The Character of God’s Community

3/26/09 8:45am

Numbers 1-5

Pericope: Numbers 5:5-7

I remember when on of our former Presidents was caught in a scandal and he lied about what he did, even on oath before Congress. To me what was so stunning was not so much that the President proved himself to be nothing less than human, but the reaction of those in Congress who rushed to his defense. In essence, their claim was that it does not matter what one does in private. One’s private life is not the business of public life. To a certain small degree I can understand that, but such a concept would not be tolerated in the Community of Yahweh. Personal choices have a significant impact on the entire community. So God graciously provided a way for His people to make right their wrongs. God’s people were not to be of the kind that would sweep offenses under the proverbial rug. The character of God’s community represented God himself. Those who would participate in His community must realize that God is completely different than the normative standards offered in the secular world. This passage makes me think of times when I have wronged someone or have done something wrong and dismissed my actions by offering a simple “I’m sorry” under my breath. God wants his people not only to be sincere, but to go above and beyond in making reparation for violations.

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