Hello, I’ve missed you!
With work and other commitments trying to read a book a day has become a ‘vibrant task.’ However, I’m pleased to say I’ve finally made it through Numbers and have come across many interesting facts along the way.
Before you read on, I’d say this blog magnifies a very personal journey as opposed to a deep analysis of the book in it’s entirety. No doubt I’ll have to read it 10 times over to understand it to the full extent but for now, here it goes…
At the beginning, I thought Numbers had the same vibe as Leviticus; Crammed with laws, laws within laws, statistics, etc. There are no prizes for figuring out why the book was called ‘Numbers!’
I was starting to question whether reading Numbers was a necessity for someone of this era; the idea of God and all his vengeance was creating the distance we had before I began this blog series.
Then I discovered Gnosticism. This Greek term loosely meaning ‘learned’, is a set of religious and spiritual understandings adopted by early Christians (namely RC), Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman Mystic heavy practice, Zoroastrianism, Neoplatonism and of recent times, Overt Liberalism and New Ageism.
The belief is that through worldly success and materialism we earn salvation; Jesus is not the Messiah but an angel or a fallen angel (depending on your Gnostic denomination); it’s ok to mix pagan rituals with biblical history (hence the easter bunny, santa claus and saint days); we are good and God is bad; all of which is embedded in our minds deeper than many of us realise!
Without digressing too much, I would encourage you to type Gnosticism into Wikipedia and/ or Youtube for some background, but what I will say is that Aliester Crowley was an avid believer in the concept. (Never heard a’ him either? Get to Wikipedia then! lol).
So why write on Gnosticism when reflecting on Numbers? Well as I just mentioned, thus far I acquainted with God’s anger and soon forgot how justified he was and is now. Like the Israelites, I quickly underestimated the awesomeness of God, and drew on the less pleasant things that occurred and it didn’t matter how justifiable they were!
Overall, I’ve been waiting for the New Testament to kick in to see God’s nice side through Jesus, his miracles and his sacrifice, only to learn that Jesus has been in existence throughout the whole book! And his grace weaves it’s way very intelligently both inconspicuously and blatantly (yes that does make sense). This becomes clear when reading his laws on unintentional and intentional sin (Numbers 15 vs 22-29) and the review of the 40 year journey the Israelites made to the Promised Land (Numbers 33).
Numbers is also where we loose Aaron. I’ll miss that dude. Warts n’ all!
As a side note, I have noticed the Sabbath and it’s importance appear more frequently than some of the other commandments which does speak volumes and on a lighter note, through the story of Balaam and the Donkey I am convinced that God is indeed an animal lover (woohoo)!
As a writer, I cannot help but add that the way in which the journey to the Promised Land is documented (namely in KJV) drew me in. I tasted the manna, felt the lethargy, understood the Israelites impatience and yet was complicit with Moses’ anger. I too was vex by Aaron and deeply offended by Balaam. I was overwhelmed by the vividness; the colour and awesomeness of the tabernacle and the sheer-lost-for-words-if-only-I-could’a-seen-him-use-his-finger-to-write-those-commandments-ness of Moses and his many experiences.
Skimming the surface does neither the mind or the soul justice. I look forward to visiting this book again. But until then, I hope you’ll join me in dissecting Deuteronomy.
Until some time soon…x
P.s. Through my comments re Gnosticism, I am in no way suggesting we should no longer eat Christmas dinners or Easter eggs. Rather, I am reminding everyone including myself, to be mindful of what we partake in, how and why. This is a moral to be applied in every aspects of our lives 🙂