When We Don’t Know Why

I read through the Bible every year.  Last year was so difficult due to the fact that Mario and I both lost our moms to cancer; Mario’s mom in April, and mine in September.  The grief and sadness was almost so overwhelming, there were many times during the year that I could not even hear the Lord through His word due to the events in our life.  But I kept trying to read, believing that God knows my weaknesses and will do in me, through His word, what He wants.  There will be more years like this, I’m sure, but I’m so grateful He’s in charge of those years and not me.  My only responsibility is to obey.  He will do the rest.

 As of January 1st, I once again began my journey through the Bible.  To me it is exciting how reading the Word every year still brings surprise and new revelations.  I am so blessed to be back in a place of being able to hear the Lord through His Word, and grateful for His consistency to bring me through the deep waters of grief.  Even some of the toughest chapters in the Bible are bringing new little glimpses of His faithfulness. Yesterday, as I was reading through the book of Numbers (not the most exciting book in most of our minds), and specifically chapter 4, the duties of the Kohathites (have I lost you yet?).  The directions were being given to Moses and Aaron regarding the taking down of “the tent of meeting”.  It’s so easy to get lost in the tiny details of a chapter like this and take a little mini-mental-vacation.  God was able to hold my attention and showed me the smallest little detail that has been encouraging my heart ever since I spotted it.  The text explains how each section and piece of the “most holy things” are to be packed up by the Kohathites.  They were responsible to follow every instruction to the smallest detail, and not to question why.  Literally, their lives could be at stake through this process of obedience!  This was serious!  I was noticing how each object was being covered with a blue cloth.  Biblically, blue represents Heaven, so this made total sense to me, as I’m sure it did to Moses, Aaron and the Kohathites.  Then I came to “the table of the bread of the Presence with the plates, the dishes for incense, the bowls, and the flagons for the drink offering: the regular showbread also shall be on it.” which would also be covered with a cloth of blue (Numbers 4:7). However, this one time, the instructions went on to say, “Then they shall spread over them a cloth of scarlet…”  Scarlet? Scarlet in the Bible refers to the blood and/or the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  I couldn’t help but spend time dwelling on that verse and thinking about John 6:41:

 “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”

 Not to mention the institution of the Lord’s Supper, such as in Luke 22, as Jesus took the cup…

“this cup which is poured out is the new covenant in my blood.”  (Luke 22:20)

 and the bread…

 “this is my body, which is given for you”  (Luke 22:19)

 I love the idea that Moses, Aaron and the Kohathites were given instructions to follow obediently, that may not have made any sense to them at all.  Why was the table of Presence, with the bread and drink offering, to be covered additionally with a cloth of scarlet?  For some reason this struck me so deeply regarding man’s unquestioning obedience to God’s instructions, whether they/we understand it or not, and God’s sovereignty, omniscience and faithfulness to His people.  It was God’s secret message (the mystery) that Jesus, the Bread of life, the Drink Offering which was to be poured out for us, who are stiff-necked and faithless, would and has come.  It was a written letter that God had salvation planned out, and these were the physical symbols of the Savior to come which He generously showed His people because He is good and faithful.

 As I struggled through a year of sadness, and a year of reading words that I could not seem to hear, it was more about my obedience to do it, than the sense of the message I could receive from it.  I’m sure some of you have experienced this.  Again… God knew my condition and my weaknesses.  It was one of those moments in my life that He was saying to me, cover everything in a blue cloth (which were all the things that made sense to me) but cover this one thing in blue and scarlet cloths, whether it makes sense to you or not.  Just do it. Practice obedience, for I am faithful and know why I’m asking you to do it.  I have a plan, and I have given you a Savior that faithfully loves you enough to be poured out and sacrificed for you.  And… that’s all that matters.  Just obey.

 Everyday we encounter opportunities to do what God has instructed us to do in His word, especially in regards to parenting our children.  So many times we understand some of these things; like teaching our children to consider others better than themselves (the blue covering), going on a blessing hunt (the blue covering), or teaching them about the circle of blessing (the blue covering).  But often times in our day we are instructed to do with our children what is not comfortable or does not make sense, such as,

 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24

 This is an example of the blue covering with the scarlet covering.  This is often the time that we are to obey just because God said it, and we know He is faithful! He has a perfect plan for our children, and we can trust that He loves us, and them… even more than we do!  We can obey His instructions to us, because these that we do not understand are symbols of His faithfulness to be revealed in the future of our children’s lives.  If He instructed it, we need to just do it, relying on His perfect love and knowing that someday He will bless us with understanding and the fruit of our obedience.

 Make me understand the way of Your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.  Psalms 119:27

Sharon Cannavo
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