~~~~~Lesson: Numbers: Chapters 15-16
1) First we read of a person who breaks the Sabbath and is stoned to death as punishment.
Do you think stoning someone to death was an appropriate punishment for gathering fire wood? Why or why not?
Why do you think this punishment is no longer appropriate?
2) At the beginning of the rebellion, Korah says "The whole community, all of them, are holy."
Do you think that in any group of people that large, every single one them is holy? Why or why not?
3) Moses then goes and talks to two other men of the group who are rebelling. They accuse Moses of being at fault for them not receiving the land of Canaan, when we know it was a lack of faith on part of the people that caused this.
Question: Do we, as a society, sometimes refuse to accept blame for what we ourselves have caused?
Do you occasionally do this on a personal level?
4) The Lord has the earth swallow up the people in rebellion.
Question: Do you think He was angry to the insult proffered to Moses and/or do you think He was angry over their lack of faith?
~Reading: Numbers: Chapters 15-16
(15:32-36) While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was discovered gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who caught him at it brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly. But they kept him in custody, for there was no clear decision as what should be done with him. Then the Lord said to Moses, "This man shall be put to death; let the whole community stone him outside the camp." So the whole community led him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the Lord had commanded Moses.
(16:2-5) Two hundred and fifty Israelites who were leaders in the community, members of the council and men of note. They stood before Moses, and held an assembly against Moses and Aaron, to whom they said, "Enough from you! The whole community, all of them, are holy; the Lord is in their midst. Why then should you set yourselves over the Lord's congregation?"
When Moses heard this, he fell prostrate. Then he said to Korah and to all his band, "May the Lord make known tomorrow morning who belongs to him and who is the holy one and whom he will have draw near to him! Whom he chooses, he will have draw near him!"
(16:8-9) Moses also said to Korah, "Listen to me, you Levites! Is it too little for you that the God of Israel has singled you out from the community of Israel, to have you draw near him the service of the Lord's Dwelling to to stand before the community to minister for them?
(16:12-14) Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, but they answered, "We will not go. Are you not satisfied with having led us here away from a land flowing with milk and honey, to make us perish in the desert, that you must now lord it over us? Far from bringing us to a land flowing with milk and honey, or giving us fields and vineyards for our inheritance, will you also gouge out our eyes? No, we will not go."
(16:20-24)...and the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Stand apart from this band, that I may consume them at once." But they fell prostrate and cried out, "O God, God of the spirits of all mankind, will one man's sin make you angry with the whole community?" The Lord answered Moses, "Speak to the community and tell them: Withdraw from the space around the Dwelling" [of Korah, Dathan and Abiram].
(16:28-33) Moses said [to the people], "This is how you shall know that it was the Lord who sent me to do all I have done, and that it was not I who planned it: if these men die an ordinary death, merely suffering the fate common to all mankind, then it was not the Lord who sent me. But if the Lord does something entirely new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them alive down into the nether world, with all belonging to them, then you will know that these men have defied the Lord." No sooner had he finished saying all this than and ground beneath them split open, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their families [and all of Korah's men] and all their possessions. They went down alive to the nether world with all belonging to them; the earth closed over them, and they perished from the community.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong