Constructing texts from Texts, gleaning a tweet's-worth to carry us through the day, here's something of our to-and-fro. If you'd like to play 07729056452.
Nm1-3 Counted by name, called by name, known by name .. a meditation on name & identity. Name telling of an inheritance, ancestry, a narrative beyond myself I am part of. Substitution of Levites for firstborns perplexing – our priest becomes our sacrifice?
Nm4-6 As sojourners we are not excused ornamenting. Ritual and the demountable become our architecture, colourfully. I want, reading for the love between the lines, to ascribe the asymmetry of the jealousy laws to the additional preciousness and profound strength of women.
Nm7-9 A voice that speaks; the Lord commanded Moses; revelation in & through cloud fire. The difference between revelation & other truth-seeking is that it is 'spoken' to us. We live in a personal universe, God is a God who speaks. And Moses spoke with Him. We respond to God's responsiveness. Today a divine dialogue of responded response.
Nm10-11 All you can eat and the judgement of God, nostalgia begets excess, we learn that a predisposition of ingratitude is a fatal blindness. The burden of having a prophetic vision is fruitfully born by delegation, and delegation here entails a spiritual decanting of gifting, and that towards universal participation. Lucky we to have meat and have met. Blessed we are blessed.
Nm12-14 Hard to read, this. Failing to trust God the original sin that leads to inertia, retreat, fruitlessness, wasted life, death. Dwelling on the bigness of one's enemies prevents surrender to a God of miracles.
Nm15-17 We do not have rights, we have privileges, and this is the ground for a just society towards which our God is jealous. We all should display our God-chosen-ness by the tassels (of ancient nobility) and none should be unequally compensated for their responsibility, financially – by more donkeys. Delegated complementarianism is as miraculous as a dead branch blossoming. Oh if we are the body...
Nm18-19 Allegorical application to community & individual contexts in prayer wisdom (?) sometimes as Levites to own nothing, to work no land but rather to depend on gift, literally living by prayer. But this presupposing a working community & sometimes as the rest of the Israelites, we work to gift to bless & be blessed. In each remembering that the Lord is all we need.
Nm20 What is the answer to “Why have you brought us to the wilderness?”? Who brings whom hence, of what cause, to what end? Because He has and does, and not on the winds posited by these, we, incorrigible grumblers. We are enwildered to know God leads, heals, provides, speaks, waters. In a misuse of given wilderness, Moses defaults to a default, a ruinous unfaith, employed in exhausted anger. And the people are smitten for impatience.
Nm21-22 Bronze snake, strange mercies & water again, sustained & symbolic in all its life amidst lifelessness. Balaam a hero for us, in confused uncertainty. Words from God seemingly contradictory, on top of the pleasures of other's agendas & financial prudence … still the one certainty to speak what God puts in our mouths. What God reveals we must manifest, speak, embody … that He does & will still evident through uncertainty, amen.
Nm23-25 Irrevocably blessed, in spite of our unfaithfulness, uncursably blessed. God, unchangeably a blesser, blesses us with a future Hope, so we are hope carriers to rise above those threats whose 'wiles beguile' in my translation. May it be said over us “How lovely are your tents” May God's love for loveliness leads us, and pattern our Dwelling and empattern our dwellings.
Nm26-28 Re-remembering our identity again again, re-remembering why we do as we do, for God, to prevent empty ritual & small honest petitions, the stuff of our life with God. Joshua's commissioning in & by community, deeply affirming, sought out, for shepherding, full of the spirit.
Nm29-30 “Afflict yourselves”, fasting presents a provocative counter to any mild theology of suffering. Here in a positive command to action, the boundary question of “How far is too far” is far more interesting. Afflict yourselves. The partridge in a pear tree carnage that follows ascribes a gravity to the affair but is not further illuminated by the commentary. If we genders let our yes be yes, then all is vow now, serious.
Nm31-32 Even navigating the rape, plunder & genocide, this is perplexing. Reuben & Gad choosing a 2nd-best way over discovering that there are a multiplicity of ways to follow the Way if God-honouring & oriented? Unsure. That generational solipsism breeds forgetfulness breeds sin an easier inference, as sin's destructive power directed selfwards & otherwards.
Nm33-34 Fromness is our frame round our blank canvas blanked by an iconoclastic disornamenting readied for a new thing. Where are we from, what are our and-then-and-thens by which God has prepared us for this Here and this Now? Barbs in your eyes, a thorn, as in Paul's flesh: be encouraged to deal a pre-emptive strike in the spiritual battle we face, given Ch31, particularly in the battle of things sexual. And so to the promised land, do we know the measure of our gifting, limits of our influence, boundaries of our calling, the geography of God's promise to us? In postcodeable incarnation, God is with us, God Is with us, God is with Us.
Nm35-36 We are all refugees sometimes, in need of temporary but physical places of undeserved grace on the restorative journey home. Loathe to take numbers from numbers, an eighth of their city structures specifically designed for this refuge grace alone, how do we best?