Standing Between the Living and the Dead

Numbers 17:6-15 (English Numbers 16:41-50)

The following day the whole community of Israel accused Moses and Aaron, “YOU have caused the people of Yahweh to die!” And just as the community had assembled against Moses and Aaron, they turned toward the tent of meeting, for suddenly, the cloud covered it, and the glory of Yahweh appeared. Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting and Yahweh said to Moses, “Get away from this community so that I may annihilate them immediately!” But they threw themselves down on their faces, and Moses said to Aaron, “Get the censer and put burning coals from the alter in it, place incense on it, and quickly take it to the community and make atonement for them.  Because the wrath from the presence of Yahweh has gone out—the plague has begun!” Aaron did as Moses commanded, and ran to the middle of the assembly where the plague was just beginning and he offered the incense and made atonement for the people, standing between the living and the dead, and the plague was stopped. But 14,700 people died in the plague in addition to those who died because of Korah.  Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting because the plague was stopped.


Psalm 43

1 Vindicate me O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation; deliver me from the deceitful and unrighteous man!
2 For You are the God who shelters me.  Why have You rejected me?  Why must I continually walk around mourning under the oppression of the enemy?
3 Send Your light and Your faithfulness—let them lead me, let them bring me to Your holy mountain and to your dwelling places.
4 And I will come to the altar of God, to the God of my abundant joy, and I will praise you with the lyre O God, my God.
5 Why are you downcast O my soul?  And why are restless within me?  Wait on God!  For still I will praise Him, my salvation and my God.

Psalm 36

1 For the Music Director.  By David, a servant of Yahweh.

2 An oracle is in my heart concerning the rebellion of the wicked:

There is no fear of God in his mind

3 For in his own mind he flatters himself, unable to find his iniquity and hate it

4 The words he speaks are trouble and deceit

He has ceased to be able to do good

5 He devises trouble while on his bed

He deliberately places himself in the path of wrong

He does not reject evil

6 Yahweh, Your love extends to heaven

Your steadfastness, to the clouds

7 Your righteousness is like the Mountains of God

Your judgment is like a great deep ocean

Yahweh, You deliver mankind and beast

8 How precious is Your love

O, God, the children of mankind seek refuge in the shadow of Your wings

9 They drink their fill from the abundance in Your house

You give them drink from the river of Your joy

10 For You possess the fountain of life

In Your light, we see light

11 You extend Your love to those who know You

And Your righteousness, to the upright in heart

12 Do not let the foot of the prideful come upon me

Nor the hand of the wicked drive me away

13 There the doers of wickedness fall

They are thrust down and are unable to stand again