St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
A General Overview of the Old Testament
An In-Depth Discussion Led by The Rev. Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, April 11, 2010
The Old Testament — Numbers: Chapters 6 – 14
It was decided to skip Leviticus and the first five chapters of Numbers as it is a listing of the many laws the Israelites were commanded to follow and continue the discussion in chapter six with the census of the people who are now in the wilderness.
The well-known blessing of Aaron “The Lord bless you and keep you…” is in chapter six. Chapter seven describes the dedication of the tabernacle, which is the tent where Moses met God. It addition it houses the Ark of the Covenant where the Ten Commandments are kept. Chapter eight describes the care of the Ark. Chapter nine describes the regulation of Passover.
In chapter ten the Israelites are now finally ready to move on from Mount Sinai as the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle. They set out for the first time from Mount Sinai as they resumed their journey. There was a distinct ritual for the journey as the priest carried the Ark of the Covenant, which would protect the people.
In chapter eleven the complaints of the people resurface. This includes complaint s of the water and food shortages. This once again made the Lord mad so he burned part of the camp. Each time the people remember their lives in Egypt and each time those remembrances get better and better! Then Moses complains to the Lord as to why he burdened him with all these people. Kill me now, notes Moses. God then steps in and tells Moses to gather seventy elders to take over some of this responsibility. The people also complain about the lack of meat, so God responds by noting that they will have so much meat that they will be sick of it! The prophesy in the camp is out of control! So God sends in quails from the east that are about a yard deep! Then the Lord struck the people with a plague in response to all their complaints.
Next, Aaron and Miriam, the older brother and sister of Moses, challenge Moses for his leadership. The Lord punished Miriam with leprosy for seven days in response to this foolish challenge. Moses then send out scouts ahead and they report back finding the land flowing with milk and honey. However, they must conquer the local tribes to gain access. Only Caleb and Joshua think their armies are strong enough to conquer these tribes. When the people hear this, they start to rebel and want to choose a new leader to take them back to Egypt instead of dieing here. God then responds by commanding that all of the adults will be destroyed and only the children will enter the promised land. Moses responds to God noting that he cannot do this! He pleads for their lives noting how this would look to the Egyptians. In the end, only Joshua and Caleb will enter the promised land. Finally, in chapter fourteen the people agree to attack and they lost the battle.