Foreigners (Numbers 15:1-16)

In this passage of Numbers, there are prescriptions for sacrifices. There is something that would seem strange to us. In verses 15 and 16 foreigners are included. This is a very strange move by God.

Numbers is a book of the Law. The Law was a separation of the Israelite people as special and different via covenant. So why is God including foreign Gentiles? It does not make sense at first.

I must say that this sounds like the sacrifice of Christ at the cross. All are to come to God through Jesus, the risen Son.

This brings up serious questions too. What about the practices of the Church today? Do we baptize any one who wants? Do we offer Communion to any one who wants? These are excellent questions.

I am not going to propose that we open the doors to the sacraments to the point of no importance being applied to them, but I would be inclined to say that the sacraments should be as the Wesleyans have proposed:

Only those who are in right relations with God and with their neighbors should come to the Lord’s table, and that others should come only if in so doing they are expressing repentance and seeking forgiveness.

Although some form of limitation is applied to how and why we approach this table, there is still openness. That seems to reflect this God of the Old Testament perfectly.

What have you witnessed at the Lord’s Supper? If you could change it, how would you do so?

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