So, I finished Numbers (absolutely no comments to add to the ones I wrote last week) and I made it mostly unscathed into Deuteronomy. This is basically a round up of the previous books by Moses. It’s interesting because he records it in the first person – “I said to you…” and so on. He reminds the people they have been presumptuous, behaving as if they are equal to God, and for this they have been punished. My feeling is that you could skip Leviticus and Numbers, and all the important parts would be covered in Deuteronomy.
The bits I especially like come in the first few chapters. There are some verses which I think are worth trying to remember – something solid for those rainy days, when it feels like life just is too much effort. They come in Chapter Four. One is about when the people will, in the future, go completely wrong, and start to push God out with other things. It says, “But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Another is : “…you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other beside him.”
And I also like : “the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.” As previously the people had only worshipped God, but had believed there were other, less important gods around too, this feels significant.
Then we have more laws. Some are very sensible – like that if you kill someone by mistake, there are places set aside as ‘safe havens’ where you can go to live, and no one is allowed to kill you in return. But if you leave there, the wronged party has every right to execute you. Makes sense to me. I can see that if someone killed my child by accident, they probably don’t deserve to die too, but if I saw them regularly, flaunting their freedom, I might well find that too difficult and decide to kill them.
There are also hygiene laws – like you should poop outside the camp and bury it afterwards. Not especially holy laws, but practical I guess.
However, many of the laws make no sense in today’s culture, and some even seem cruel. I need to do some research to properly understand this book.
I am pleased to announce that JOANNA by Anne E Thompson is now available on Kindle. It should be available in whichever country you live in, and the UK link is below. If you could please write a review, that would be great.