Reflections Week of 12/12/16

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read Numbers 24:10-25 (Wednesday 12/14)

This is a book of the Bible we haven’t often visited, and we’re surprised to see Biblical themes we know well in stories we’re not used to. In this reading of Numbers, we noticed the theme of power. In fact, the whole reading, that is what we kept coming back to in our discussion: from Moses to the donkey to the Baal worship at Peor, it is about people trying to take power from God. In this section, Balak had been trying to get God to change his mind about Israel. Finally, Balaam says, look. You think it’s just me that’s saying this stuff. Look around you! All the nations you know of seem like they’re being controlled by people. You think Moab and Edom and Seir are strong nations run by powerful leaders. But God knows how each one of these nations will be destroyed. And you won’t even be around to see it! After hearing this, Balak is finally convinced. He stops arguing. And he realizes that God is too powerful to be swayed.

For Reflection: Who in your life do you think has power over you?

Read Numbers 27:1-11 (Friday 12/16)

If the God of the previous section seems scary and unyielding, there is comfort in this story. God still has the power. But he demonstrates his softness, and reasonableness, and grace. Some women in the community say, “Hey our dad died and he was a sinner and he got what he deserved. But because we’re women, we’re now being punished for our dad’s sin. Because we can’t own his property. Our whole line goes down the toilet unless something can be done.” In the last section, over and over we saw God say, “No. I am in charge. You don’t get to make the rules.” Here, we see a different side of him. Yes, God says, You’re right, you don’t deserve that. And because God makes the rules, God is able to set a precedent. This side of God is personal and interested in the fate of these three women.

For Reflection: Does it ever feel like God is too big to have your own personal interests in mind?

Reflections written by Amy and Wayne Giacalone

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