Friday, November 30, 2007

Pitch Your Tents Deuteronomy 1

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Deuteronomy 1: 6 "The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount:"

And so, they began to move about. Along the way, commandments were given and the nation was organized. Every step of the way was under the Lord's guidance.

v33 "Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day."

They multiplied to the point where Moses needed help judging the people.

v10 "The Lord your God hath multiplied you, and behold ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude."

The children of Israel at first rebelled and refused to fight which angered the Lord and he turned them to the wilderness. In rebellion they decided to fight but did not have the Lord with them and were soundly defeated.

v34-35 "And the Lord heard the voice of your words and was wroth and sware saying. Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers."

This chapter reminds Israel of their fathers who would not go up into Canaan to posses it. It also makes it clear that it was the Lord who led them in all their journeys. They could do anything with the Lord but nothing without him.

Psalm 9:4 "For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right."

Deuteronomy Start

Described as the fifth book of Moses, Deuteronomy consists of the parting counsels of Moses.

Scofield gives this outline(modified):

-Summary of wilderness journey
-Restatement of Law
-Closing Prophecies
-Counsels to Priests, Levites and Joshua
-Song of Moses
-Death of Moses

Key phrase: "Thou shalt"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

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Tribe's Inheritance Numbers 36

Nu 36:7 "So Shall not the inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe: for every one of the children of Israel shall keep himself to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers."

Chapter 36 revisits a question that was raised in chapter 27. The daughters of Zelophehad had no brothers and so were concerned about their inheritance. It was determined that their fathers part would go to them.

Now, the question is what happens to the inheritance if the girls marry outside the family in which case their husbands would be head of household and owner of the property. In this case, the girls were directed to pick their husbands from their fathers tribe and so keep the land in the family which they did.

We would expect a sort of summary at the end of Numbers but there is not one. The story continues into Deuteronomy and Joshua. In truth, the story continues right on through the Bible with the failure of Israel to follow the commands of God, the prophets that warned them and the prophecies of their restoration. Deuteronomy could be considered a summary of their times up to now. Moses deliverers a powerful sermon on past events and a warning of what would happen if the children of Israel rebelled.

So we leave Numbers for now and go on to the next book. Israel has progressed from the time of Abraham's wanderings. We saw Issac choose a bride and Jacob sleeping on a rock then wrestling with the Lord. From there, Israel is enslaved in Egypt and delivered with a mighty hand of God. They rebelled after the spies checked out Canaan and wondered for forty years. Now they have built the tabernacle and organized themselves into a mighty army. A few battles have honed their skills and given them confidence. They are at the door of Canaan and in the next book Moses will give his farewell sermon.

The redemption of the world, the promise of Abraham is in the people. Bethlehem is nearing.

Psalm 50:1-2 "The might God, even the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cities of Refuge Numbers 35

Numbers 35:11 "Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares."

(Scofield declares these cities to be a type of Christ and gives references: Psalm 46:1, 142:5,Isa4:6,Ex 21:13 Deut 19:2-9 Rom 8:1,33,34 Phil 3:9 Heb 6:18,19)


v1 Eight and forty cities for the Levites with their suburbs and measure thereof
v6 Six of them are to be cities of refuge
v9 The laws of murder
v31 No satisfaction for murder

As I've said before I don't consider myself a scholar, but this is what this means to me.

The cities of refuge were God showing mercy. Someone who killed another would have been at the mercy of a family member who was ready to take their life immediately. The cities of refuge provided a place for the killer to run to until the congregation could gather witnesses and decide if the killing was accidental or on purpose.

The avenger could not kill the person they were after if they made it to a city of refuge, but they must remain there or else they were fair game if they left the city. I expect that happened sometimes since anyone would have wanted to go home and see their family or check on their property.

These cities were an act of mercy for these men who took a life but perhaps without malice. Nevertheless they were guilty of killing someone.

In the sense that we are all sinners, we have no recourse in life, except to run to Christ. He is our city of refuge.

Psalm 40:11 "Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Boundaries Numbers 34

Numbers 34:2 "Command the children of Israel and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:)

Then, the chapter gives the borders and boundaries of the kingdom of Israel. Nine and one half tribes will receive inheritance in Canaan after crossing Jordan. Two and one half tribes will received inheritance on this side of Jordan because they were cattle people and the land was good for that. But those two and half tribes would fight for Canaan and then return to this side of Jordan.

While this chapter may be boring reading, it's not in story form, it is very important when it comes to the promised land. It is laid out like a surveyor would describe it with directions and markings to go by. In the right hands, these instructions would leave no doubt where the nation Israel lies.

Here is a good time to open your study Bible to the maps section and look at the country. You will see familiar names, even in the maps of the old country before the Roman Empire. Such names as Lebanon and Syria. You will also see such lands as Italy and Spain and others, which seem so distant from our studies. Wider maps will show empires reaching to the horizon which dwarf Israel.

Yet it is Israel that the Lord holds dear. Look at these verses in Deuteronomy:
Chapter 32 v9-12 "For the Lord's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of is inheritance. He found him in a desert land and in the waste howling wilderness, he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did led him, and there was no strange god with him." Read on if you like. (Jacob is Israel).

Psalm 30:1 "I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Summary Israel's Journey Numbers 33

Numbers 33:1 "These are the journeys of the children of Israel which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron."

I know of no other peoples who have their family trees documented so well. In ancient history, I know of no nation that knows their history so well. The records are so precise it leaves no room for doubt and are often repeated.

The first part of this chapter tells of the journey and where Israel stopped and where they went next. The last part of the chapter concerns the future crossing into Canaan and leaves a warning. Israel is to utterly possess the land, not share it.

v55 "But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes an thorns in your sides and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell."

We will see how well they did with their instructions in later studies.

Psalm 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gad and Reuben Numbers 32

Numbers 32:1 'Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead that behold the place was a place for cattle; v2 The children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spake unto Moses and to Eleazar the priest and unto the princes of the congregation saying:"

These families were cattle people and wanted to settle on this side of Jordan instead of going into Canaan. They did tell Moses that they would go with them to possess the land first then return to the cattle country if only Moses would agree to their request.


v1 The Reubenites and Gadites sue for their inheritence on that side Jordon
v6 Moses reproveth them
v16 They offer him conditions to his content
v33 Moses assigneth them the land
v39 They conquer it

V23 "But if ye will not do so behold ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out."

Psalm 121:1 "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Judgment on Midian Numbers 31

Numbers 31:1-2 And the Lord spake unto Moses saying Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people."

v1 The Midianites are spoiled and Balaam slain
v13 Moses is wroth with the officers for saving the women alive
v19 How the soldiers with their captives and spoil are to be purified
v25 The proportion whereby the prey is to be divided
v48 The voluntary oblation unto the treasury of the Lord

Two things happen in the chapter. The Midian's are wiped out for the present and Balaam is killed.

It seems to have been a plan (scholars agree) that since Balaam could not curse Israel that he devised a plan for the people (women) of Midian to corrupt Israel. It almost worked. God's judgment came upon Israel and Phinehas atoned for the people by killing a Midianite woman and the Israelite who brought her into camp.

So in this chapter 12,000 men of war are sent out to destroy the Midianites. They did not do a complete job of it and saved the women and children. It was the women of Midian who had been used to corrupt the men of Israel. Moses told them in v15

"And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold these caused the children of Israel though the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord."

There were great spoils of war and these were divided according to Moses' and Eleazar's instructions. But the men of war realized their increase and made a freewill offering to the Lord.

It amazes me how they can get into so much trouble and yet be so thoughtful in sharing.

Still we are not in Canaan but because of the judgment on the Midian's there is now a door way into the promised land. Up to now, no one would let Israel pass through their land.

Psalm 36:1 "The transgression of the wicked saith, within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. v2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be fund to be hateful."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Vows Numbers 30

Numbers 30:2 "If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond: he shall not break his word, he shall do according t all that proceedeth out of his mouth."

v1 Vows are not to be broken
v3 The exception of a maid's vow
v6 of a wife's
v9 of a widow's or her that is divorced

Genesis 3:16 "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee."

Ephesians chapter 5 also discusses the role of husband and wife as do other passages.

Here in this chapter the order of authority and responsibility are very clear. The husband is not only the head of the house but is held responsible for the happenings there, right down to the vows made by his wife and daughters.

He, himself, has no recourse once he makes a vow but to carry it through and keep his word. The wife, however, does have one way out of a vow and that is if the husband hears her and voids the oath in the same day. The same is true for his unwed daughter. So long as he recants the vow on the same day. There is no mention of a son so I assume his words are treated as those of a man.

I know this idea of a man telling his wife what to do is not popular in our society. It is not a license to be mean to her. On the contrary, he is called on to bear the burden of her mistakes. v15 "But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them, then he shall bear her iniquity."

Christ assumed this role as husband to and head of the church.

Ephesians 5:21-25 "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God, wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it;"

So, if one thinks to make a vow to the Lord, it should be with much thought and a determination to honor it, for the Lord will certainly remember.

Psalm 103:1 "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name."

key words: Bible study, fundmental, KJV, Milton J Southerland

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Offerings (pt2) Numbers 29

Numbers 29:1 "And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you."


v1 The offering of the feast of trumpets
v7 of the day of afflicting their souls
v13 and on the eight days of the feast of tabernacles

Proverbs 16:19 "Better it is to be of n humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."

Offerings Numbers 28

Numbers 28:1 "Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season."

v1 Offerings are to be observed
v2 The continual burnt offering
v9 The offering on the sabbath
v11 on the new moons
v16 at the passover
v26 in the day of firstfruits

A review of the offerings that were to be made by the people. This is a new generation and they must be taught as well. I think often we hear a sermon and think, oh I've heard this before, but we must always keep in mind that our children are being taught and it may be their first time to hear the old old story.

Proverbs 15:32 "He that refuseth instruction despiseth is own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Side Note

We started last year with Genesis chapter 1 and have progressed to Numbers 28. Wouldn't it have been great if you also had started then and gone through chapter by chapter? It's not too late, just go to the archives and work from the oldest forward.

Zelophehad Numbers 27

Numbers 27:8 "And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter."

Here a law is established for a situation not previously addressed. Zelophehad's daughters were in a family where there were no sons and their inheritance would be lost upon her father's death as would other families in the same situation. The Lord said they were right and made the proper adjustments.

v7 "The daughters of Zelophehad speak right..."

It continues with arrangements for most any situation where inheritance would be involved.

Moses prepare to die.

"v12 "And the Lord said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. v13 And when thou hast seen it thou shalt be gathered unto thy people as Aaron thy brother was gathered."

Between this verse and when Moses dies there is considerable space in the Bible. We have yet to cover Deuteronomy.

When Moses heard this statement his first thought was not for himself. He must have been very tired by now and ready to go, but he was concerned for the people. It is then he asked the Lord for someone to lead the people in his place.

v16 "Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, v17 which may go out before them and which may lead them out and which may bring them in that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

So Joshua is appointed to lead the people and we will hear a lot about him later in the book named for him.

v20 "And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient."

The outline:
v1 The daughters of Zelophehad sue for an inheritance
v6 the law of inheritances
v12 Moses being told of his death, sueth for a successor
v18 Joshua is appointed to succeed him.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 "Better is an handful with quietness than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Inheritance Numbers 26

Numbers 26:54-55 "To many thou shalt give the more inheritance and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him. Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit."

In this chapter Israel is again numbered. Only two of the original remain. Caleb and Joshua. Of course Moses is still there but will not enter Canaan. When Israel failed to enter the land several chapters ago, because of unbelief, God told them they would die in the wilderness and the little ones that Israel said would be prey (Chapter 14: v28-33)for the enemy, would inherit. It has now come true.

Here is how the numbers stack up if my reading is correct:

Before the wilderness journey: 603,550 men of war age plus women and under 20(Numbers 1:46)
and 22,000 Levites (Numbers 3:39)

After the wilderness journey and several battles: 601,720 men of war age plus women and under 20 (v51)
and 23,000 Levites

So, that would be a little over a thousand less of war age men and a thousand more of the Levites.

V64 "But among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered when they numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. For the Lord had said of them, The shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun."

Jacob and twelve brothers when down to Egypt with their families. Now at the door of Canaan is a great multitude. The original multitude who well remembered the slave years of Egypt would not fight but these wilderness hardened men will fight.

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

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sin in the Camp

Numbers 25:1 "And Israel abode in Shittim and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab."

Make no mistake about it, at this point in the Bible Israel is a war machine. Their formation is set up to attack in minimal time an protect the ark and the camp. There are some things you just cannot have in a army. Lack of discipline is one of these. We settled that in previous chapters when Moses' leadership was questioned. The army must keep their focus. In this chapter, Israel has lost focus. They have received the commandments of God on how to live and with all the attractive women in Moab, the warriors are now showing a total disregard for the commandments and started forbidden actions.

One bold fellow even brought a foreign woman into camp in the sight of all the people. They have also bowed down to strange gods v2.

There was a man in Israel called Phinehas who was the son of Eleazar who arose and did something. The plague had already started killing the people and they were weeping before the door of the tabernacle.

v8 "And he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel."

Again, let me emphasis that these were different times. Israel is on a mission to take Canaan. If the people were going to act like all the others around them, they are become useless and why should such a people inherit the promised land. I can understand why the Lord may have become disgusted with the whole bunch. But as before, one man stayed the Lord's hand.

God told Moses: v17 "Vex the Midianites and smite them: v18 For they vex you with their wiles..."

This is a no nonesense chapter. Israel is knocking on the door of Canaan. They must not forget who they are and who is leading them. They are a special people and are expected to act like it.

Phinehas was given the covenant of peace. v12. Called an everlasting priesthood: because he was zealous for his God and made an atonement for the children of Israel.

Don't let anyone tell you that one person cannot make a difference.

Psalm 33:13 "The Lord looketh from heaven: he beholdeth all the sons of men."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Star and Sceptre Numbers 24

Numbers 24:17 "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab and destroy all the children of Sheth."

There's that shout of a king again!

Balaam tells Balak about the future of Israel and a very important prophecy about the Lord. Balaam would see him but not now and he would then see him but not nigh. He also tells how Israel would be as a lion and having the strength of a unicorn in taking the land and defeating the enemy. It is a mixture of a short range prophecy for Israel and a long range prophecy for the coming of Christ.

There are also predictions about the defeat of nations which we should run across later in our study. It is possible that some of the predictions are about end time, I'm not sure. The early prophets were allowed to see things but they did not understand the whole picture. They did not have the New Testament nor the book of Revelation.

Zechariah 12:8 "In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.

v9 "And it shall come to pass in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."

v10 "And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplications and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."

For those who want to see into the future and give God the glory, the Bible is wonderful.

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

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Shout of a King Numbers 23

Numbers 23:21 "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him and the shout of a king is among them."

Balaam is still on the mountain with Balak looking down on the children of Israel. Balak is trying to get a curse on them but all he hears is God bragging on them.

We must remember the conditions. Not long ago Jacob was using a rock for a pillar and running from Esau. God met him there and made a great promise. As Balaam stands on the mountain looking down, he sees the fulfillment of that promise. Israel has grown to a multitude.

God chose Israel to make something of them. The world seems hopeless. In Egypt, they are worshipping all kinds of gods. Here in Moab, Baal seems to have everyone's attention. Yet, in the midst of this, a people are on the move who worship only one God, The God Jehovah. There are not statutes to him because he is there in person.

Our verse says that the Lord says the shout of a king is among them. I see two meanings in this statement. One is the surety that they will be a nation for how can there be a king without a kingdom. They have not yet declared 'give us a king' but the notion must be in their heart as Moses nears the end of his life. The other meaning I get is that they carry the promise of the King of Kings in their ranks. My analogy that Israel is a pregnant lady carrying the Lord Jesus Christ to Bethlehem to be born goes along with this statement. Even here he is among the people. They long for a king!

Much like the church, Israel must be corrected from time to time. It is as if a cancer creeps into camp and it must be eradicated. So, there is punishment in plagues and serpents. But on the mountain there is no talk from God of Israel's rebellion, there is only the telling of what a fine people they are. It is as if the Lord is saying, this is my child, I will correct it but there will be no outside interference. The verse says neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel. I think of our sinful ways and the blood of the Lamb that covers our sin so that God only sees the good in us. Grace is truly amazing.

Lamentations 3:22 "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not."

Look at Ezekiel chapter 16.

A shout of a King!

Psalm 3:3 "But thou, O Lord, art a shied for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head."

Bible Study, gospel, Jesus, old old story: key words

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

An Angel, A Prophet and a Donkey Numbers 22Pt2

Numbers 22:31 "Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way and his sword drawn in his hand and he bowed down his head and fell flat on his face."

Balaam has decided to meet with Balak and is on his way riding a donkey and takes along two servants. Balaam is apparently blind to spiritual things even though he is here the mouthpiece of God.

An angel stands in his way but Balaam does not see him and tries to go forward. The donkey he was riding did see the angel and stopped. Balaam tries to turn this way and that but still the donkey would not go on. Finally, the donkey speaks to Balaam and asked why he is striking him.

The amazing thing is Balaam carries on a conversation with the donkey and appears to think nothing of it until the angel allows him to see him. He then receives permission to proceed but is reminded to speak only what he is told by God to speak.

v1 "And it came to pass on the morrow that Balak took Balaam and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people."

Balak plays a little trick on Balaam by not showing him all the people. Just the "...utmost part.." which sounds like the end of the camp to me. Balaam did not yet know the multitude he was looking at. So Balak builds altars and Balaam goes to see what God would have him say to Balak. It is not what Balak wants though.

A back and forth goes on in the next chapters which makes Balak upset at Balaam because he wanted a curse on Israel but did not get it. Balaam at least stood firm on that part. Who wouldn't after talking to a donkey and then an angel. He should have been rather revived at this point but I'm afraid he was still thinking about a place of honor that Balak promised. He should have known that he already had a place of honor as a prophet.

Proverbs 11:18 "The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that sowest righteousness shall be a sure reward."

Bible Study

Monday, November 05, 2007

Balaam Numbers 22

Numbers 22:1 "And the children of Israel set forward and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho."

Israel gets a glimpse of their gateway into Canaan. Jericho will become a place of remembrance and the stuff of children's songs. Twice they went to Kadesh but did not enter Canaan, the first time was because of unbelief, the second time Edom would not let them pass. So now we see another way in.

First though we have to deal with Balaam for a few chapters. Balaam was a prophet but not in the sense that you think of Elijah or Isaiah. He served as the messenger of God but still was not very spiritual.

Balak is another character we must address. He was king of the Moabites. v4.

Balak looked down from the mountain on the congregation of Israel and knew he would need some help defeating them. He must not have known that Israel was protected by the Lord for he called Balaam to put a curse on them. v5.

Balaam took the messengers into his home. v8 "...Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak unto me; and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam."

I think it would have been better if Balaam had sent them away but he didn't.

v9 "And God came unto Balaam and said, What men are these with thee?"

So Balaam starts explaining to God why they are there. He gives title to Balak but the children of Israel are only 'a people' . He tells God what Balak said:

v11 "Behold there is a people come out of Egypt which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them: peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out."

Obviously, Balaam is in the dark about the big plan. He also still has the 'position of honor' in his mind that Balak promised. But the Lord told him not to go and not to curse the people. He then told Balaam they were blessed. v12.

There is some back and forth. Balak sends more messengers and instead of Balaam telling them to go away he tells them to wait and see what God says. God told him to go ahead but only to speak the words told him by God. Balaam should have taken the first command for he is shown to be dummer than a donkey in the next verses. Some divide God's will in perfect and permissive. Perfect being what he wants someone to do but because of freewill, permissive is what he allows even though it may anger him if the person goes ahead after being told not to the first time.

v21 "And Balaam rose up in the morning and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab."

Psalm 107:6 "Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses."

Bible Study

Friday, November 02, 2007

Serpents in the camp Numbers 21

Numbers 21:7 "Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned for we have spoken against the Lord and against thee: pray unto the Lord that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people."
v4 "And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea..."
v11 "And they journeyed from Oboth...toward the sunrising."
King Arad the Canaanite heard that Israel was in the area and attacked them taking prisoners. Israel prayed and fought them defeating them and destroyed their cities and them.

Then they moved to another area. Since Edom would not let them pass through, they must circumvent Edom and it requires a long and tiring march. The people are upset and start complaining again. It is then that the serpents come into came and kills many people. They confess to Moses and he prays.

The solution is to erect a brazen serpent so that if someone is bitten, all they need to do is look at the brazen serpent and they will not die.

v9 "And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole and it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."

Spiritually the serpent is a symbol of sin judged. The brazen serpent is a type of Christ in that he was made sin for us although he knew no sin himself he bore our judgement.

Israel journeyed from there and made several stops before coming to the top of mount Pisgah.

Israel sent messengers to King Sihon of the Amorites v21 asking to pass through the land but he refused and came out to fight against Israel.

v24 "And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land fro Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong."

Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites for a time then went to Bashan where the king went out against them and lost.

Israel is on the outskirts of Canaan looking for a way in. They have shown their military might and put the area in fear of them. In the next chapter we will get a hint of why Israel was allowed to defeat these people. They were worshippers of Baal and no doubt were being judged for their sin.

Psalm 121:1 "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Aaron Dies Numbers 20 Part 4

Numbers 20:24 Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah."

Aaron's journey ends just short of the promised land. He has been with Moses, in the task of delivering and leading the children, for about 40 years now. He was the mouth piece of Moses on much of the journey. He has also borne the burden and joy of being the high priest of the sanctuary. No doubt, he has spent many hours pouring over the details of the daily sacrifices. Perhaps no one in the congregation has seen as much blood as Aaron.

On this day his garments are removed by Moses and put on Eleazar. There he died in mount Hor. The people mourned for Aaron thirty days "...even all the house of Israel." v29.

The death of Aaron can be considered the turning point for Israel. They no longer wander. From here on they are a driving force toward the land of Canaan.

Psalm 63:1 "O God, thou are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; v2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary."