In the last chapter of Numbers (Chapter 8) God passed down more rules but also made some sense regarding an appropriate retirement age for workers. Unlike most Republicans in the U.S. today, God supports a retirement age that precedes death! God supports a retirement age of 50. Republicans today want to raise it from the current full retirement age of 67. Given life expectancy for the lower to middle class has NOT risen over the last several decades, using death as the retirement age Republicans support has some truth to it. Enough politics. Let’s dig into Numbers Chapter 9.
“Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations.” – Numbers 9:2-3
This sets the tone for the chapter. The Israelites are to celebrate the Passover.
“But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body.” – Numbers 9:6
God has very strict rules on being unclean. I fully understand cleaning up after dealing with a dead body. Not washing your hands or taking a shower is very unhygienic. It’s important to clean oneself after dealing with the dead. However, washing your hands and body isn’t good enough for God. We’ve seen already that God often makes you wait until the sun has set to be clean again. Moses doesn’t know what to do right now, so he consults with God.
“When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they are still to celebrate the Lord’s Passover, but they are to do it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight.” – Numbers 9:10-11
A month?!?! The unclean Israelites must wait a full month to celebrate the Passover!!! Wow! Better hope there are no more dead bodies to deal with if it takes a month to become clean again after dealing with the dead!
“They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones.” – Numbers 9:12
God hates those leftovers.
“But if anyone who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, they must be cut off from their people for not presenting the Lord’s offering at the appointed time. They will bear the consequences of their sin.” – Numbers 9:13
Nothing makes a party more exciting than being forced to attend for fear of being kicked out of the society you live in. Yikes!
“On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire.” – Numbers 9:15
The cloud looks like fire? This is supposed to be evidence of God, but the shape or look of a cloud is hardly that. I’ve seen a lot of penis shaped clouds and clouds that look like boobs. Yet you don’t see me bowing down to worship the dick and boob gods. Why? BECAUSE IT IS JUST A CLOUD!!!
“Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.” – Numbers 9:17
Ah…this explains why it took the Israelites a ridiculous amount of time (~ 40 years) to reach their destination. They refused to travel when it was cloudy out!
“Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.” – Numbers 9:22
They waited a full year at one point!?!?!? God must be laughing his ass off. Everyone has fears, but a fear of clouds among an entire society of people? Give me a break.
So what did we learn in Numbers 9? For starters, God forces you to celebrate the Passover. Great way to earn people’s trust. We also learned the Israelites are journeying through the desert, but refuse to travel on cloudy days. Not rainy days or dust storm days, but simple cloudy days. That’s it, I’m calling my employer. Whenever it is cloudy out, I refuse to leave the house for fear of upsetting God. I wonder how long I will remain employed?
Coming Soon: Numbers – Chapter 10: The Silver Trumpets