The Water Of Cleansing (Numbers 19)

Scripture Text:

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Numbers 19

Questions:

1. How did you react to the first death among your significant friends or family? What did you learn about yourself from that?

2. What experience have you had with putting a favorite pet “to sleep” and burying it?

3. Given the open living conditions of life in the desert, why would special regulations to limit contact with dead bodies be necessary for ancient Israel?

4. Of these cleansing regulations, which ones seem to be for hygienic reasons? Which are largely social or ceremonial? Which seem to have spiritual value?

5. How do these values help to explain the variety of cleansing regulations outlined here?

6. The regulation involving the “red heifer” is unprecedented in the Old Testament law (contrast Leviticus 1:3 – 9, for the usual pattern of burnt offerings). What makes this animal killing unique (verses 2 – 10)?

7. Is it possible to live in today’s world and never come into contact with sin?

8. How do you feel when you are confronted with sin? What sorts of things do you do to avoid being “contaminated” by the “uncleanness” around you?

9. When you sin, how do you feel about yourself? About your damaged relationship with God?

10. How does the cleansing power of Christ’s blood relate to the point of this chapter (see Hebrews 9:13, 14)?

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