Something completely bland to a lot of people to start off with tonight. Some talk of Cricket.
If you’re not into Cricket, skip ahead.
I, personally, love cricket. I think that it’s one of the greatest games that the world has. I’ve always loved it, and probably always will.
This summer, though, I am so sick and tired of hearing news reports talking about Ricky Ponting’s captaincy on a day-to-day basis; as though his future relies on each day. To an extent, yes, it does, but there’s a point where the writing’s on the wall no matter who you are. What I’m over hearing, though, is this attitude where one day Ponting is on the edge of oblivion, then after the Perth test he’d salvaged it all, and now again, after the first day’s failure in Melbourne, it was all over once more.
To be honest, it’s probably not far away. Ponting’s career has been illustrious and great – he is, in my view, the second greatest batsman Australia has ever seen, only behind the great Don Bradman himself. Everyone has their twilight, though, and Ponting is in his. I just hope that he can get some sight and form back in the near future so as not to go out the way Bradman did – a duck in the final innings. Ponting deserves to go out on a high.
What we need to remember, though, is that Australia has had it easy for the past ten to fifteen years. It’s not just Ponting, the whole team needs to relearn how to play test cricket. We’re being beaten this summer by an English team who are simply in better form, and playing better test cricket. Our batsmen are not trained to carve out an innings slowly, most of them want to score quickly, and that’s not always the way to play. We’re not the far-and-away world champions any more, and therefore we need to actually discover how to play the real game again. The days of Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist, Lee, Warne and McGrath are over, so we need to discover where we are now.
This one’s interesting. We’re back into some of the rules and regulations of life in the camp of Israel at the moment.
First we go through the information about people who are unclean again. Skin diseases and so on mean that you need to stay outside the camp. The traditional term is leprosy, but not necessarily in the same way that we view leprosy today. I guess it’s fair enough, something like chicken pox, for example, can be pretty rough on a person even today, and is highly contagious; imagine what devastation it could have brought back then.
Then we go through making restitution – which I’ll come back to.
Third is this segment about, basically, if a man suspects his wife of being unfaithful.
Now I don’t necessarily know what life must have been like back then, whether the differences in culture meant that people were more or less suspicious of a cheating spouse. However, I have known some people in my life who are amazingly jealous, and no matter how much convincing you try to give them, they just don’t seem to be able to trust their partner. Even if that partner has never actually given them reason to doubt.
What I also find myself wondering – and I get that this time it is related to culture and a very male-dominant society – why is this test only applicable to the wives?
The portion of this passage that really stood out to me was the middle section, about making restitution.
“Say to the Israelites: ‘When a man or woman wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the LORD, that person is guilty.’” ~ Numbers 5:6
This is a point that I think many people realise, but not so many people really get, if that makes sense. Doing wrong against a fellow human being, is to be unfaithful to God. This comes back, again, to the recognition that God is Love.
Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind; and that the second is like it, to love our neighbour as ourself.
The biggest thing that God is about, is Love
God’s love is required not just towards him, but also towards one another. In the Israelite time under the law, restitution had to be made if wrong had been done.Even if there was no one to actually pay the restitution to, then it was to be paid to God. God is love, he is also just – a person wasn’t going to get out of their responsibility just because there was no one there to accept their payment. It was consistent across the board.
I do just want to come back to God’s love, though. I’m finding it amazing as I’ve read through these books of the law so far, just how strongly it shows God’s love. I think I often had a misconception of the law, that sort of separated it from God’s love. To use the points that I raised tonight about God being love, but also being just – I think I almost viewed the law as only God’s justice, and his love didn’t come into being until after Jesus died.
This is so clearly not the case. The law spells out so obviously and so frequently that God’s comes from love.