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 25, 2010
The Old Testament — Numbers: Chapters 21 – 27
The people were still speaking out against God and Moses so he sent venomous snakes to punish them. Moses was asked to pray to the Lord to stop the snakes, which he did and the plague stopped. The Israelites were moving towards the land of Moab and on the way they had to defeat the army of Sihon. When the Israelites go to Moab, the Moabites were afraid that they would be taken over by the Israelites. So the leaders summoned Balaam. He went to the Lord to find an answer to the problem and had a number of encounters and oracles. The Lord made it clear that the Israelites were his chosen people and he conveyed this to the Moabites much to their dismay.
The Israelite men began to mingle with the Moabite women and engage in sexual immorality. One of the men brought a Moabite woman in front of Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron. When he saw this, he took a spear and killed both of them. This stopped God’s plague on the Israelites. God then promises Phinehas a covenant of peace. Aaron and his descendents will always be the priest of Israel.
In Chapter 26 there is another census. This was verification that the first generation would never see the Promised Land as the Lord had commanded. There were rules of land distribution. The tribes shall be apportioned land in accordance with the size of the tribes. Only Caleb and Joshua were left from the first generation.
Chapter 27 highlights inheritance laws. Typically only the sons got inheritance. However, there was a man who had five daughters and no sons. Does he lose his land? Does the tribe lose the land? The Lord agreed to pass the inheritance on to the daughters if there were no sons. Moses knows he is going to need a successor, whom the Lord told to pick was Joshua. He subsequently got some of Moses’ authority.