“Take for yourself Joshua.”
~ Numbers 27:18
Knowing his tenure was almost over, Moses asked for a replacement.
Why did God use the word ‘take’, Joshua’s not an object?
Whenever ‘take’ is used in relation to people, it means take them with words, convince and persuade them. Apparently, Joshua needed to hear about the reward.
But why, isn’t leadership a great honour?
Taking responsibility is not a vacation. On the contrary, it’s fraught with challenges and difficulty. So, even the greatest need some sweet-talking to accept it.
“Spend the night here and I’ll respond when God tells me.”
~ Numbers 21:27
Balak the Moabite King sent messengers to the evil prophet Bilaam, asking him to curse and thereby destroy the Jews.
Why did Bilaam tell the messengers to spend the night?
Because God only communicates with wicked prophets clandestinely at night, Bilaam couldn’t respond immediately. Therefore he was forced to behave like a man secretively sneaking out to visit his concubine.
Healthy spirituality may be personal and even private, but it has nothing to hide. If it does, it’s probably rotten.
“Therefore the poets say: Come to Cheshbon, let it be built and established.”
~ Numbers 13:32
The Torah poetically records Israel’s battles as they journeyed towards the Promised Land. Beyond the historical record, there’s a deeper interpretation:
The Hebrew word ‘poet’ also means ‘ruler’ and the city’s name ‘Cheshbon’ literally means ‘an accounting’.
The Sages explain: to build yourself in this world and establish a place in the world to come, you must regularly make a spiritual accounting.
To build our business we set goals, take stock and balance bank-accounts. Should our spirituality be any different?
“Everything that is set aside from the offerings that the Children of Israel give to Me, I have given to you…as an eternal portion, an everlasting covenant of salt”
~ Numbers 18:19
As a reward for their unique service, God commands us to give a portion of our offerings to the priests.
Why compare this agreement to salt?
As a non-decaying mineral, salt not only preserves food, it also enhances its flavour.
Many agreements people make are self-serving and, as a result, are short-lived.
Real commitments are like salt: they don’t go bad, they maintain the connection and most importantly, they bring out the best qualities of each side in the relationship.