Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Edom Numbers 20 Part 3

Numbers 20:14 "And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us......v17 Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country....v18 And Edom said unto him Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword."

Over 400 years have passed. Jacob has died and Esau has died. Yet, the old wounds are still there in their descendants. Esau was the eldest of the two twins but Jacob through deception received the blessing from Issac. The wound apparently never healed although Jacob was welcomed home by Esau. How did it all start?

Esau has come in from the field and was very hungry. Jacob was preparing food....

Genesis 25:30 "And Esau said to Jacob Feed me I pray thee...v31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. v33 ...and he sware unto him and he sold his birthright unto Jacob."

Genesis 33 tells of the homecoming and their friendly greetings.

Esau was Edom as the Bible tells us in Genesis 36:1 "Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom." Edom is also called Seir. Edom lies south of the ancient land of Judah. It extends from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Akaba. See Armadedon also.

It was the promise of God that mattered here more than the blessing of Issac. Look over in Genesis 28 verse 13. Jacob is talking to the Lord in a dream and the Lord responds: "...the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;" And again in Genesis 32 verse 28 after Jacob had wrestled with the Lord "...Thy name shall be called no more Jacob but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men and hast prevailed."

So in our passage Israel is asking for passage through Edom and is refused by the king of Edom and is threatened if Israel tries to pass through the land even though they promised to stay on the high road v19. Israel turns aside and comes to mount Hor. Again they do not enter the promised land at Kadesh. The first time it was because of unbelief. Now it is because of Edom.

Psalm 139:14 "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works and that my soul knoweth right well."

Bible study

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moses strikes the Rock Numbers 20 Part 2

Numbers 20:11 "And Moses lifted up his hand and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly and the congregation drank and their beasts also."

The whole congregation of the children of Israel have come to the desert of Zin at Kadesh v1. Again they came after Moses and blamed him for their situation. Again, they made rash statements about wishing they had died with their brethren. Moses and Aaron came before the Lord and he gave them instructions:

v8 "Take the rod and gather thou the assembly together, thou and Aaron thy brother and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes: and it shall give forth his water and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink."

Moses was apparently still angry when he went to the rock. Instead of doing as he was told by the Lord to speak to the rock, Moses smote the rock twice. This has great significance in scripture.

The Rock was a type of Christ who was once smitten for the salvation of man. The rock had already been smote once in Exodus 17: 5-7 "Behold I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb: and thou shalt smite the rock and there shall come water out of it that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel."

So, it was wrong for Moses to hit the rock when he was told to speak to it. Christ was crucified once. For this Moses would not step foot in the promised land.

Still in grace, the water came forth. Not because the people were deserving or because Moses smote the rock but because of the loving kindness of the Lord in that he loves us. Under grace Christ is counted worthy for us. The Father does good things because he loves us and because Christ paid the price for our sin. beautiful.

Look at verse 8 " hall give forth his water and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock ..." It said 'his'.

I Corinthians 10:4 "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

"Psalm 12:6 "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."

Bible study

Miriam Numbers 20 Part 1

Numbers 20:1 Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation into the desert of Zin in the first month and the people abode in Kadesh and Miriam died there and was buried there."

This was the month of April for us.

Miriam was the brother of Moses and Aaron. There is not a lot about here during these long years of wondering. I expect they were a close knit family though. I don't yet know who her husband was but she was of the house of Levi.

Chapter 26:59 "And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister."

So Miriam had been there from the beginning. I expect she may have been a little motherly over Moses. When Moses was a child and sent into the water in an ark. His sister watched over the ark until Pharaoh's daughter found it then directed her to her own Hebrew mother to nurse the child.

Exodus 2:4 "And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him."

Exodus 4:7 "Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for thee? v8 "And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother."

So in this tribute to Miriam, we can say she was there. I thought it very brave of her to confront Pharaoh's daughter with such a plan. Apparently she drew no suspicion.

Miriam did make a mistake when she went to Moses (with Aaron) to object to his marriage. Moses was chosen of God to lead the people and Miriam overstepped herself in this.

Numbers 12:1 "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he hand married an Ethiopian woman."

She also questioned Moses' authority:

v2 'And they said Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it."

Miriam received a severe rebuke and suffered without the camp with leprosy for a time after Moses interceded for her.

Over all Miriam seems to have done pretty well so we will not be too harsh since she suffered her punishment and stayed with the congregation until her death.

Would any of have gone so long without slipping at least once?

Psalm 33:4 "For the word of the Lord is right: and all his works are done in truth."

Bible Study

Monday, October 29, 2007

Death Numbers General

Side Note

Death is mentioned often in Numbers as an unclean state. Those who come in contact with the dead must be cleansed before they enter the tabernacle. Death is not something that pleases the Lord.

In the beginning, it was all about life. The Lord is all about life. It was Satan who brought sin to humanity and with man's acceptance of sin, death became a part of life on earth.

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

This plan we are following from Genesis and through the giving of the law and ultimately to the completion of the plan of salvation is all about life. The Lord is all about life.

So don't be surprised that death requires cleansing.

Jesus did not like death when he walked on the earth. There are many occasions where he brought the dead back to life. He faced and conquered this enemy 'death' so that we could have life more abundantly.

Romans 8:10 "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin: but the Spirit is life because of righteousness."

Satan uses up people then he cast them aside to die and rot. Death is one of his weapons.

Christians need not fear death because, for us, it is a doorway into the life everlasting that was given to us when we became a Christian by believing on the name of Jesus.

Romans 5:8"But god commendeth his love toward us, n that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Death is a temporary reality but life can be a permanent reality through the Lord.

Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. v10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness: and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

This is the plan we are studying. We are learning the law which was 'our schoolmaster'. All along this path, the promise of a redeemer is alive in the nation Israel. She carries the promise down through Egypt, into the wilderness and into the promised land where Christ is born.

Psalm 105:5 "Remember his marvellous works that he hath don; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth:"

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Red Heifer Numbers 19

Numbers 19:17 "And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel: v18 And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:..."

The Red Heifer is a subject of much discussion and rightfully so.

No particular verse from Numbers 19 can be picked out to explain this commandment, it is described throughout the chapter. Yet, still there is mystery here. Of all the offerings, this one is different. For one it is killed outside the tabernacle, outside the camp v3

"And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face: v4 And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times: v5 And one shall burn the heifer in his sight, her skin, and her flesh and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn."

The ashes are then gathered up and placed in a clean place v9 without the camp.

Water of separation

V9 And a man that is clean shall gather up the shes of the heifer and la them up without the camp in a clean place ad it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin."


Must be: Red, without spot, no blemish, never had a yoke.

A heifer is a young cow that has not yet borne a calf.

A red heifer would be a rare thing to find.

I expect many papers have been written in seminaries about the red heifer. Some look on the prospect of Israel finding such an animal with fear, for it points to the rebuilding of the temple which as we know is a problem since there are shrines of another religion on the mount. So there is a fear of conflict when the red heifer is found. I've heard in past years that there was a search for the original ashes instead of a living red heifer.

Regardless of the fears, the red heifer is very important in prophecy. To the Jew it points to the rebuilding of the Temple. To the Christian it points to the imminent return of Christ and the end of the world as we know it. Some say, the red heifer is a type of Christ since he suffered without the camp and offers a one time cleansing for sin.

You can see that this is not a subject that can be dealt with in a study such as this were we are primarily interested in showing the content of the Bible and where to find things. Know though, that there is not a great deal of discussion in the Bible on the subject. It is a unique subject.

Focus can be directed toward the subject of death in relation. For there are very specific details for those handling the red heifer and their washing. It is a process carried out by several people because there must be a clean person to carry out the cleansing process for another. It's worth a slow read.

I found it interesting that the water was used to clean but those who touched it were considered unclean v21,22 .

Look at Ezekiel 36:24-27 "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you v26 A new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you an heart of flesh. v27 And I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and ye shall keep my judgments and do them v28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and ye shall be my people and I will be your God.

Again, let me recommend reading in Hebrews for as a Christian we believe that Christ established a new priesthood other than the priesthood of Aaron. The law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ just as we learn from our parents to do right until we ourselves understand that right is the right thing to do.

Psalm 126:3 The Lord hath done great things for us: whereof we are glad."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Covenant of Salt Numbers 18 Part 2

Numbers 18:19 "All the heave-offering of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the Lord, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord unto thee and to thy seed with thee."

Although the priest are given no inheritance in the promised land as far as land is concerned, their inheritance is the work of ministering in the sanctuary. As a reward for this service, they are given nine tenths v26 of the tenth that Israel offers to the Lord, one tenth is to be offered to the Lord. Of the heave-offering, all is given to the Levites as a gift. v19

"And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation."

Even though the Levites are not landed, they are nevertheless well taken care of and will not live the life of a poor person. Their families will eat of the best there is to offer.

Proverb 9:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Bible study

Friday, October 19, 2007

Priesthood Numbers 18 Part 1

Numbers 18:1 "And the Lord said unto Aaron. Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary, and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood."

One writer uses the word 'responsibility' as a meaning of iniquity in this case. I think it means that if things go well or things do not go well, Aaron and his house take the credit or blame.

As you read the chapter, you will see that Aaron and his family are responsible for the holy place while the rest of the Levites are responsible for areas outside the holies. v7 explains.

The separation of the people from the most holy place is obvious in this division of tasks. It is for their protection. The people have rebelled and murmured and are sinful. It is not appropriate that sin be brought into the presence of a holy God. So the priest will present the sacrifices and offerings before the Lord.

This ended when Christ became our high priest and he made us priest so that we might 'come boldly before the throne of grace'. We can do this only because Christ blood was shed for our sins and we can therefore stand blameless before God.

It is important to try to understand the priesthood established in the Old Testament books. One by one the commandments were given and the people instructed. Yet from Adam they have a sin nature within them which continually prompts them to do wrong and rebel. They could not just wonder around in the tabernacle and into the most holy place where God met the priest. No one can come before a holy God with sin accountable to them.

This is the conflict that Christ eliminated for the believer. The Lord desired to dwell with his people but because of sin there had to be a veil between Him and them. When Christ died for sin, the veil was rent and we may approach God because of the death of his Son. The new priesthood was established at Calvary.

V22 "Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die."

Mark 15:37-38 "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom."

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens: v2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man."

Psalm 121 "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help."

Bible Study

Aaron's Rod that budded Numbers 17

Numbers 17:8 "And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness: and behold the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds."

The rods were dead sticks they carried around with them.

Aaron's priesthood had been questioned. Now, it was reestablished. Aaron's rod alone budded and yielded fruit. So, Aaron's rod that budded is a type of Christ in that of all those dead sticks placed in the tabernacle only one came back to life.

Of all the religious leaders and founders of religion, only Christ arose from the dead. He is well able to take life back from death and to give life anew.

Aaron's rod was placed in the ark as a testimony.

v5 "And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.

Psalm 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer."

Bible Study

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Censors Numbers 16 Part 2

Numbers 16:35 "And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense."

Korah and his inner circle had also brought 250 men, princes of the tribes of Israel, to stand against Moses. These men carried censors with fire burning. It was a mistake for them to take a hallowed object and represent themselves as representatives of the Lord. For in verse 38 they are called sinners: "The censers of these sinners against their own souls, let them make them broad plates for a covering of the altar: for they offered them before the Lord, therefore they are hallowed: and they shall be a sign unto the children of Israel.

So the fire from the censors was spread as the Lord commanded and the metal beaten into plates to cover the altar.

We see the dangerous practice all the time in our day. People using the scripture to further their own goals. We all know that scripture taken out of context can be understood to mean different things to those who do not study the Bible. Also, positions are used in the name of the Lord to take in money from people. Lead to believe they are doing something for the Lord people send money to crooked organizations. Misuse of God's word and even people dedicated to the Lord will be judged.

It seems in this chapter the people are in a state of rebellion. Korah has spread his poison and the people are displeased with Moses and Aaron. But as the balance of the chapter shows Moses is still trying to stand between the people and the anger they have caused the Lord to show.

A plague hits the people in v46 and Moses instructs Aaron to take a censor and stand among the people between the dead and the living v48.

"And Aaron took as Moses commanded and ran into the midst of the congregation, and behold the plague was begun among the people and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. "

Verse 49 tells us that 14,700 died besides those ..."about the matter of Korah."

The Lord has heard a lot of murmuring from the people. They do not yet see themselves as at fault for the wilderness wanderings. No one can receive help until they see the need for help. Just as a sinner must see that they need saving before they will reach out to the Savior.

Proverbs 10: 29 "The way of the Lord is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity."

keyword: Bible study

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Korah Numbers 16 part 1

Numbers 16: 1-2 "Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown v3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said unto, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, everyone of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?"

I see two flaws in Korah's statement: 1) the people have proven they are not all holy, 2) The Lord put Moses in his position, Moses did not raise himself up.

It was not Korah who went to the Lord and listened for instructions nor was it he who had pleaded for the lives of the people previously. It would be good for those who are not aware of the big picture to stay in their place. I'm sure Korah and his co-conspirators were respected in their positions as princes but they have here overstepped themselves.

Moses gave back the words to Korah in verse 6 " take too much upon you ye sons of Levi."

v13 "Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?"

How soon men forget! Only Caleb and Joshua stood with Moses and declared that they could possess the land. Only after they had angered the Lord and he had turned them to the wilderness, did the others make an attempt to fight but were defeated because the Lord was not with them. c14.

Korah perhaps thought he was speaking against Moses but was speaking against the very commandments of the Lord. So in verse 28 - 30 Moses tells the people to get away from these men and that the Lord would do a new thing to show that Moses was indeed appointed to do his job.

v30 "But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit: then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord."

v32 "And the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up and their homes, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods."

So that was the end of Korah, a prince who would challenge Moses.

Psalm 9:19-20 Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O Lord that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah."

keyword: bible study

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wilderness Numbers 15

Cake - heave offering

Numbers 15:20 "Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for an heave-offering: as ye do the heave-offering of the threshing floor, so shall ye heave it."

This refers to when the children of Israel come into the promised land. It is more or less back to school for Israel. They came to the door of Canaan and faltered, so it is back to the wilderness until that generation that rebelled is dead.

I find this cake as a celebration. Like when we have family over and a cake is made. So it is that in the future (now) for Israel that they will offer a cake to the Lord in their first harvest.

There is no doubt that Israel will arrive in Canaan, but it will be a new generation that is taught the law and will enter the promised land.

Ignorance sin

Numbers 15:24 "Then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour unto the Lord, with his meat-offering, and his drink-offering, according to the manner, and one kid of the goats for a sin-offering. v25 And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance:.........."

The Lord is ever ready to forgive. It may be that someone growing up who has not been there since Mount Sinai was not taught all the details of the law and so committed some sin not knowing that it was sin. So a provision is made for them.

To help them remember it is also commanded that they sew a blue fringe in the hem of their garments to remind them to obey the commandments of the Lord.

v40 "That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God."


There is a story tucked into this chapter that shows the sternness of the law and makes me glad that I am under grace instead of the law. A man was caught picking up sticks on the sabbath and was brought forward for his sin. It was determined that under the law he was to die and so was stoned by all the people. It was a punishment for the man but also a lesson for the people that the law was to be obeyed. v32-36

It contrast with grace as shown in the New Testament when the disciples of Jesus plucked corn on the sabbath.

Matthew 12:8 "For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day."

Jesus was the law giver and the fulfilment of the law. It seems perfectly just to me that the disciples would be allowed to eat if they were hungry when the Lord of the sabbath was present and did not object.

Grace is indeed better that the law.

Galatians 3:10 "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. v11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident, for The just shall live by faith. v12 And the law is not of faith: but The man that doeth them shall live in them. v13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, for it is written Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."

So we go back to the idea that the law is our schoolmaster. To teach us that man is sinful and needs a Savior. As we study these Old Testament books it becomes evident that the offerings gave forgiveness but did not change the heart of the people. It is only in Christ and the Spirit living inside that can change a person so that they desire to do God's will.

Psalm 86:1 "Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy."

keyword: bible study

Monday, October 15, 2007

Israel falters at the Door Numbers 14

Numbers 14:2 "And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!"

It seems a common thing for people to do: that is believe a crowd over a few because they think the sheer numbers make them right.

In this chapter Caleb and Joshua are trying to convince the people that the land is good and that Israel is strong enough to possess the land but to no avail. The people believed the other 68 and were in a state of rebellion. They talk against Moses and Aaron and use God's name in wishing they had died in Egypt or the wilderness. Fear has great power if yielded to.

Needless to say it upset Moses and Aaron and the Lord. A lot of work had gone into getting them to this point. The very door to the promised land 'flowing with milk and honey'.

Verse 12 finds us with the Lord's statement that he is ready to start over with a different people.

"I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they."

Moses prayed to the Lord that he not kill the people because it would cause the Egyptians and others to say that they knew it would happen v15.

v20 and 21 "And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord."

The complaining of the people becomes their sentence. None from twenty and up would enter the promised land except Caleb and Joshua.

v21 "But your little ones which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness."

In verse 40, the people are repentant but too late. They decide now to go fight. First they were told to fight and they would not, now they are told not to fight and they want to. Either way it is transgression. v41 But they went up anyway even after they were told that the Lord was not with them v44

v45 "Then the Amalekites came down and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah."

It was at Kadesh-barnes where the children of Israel could have entered the promised land. But they rebelled and turned to wonder in the wilderness for 40 years. A year for each day the land was searched by the spies. v34

Psalm 72:18 "Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things."

key word: bible study

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Joshua and Caleb (Spies) Numbers 13

Numbers 13:2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers hall ye send a man, everyone a ruler among them."

Things have been well prepared. The camp is in order and ready for war. Everyone knows their place and we come to the wilderness of Paran. From here spies are sent out to scout the land of Canaan. Unlike in today's armies, these men were to be rulers among the people. Then we have them named.

Out of this list comes Oshea whom Moses named Jehoshua. We know him as Joshua. In the Greek it translates Jesus and means deliverer or savior.

Joshua has been around for some time as minister to Moses. He learned from the best.

Exodus 24:13 "And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God."

What were the spies to look for:
-v18 see the land, what it is
- the people, strong or weak
-what the land is, good or bad
-cities, tents or strongholds
-what the land is, fat or lean
-wood or not
-bring of the fruit

v27 (spies report) "And hey told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it."

One example of the fruit was a single bunch of grapes slung on a pole between two men to carry.

v28 "Nevertheless, the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there."

V30 tells of a very different opinion from Caleb. He says we can take them and posses the land. The people had however been struck with fear for the Anak people are giants and the other spies said the children of Israel would be as grasshoppers by comparison v33.

Here they stand on the edge of victory with a great army lead by the Lord.

Psalm 114:7-8 "Tremble thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters."

key word: bible study

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Miriam and Aaron falter Numbers 12

Numbers 12:1 "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman."

The children of Israel are no longer the ragged slaves which left Egypt fearing for their lives. They are a multitude of people, well organized and rich in goods. Yet still there is that old man Moses sitting over there telling everyone what to do. I think no one wanted to be in charge when things were really bad. Now, it seems Moses just does not fit the new status in the neighborhood.

I'm trying to think of what would cause anyone to turn on Moses after what he has done under the Lord's direction. Moses has stood between the Lord's anger and the people and because of Moses they were spared.

So, with no fault to find with Moses, Miriam and Aaron must complain of his wife. But the Lord heard them and was angry.

v4 "And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out."

You talk about being called in on the carpet.

v6 In this verse the Lord tells them right off that when he needs a prophet, he will tell them himself. He also lets it be known that Moses is still in is favor "v17 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house."

v8 "...wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"

Miriam was stricken with Leprosy v10. Aaron begs forgiveness v11. Moses intercedes for Miriam that she be healed. v13 And Moses cried unto the Lord saying. Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee."

We find that the Lord did as Moses asked but Miriam had to learn her lesson and stayed seven days outside the camp with her affliction.

Now verse three is well established that Moses prayed for Miriam even after she talked about his wife.

v3 "(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

So in v16 they left that place and camped in the wilderness of Paran, ever closer to the promised land. We have seen the camp organized, the trumpet signals set up, moral issues dealt with, the order of march set and Moses reconfirmed as leader. Even with the problems that were dealt with, the massive assembly moves forward in its awesome formation.

Psalm 36:7 "How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Flesh to Eat Numbers 11

Numbers 11:5 "We remember the fish, which we id eat in Egypt freely, the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:"

Sounds sort of like the children wanted a pizza. Not really. They have become displeased with eating only the angel food or manna the Lord was sending them for their daily bread. Sadly, if they had just waited a little longer and not rebelled in the next couple of chapters, they would have had all these things in abundance. But they lost their patience. What happened?

V4 "And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?"

Provisions had been made for them to adopt strangers into their ranks but now the strangers have influenced them in the wrong way. Up to this point Israel had listened to the instructions of the Lord through Moses and did all of them. Now Moses can hear them weeping in their tents and he is touched deeply.

V14 "I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me." He told the Lord. So, in response to his plea, the Lord told him to appoint seventy men to help him. v16

But still there was the problem of the people wanting flesh to eat. The Bible called it lusting.

The Lord became angry with them and brought in quails for them, enough to feed all "six hundred thousand footman" v21 of them. But he was still angry even after he brought the quail, because of their unbelief and rebellion and their longing for a place where they had been enslaved. They seem to have totally forgotten that they were so close to the promised land which flowed with milk and honey.

The people stood up and ate the quail that day, that night and the next day. The quail were two cubits high.

v33 "And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague."

They buried the dead and then journeyed to Hazeroth.

Proverbs 16:25 "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Monday, October 08, 2007

First March Numbers 10

Numbers 10:2 "Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly and for the journeying of the camps."

A signal is planned so that the congregation will know what to do and move as a single unit. The trumpet is used to give the signal with different blast used for different task to be performed.

Next the order of the march is set up i.e. who goes first, where is the tabernacle in the march and etc. I've made a list if I got it right: Judah, tabernacle, Reuben, Simeon, Gad, Sanctuary, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, Dan Asher Naphtali. So as I see it, Judah would move out and then comes the tabernacle with the ark and so on.

So with the order of march and the signals Israel goes on their first march:

V33 "And they departed from the mount of the Lord three days journey: and the ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them."

Psalm 127:1 "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Stand Still Numbers 9

Numbers 9:8 "And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you." See chapter 7 verses 89

Some of the people came to Moses with a 'what if' question. It concerned the passover and whether one who had been defiled(touched or been near) by a dead body. Should they observe the passover or not?

The answer was yes.

v10"..If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the Lord."

It occurred on the fourteenth day of the second month. v11

This passage of Moses speaking "stand still" reminds me of another passage In Exodus:

"And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see he salvation of the Lord,..."

The people are in a bad spot, it appears, with water before them and the army behind them. But Moses says to 'stand still'. Wait on the Lord.

II Chronicles 20:15 - 17 " Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed... v16 Tomorrow go ye down against them... v17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you..."

All battles are not ours to fight.Some the Lord takes care of all by himself. v15 "...for the battle is not yours, but God's."

Samuel talking to Saul in 1 Samuel 9:27 "...but stand still a while, that I may show thee the word of God."

We often get all in a whirl when trouble comes. It is not always because we have made a mistake. Really, it may be because we are doing something for the Lord that the battle comes. Satan does not like it when we do something that causes someone to come to the Lord. He will launch an attack to stop us. Sometimes it is us or a loved one or our job or money problems. We need to 'stand still' and see what God will do.

Reference Romans 5:2, 14:4 I cor 2:5, 16:13 Galatians 5:1, Ephesians 6:13

Ephesians 6:13 "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. v14 Stand therefore..."

It seems that although we are not to be often idle. It is also our place to stand and be a witness as the Lord fights the battles that are too much for us. Stand Still.

We should note that when the cloud was upon the tabernacle the people stayed where they were (rested), when the cloud moved from off the tabernacle the people journeyed. v21.

Psalm 104:32 "He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke."

Lamps and Candlestick Numbers 8

Numbers 8:2 "Speak unto Aaron and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick."

This chapter is a review of previous commandments. It tells again of the Levites being separated for service in the sanctuary under Aaron's direction. Also, that the Levites were taken in place of the firstborn which the Lord had declared has his in Egypt.

The new element introduced is the length of service for the Levites. It was to be from age 25 to the age of 50. After that time, they were to minister 'with their brethren' v26 but 'shall do no service'.

Proverbs 18:1 "Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom"

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Covered Wagons Numbers 7

Numbers 7:2-3 "That the princes of Israel, heads of the house of their fathers, who were the princes of the tribes, and were over them that were numbered, offered: And they brought their offering before the Lord, six covered wagons, and twelve oxen; a wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox: an they brought them before the tabernacle."

It is simple math. Each tribe offered 1 ox and they joined by 2's to offer a wagon loaded with treasures. Such things as silver and gold were offered and it was not just a meager amount. It added up to a great sum. For twelve days the offerings came in. Look at verse 61 and on:

"His offering was one silver charger, the weight whereof was an hundred and thirty shekels, one silver bowl of seventy shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; both of them full of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering: One golden spoon of ten shekels, full of incense:"

And it continues on with the animal offerings for burnt offerings, peace offerings...

v84 "This was the dedication of the altar, in the day when it was anointed..."

We seem to go back and forth in time but usually the chapter will tell us where we are in time.

v1 "And it came to pass on the day that Moses had fully set up the tabernacle, and had anointed it, and sanctified it, and all the instruments thereof, both the altar and all the vessels thereof..."

Within this long chapter there are many lessons, I related to two in particular. Verse 9 tells us that the sons of Kohath received none of the many offerings brought forth in the twelve days. They have been assigned the task of carrying their burdens on their shoulders.

v9 "But unto the sons of Kohath he gave none: because the service of the sanctuary belonging unto them was that they should bear upon their shoulders."

Life is often like that. While some seem to have it made with plenty of material goods and all they need to get along. Can we say easy by all appearances? Others must carry heavy burdens with no other help but brute force. But their is help, it is not brute force alone but faith that carries us and helps us bear our load. It is a much better help than a covered wagon.

It is unfortunate and something we must all guard against, that bitterness gets inside us when we see others having it made while we struggle. It may be that we are stronger even though we do not feel so. It may be that those others could not bear the load we carry though it must be carried by someone.

We can only see the dust under our feet as we bend low and the flashing wheels as they rock along. By faith we should know that God sees the future and each person's individual needs and capabilities. As one whose health as failed, I can tell you that riding in the wagon is not all that great when you remember the strength you once had to put strong shoulders under a load.

Perhaps being unable to shoulder a load is worse than standing under the load with strength to spare. The good part is the Lord knows and grace shelters us all.


It will make this lesson a little long but let us look at verse 89. It is here that Moses speaks with the Lord for perhaps the first time in the most holy place. That is based on verse 1.

"And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubim: and he spake unto him."

Moses knew the voice of the Lord for they had conversed many times. This, however, is the crowning of all the labor and instructions. It is a promise fulfilled that the Lord would dwell among the people.

Later on it appears that Moses often went to talk with the Lord when he had a problem or a question just as we would go to a parent. Such terms as "spoke face to face" "my servant Moses" "meekest man" are phrases of endearment toward Moses. I can't find it now but I remember a place where someone came to Moses and he just said, I'll go ask the Lord and off he went, assured he would come back with the answer.

Billy Sunday's wife once said that Mister Sunday prayed so much in his later years that she could not tell when he was praying and when he was talking to her.

There is much to learn from the relationship between Moses and the Lord as the laws were given and the tabernacle was built. From the burning bush to the cloud over the tabernacle, it has been a journey.

Psalm 107:14 "He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nazarites Numbers 6

Numbers 6:2 "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord:"

Here in chapter six is the first time I have seen the vow of a Nazarite (Nazirite) mentioned in the Bible. I found no other history on the subject than what starts here. We know that Samson was a Nazarite but that is later on in Judges.

There were distinct requirements of the vow:

v3 No strong drink - in fact he was to eat nothing from the vine tree v4
v5 No razor shall come upon his head
v6 Not come near dead bodies - even if someone in his family died v7 If someone died near him or her - he was defiled and had to start over - the previous days were lost v12

When the days of separation are complete, he/she is to bring the offerings to the tabernacle v14

"And he shall offer his offering unto the Lord, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings,"

v15 continues the offerings and the process. v18 The Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings."

So regardless of where the Nazarite vow started or if it started here, it is incorporated into the law by the Lord and so is not an option if someone chooses this path.

At the end of this chapter is a prayer that I have often heard but never knew where it came from and so I quote it from Numbers 6 verses 24,25,26.

"The Lord bless thee and keep thee:

The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."

Monday, October 01, 2007

Lepers,Jealousy Bitter Water Numbers 5

Numbers 5:3 "Both Male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell."

It may seem a cruel thing to do. I had some problem myself. The thing to remember is that Israel is preparing for war. Only if the children of Israel are clean will they receive the victory that is possible. The Lord is their strength and he will not occupy space with uncleanliness.

They were not cast away but put out of the camp. It was a common thing for lepers to dwell separately.

V6 "Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin hat men commit, to do a trespass against the Lord, and that person be guilty: V7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: .....

The passage goes on to describe the method for cleansing from their sin. I John 1:9 describes how, as Christians, we are to deal with our sin.


v14 "And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled:"

We all know what jealousy can do to a group of people. It would be bad to go off to war with the men jealous of each other over their wives. So this deals with that issue. The test falls on the woman. The test seems to be to remove doubt even when no deed was done.

Bitter water

V17 "And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take and put it into the water:"

The woman was to drink the liquid as a trial of her guilt. If she was innocent, she was restored. If she was not innocent she had physical ailments in her lower body.

The Bible seems to be dealing with some issues as they arise and incorporating them into the law. You will see here many of the practices of some denominations. Also some terms which will not appear in the New Testament i.e. holy water. Not that I remember anyway.

Proverbs 5:3-4 "For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword."

Romans 6:15 "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."