Lord in Numbers different than Lord in John


#1

Numbers 15:32-36

32 While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was discovered gathering wood on the sabbath day. 33 Those who caught him at it brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole community. 34 But they put him in custody, for there was no clear decision* as to what should be done with him. 35** Then the LORD said to Moses: This man shall be put to death**; let the whole community stone him outside the camp.
36 So the whole community led him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD had commanded Moses.

OK, so in this passage, God Himself declares that this person is to die for breaking the Sabbath.

John 5:6-9

6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” 7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” 9 Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath.

Here, the Lord encourages someone to break the Sabbath law.

Is this the same Lord?


#2

For me, this awareness came with seeing the God who dearly loved the “sweet savour” of burnt offerings and incense…and:

Amos 5:21 - "I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. 22"Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.…

Radical shift within the OT, let alone from Old to New Testaments.

2Cor. 3:14 - …but their minds were closed. For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set aside only in Christ.

“When the student is ready, the Teacher (Holy Spirit) appears.”

The Church doesn’t typically address these areas. The way it was explained to me was that the Catholic Church made the decision to ‘keep it simple’ in order to draw all to Christ through the Church. The Church realized that the most important fact was to believe on Jesus Name, to come to know Christ through the NT, and strive to love one another. There isn’t going to be a test at the End of which power/principality was operating during which phase of the OT - or who the “prince of the air” is that Christ speaks of - or even the identity of the devil who was the father of the pharisees Jesus spoke of. :wink:

The Church maintains unity by sticking to the basics. And the Catholic Church is the only one that holds Confession at the core (to my knowledge). “Trust in Jesus, Clean house (confession), Serve others.” Which is the way to the Holy Spirit, Who is the proper go-to Source for the ‘outside’ questions.

“No one is ever acquitted of sin until he is made conscious of it.” Only the Holy Spirit has the power to retrieve those sins buried by the pride and shame of ego. Ask and ye shall receive. That has been my experience, anyway.

John 21:22 - (To Peter), “Follow thou Me.” and “When He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the Truth.”

There is a quote by George MacDonald that helped me to see how the learned Church could know so much more but still teach only the Heart of Christ.

“People must believe what they can, and those who believe more must not be hard upon those who believe less. I doubt if you would have believed it all yourself if you hadn’t seen some of it.”

My questions, at one time, caused me to doubt the truth of Jesus because my belief was on shaky ground to begin with. That was how I became agnostic for many years. The questions weren’t the problem - I am to seek with my whole mind. But when I allowed the questions to take me away from the Church and the Bible/Jesus, I became truly lost. When I expected the Church to provide the answers to my more demanding questions, I was wrong as well.

It isn’t the job of the Church to provide all of the answers they have received of the Holy Spirit - mainly because the carnal mind wouldn’t be able to make sense of them anyway, but also because it is hoped for each of us to know the Holy Spirit for ourselves.

This was the long way to go about saying, when it comes to the ‘contradictions’ in the Bible, I’ve come to trust that they aren’t. We only need Understanding which comes by the Holy Spirit. “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Context extended.)

When I trust solely in the Truth of Jesus Christ, then questions become “Holy Curiosity” - as opposed to doubt/cynacism that leads in the opposite direction. I’ve learned to love the questions and keep a pot of them on the back burner. :slight_smile:


#3

Have you read exodus and numbers - if you were in Gods position you would want to slay everyone of them also - have you read how ungreatful these people were over and over and over and over - it is just none stop - not to mention the complete disobedience and lack of faith with God in their very presence - maybe he was to be made an example of to try to get the people to listen - and of course not long after they are whining and complaining again - how many time did Moses have to stop God from detroying them in his anger - and he listened to Moses pleading - but he did not let one of them enter the promised land he led them around the desert until all of that genneration died.

I think to understand you have to look at how angry these people made God with all that he had done for them - all they ever did was whine and complain that they should of stayed in egypt - man I get angry at them reading it.

We have to do it on Faith - they had Gods presence in their midst and did nothing but complain , whine , and sin in his sight - can you blame God for being so angry after reading about what happened.


#4

=in_servitude;11859968]Numbers 15:32-36

OK, so in this passage, God Himself declares that this person is to die for breaking the Sabbath.

John 5:6-9

Here, the Lord encourages someone to break the Sabbath law.

Is this the same Lord?

Mt. 12: 8-15 "** For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath. ** And when he had passed from thence, he came into their synagogues. And behold there was a man who had a withered hand, and they asked him, saying: Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

But he said to them: What man shall there be among you, that hath one sheep: and if the same fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not take hold on it and lift it up? H**ow much better is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do a good deed on the sabbath days. ** Then he saith to the man: Stretch forth thy hand; and he stretched it forth, and it was restored to health even as the other.And the Pharisees going out made a consultation against him, how they might destroy him. But Jesus knowing it, retired from thence: and many followed him, and he healed them all."

Mark 2:27 And he said to them: The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath

Man’s Laws Do not my friend apply to the Son Of God:)


#5

Besides which, Jesus Christ was establishing a New Covenant, as He was fulfilling the Old. The Mosaic Law, while not abolished, was fulfilled and no longer binding on God’s people. Jesus was preparing people for this.


#6

I’m ok with that.

My question is about the text in Numbers. If the Lord says to kill a guy violating the Sabbath, it seems strange that the same Lord would teach others that it’s okay to violate the Sabbath.

I need to reply to others on this thread, but I’m a little bit stuck on how to do so. I’ll get to it once I get my head wrapped around a few things in this area.


#7

Because the Lord is Lawgiver.

In the Catholic Church, the Pope is Lawgiver, and has supreme rights to promulgate, enforce, and derogate from purely ecclesiastical rules. He cannot, of course, modify Divine Law, and neither did Jesus. Jesus modified what is considered a purely ecclesiastical rule, a disciplinary law which was given by Moses for the good of the people.

This is the beauty of the Incarnation, that Christ Himself came to establish a new law for man. Previously and thereafter we only have emissaries, vicars. Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, the Popes. Christ entrusted His Church to Peter so that there would be continuity and authority until His Second Coming.

For nearly 2000 years, only clergy were permitted to handle the Blessed Sacrament and distribute Holy Communion. The Pope in his authority created Extraordinary Ministers to perform this ministry, through his office as Supreme Lawgiver of the Church. If the Pope has the authority to change disciplinary rules, how much more does God Himself have the authority?


#8

The first portion applied only to the nation of Israel 3500 years ago. It was written to address a specific people during a specific time.


#9

=in_servitude;11875297]I’m ok with that.

My question is about the text in Numbers. If the Lord says to kill a guy violating the Sabbath, it seems strange that the same Lord would teach others that it’s okay to violate the Sabbath.

I need to reply to others on this thread, but I’m a little bit stuck on how to do so. I’ll get to it once I get my head wrapped around a few things in this area.

Toe points if I may?

God CAN only do “good things” [Divine Justice being a Good thing]

As the One who gave “birth” to the Sabbath [See Isaiah 43 verses 7 & 21], He certainly has a riight to set the ground rules for RIGHT observeance of it. Can the “pot” tell the Potter what to make of it:) ?

God Bless you,
Patrick


#10

=in_servitude;11859968]Numbers 15:32-36

OK, so in this passage, God Himself declares that this person is to die for breaking the Sabbath.

John 5:6-9

Here, the Lord encourages someone to break the Sabbath law.

Is this the same Lord?

TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT MEANINGS FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE:)

In the First passage God is Demanding what is HIS Just Due
Isaiah 43: verses 7 & 21 "And every one that calleth upon my name, I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, and made him. & This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise.: WHICH IS WHY ITS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT.

The second passage deales with the 613 ADDED “commnadments” that expaned what Yahweh gave to Moses. ITS NOT A DIRECT ISSUE OF DIVINE WORSHIP, AS IS THE FIRST PASSAGE, BUT RATHER WHAT MAN CHOOSE TO ADD TO AND UNTOP OF GODS ORIGINAL 10.

Neither Christ nor I am saying these were [are] “bad”; BUT they ARE incapable of superceding what God Himself had done.:thumbsup:

God Bless you,
Patrick


#11

OK, so the person gathering sticks was violating one of the top 10 Commandments. And, as a consequence for going against God’s Commandment, he is dealt with in Justice.

The second passage deales with the 613 ADDED “commnadments” that expaned what Yahweh gave to Moses. ITS NOT A DIRECT ISSUE OF DIVINE WORSHIP, AS IS THE FIRST PASSAGE, BUT RATHER WHAT MAN CHOOSE TO ADD TO AND UNTOP OF GODS ORIGINAL 10.

OK - so the restriction on mat holding was not from God - but rather some legalistic extrapolation made by man. That feels right to me. I appreciate it.

Neither Christ nor I am saying these were [are] “bad”; BUT they ARE incapable of superceding what God Himself had done.:thumbsup:

God Bless you,
Patrick

Thanks - you too.


#12

The Lord in Numbers is the same as the one in John. God is love; everything He does is out of love. He is the essence of love. We are the fallen ones, and yet we accuse God? People hate the doctrine of predestination because they say it makes humans robots; yet they will say, “How can God allow evil in the world?” Man chose evil, yet they want to blame God for the consequences of evil. “God, let me do what I want to do, but don’t let me sin.” What?

For the sake of the entire nation, He had one man, who rebelled against the Law, stoned–in order to save the nation. I recall also, God had one Man die–who was without sin–for the sake of the human race. God is love; it is we who are bad. If we interpret Scripture and think God has done evil, we are definitely misinterpreting. All the times Israel rebelled, God brought them back.


#13

=in_servitude;11882605]OK, so the person gathering sticks was violating one of the top 10 Commandments. And, as a consequence for going against God’s Commandment, he is dealt with in Justice.

OK - so the restriction on mat holding was not from God - but rather some legalistic extrapolation made by man. That feels right to me. I appreciate it.

Thanks - you too.

You’re most wecome my friend:)
Patrick


#14

I agree with what you’ve written. I am certainly willing to allow questions to stay right there as questions.

In the case of the two scriptures that I pulled together, I think that I might have been confusing two different things and treating them as one. In the case of the guy going out and being defiant towards a command to observe the Sabbath, that could require Justice. Jesus healing a guy, and then telling him to pick up his mat - that’s a different matter altogether.


#15

There are times that I think I may behave in ways that are not too far from Israel. From the 401K-god to the TV/Internet-god to the… I’ve walked away from the TV-god. (Big difference in the home, that’s for certain.) Is my 401K really my future financial security?

I think that we can point back in time and accuse, but that pointer might also be just as valid pointing around us today.


#16

An angry, omniscient God who created these people knowing that they would do precisely as they did.( Or else He was not omniscient) The OT God massacred or had massacred people by the thousands who did what He knew they would do from the outset and punished His most loyal servant, Moses, for a minuscule lapse in faith. All this according to Judaism and Christianity.

The solution seems to have been, as mentioned by another poster, to either ignore these issues, or somehow make them look like a reasonable reaction given the situation. All the while this God is called loving as He kills children and very likely allowed innocent people to suffer alongside the guilty. That is an assumption on my part given the numbers involved. It seems very unlikely that absolutely every member of Moses’ group was deserving of death in the desert
In my youth our local religious leaders openly discouraged us from reading the bible. Memories like that make a great deal more sense in hindsight.

That is my read on the situation.


#17

God created,knowing that man would fall, but also knowing how great and glorious it will end because of what He was going to do on account of His Son. Only God is good, only God is true love,only God is true justice, yet we–being evil–points the finger and accuses Him. We deserve more punishment than what we receive.


#18

I made the choice to have children. I knew, in advance, that they would experience pain. I knew that they’d fall down and get hurt. They’d cry. They’d get sick. They’d get their heart broken by the people in their life. I knew in advance that they will make choice that would have negative impacts on their lives. (My hope, of course, was that they would be able to recover before the damage done was too great.)

Does that make me an angry person? Bringing someone into this world when they’d experience so much pain? Am I an angry person?


#19

You took a mighty risk with someone else’s life, but the Abrahamic/Christian God knows every bit of suffering for every human He creates and still does it?

If you knew that your child would die a slow, painful death at an early age, what might your choice have been?


#20

I would ask yourself if what the Lord is encouraging is really a breaking of the Sabbath law. This really comes down to what the Sabbath is really all about.

In his book, Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI clarifies why the Church moved the observance of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. In Jewish tradition, the Sabbath as a day of rest and holiness was observed on the 7th day of the week in immitation of God’s resting on the seventh day of creation. The first three commandments relate to us how we are to relate to God. First, we must worship Him above all things. Second, we are to remember Him in all things, ensuring that we do not take His name, and everything it stands for (all of creation) in vain, that is, for granted. Third, we must be like Him. This is essentially what observance of the Sabbath is all about, being like God.

Since observance of the Sabbath means to be like God, then the way the Jewish people carried that out was to work for six days, and then rest on the seventh. This is how they observed the law; this is how they were like God.

The Church moved to Sabbath to Sunday because Jesus, being the fulfillment of the Law, became the object of the Sabbath. We observe the Sabbath by immitating Christ (God), and we celebrate the Sabbath by remembering His resurrection on Sunday.

So what’s going on in these two passages? In Jesus, we learn that intention is as important, perhaps even more so, than the act itself. This is why He was always so critical of the Pharisees, constantly calling them hypocrites. They observed the law to a T, in action, but they didn’t observe the Law in their hearts. They ignored what the Law was about, and focused solely on the formula of it. If I do this, this and this, I will go to be with my fathers with Abraham. But Jesus taught us that the meaning of the Law was relationship, not formula. You do this, this and this to develop a relationship, not because those things in and of themselves accomplish anything. Does anyone really thing that sacrificing a lamb actually has the power to forgive the sins of the nation? Of course not, it’s the symbolic meaning behind it, the gesture of sorrow and repentance that is efficacious. And this is why Christ’s sacrifice was so meaningful, because He intended it to be exactly what it was, a sacrifice for the salvation of men.

Therefore, knowing this truth about where God is coming from, we can deduce from the OT passage that the act of picking up sticks on the Sabbath, which would have been understood exactly as an act of rebellion against God (because the man was deliberately choosing not to immitate God), God commanded his death, which was according to the Law, which was given to preserve the Covenant.

So what’s going on in the NT passage? We are being shown a new way to observe the Sabbath: namely, obedience to Christ. The author wasn’t indicting Jesus by pointing out that the day was a Sabbath. Rather, the author deliberately tied this story to the Sabbath as a demonstrative way to show that obedience to Christ was the new way to observe the Sabbath.

In the OT, the act of picking up sticks was a violation of the Sabbath because it was an act of rebellion against God. In the NT, the act of picking up his mat was a correct observance of the Sabbath because it was an act of obedience to God.


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