Brothers At War

Description

Are there broken relationships you need to attend to?

Pray: 

Lord, awaken my heart and awaken Your church. Let us be the light that shows the way of life to the world.

Read: 

Numbers 20:14-29

Reflect: 

What is the posture of Edom toward Israel in their troubles?

It's not clear what year out of the 40 we are in (verse 1 doesn't say), but it sounds like Moses is setting a course for the Promised Land now. A "fax" arrives in Edom's central intelligence service: "Israelites coming through--claiming they were badly treated in Egypt--they're bringing their own bottled water with them. Can we let them through?" And the answer is "No." This is not just a disaster for Israel. It is also extraordinarily harsh, since Edom was the alternative name for Esau, Jacob's brother (cf. Gen. 25:30--"Edom" meant "red," so perhaps it was a nickname; cf. Gen. 36:1).

So, in theory, the Edomites were like a brother nation to them, though with a long history of hostility (cf. Gen. 25:22). Deuteronomy 23:7 suggests that one outcome from this incident might be that Israel will hate Edom. But God holds them to a higher standard than that.

In the remainder of the passage, Aaron gets the same judgment as Moses did. He dies. And Israel mourns.

There's not a lot of hope in this passage. The Bible's okay with that. At least sometimes.

Apply: 

Israel and Esau are not yet walking in God's design for unity. Are there broken relationships you need to attend to?

Pray: 

Lord, thank You that You walk with us in the valleys and that we can depend on You when others fail us.

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