Daily Devotional: Saturday 1st August

by William Moody

Numbers 9:1–14

The Passover Celebrated

9:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Let the people of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time; according to all its statutes and all its rules you shall keep it.” So Moses told the people of Israel that they should keep the Passover. And they kept the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the people of Israel did. And there were certain men who were unclean through touching a dead body, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day, and they came before Moses and Aaron on that day. And those men said to him, “We are unclean through touching a dead body. Why are we kept from bringing the LORD’s offering at its appointed time among the people of Israel?” And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you.”

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, If any one of you or of your descendants is unclean through touching a dead body, or is on a long journey, he shall still keep the Passover to the LORD. 11 In the second month on the fourteenth day at twilight they shall keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it until the morning, nor break any of its bones; according to all the statute for the Passover they shall keep it. 13 But if anyone who is clean and is not on a journey fails to keep the Passover, that person shall be cut off from his people because he did not bring the LORD’s offering at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. 14 And if a stranger sojourns among you and would keep the Passover to the LORD, according to the statute of the Passover and according to its rule, so shall he do. You shall have one statute, both for the sojourner and for the native.”

(ESV)

In celebrating the Passover, the Israelites had to be careful to do so according to God’s commands (v1-5). In our worship we must decide what we do by what makes us happy by but what God’s word says pleases God.

The question arises about whether those who are unclean because of contact with a dead body can share in the Passover (v6-7; see Leviticus 5 v3; 21 v11). Moses, this great man of God, in answering this question does not give his own opinion but seeks God’s will (v8). This again emphasises how what matters is not what we want or think, but rather what God reveals He wants and thinks in His word.

God in His grace allows for the ceremonially unclean who have sincere desire to share in it to partake of this feast (v9-12). God though is not casual about the observance of the Passover and those unwilling to share in it are to be cut off, excommunicated from God’s people (v13).

This reminds us of the need for diligence in sharing in worship, listening to preaching and partaking in the sacraments. God’s worship must be done Biblically, sincerely and consistently. Pray about how you worship.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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