Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Jealousy Offering -- The Old Testament Method to Finding out if a Wife had been Unfaithful

Today's Reading:
  • Numbers 4:1 - 5:31
  • Proverbs 10:26
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Numbers 4:1 - 5:31
Today's reading in Numbers started off with more numbers -- numbers of people eligible to move the Tabernacle and instructions on how to do so.  But in chapter five, all that changed drastically.  Suddenly the numbers were gone, and I was reading about something called the "jealousy offering".

I flipped back to Leviticus in my study bible because I knew it had a list of types of offerings to the Lord.  That list consists of burnt offerings, grain offerings, peace offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings.  Jealousy offerings was not part of that list and it immediately peaked my interest.

The jealous offering was a way for a man to tell if his wife had been unfaithful to him when there was no proof to be offered.  The man would bring his offering and his wife before a priest.  The priest would have the woman drink a bitter water (holy water mixed with dust from the ground) that contained a curse.  If the woman were innocent, she would avoid the curse, but if she were guilty her abdomen would swell and she would become infertile.

What it boils down to is that this was a way for a person to be judged for sins that they hadn't accounted for.  It's human nature to think that when we do something we know is wrong, yet get away with it, that we will not have to pay for what we did. 

We might not have to stand before a priest at the tabernacle and drink a curse these days, but that doesn't mean that we aren't going to be held accountable for what we have done.  The Lord will forgive us of anything but blasphemy against the holy spirit, but we first have to admit what we have done, repent, and ask for that forgiveness. 

I am sure I am not the only one in this world who has done wrong and not yet repented and asked forgiveness for some of my actions.  Please, let's not wait until judgement day for those things to come upon us.  Personally I would much rather deal with it here and now, instead of when I'm standing to await judgement.  The Lord gave us Jesus Christ so that we could freely be cleansed of our sins as long as we are willing to repent.  Let us truly take advantage of that glorious gift from the Lord. 

Proverbs 10:26
Lazy people irritate their employers, list vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.
I chuckled a little when I read today's verse.  I don't know why I found it funny, but I did.  I can vouch that smoke in the eyes is irritating, but I can't say that I've ever experienced taking vinegar to my teeth. 

Tomorrow my family is probably going to find me in the laundry room, jar of vinegar in hand, rubbing it on my teeth and wondering what on earth I'm doing.  Maybe it's not painful right off the bat, perhaps it's something that slowly dissolves away the tooth enamel instead.

Regardless, the message is clear.  Lazy people irritate those they work for, and with good reason since they are paying us to perform a series of tasks in an efficient manner.  I'm a pretty productive employee, but we all have our days.  I might have to hang this verse in my office as a reminder not to slack off!

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