What can we say about this chapter other than, “Whew! I’m glad we don’t have to slaughter stuff to be clean anymore!” Actually, there is a lot more to say about this chapter. Plus, it’s freakishly long, so I would feel guilty summing it up in one sentence. I was trying to read past the repetition and glean some deeper meaning, and I noticed how God, starting in verse 21, purposefully lays out provisions for the poor. He doesn’t offer cleanliness freely, though. Even the poor have to pay a price. This is sort of how the modern-day welfare system is supposed to work: even though the poor sometimes need a helping hand, they are still expected to chip in by doing their parts in society. I was a single mama in my mid-20s working three jobs and attending college full time. Did I take advantage of the welfare system? You bet I did. I hated it, but it allowed me to save a big portion of my paycheck that I generally would spend on food to pay bills, rent and a car to get places. It also helped provide qualified, state-approved, wonderful daycare for my son. When I graduated from college, I was thankful for the help I had received but also excited to not need it anymore. Could I have continued to take advantage? Yes. And this is where the system goes all whacko, and I’m willing to bet that much the same eventually occurred with the Israelites: the rich AND poor started making excuses trying to justify why they should not make the offerings. The rich were whining, “Why should we continue to give our best livestock when others only have to offer pigeons.” And the poor complained, “We only have money for one pigeon, and our families need to eat.” We humans can find every way in the world to finagle our way out of a promise when it comes to giving up our possessions, can’t we? This chapter reminds us that God always provides, but sometimes he requires a small act of faith from us just to show Him our hearts are still in the game. Next time we’re asked to give something small, let’s try to remember the big reward that is waiting for us.
Writing prompt: who do voodoo
What is this crazy voodoo-like weirdness of slaughtering birds and poking them with sticks and splashing things with blood? This FOR SURE is going on my list of things to ask Jesus when I get to heaven. Write about why you think God may have used this ritual to purify the Israelites, and be sure to be extra thankful today for not having to participate!