The book of Leviticus was a quick study. You only have two posts to catch up on if you missed them.
I am excited to begin the book of Numbers! Today we look at Numbers chapter 5. Maybe the title of this post gives a hint as to what the chapter is about.
Chapter 1 through 4 are pretty logistical chapters. All about taking a census of the Israelite people. Instructions as to how to arrange the camps, what clans where and the like. In chapter 5 we get to talking about how to maintain purity within the camp and how to gain restitution for any wrong doing.
Then in the third paragraph we reach a section titled “The Test for an Unfaithful Wife.” At this point I’m intrigued. To be honest I’m also hoping there will be a section titled, “The Consequences for an Unfaithful Husband.” But no, such is life.
The rest of chapter 5 is about what husbands should do in the event that they suspect their wife of distasteful behaviors. Take a minute and read it for yourself. Numbers 5.
OK then. Now that you have read the passage let’s talk about how this seems so degrading, demeaning and sexist. Yea, I know. The bible get’s slammed all the time for supposedly having no human rights towards women.
This is how I’m going to combat all the foolishness…
Romans 8:1-4 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Basically, we no longer live by those laws because Jesus Christ, who is God, lived a perfect life as a man. Died on the cross bearing all of our sins, was in the grave but resurrected on the third day so that we could experience GRACE.
Aren’t you just bursting with gratitude that those laws are outdated?! That Jesus loved us, women, so much that He did not allow for that to continue.
All of that being said, I did find some of the process in this unfaithful wife test to be applicable to us today. Let’s face it ladies we are sinners. I’ll go a step further and confess that sometimes I have a really dark and ugly heart, maybe you do too. These steps the priest walked the potentially unfaithful wife could be steps that you and I could walk ourselves through.
Step 1: Stand before the Lord (verse 16)
This step is as simple as coming before Christ with a humble and repentant heart. Standing or better yet, kneeling before the Lord with a willingness to confess our sins and accept His forgiveness.
Step 2: Submit yourself to God’s law (verse 27-28)
When was the last time you did an inventory check of your thoughts, words and actions? Are they pleasing onto the Lord? Is there something God has been leading you to do that you have been ignoring? Let’s give the Holy Spirit the opportunity and permission to search our hearts and reveal to us the that which is within that needs to be traded for Christ’s light.
Step 3: Accept God’s will (verse 22)
When we open ourselves to the Lord and surrender our sins to Him he might lead us to make amends for our mistakes. It could be anything from having a difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding to stepping up and leading that bible study you’ve been thinking about for years. Let there be an action involved with your acceptance.
I know I need to do all three of these steps. I have some actions I need to take. Can you think of any?
I’m grateful that Jesus not only destroyed the law and gave us grace but He also gives us new mercies everyday. That opportunity we need to try again over and over.
I know that Numbers 5 is a bit of an old testament double standard, especially if you read the last verse, but in Jesus there are no double standards. Our God is the very meaning of JUST. Be encouraged that Christ paid the price for you and me on the cross.
My Prayer For You:
Dear Jesus, I pray that we as women may not be turned off from your word by some of the passages of the old testament. Lord I pray that when we read chapters like Numbers 5 we may be reminded that you paid the price so that we will no longer be treated in that way. I also ask you Lord to please help us to glean what is still your living word from chapters like Numbers 5. That we may always leave your word feeling fed, strengthened, convicted, challenged, and loved. I pray for all of my readers today. I ask you to be with them in whatever situation they may be in. Only you truly know what their stories look like. I pray that you may let loose healing, restoration, and supernatural blessings over their lives. Thank you for my readers. I pray these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Memory Verse: Exodus 34:14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.