Sunday, July 15, 2012

Exodus 21-40 (Nazarites)

Seriously, I had such a hard time getting through the end of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. Deuteronomy was a little tough too but I'll have another post on that one. I am finally to Joshua so hopefully it's easier to read.

In Exodus 21-40 we learn about the higher law; the law for the people to learn once they get the hang of the Ten Commandments. This is interspersed throughout the rest of the book as it's mingled with directions for building the tabernacle.

Leviticus is the "Levite handbook of instructions".

Numbers is a census of the Children of Israel. However, in the middle is a little treasure. Numbers 6 is about becoming a Nazarite. First, what is a Nazarite? A Nazarite is "a man or woman who shall separate themselves to vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord." Who, today, is similar to this? Missionaries and general authorities both live a higher law.

Nazarite: 
No grapes (diet)
No cutting of hair (appearance)
Do not touch dead (association)

Missionaries:
Follow Word of Wisdom (diet)
Strict focus on dress -- suit and tie/dress (appearance)
No contact with opposite gender, always be with companion (association)

Numbers 12:3 - I love this scripture. I don't think it was written by Moses. :) I do love that he was so meek that a commentator decided to add it to the scriptures.
20:24-26  Aaron passed his priesthood garments onto Eleazar before he died.

Numbers 21:4-8  Look and live is what we learn from the brazen serpent. The Israelites spoke against Moses and God. So, the Lord sent fiery serpents amongst the people. They bit them and many died. They finally went to Moses and repented. The lord told Moses to make a serpent of brass, place it on a pole and anyone who was bitten and looks upon it, shall live.
Think of this story and compare it with Christ. The serpent is Satan, attacking people and pulling them down. They apologize but they've already sinned (been bit) and they can't just heal on their own. They need help. Christ (brazen serpent) sacrifices Himself so we can all be forgiven of our sins (places on a pole vs a cross. If the Israelites looked to the serpent of brass then they would live. We should "look to the Lord and live".

Neal A Maxwell said, "Man's search for bedrock purpose and for core values will be a search in vain if it searches for new answers, or if it moves in the direction of false religion, or merely in the direction of political ideology. These will prove to be only conceptual cul-de-sacs, not the solitary path to happiness, The reality to which we must look is the truth in its fullest sense, contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is it likely that mankind can save itself when the answer is so simple and so obvious? The Book of Mormon speaks of that incident in the Old Testament when Moses lifted up a brazen serpent in the wilderness, that all who had been bitten by the fiery serpents might look upon it and thereby live. But, as the Book of Mormon concludes, 'but few understood the meaning of those things, and this because f the hardness of their hearts; that there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished, Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them."
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