Saturday, June 21, 2014

Numbers 19

Today's reading in our daily plan is Numbers 19. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • In verses 1-6 we see an animal killed, but this is not the kind of sacrifice we've seen before in the Old Testament. There are differences. For instance, this animal is to be slaughtered, not sacrificed, and killed outside the camp, not on the altar. The real point of this are the ashes of the cow, which were to be used (see verse 9) in the ritual of the cleansing with water.
  • The ashes of the red heifer were mixed with water for the cleansing ritual.
  • In verse 18 we see that a ceremonially clean person would sprinkle the mixture onto a person who had become unclean.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • In this chapter we continue to see people's need to be cleansed from their sins. Not only did God provide this way of being cleansed at that time, but it also pointed forward to the ultimate way people could be cleansed. We read in the Bible in Hebrews 9:13-14, "The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Imagine living back in the time of Numbers and having to repeatedly go out into the wilderness to be sprinkled with water and ashes. How grateful are you for the sacrifice of Jesus, and that when you're cleansed through His' blood, it's once and for all and cleanses us thoroughly?
  • The verses in Hebrews 9 said we are cleansed "so that we may serve the living God!" If you've accepted Jesus' sacrifice and applied it to yourself, have you dedicated yourself to serving the living God? What does that look like for you? If you haven't, what are some of the first changes you need to make to start really living for God?