Monday, March 5, 2018

lent 4 year b - numbers

Numbers 21:4-9
4From Mount Hor the Israelites set out by the way to the Red Sea,
     to go around the land of Edom;
          but the people became impatient on the way. 
               5The people spoke against God and against Moses,
                    “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt 
                         to die in the wilderness?
                    For there is no food and no water,
                         and we detest this miserable food.” 
     6Then the Sovereign sent poisonous serpents among the people,
          and they bit the people,
               so that many Israelites died. 
          7The people came to Moses and said,
               “We have sinned by speaking against the Sovereign and against you;
                    pray to the Sovereign to take away the serpents from us.”
               So Moses prayed for the people.
               8And the Sovereign said to Moses,
                    “Make a poisonous serpent,
                         and set it on a pole;
                              and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” 
                    9So Moses made a serpent of bronze,
                         and put it upon a pole;
                              and whenever a serpent bit someone,
                                   that person would look at the serpent of bronze 
                                        and live.

Queeries for the text:
Where is Mount Hor?
Does the melodrama of the Israelites belong on a soap opera?
Is God a Slytherin?
How is there be both no food and yet "miserable food" that is detested?
Can God actually be good if God sends poisonous serpents among the people?
Did God want people to die?
Do we as humans ever recognize our sin without being punished or facing negative consequences?
What was Moses' prayer for the fickle folks who had spoken against him and God?  Did he take a page out of Jonah's book?

What are your queeries?

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