Following the Instructions
Thank God for a highlight of your Christian life: maybe when you committed your life to Christ, or felt close to him.
Read Numbers 9:1-14
 The LORD spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said,  “Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time.  Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations.”  So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover,  and they did so in the Desert of Sinai at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Israelites did everything just as the LORD commanded Moses.  But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body. So they came to Moses and Aaron that same day  and said to Moses, “We have become unclean because of a dead body, but why should we be kept from presenting the LORD’s offering with the other Israelites at the appointed time?”  Moses answered them, “Wait until I find out what the LORD commands concerning you.”  Then the LORD said to Moses,  “Tell the Israelites: ‘When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they are still to celebrate the LORD’s Passover,  but they are to do it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations.  But if anyone who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, they must be cut off from their people for not presenting the LORD’s offering at the appointed time. They will bear the consequences of their sin.  “‘A foreigner residing among you is also to celebrate the LORD’s Passover in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for both the foreigner and the native-born.'” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was significant about celebrating the Passover (5)?
One year after their liberation from Egypt and it’s time for the Israelites to celebrate (2). Now the memory is fresh, but they are preparing for life in Canaan and the danger is that the memory will fade. Without reminders, they will forget what God has done for them. This Passover celebration will be vital in the future. Soon, complications set in (6). Handling exceptions is a problem for all human groups! But rather than make up a solution, Moses shows his humility. He asks God (8). To admit that you don’t know rarely comes easily to leaders. God’s answer is compassionate, without reducing the importance of Passover. For those who are ineligible through no fault of their own (10) there is a concession: they can celebrate a month later. And the note of compassion continues: aliens are to be included on the same basis as the Israelites (14)—a reminder that after 400 years in Egypt, the Israelites knew what it’s like to be a stranger. But for those who are careless or disobedient, the consequences are severe (13).
How seriously do you take opportunities to worship? How can you be faithful while avoiding being legalistic?
Lord, I’m grateful for the opportunity to worship You in my church fellowship. May our worship please and honor You.
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