每日诗歌: 我寧願有耶穌 (http://www.mbcsfv.org/chinese/library/hymncampanions/023.html)
Numbers 5 [Read]
Numbers 6 [Read]
Mark 4:1-20 [Read]
The placement of Numbers 5-6 is interesting. It describes part of the Priestly duties but with an emphasis on two particular cases: marital fidelity and Nazirite. On the surface, they seemed unrelated. With a closer look, I saw the common factor – vow. One is to man, and one to God.
Marriage is sacred in God’s eye. Therefore, guarding marital fidelity requires special provision. Nu 5 put the judgment of fidelity in God’s hand, for only God could reveal the human heart. An infidel would not be able to escape the all-seeing eyes of God, while an innocent party would be protected from unfounded jealousy and suspicion (5:27-28). It was less about punishment than about admonishing people to treat marital fidelity seriously. God saw and knew all things (Lk 12:2). Through such provision, the sacred vow between man and woman was protected.
The vow of Nazirites involved added restrictions on diet and living, and the goal was to keep the person “consecrated to the Lord” (6:8). Any possible risk of contamination by the surrounding world was avoided, so that the sacred vow made to the Lord could be kept. No one was required to make such vow. But once made, one needed to keep it by all means.
Vow means commitment. When we make a vow, be it to God or to others, God expects us to make every effort to keep it. Today’s reading brought me back to the Garden of Eden before the Fall of Adam (Gen 2). There were mutual commitments between God and man and between man and woman. God committed to provide everything man needed, and man was to commit himself to “serve and keep” (Gen 2:15). Man was to hold his “bone of bones and flesh of flesh” dear to his heart, and woman was to help man to serve and keep (Gen 2:18-23). Commitment was the foundation of all things.
Nowadays, we are losing that commitment to people and to God. Instead, we are more committed to our own desires and wants. This is not the original intent of God in creating mankind, so it will never run well with our heart. How wonderful it is if we can go back to the Garden, to the original intent of God, to the mutual commitments that founded the whole Creation! May the Lord give us strength and heavenly insight, so we may tread that right path again.
Keep on reading,