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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2013-02-14 11:40:23
Subject: Nation of Priests

My "Bible Study" is probably a bit mundane and definitely not very trendy. I have a "Daily Bible" that I've been reading and re-reading for a few years, though I have to admit that here have been seasons where I neglected to keep up with the calendar.

Being early in the year in this chronological study, it's still very much Old Testament, back in the book of Numbers. A few things that really stand out to me this year are the names of the tribes, Joseph's blessings (or not) for each one and the "cooperation" between Moses and our Father.

As for the names, I often refer back to Joseph's final words to each of his sons, and two grandsons, when reading about the "tribe of xyz...". It is interesting to see how Joseph's blessings play out, throughout history. To be honest, the tribal names tended to bore me in the past as they seemed monotonous.

The main thing that really stands out so far this year, is Moses and "fate". I think most of the religious world believes strongly in fate (that we cannot change our outcomes), whereas the more secular belief is that we are all masters of our own destinies. A study of Moses sheds light on this.

We do indeed have a "fate", but I don't believe it is set in stone. God created the Heaven's and the Earth. He created us in His image. We have all sinned. We face eternal life or judgement. However, we can choose which one. He gave us a choice when He sent his son to die for us. We can either accept his merciful sacrifice or effectively "spit" on the grace he extended to us by rejecting (the ultimate blasphemy, in my opinion).

I've known several people who don't believe it is "fair" or accurate that we must love and worship one God, and that Jesus is the only way. Some, even many, believe that all religions point to the same God. Hard as this sounds, this is not true. He gave us a choice, a merciful one, a compassionate one. He told us "salvation is from the jews" (speaking of the line of Abraham, Judah, Jesus and now his disciples). When he told us to make disciples of all nations, He was not speaking of the Koran or other religions. He was talking about His New Covenant, The Kingdom of God.

About Moses and Fate. If you read Moses, you see that many times Moses was able to pray, intercede and convince God to be more merciful than He set out to be. Justice was still served on the rebellious Hebrew nation, but the number of deaths was repeatedly reduced by Moses acting as the nation's priest.

I believe, as Saint Peter said, we are a "holy nation", a "royal priesthood". We are ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, to a world that is utterly lost. We are to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as our lost neighbors. God listens to our prayers. It may not seem like it sometimes, especially if you are looking at the world and the evil within it, but He is listening, He is merciful, He is our Father and our "fates" are not set in stone.

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