Oh, there you are! We've been waiting
for you so we can share another story from the book of Numbers. As you may
remember from our last visit, we found out about the different jobs that God
gave to the families of the tribe of Levi to take care of the tabernacle of
Now the Lord gave Moses more
instructions when he would take off his veil and go speak to Him in the
tabernacle. God was serious about His people being clean in mind, body and
spirit. If someone became defiled in any way, they were expelled
from the camp and there were procedures to follow and/or requirements that
had to be met before they were allowed back in. This was because God didn't
want them to contaminate their camps that he dwelt in the midst of.
God commanded Moses to put every
leper, everyone who had an issue (a discharge as of blood or fluid from the
body) and anyone who touched a dead person, outside of the camp. That means
that if a woman was menstruating or a person had poison ivy, it didn't
matter if it was contagious or not, everyone that had an issue was put out.
If a person commits any sin, they must
confess their sin and repay for the loss he caused plus one fifth of it's
value to the victim of the crime. If the sin that was committed did not
involve another person, the trespass was repaid to the Lord by paying the
priest and the priest would make an atonement for the sin.
OF SIN LESSON WITH COST OF SIN EXPLANATION AND COST OF SIN SUMMARY
Now, this is how an unfaithful wife
was dealt with. If any woman was unfaithful to her husband and it was kept
secret, if the husband suspected her, he brought her to the priest with an
offering of barley. The priest would set the woman before the Lord. Then
he would take holy water in a clay bowl and put dust from the floor of the
tabernacle into the water.
This would make bitter water that
caused a curse on a woman, only if she was guilty of the accusations. The
priest would uncover the woman's head and put the barley offering in her
hands. In the priest's hand would be the bitter water and he would say, If
you have not been unfaithful, then be free of this curse. But if you
have been unfaithful, the Lord make you a curse and a shame among
your people, when He makes your thigh to rot, and your belly to swell, and
this water will cause the curse. The woman would answer, Amen, amen.
Then the priest would write the curses
on a scroll and then erase them with the bitter water. He would give the
bitter water to the woman to drink, then take the bowl of barley out of her
hand and offer it on the altar. He would take a handful of the barley
offering and burn it on the altar. If the woman was guilty, when the water
entered into her stomach, it would become bitter. It would cause her belly
to swell and her thigh to rot and she would be a curse among her people. If
she was innocent, then she would be free of the curse and she could conceive
This was called the law of jealousies,
when a wife was unfaithful and defiled or when the spirit of jealousy came
upon a man. The priest would carry out this law so the husband would be
innocent of sin and the woman would bear her iniquity.
COST OF SIN INFORMATION WITH COST OF SIN MEANING AND COST
OF SIN DISCUSSION
After reading that, folks, you just
have to conclude that God was serious about people remaining righteous in
His camp. There was no jury of peers to decide the innocence or guilt of an
unfaithful woman then. The Lord knew, and He made sure everyone else did
too. So, the Lord cleaned up the camp this way and protected the rest of
His people from impurity in this manner.
It's a sad thing that this world
today, encourages unfaithfulness through television shows that our children
are exposed to each and every day. The apostle Paul wrote about things like
this that are occurring in our world today, nearly 2,000 years ago. Check
it out and see if it doesn't sound like he knew what he was talking about (2 Timothy 3:1-8).
Be sure your camp is clean by asking
Jesus to forgive you for any sins that you may have and repent for them. If
you don't, you may not see your belly swell and experience your thigh
rotting, but inside you will know that you are a shame to yourself and to
God and you know you don't want the feeling of being outside the camp. In
other words ... You rot on the inside and feel separate from God ... Ask for
Next time we'll find out what the vow
of the Nazarite is, when we return with more Daily Bread.
CONTINUE TO THE NEXT STUDY