Today’s reading: Numbers 28-36, Ps 22-23
As we come to the end of the Book of Numbers, we encounter a people who are nearing their destination. The pages of these final chapters are largely devoted to final preparations that are vital to the life they will share as God’s people in the land of Canaan.
In great detail, the people of Israel are given instructions on worship and offerings. Plans are made for the distribution of the land they will inherit, so that every tribe receives a fair and equitable portion. Careful attention is given to how they will handle situations where one member of the community dies at the hands of another. Such preparations can make the difference between a society that lives at peace and one which is constantly in turmoil.
The looming question with the Israelites is always whether or not they will be obedient. The same can be said of us. Today our reading also includes Psalm 23, one of the most familiar passages in all of Scripture. “The Lord is my shepherd,” we recite. Today is a good day to renew our commitment to let the Shepherd lead us.