I don’t think I’m making any assumptions from what the scripture says. It shows that God believes that one should not work on the Sabbath. It shows that picking up sticks/gathering wood is considered work. It shows that God feels the punishment for violating the Sabbath laws in at least this case is death by stoning.
Amazing arrogance really. But perhaps you are genuinely searching.I will give the benefit of the doubt. Please humbly accept my reference to the words of Christ from Mark 2.
23 It happened that he was walking through the corn-fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples fell to plucking the ears of corn as they went. 24 And the Pharisees said to him, Look, why are they doing what it is not lawful to do on the sabbath? 25 Whereupon he said to them, Have you never read of what David did, when he and his followers were hard put to it for hunger? 26 How he went into the tabernacle, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves set forth there before God, which only the priests may eat, and gave them, besides, to those who were with him? 27 And he told them, The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. 28 So that the Son of Man has even the sabbath at his disposal.
If we take Mark 2:23-28 and see how it interacts with Numbers 15:32-36 (as opposed to simply discarding the passage in Numbers) a few possibilities occur. Perhaps picking corn isn’t work whereas gathering wood is work. Perhaps God allows for breaking of the Sabbath if it becomes necessary (for example, the disciples were quite hungry). Perhaps though God has changed from Numbers to Mark, although we have to discard that because repeatedly we are told that God is unchanging.
So please stop and consider. The Sabbath is FOR US. That is what God has said.
God also said that the man who picked up sticks was to be stoned. Those two things the Bible says God said conflict with each other.
Also we have to ask ourselves what is meant by saying the Sabbath is for us. Does that mean we can do whatever we wish on the Sabbath so long as it is not sinful? Does it instead mean that the Sabbath is for us so long as we don’t exceed the restrictions set forth for us? I wouldn’t be so quick to answer no to the second question, since I’ve heard on EWTN several times that the Church defines freedom apart from the so-called “hyper freedom” that people in places like the United States use. It is possible that by saying the Sabbath is for us that it is for the benefit of humans yet doesn’t mean there are no restrictions on our activities.
Now in more primitive times (thousands of years earlier when men were still very barbaric) we have record of this story of a man who did not respect the Sabbath and was stoned to death.
There is no requirement that you believe the man was actually stoned to death. In fact, it is perfectly OK if this man never existed. The point of the story is to get folks to begin to take a day to understand that the Sabbath is for them to enjoy creation.
To say that when God tells you an act will draw a punishment that he doesn’t mean it seems like a dangerous path to take. It has God lying, which we are told he doesn’t do. It throws other things that he has purported to have said into question.
Most importantly, everything in the Bible is true in some way according to the Church. But if we say that the story in Numbers is false and used to scare the barbarians into honoring the Sabbath then it is not true in any way, shape, or form.
In barbaric days, the only way you could get folks to do that was to have a story that said if you didn’t, then you would be killed, just like the man in the story.
So let’s say in those barbaric days that a person doesn’t heed the warning about the Sabbath. I would think that one of two things would then happen. Either the person would be punished as described in the story in Numbers, which you are saying is not what God wants; or the person is not punished and then the story serves no purpose from that point on.
Legalistic understandings of the Sabbath only make sense if you deny the existence of the words of Christ.
I would counter by taking two contradictory tales as not contradictory by assuming the falsity of one tale only makes sense if one denies the full truth of the Bible.
I will accept Christ’s words as to what God thinks rather than the interpretation of an atheist of a Bronze age story from an oral tradition where stories were used to persuade people on a regular basis. Remember they could not read. And Moses was just trying to get his tribe all on the same page.
If the story in Numbers is false, should it be removed from the Bible? If Moses claimed God said something that he did not, did he bear false witness?
Do not interpret the bible literally please. You have to take it in as a whole. Do not quote little passages as ‘facts’.
I quoted as a fact in so much that the Church says the whole of the Bible is true. There is no way that the stories in Numbers and Mark can both be true, even in a figurative way.
It is not a set of data for you you to analyze like that. It is an unfolding story of God’s love for his people.
If these are parts of a whole story, then its obvious contradictions needs to be addressed and we can’t pretend they don’t exist.