For the week of: June 24, 2000 / 21 Sivan 5760
Torah: Bemidbar / Numbers 8:1 - 12:16
Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14 - 4:7

God Will Teach Us

Moses answered them, "Wait until I find out what the LORD commands concerning you." (Bemidbar / Numbers 9:8).

One of the greatest things that we learn from the Torah is that God has communicated with people. The instructions of the Torah were not made up by people, but rather God spoke to them.

The Scriptures have been given to us to get to know God and learn his ways. And yet often we don't expect that we can experience God like the people we encounter in its pages. Yet it is their experiences that are part of God's revelation of himself. It is through these people's lives that we get to know what God is really like.

Take what Moses does in this week's portion for example. It was a year after leaving Egypt, and it was time to celebrate Passover. Some of the people, due to being ceremonially unfit, could not be involved in the celebrations. They brought their predicament to Moses. Yet God had already given instructions concerning both the Passover ritual as well as the relationship of the ceremonially unfit to the rituals. Moses could have answered these people based on what God had already said. But he didn't.

Instead he said, "Wait until I find out what the LORD commands concerning you." Instead of deducing a principle from what was previously revealed, he sought God directly for further instructions.

Could it be that God desires that we look to him for specific direction and instruction rather than figuring things out for ourselves?

You may say, "That was Moses. He had a very special relationship with God." That's true, but should not he who gave us the Torah be our example? Since he knew God the way he did, we should watch him closely and see how he related to God. Ever since God called him to lead his people, Moses did nothing without God's specific instructions. Every step along the way he sought God and waited for his word. If Moses never figured out what to do based on what God said already, then should we?

I am not saying that we don't need the Scriptures. Far from it, we wouldn't know God's truth without them. But how are we to relate to them? Did God just leave us with the Bible and hope that we get it all figured out, or are we to look to him to understand it? And what about the specifics in life that the Bible does not address? So many people have forced the words of Scripture to speak to their needs and situations without God's consent. We should not think that his words are for us to do with as we please. Rather we need to constantly look to him to teach us day by day. And he will.

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