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Category Archives: Numbers

“So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt” by Keith Green

Dear God, we’ve learned nothing. I’ve learned nothing. Okay, I’ve learned a little, but just a little. I still grumble. I still complain. I’m so sorry.

But lest I skip the clever lyrics to this song, here they are:

“So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt”

So you wanna go back to Egypt
Where it’s warm and secure
Are sorry you bought the one way ticket
When you thought you were sure
You wanted to live in the land of promise
But now it’s getting so hard
Are you sorry you’re out here in the desert
Instead of your own back yard

Eating leaks and onions by the Nile
Ooh what breath for dining out in style
Ooh, my life’s on the skids
Building the pyramids

Well there’s nothing do but travel
And we sure travel a lot
‘Cause it’s hard to keep your feet from moving
When the sand gets so hot
And in the morning it’s manna hotcakes
We snack on manna all day
And we sure had a winner last night for dinner
Flaming manna souffle

Well we once complained for something new to munch
The ground opened up and had some of us for lunch
Ooh, such fire and smoke
Can’t God even take a joke? Huh? NO!

So you wanna to back to Egypt
Where your friends wait for you
You can throw a big party and tell the whole gang
Of what they said was all true
And this Moses acts like a big shot
Who does he think he is?
Well it’s true that God works lots of miracles
But Moses thinks they’re all his

Oh we’re having so much trouble even now
Why’d he get so mad about that c-c-c-cow (that golded calf)
Moses seems rather idle
He just sits around, he just sits around and writes the Bible!

Oh, Moses, put down your pen!
What? Oh no, manna again?

Oh, manna waffles
Manna burgers
Manna bagels
Fillet of manna
Manna patty
BaManna bread!

By Keith & Melody Green

Oh how I used to look down on the Israelites in the Old Testament. What was their problem? Why did they keep disobeying you? Couldn’t they see everything you had done for them? The miracles? Why did they lose their faith? Then I got old enough to recognize the exact same patterns in myself. I am certainly no better. In fact, maybe I’m worse. They were one of hundreds of thousands of Israelites. I am just one of millions of Christians, but at least I have a Bible to teach me. All they had was Moses and the edicts you gave through him.

It’s interesting how Keith and Melody Green capture the Moses resentment in this song. I was looking at Numbers 12 yesterday and reminded of how Miriam and Aaron rebelled against Moses and started by criticizing the wife he chose–presumably Zipporah. But I think there were probably other resentments too. Kind of a “Who made you the boss of me?” situation.

I don’t know where I’m going with all of this except to say that there are certainly things in my life that do not please me right now. There are aspects that I’m unhappy with. However, I feel like you are slowly growing me and stretching me to the point where I am trusting you more and more. I believe you have a destination in mind for me and those I love. I believe it will be good and part of your plan. I just don’t know the road that leads there. I might not survive until they have completed it. I might never know how it happened. That’s okay. I trust you.

I’m going to close with the chorus of a Twila Paris song called “Do I Trust You:” Do I trust you, Lord? Does the river flow? Do I trust you, Lord? Does the north wind blow? You can see my heart. You can read my mind. And you’ve got to know I would rather die than to lose my faith in the one I love. Do I trust you, Lord? Do I trust you?” Yes, Father, I trust you. Help my distrust. I believe. Help my unbelief.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2022 in Hymns and Songs, Numbers

 

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John 3:14-15

14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.

John 3:14-15

Dear God, I love this story and the whole context. Nicodemus is earnestly asking Jesus questions that he has, and Jesus is being pretty blunt with him. Of course, the next verse of this passage is possibly the most quoted New Testament verse–John 3:16, but the linking of Jesus’s analogy to the story in Numbers 21 about the Israelites being saved in the wilderness is really poignant.

I remember preaching on these passages a couple of years ago and thinking about the crosses (Protestant churches) or crucifixes (Catholic churches) that churches display in their congregations. There are some churches that even put the cross/crucifix on the top of a staff and carry them through the church. After going through that, it’s caused me to always think about this whenever I see a cross in a church–especially when carried on a staff for everyone to see. I think about how I need you to save me from myself. I need you to rescue me from my sin. I need Jesus and everything he did to free me.

Father, I need you today. I need Jesus’s rescue of me today. I need you to cover me and save me from myself. I can be so myopic in my attitudes. I can fall into self-pity. I can be selfish with my agenda. I can be lazy. I’m sorry for all of it. Be glorified through my life as I submit to you. Help me to completely submit to you.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2021 in John, Numbers

 

Numbers 21:4-9

Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Seac]”>[c] to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!”So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!
Numbers 21:4-9

Dear God, 16 year and one week ago I left a stable job for the unknown. It was a scary decision, but one I felt literally called by you to make. It started a long hard process and nearly three years of unstable employment and money flow, fear in how I would earn a living, damage to my self-confidence, and strain on my family and my marriage. My wife and I have often said that if we had known how hard the next three years would be we wouldn’t have done it. I am convinced that’s why you keep us ignorant about the future. I came up with a line at the time, “God keeps me on a need-to-know basis, and I very rarely need to know.” I also came up with the line, “There’s a fine line between living by faith and living in denial.”

I think the same can be said of the Israelites. If they had know what was in front of them they might never have left Egypt. But you used those trials to make them stronger and to build their faith, just like you used those trials in 2003-2005 to make me stronger in you and build my faith.

One of the hard things as a parent is to allow your child to struggle through a trial. I remember talking to my dad after all of the unemployments were over and he told me, “You have no idea how hard it was to not just send you money sometimes.” I got that and I appreciate that he didn’t short circuit the lessons you were trying to teach me. Now, as a father of children who are out of the home, it is my turn to find that line between allowing my children to work out their own challenges so that they can grow as adults and in you, and when they need their dad to step in.

Father, thank you that you very rarely let me in on what the future holds. Thank you that you allow us to struggle. Thank you that you do everything just the way you do it. There are times it frustrates me, I must confess, but I can almost always see, in retrospect, what you were doing, and that what you were doing was good.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2018 in Numbers, Uncategorized