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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Naso 35-6

Lift up

Numbers 7:42-71

On the sixth day Eliasaph son of Deuel, the leader of the people of Gad, brought his offering.

Num. 7:42 NIV

Who wants to stand out from the rest?

Day after day the chiefs of the tribes came to present their offerings for the altar dedication. Each one of them gave exactly the same. Even though the reason behind each object could vary from chief to chief, each one of their offerings was equal to the other chiefs.

This teaches us different things. We first learn that each chief was willing to sacrifice precious things to the Eternal, something expected from a chief of Israel.

We also learn that none of them had the desire of showing off in front of the others. After Nachshon's sacrifice on the first day, anyone of the other chiefs could have given something better to stand out. From the second day on they could have given more than the previous ones, but they didn't. This shows a very nice attitude of solidarity and love for their fellow chiefs. The fact that each offering is exactly the same shows the desire of each chief of not lifting himself above the others, but allowing each one of them to be honoured equally.

Dear disciple of the Messiah: be careful with the spirit of competition that lies in the flesh. If you have the opportunity of doing something better than someone else, don't do it if your motivation is being better, more sacred, bigger, more praised, or being seen by men. Seek more noble and pure motives and you'll be honoured before the Eternal. Be faithful to your mates, your friends, don't take advantage of anyone, and don't let anyone be belittled so you may be honoured. A leader who speaks ill of others in order to stand out is not able to serve as a leader in the Kingdom of the Eternal.

May the Eternal deliver us from any attitude of competition and fill us with commitment and loyalty to the group of which we are members.


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