Grant, Curt and I are still plowing slowly through the Bible. "Cover to cover" is the theme for this year and for the past several weeks we've been stuck in the Old Testament books of Leviticus and Numbers. Not to be disrespectful because I'm sure there is a reason why God included such specific instructions about how to build the Tabernacle and all the alters, curtains and priestly clothing, but it has been hard for me to find any life application points for today given the fact that Jesus' atonement nullified the need for Old Testament sacrifices and rituals. And the myriad of very explicit rules about who to have sex with and when have made me think on more than one occasion, "I can't believe my eight year old son is reading this!" To our surprise, he hasn't had any questions about the sexual stuff and has actually thought all the detailed architectural plans and census taking that God included are quite fascinating. Yesterday, when we read about the specific number of men, ages 20 and older that could serve in the army, Grant came down thrilled to tell me which tribe had the most men and he even remembered the specific number of men from that tribe! I was blown away.
I don't find the census taking to be nearly as exciting as my mathematically minded son and while I've been getting my fill of Daily Bread, my emotional experience has tasted a lot like a steady diet of saltines with very few rich, gourmet meals. But today was different. I entered my time with God heavy-hearted and with a lot on my mind. Today I needed a gourmet meal, and as always, my Savior met me right where I was. He fed my soul with a steady diet of rich passages that spoke truth, comfort and hope to my soul, and the one that ministered to me the most was from the book of Numbers!
In Numbers 6:24-26, amid the counting and long lists of hard to pronounce Hebrew names, was the blessing from the priests. "The LORD bless and you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." The God of the Old Testament who is fierce, holy, mysterious, awe-inspiring and detail oriented, is also a personal God. One who wants to bless me. Keep me. Shine His face upon me. Be gracious to me. Turn His face toward me and give me peace. Today, I feel His gentle smile as He turns His face toward me and gives me peace.