Torah Portion: Naso Numbers 4:22-7:89
HafTorah: Judges 13:2-25
Let us start with a discussion of the two questions I sent out. First lets look at the gifts brought by the Princes of each tribe. In Numbers 7:1-4 we see where six covered carts, led by 12 oxen, were brought before the L-rd. That means there were two princes for each cart and an ox for each man. Then each prince brought their own gifts but their gifts were identical. Why was each gift listed over and over if they were identical? I think the carts were a good example of cooperation between the leaders. They represented the people and this showed that the people were one before G-d.
Now to the gifts: Why list each one? The Torah is usually stingy with words so why go over and over the same thing ? I think it shows that even though we are all one before G-d, we are unique. Each man brought the same thing but they were individuals with their own thoughts and ideas which contributed to the whole. Like us, as part of the body we each come to G-d the same way but we are unique in our gifts and talents and each of us has a unique purpose before G-d.
Now to the jealous husband discussed in Numbers chapter 5: To whom can he be compared spiritually? G-d said He is a jealous G-d. We as His children sometime have to drink the bitter waters of pain and suffering brought on by our own actions. But the point of that pain and suffering is to bring us back to the Father, to our Husband, and restore the broken relationship. He will not let us walk away without bringing correction into our lives. By this we know He loves us.
Now to get to some other spiritual matters in this Torah portion: In Chapter 5:5-10 we read about people who sin against someone. These seem to be sins of theft or slander. What they are isn’t as important as the process of how to fix them. First the Hebrew really states that the person feels guilt. This is not just a fact but it is an emotion that moves the person to act. He feels remorse for what has happened. This remorse moves the person to repent and then confess the sin out loud to the wronged party. But more importantly to confess the sin before G-d. In I John 1:9 the Greek word used here literally means to say the same thing. What does that mean. We agree with G-d about the wrongness of what we have done. Numbers 5:6 says when we sin it offends G-d as well as harming someone else. We have shown unfaithfulness toward the Father and that moves us to confess. Then the sinner makes restitution to the person against whom they have sinned plus interest. This may be as a deterrent to sin in the first place. We must pay and pay more than any benefit we thought we would have received from the act.
I will skip over the charge of unfaithfulness since we talked about it in the beginning and go on to the Nazirite vow. First, who do we know from the New Testament who was probably a Nazirite? Read Luke 1:15. John the Baptist was probably a Nazirite. In Numbers 6:2 we read that a person does this to consecrate himself to the L-rd. The word for consecrate most commonly is used to describe an act that can only be done with the help of G-d, such as the miracle of Samson’s great strength. The purpose is always for the glory of G-d.
Let us finish with Numbers 6:24-27 which is commonly know as the Aaronic blessing.
A G-d who keeps. John 10:29 no one can snatch us from G-d’s hands
A G-d who is gracious. Unconditional forgiveness. Hosea and Gomer. G-d grants forgiveness freely. Eph. 1:7-8
A G-d who grants peace. Wholeness of life. Philippians 4:7
And we bear His name.
All these should be a comfort to us as G-d’s people, He keeps us, He is gracious toward us, and He gives us wholeness of life.