potatoes, and green beans. I’m not cooking tonight.

It was a special evening with special friends. And God was laughing.

How many times have I settled for leftovers when God had a four-course meal ready for me? Has God surprised you beyond your wildest expectations?

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Reunite with Extended Family

I emptied the bookshelf and pulled half of the files out of the 2 drawer filing cabinet. I shoved it next to the desks. The long desk is next to my desk forming an extension.

I brought the oval table up for the printer. At lunch, David helped me move the bookshelf. I loaded it with the books we would use the most.

Then I took down the shelves and pictures from the wall over the desks. I filled in the holes. I’ll decide what to put on it later.

Mom gave us a small TV. We decided to use it as a computer monitor. I dug through my drawer of extra office equipment for a USB Cord. (I found an extra typewriter ribbon for a typewriter I donated 5 years ago. I threw it in the box for Goodwill)

I plugged the cord into the laptop and found the TV did not have a USB port. I took it downstairs. I will hook it up to my Blu-Ray player in my “soon-to-be” craft room.

I set up lamps around the office and called it a day.

I’ve rearranged 3 rooms and have 3 to go before Thanksgiving. I hope to have a guest room and a game/craft room set up. And a somewhat organized storage room. I’ve invited some extended family to dinner.

Leviticus 25:10, “…Each person will go back to his family’s property and reunite with his extended family.” The Message

I look forward to the day, the aromas, and the food – especially the rolls. There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread.

Leviticus 24:5, “Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using about four quarts of flour to a loaf.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Leviticus 24:8, “Regularly, every Sabbath, this bread is to be set before God, a perpetual covenantal response from Israel.” The Message

They used a gallon of flour to make one loaf of bread. Those were big loaves and they made twelve of them.

Every Sabbath smelled like fresh-baked, homemade bread. And there was plenty to feed the priests and their families. Just like Thanksgiving.

Will you be enjoying Thanksgiving with extended family? Are you hosting the dinner? Or, are you traveling back to your family’s property?

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Do What I Tell You

I had a mild headache and tired eyes. There was tension in my neck and shoulders. I spent 4 hours on the computer for the 3rd day in a row.

But, my spirit was laughing, jumping, turning cartwheels, and ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound. My soul was sitting quietly in the corner.

Starting in Jeremiah 26, I compared the “2018 Relevant Bible Reading Guide” to the Chronological Study Bible. (I completed the first part earlier.)

The Chronological Study Bible not only breaks up books but splits chapters. I checked the place of each section of the chapter. Then I read my notes from the New International Version Study Bible. I looked at the “2018 Relevant Bible Reading Guide” and decided where each chapter would go in 2019.

I moved entire books and single chapters. It was like solving a Rubik’s cube – on steroids. But the puzzle is nearly complete.

After walking away, I decided to move another chunk of chapters. Next, I will print it and compare it to the “2018 Relevant Bible Reading Guide.”

This is my 10th “Relevant” Guide. In 2009, I had two couples read it with me. Their enthusiasm and encouragement helped me take the leap to publish online.

This is much more exhilarating than playing Spider Solitaire!

Leviticus 22:31, “Do what I tell you; live what I tell you. I am God.” The Message

Now comes the math!

It’s okay. I like math.

Using the Amplified Bible, you need to read 2400 words a day to read the Bible in one year. I will add the words in each chapter until I reach the average.

Then I count the days in the sections where I rearranged books and chapters. (I did not change Christmas, Easter, or the Gospels.) Sometimes, I need to shuffle chapters to have fewer days. Or, I need to stretch them for an extra day – like on leap years.

I’m excited to dig in and would like to finish before Thanksgiving. But I also read a caution today.

Leviticus 23:3, “Work six days. The seventh is a Sabbath, a day of total and complete rest, a sacred assembly. Don’t do any work. Wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to God.” The Message

Do you have a project you want to finish before Thanksgiving? (Hey Jill, how are you coming on stripping the wallpaper from your dining room?)

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Live a Holy Life

Pastor Peggy Knudsen spoke last night on “The Condition of Your Soul.” Your soul is comprised of your intellect, mind, emotions, and will.

“When we are oblivious to the condition of our soul, we are leaving messes everywhere. …Our spirit and our body are affected by our soul. …I’m a spirit, I possess a soul, and I live in this body.” Pastor Peggy Knudsen, 11-7-18

It was a hard sermon for me because I spent the afternoon playing Spider Solitaire. Spider is like Superman’s Kryptonite. It feeds my soul – but not in a good way.

  • My intellect says – “You can solve this.”
  • My will says – “I will try again.”
  • My emotions say – “I’ll feel better when I win.”
  • My mind says – “I will win the next time.”

My body reacts with a headache and my spirit is down from feeling guilty. I know this was not God’s plan for my afternoon.

Leviticus 20:7, 8, “Set yourselves apart for a holy life. Live a holy life, because I am God, your God. (8) Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you. I am the God who makes you holy.” The Message

Do you know your “Kryptonite?” How do you conquer it?

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