Day 58: A Chosen People

Numbers 7:89 The mercy seat on the top of the Ark of the Covenant represented God’s presence among his people. The “tent of meeting” was the portable Tabernacle that was built by the Israelites according to God’s instructions. The term also refers specifically to the inner room, the most sacred part of the sanctuary; when Israel finally settled in Canaan and built the first Temple, this innermost room was called the HOLY OF HOLIES. Separated by a veil, or curtain, this was a room where ONLY THE HIGH PRIEST would enter once a year to offer sacrifices and atonement for the sins of the people. (CCC 433, 1182)


Deuteronomy 7:6-16 God chose Israel as his special people to PREPARE THE WAY for the coming of the Messiah and the foundation of the Church. Israel is a type of the Church (TYPOLOGY!!), which is called the New Israel. (CCC 761-762)


Ch 7:8-9 The deliverance of Israel from Egypt is a great example of God’s love for his people and his authoritative power over history. God is faithful, and therefore, ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES. (CCC 215, 218)


Ch 7:10 God blesses the just and punishes the evil, ALTHOUGH NOT NECESSARILY IN THIS WORLD. In fact, those who reject God may seem to prosper IN THIS LIFE whereas those who are faithful often lead difficult lives marked by persecution. IN THE END, however, those who die in God’s grace receive the reward of Heaven while those who obstinately refuse God’s love are condemned BY THEIR OWN FREE CHOICE. (CCC 1021-1041)


Psalm 92 This psalm touches on the question of why evildoers seem to prosper and the good sometimes meet with misfortune. Here we are told that the wicked sprout like grass and flourish; however, we are also assured that the time will come when the wicked will receive their justice. Only the fool believes he or she can get away with evil or that God is indifferent to good or evil works. Though not seen immediately, evildoers WILL receive their punishment, while those who abide by God’s Law will grow as a tree or shrub near streams of water. Anointing with oil symbolizes consecration and blessing from God. The psalmist sings the praises of God at “morning” and at “night,” suggestive of a scheduled routine of prayer throughout the day. This scheme is reflected in the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church. Prayed throughout the day, its prayers-taken from the Psalms, other books of Scripture, meditations, praise, and intercessory prayers-are recommended to ALL members of the faithful. (CCC 1174-1178, 1196)

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


  • The instruction regarding the priestly blessing closes Numbers 6 and serves as a transition to the next section, Numbers 7:1-10:10, the ordination of the tribe of Levi and the laicization of the other twelve tribes.

  • The laicization is described in Numbers 7, wherein each tribe is presented before the sanctuary to offer up to the Levites all their priestly utensils, the oil, flour, and goods needed for the liturgical offerings, and the animals to be used for sacrifice.

  • Immediately following this, the Levites are ordained. While the events of Numbers 1-6 actually happen after Numbers 7, the laicization of the twelve tribes is recorded here to set up the description of the Passover observance held in the first month of this second year, at Mount Sinai (Nm 9). (*Walking With God: A Journey Through the Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)



  • Numbers 7 is pretty repetitive eh

  • It is the Word of God and it is a gift to all of us

  • The events of Chapter 7 actually happened before Chapter 1 in Numbers

  • Why?

  • Because it is the DEDICATION OF THE TABERNACLE

  • Before all the worship begins, the 12 tribes have come to Moses and Aaron

  • They have brought all of these gifts for sacrifice and for the Levites

  • We kind of did a bit of time travelling here

  • Every single tribe contributed to the WORSHIP of the Tabernacle

  • They all brought the same things, and that’s why it was so repetitive

  • It shows us the humility of the people of Israel

  • It shows us that Judah is not bringing more than Manasseh etc.

  • This is what the Lord asked of us so that is what we are ALL going to bring

  • We are all going to bring a silver platter

  • We are all going to bring a bowl

  • One thing that is unique is that there is ONE FAMILY that gets some special attention

  • The sons of Gershon and the sons of Merar’i were given wagons and oxen

  • But the sons of Ko’hath were given none

  • Why not?

  • Because they were put in charge of carrying the sacred objects

  • Those objects were made of acacia wood overlaid with gold

  • The special objects had rings through which poles of acacia wood overlaid with gold were put through the rings

  • These sacred objects were never to be put on a cart or on a wagon

  • They were only to be carried

  • Out of all the objects of the Tabernacle, the Sons of Ko’hath had to carry these objects themselves without oxen or wagons

  • It shows the UNIQUENESS of HOLY THINGS

  • Deuteronomy 7 is a difficult note

  • The injunction to have no mercy on the people into whose land the Israelites are going to go

  • They are going to TAKE POSSESSION OF THE LAND

  • They are not to show mercy

  • We will talk more about this as we go on

  • But, why is this?

  • It is clear and will be repeated multiple times throughout Deuteronomy, Joshua, and virtually every book of The Bible

  • It will be revealed why God took such a hard stance against intermingling with all the other peoples, the Hivites, the Canaanites, the Jebusites, etc.

  • Why?

  • God is essentially saying, “You are going to want to be like the people around you”

  • “I know you already”

  • Moses has lived with these people for their entire lives

  • They’ve been in the wilderness for 38 years

  • Moses knows when they go into the land which they are promised, they will want to marry them

  • They will want to live among them

  • They will want to be like them

  • BUT THEY CAN’T BE LIKE THEM

  • Not because the Israelites are special

  • BUT BECAUSE THE LORD LOVES THEM

  • This feels problematic to us

  • It seems that God is commanding NO MERCY

  • We will get into this soon, BE PATIENT

  • The CORE of this is that they CANNOT be like the people in the Promised Land

  • The Israelites are the people that GOD LOVES

  • It’s not that God doesn’t love the other peoples

  • This is a PARTICULAR KIND OF LOVE that God has

  • The Love is through their RELATIONSHIP

  • The Love is through their COVENANT

  • The Love is through their FAITHFULNESS

  • Through the relationship God has with the Israelites, THE ENTIRE WORLD IS GOING TO BE BLESSED

  • But, before that, the Israelites are going into a place THAT IS DANGEROUS

  • If they do not hold onto their faith ON PURPOSE

  • If they do not KNOW GOD’S GREAT LOVE FOR THEM AND NEVER EVER FORGET IT

  • THEY ARE GOING TO LET GO OF THEIR FAITH

  • If they let go of their faith

  • If they let go of their uniqueness

  • Then, the world WILL NOT BE BLESSED

  • If they let go of this, then God’s plan to bless the entire world through the Israelites would be THWARTED

  • God LOVES the Israelites

  • God CHOSE the Israelites to be His instrument to be THE BLESSING TO THE WORLD

  • The ISRAELITES CANNOT SACRIFICE THEIR FAITH BY MARRYING PEOPLE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THEY BELIEVE

  • The Israelites CANNOT SACRIFICE THEIR FAITH BY MARRYING PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT IN COVENANT WITH GOD

  • Why?

  • Because the Israelites will let go of the Covenant

  • THEY MUST BE UNIQUE

  • THEY MUST BE DIFFERENT

  • THEY MUST NOT LET GO

  • Because, if they let go, then the world WILL NOT BE BLESSED

  • God is playing the long game here

  • God immediately loves them now and chooses them now

  • But that also means that RIGHT NOW, the Israelites MUST REMAIN FAITHFUL

  • Ultimately, God is going to bless the world through the Israelites

  • But RIGHT NOW, THEY HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT THAN THE WORLD

  • That can be some hard words, but at the same time, THEY ARE TRUE WORDS

  • It is the word we are going to keep walking with

  • It’s not the FINAL WORD

  • But it is just the TRUE WORD (and as you know, BIRD BIRD BIRD, BIRD IS THE WORD)

  • Fr Mike is praying for you especially when we get to hard, difficult readings

  • We are going to read about battles and violence

  • That is a reality of life

  • It is a reality of our ancestors, the people of Israel whom God has chosen

  • He has chosen them for a particular role in Salvation History

  • They need to be faithful so that ultimately, GOD CAN BLESS THE WORLD


Prayer by Fr Mike: “Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for bringing us here again today. Lord God, you are faithful and you keep us coming back to you. You help us to be faithful because you are so good. Lord God, this is Day 58 and you have brought us to this day. You have brought us to this morning, to this midday, to this afternoon, to this evening. Lord, you have brought us to this moment because you are faithful. Even when we are unfaithful, even when we forget, you are faithful. And you never forget your children. Lord God, help us truly to belong to you. Help us to remain faithful not just by reading your Word and letting it be proclaimed to our ears and our minds and our hearts. But also, Lord God, like yesterday we prayed, help us to Hear O Israel that we belong to you, that we love you with everything we have. Lord God, help us to love you with everything we have, even when we are weak, even when we struggle, even when we stumble, even when we sin. Lord God, help us. We know that you will never abandon us or give up on us. And so, Father, in Jesus’ name we trust in you, we praise you, we thank you, and we ask for your continued faithfulness. Amen.”