Day 55: Obedience to God

Numbers 4, Deuteronomy 4, Psalm 88


Deuteronomy 4:9-14 Moses reminded the people about how God gave them the Decalogue, the “ten words” or Ten Commandments, at Mt. Horeb, also called Mt. Sinai. They are the words of God transmitted directly to Moses. This was the Law of the Old Covenant, which would only be understood fully and perfected in the New Covenant of Christ. Teach their children: The Church affirms that parents are the primary educators of their children. (CCC 2056-2062, 2221)


Ch 4:15-19 Moses explained that the First Commandment explicitly prohibits graven images of God since he is absolutely transcendent and cannot be depicted in a work made by human hands. Idolatry was practiced by nearly all of the surrounding cultures; in light of the penchant these people had for graven images, Moses, as an understandable precaution, banned the fabrication of graven images. (CCC 57, 2129, 2132, 2141)


Ch 4:37 Although it was not always clear to them, Israel gradually came to an understanding of God’s motive for his self-Revelation to them as his Chosen People: HE LOVED THEM UNCONDITIONALLY. (CCC 218)



Psalm 88 This psalm is the prayer of a man nearing death….reference to Christ, who was not confined by the bonds of death and thus remained free. (CCC 633)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


  • Reminder: Deuteronomy happens about 38 years after the Book of Numbers, which occurs about 13 months after Mt. Sinai

  • Psalm 88 ends in darkness

  • Every other Psalm has a line of hope even in the midst of pain, discouragement, distraction, and defeat

  • Every other psalm ends with a note of promise except for Psalm 88

  • “My one companion is darkness”

  • Numbers: In the Tribe of Levi we have not only the sons of Aaron, but we also have the Kohathites, Gershonites, and Merarites

  • They all have different tasks

  • Remember in Ch 4 we learned how the sacred objects were to be transported

  • These objects were so HOLY that it was very important that these three groups were NOT TO TOUCH THEM

  • They were to CARRY THEM WITH POLES, but they COULD NOT TOUCH THEM

  • Only the SONS OF AARON (those ordained priests) could approach these holy things

  • The other families had jobs to do with these objects

  • God appointed each to his task of serving and carrying

  • This is so important for us to understand

  • St. Paul says “There are many parts, but we are all one body”

  • The WHOLE BODY is necessary

  • The WHOLE Tribe of Levi is necessary

  • The Tribe of Levi is now the firstborn of Israel in so many ways

  • Only the family of Aaron were allowed to be priests, but those other 3 families had a role that was VITALLY IMPORTANT

  • According to the Lord, they were appointed each to their task

  • God knows your life and KNOWS YOU

  • God has appointed you to some definitive tasks

  • St. John Newman: “Lord, you have created me for some definitive task. I might not know what that is. But, I do know that you have made me on purpose. Because of that, I can lift up my head. Because of that, I direct my attention to you. Because of that, I can live with purpose because your life matters.”

  • This is so important to remember

  • YOUR LIFE MATTERS

  • Soon, Moses will give the Ten Commandments

  • But first, Moses had to tell the Israelites something important

  • The Lord God prohibits you from making graven images because THAT IS WHAT YOUR ANCESTORS DID

  • That’s what they did at Mt. Sinai

  • That’s what they did at the Baal of Peor (SPOILER ALERT!)

  • God, through Moses, communicates that He knows what they want to do

  • They will want to turn their hearts to idols

  • They MUST NOT DO THIS

  • ROOT OUT IDOLS FROM YOUR HEART BECAUSE YOUR HEART IS AN IDOL MAKING FACTORY

  • All of us are reminded of the fact that God’s Word purifies us and REMINDS US OF THE TRUTH that GOD IS FAITHFUL

  • GOD KNOWS OUR NAME

  • GOD ASSIGNED US SPECIFIC TASKS

  • WE DO MATTER TO GOD

  • God has to be God in our lives so that we MAY NOT and CAN NOT turn to any false idols

  • (I think Fr Mike might have given us a shout out in tonight’s episode ;) )



Prayer by Fr Mike: “Father, we hear this prayer. We make this prayer of Psalm 88 and we know that you are near us in darkness. You are near us when we are alone and lonely and isolated. This is your prayer that you have placed into our mouths. This psalm, this prayer that was prayed by Jesus himself when he was abandoned by his friends in the custody of Kaiphas the high priest. Before he was handed over to be condemned falsely by Pilate, he spent that night in that prison. And Lord God, we have this tradition that the Son of God, that Jesus himself prayed this prayer. My one companion is darkness. And so we know that when we are in darkness, that the darkness is not dark for you. When we are in darkness we are not alone, because you have made the darkness your home, in the abandonment and in the rejection of your Son, Jesus. Lord God, help us in darkness to see your face. Help us in darkness when we can’t see to know that you are present. Help us to always have confidence in you. We make this prayer in the name of the one, Jesus who entered into darkness for our sake. We love you. We ask this of you. Amen.”