God is a Jealous God

In today’s Bible reading,* God tells Moses to execute His vengeance against the Midianites. One thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel went out and did just that, killing every male, including the kings. And they took the women and children captive. Moses was furious when he learned that the women were still…

Israel Breaks the Top Commandments

Do not have other gods besides me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am…

Blessing God’s People

Today’s Bible reading* includes a Blessing prayed over God’s people. For many of us who have been around church for very long, we may be familiar with this Blessing. In The Blessing, Moses gives Aaron and his sons the content of what to pray over the people of God. This is a prayer prayed by…

Duties of the Kohathites

There’s a good reason the book of Numbers is called that: it lists a bunch of numbers. It’s a census of the people of Israel. And there were a lot of people! If you’ve ever seen Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 epic film “The Ten Commandments” (shown on network television every year since 1973 during Easter/Passover…

Everyone Gets a Do-Over in the Year of Jubilee

Today’s Bible reading* has a lot to say about the Year of Jubilee: Everyone gets a do-over. A reset. A recalibration. God goes into great detail about what this looks like. Debts are cancelled. Properties are returned to their original owners. Slaves are released. All in one year. The Year of Jubilee occurred every fifty…