It is amazing just how much God loves us! Despite our many shortcomings, our failures and sometimes even our lack of commitment, our heavenly Father always seeks to establish and nurture a constant relationship with us. Here is what I learned about that in this week’s Parashat Bamidbar.
God has chosen us as His bride
It works like a marriage
From the very beginning of Bereshit (Genesis) until the last book of the Bible, we see that God has chosen us as His bride (see Isaiah 54:5, Isaiah 62:5, Ephesians 5:25-27). In Bereshit we were created and despite our disobedience, in Shemot (Exodus) we see a loving God that wants to re-establish a covenant with us regardless of who we are and what we have done. So He executes a plan of redemption for His people from physical and spiritual bondage, so that in Vayikra (Leviticus) we could enter into communion with Him and enjoy His presence. Now in Bamidbar we learn how to behave in this relationship and what is expected of us and what we can expect of Him.
It is a two-way street
God has the power and the riches to do anything He pleases without any of our help, yet He enjoys it when we take an active role in the relationship. The same way He ordered that a census would be carried out in Bamidbar/Numbers 1:1-2, God wants us to be active, to remain engaged and to show Him that we love Him and we are happy to be His. Of course God could have just told Moses how many people were there but instead He gave them an opportunity to be part of the excitement, to see with their own eyes how much they’ve grown since He called them out of Egypt.
…laziness can be a terrible thing for a relationship.
There is no room for laziness
Just like in any marriage, laziness can be a terrible thing for a relationship. The moment you decide you no longer want to try and put an effort, that is the moment things start to deteriorate and they can decay quickly. Counting the population was not an easy task if you consider they only had about 20 days until they had to leave their current post. If we imagine they had 10 days to count everyone in a Tribe, then Nahshon had to count 7,500 people per day to count all 74,600. All without any computers!
When God asks us to do something, we should respond quickly and with enthusiasm, because He loves us and we love Him too. Being part of His kingdom gets much more exciting when you take an active role instead of watching it all happen from the bench.
Sometimes you have to battle
Anyone from the age of 20 and upwards was enlisted as a soldier. Soldiers are not needed unless there will be battles and arriving to the promised land wasn’t going to be easy, however, when the Israelites were willing to do their part, God was always ready to do His with an outstretched hand. The wonderful part is that He is also always ready to do His part when we do ours.
It is all about love
A healthy marriage, a strong friendship or a great relationship needs love. That may sound like a cliché but think about it. We get into good relationships because we love and appreciate the other person involved. God has and still loves us with unimaginable love, even if we ignore Him or don’t want anything to do with Him, He will always be ready to welcome us into communion with Him, after all that is why Yeshua, His son was given as a ransom for our sins and failures, so that we no longer would be slaves but enjoy an everlasting relationship with Him in freedom. Yes, there will be ups and downs, yes there will be battles to fight and yes, there will be moments where you are feeling lazy or the task at hand seems too big for us to do. The good news is God is there for you and me if we chose to be and behave like His bride. Are you ready for that?
5 hidden lessons from this week’s Parasha