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Numbers 9:1-14

A year after the Israelites leave Egypt, they prepare to commemorate the anniversary of the Exodus by celebrating Passover.



But some of the men had been ceremonially defiled by touching a dead body, so they could not celebrate the Passover that day. They came to Moses and Aaron that day and said, “We have become ceremonially unclean by touching a dead body. But why should we be prevented from presenting the Lord’s offering at the proper time with the rest of the Israelites?”

Moses answered, “Wait here until I have received instructions for you from the Lord.”
(Numbers 9:6-8)


Several men came to Moses because of the predicament they faced: They were “unclean” because of contact with a dead body, and this prevented them from participating in the Passover meal. Notice that God did not adjust the requirements of the Passover. The standards of holiness were maintained, and the men were not allowed to participate. But God did make an exception and allowed the men to celebrate the Passover later. This upheld the sacred requirements while allowing the men to participate in the feast.

Similarly, God made provisions for non-Israelites. They too could celebrate Passover by following God’s instructions. Foreigners were expected to obey the same laws and ordinances as the Israelites. “They must follow these same decrees and regulations.”

God singled out Israel for a special purpose—to be an example of how one nation could, and should, follow him. His aim, however, was to have all people obey and worship him. Often we think God is strict and harsh, but a story like this shows that God is flexible and willing to show grace to any and all who love him. God may have called Israel to be his chosen people, but his goal was to use them to bring all people to himself.


God has graciously invited everyone to have a relationship with him, but he expects his followers to take their relationship with him seriously. He is flexible but firm about what that looks like. Take some time to consider what you should do to better prepare your heart to worship God.

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