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Sometimes It's Best to Walk Away, and It Matters How You Say Goodbye

Numbers 20:14-29
Pastor J.B.

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Hi GAMErs,

Numbers 20:14 (NIV)
14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying: "This is what your brother Israel says: You know about all the hardships that have come upon us.

On verse 14:  Why does Moses say to the king of Edom, "This is what your brother Israel says"?  It's because the people of Edom shared a common ancestor with the Israelites.  In Genesis, Isaac and Rebekah had two twin sons, Esau and Jacob.  Jacob would later change his name to Israel, and his descendants were the Israelites.  Esau became known as Edom, and his descendants were the Edomites.  Jacob and Esau, even from the womb, had a rocky, conflict-filled relationship, and that tension and animosity carried over into the generations that followed them.

Numbers 20:21 (NIV)
21 Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory, Israel turned away from them.

On verse 21:  Moses asked the king of Edom for permission to pass through the land of Edom peacefully, but the king of Edom refused and even sent an army to block the Israelites from going through Edom (v20).  Moses did the wise thing.  Instead of fighting the Edomites there and then, Moses and the Israelites walked away.  Even though this meant taking a longer route around Edom, Moses was humble enough to recognize that God had not called him to fight the Edomites at this time and had the self-control to lead his people away from an unnecessary conflict.

In the same way, when people around you are abrasive, angry and wanting to fight, may God give you both wisdom, self-control and courage to deal with those conflicts in the best way.  Just as Paul would keep telling his disciple Timothy (see 1 Timothy 3:3; 6:3-4; 2 Timothy 2:23-24), don't get involved in unproductive, unnecessary quarrels.  Have the self-control to walk away from a fight if necessary.

Numbers 20:29 (NIV)
29 and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died, the entire house of Israel mourned for him thirty days.

On verses 27-29:  In this sad moment in Israel's history, the Israelites say goodbye to their first high priest Aaron.  To honour his life, the Israelites mourned for him 30 days.  What can we learn from this?  It matters how you say goodbye.  Especially when it is someone dear to you or who has made a positive difference in your life, it's important to take the time to honour and appreciate that person and give them a proper send off.  Don't think that your voice or your presence does not matter.  They absolutely do.  So when you and someone dear to you are parting ways, make sure to give a proper, honouring and heartfelt goodbye.

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