An Uprising

“And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? And He hath brought thee near to Him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also? For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?” Numbers 16:8-11 (KJV)

Korah, Dathan and Abiram were family in the tribe of Levi, and the children of Israel journeyed through the wilderness, out of Egypt.  The family of Aaron was appointed as the family of the priesthood, and these Levites were caretakers of the “Holy articles” of the tabernacle.  Yet, at least these three raised a ruckus against Moses and Aaron and GOD.

This is one sad, but too often repeated in the Biblical history, as well as throughout world history.  People who are not content with their God given place in service and life.  That is where wars and strife come from (James 4:1-2).

Look at the leadership of Moses.  He states the case for what it is.  It is a rebellion against the LORD (v. 11 in the text above).  These were God’s people, going God’s way, doing God’s will; and yet there was discontent, jealousy, and bitterness.  All those things are against God.

As Korah gathered the congregation together against God, Moses and Aaron “…The glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation” (V. 19).  The LORD had appointed Moses and Aaron to their positions of leadership, and the other Levites to their positions.  It is a dangerous thing to challenge God, and His appointments, and/or His authority to do so; then to question the authority of those He  has placed in authority.

Moses plead with Korah, Dathan and Abiram (vv. 8-9), to change their heart and mind; but to no avail.  Moses and Aaron fall on their faces before the LORD (v. 22), and plead with God for the congregation, and God’s mercy upon them.

All who would separate themselves from the uprising, and the three men would be spared the event that was about to happen.

Because they refused to repent the judgment of God was about to fall.  Hear the words of Moses to the men and the congregation….

And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. 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. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. vv. 28-34

We all need to consider these words which are from God.  This by no means even hints at toleration of evil and godless leadership; especially within a Congregation of Christian people.  Neither does it allow for false teachers who preach contrary to the content of Scripture, or of Christ Jesus.

Let us be content with our calling and place in life.  Let us do our part, and not even desire the office of another.  If we could we might want to ask Korah, Dathan and Abiram about the reality of God’s wrath and judgment.  I think they would agree with…

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of  the living God”  (Hebrews 10:31).

You do not need to perish.  Realize you have sinned, that God sent His Son Jesus to die for you; that He was buried, and that He rose again from the grave, and that He eternally lives giving life to all who believe Him.

 

 

Jesus Through the Bible – Even the Vision of Balaam

“And he took up his parable, and said, ‘Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: ‘He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: 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. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.’” Numbers 24:15-19

Often the words of a false prophet are not worth posting; however in this case they are documented in Scripture and the prophecies of true prophets to be considered worthy.

Balaam prophesied of Jesus. Jesus is the “Star out of Jacob”. He is also the “Sceptre” that “shall rise out of Israel”. Jesus is the Conqueror of the enemies of Israel, and forever shall be.

If a false prophet has some vision of who Jesus is why do you not have the heart and vision to see, that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, God the Living Son; crucified, buried, raised bodily from the grave; and coming again. Jesus is the conqueror of all sin, and the Victor over all enemies of God and His people (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; Romans 8:35-39).

Christmas Day Two Hundred Twenty and One

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the LORD God of all creation to comfort, encourage, and give strength to the families of the Egypt Air flight 804 into the Mediterranean Sea; and that they will find peace through the Son Jesus Christ, and eternal life in Him.

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.” Numbers 6:24-25 (KJV)

“Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 38:23

Day Three Hundred Forty and Eight

What do I want for Christmas?

I want my family, friends and neighbors to be blessed, in peace, comfort and wealth; most of all to be blessed with the peace and presence of the Lord in their lives.

“The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)

Dealing With Our Sin; the Enemy Within

“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, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.” Numbers 33:55-56 (KJV)

There is a certain ideology of the world today that likens Christianity to extremism of the religious nature. For some reason; fear, shame, or for whatever reason Christians are silent about the things concerning holiness in the life of the Christian; and the major extreme we as individuals must go to to root out, rid ourselves of all that is vile, evil and unholy.

We need to be extremist when it comes to dealing with unholiness. The first place is to begin within ourselves. Put it off. Christ Jesus has given us power and authority to deal with evil in ourselves.

The above verses are verses for Israel to deal with the evil of the land of Canaan they were about to conquer in the name of the LORD. The Canaanites had polluted the land with innocent blood; sacrificing children, and the elderly alike; worshipping unholy deities. God had given them more than 400 years to change their ways; but they did not. Now He was going to purify the land.

For the Christian we are to put off sin, and put on Christ. The apostle Paul speaks of spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10ff); and that warfare deals with fighting sin within, and around us. That warfare does not involve the shedding of innocent blood. That blood has already been shed; the blood of Jesus Christ for our sins.

The warning of verse 56 above is that if we do not drive evil out, and we allow any of it to remain, then that evil will be a torment; just as thorns in our sides, and pricks in our eyes; the evil we let remain will be a vexing of our souls. May God help us.

That Thing Which No One wants to Deal With; Must Be Dealt With

“And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.”

“Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through 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.” Numbers 31:8, 16 (KJV)

Are we grieved by our sin? Are we brokenhearted by our sin and the sin of others? Will we obey God concerning how we deal with sin? To the minds of humanity in our current days, some of these, or even all of these judgments are harsh, even cruel, and inhumane.

Sin in the eyes of holy God are trespasses against Him. He must deal with sin. In all truth He always has; since the garden of Eden, and through our own day; He still deals with our sin. Humanity today are the ones who are not addressing the matter of personal sin.

GOD has paid our sin debt through the violent, bloody death of His own Son Jesus Christ. He has shown how He hates sin even to the death of His Son.

The above event in the Bible takes place shortly before Moses’ own death, because of His sin of disobedience. The event takes place due to Balaam’s counsel to pervert the children of Israel, through the pagan, ungodly practices of Moab (Numbers 25).

Remember Jesus’ words,

“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

God has already dealt with the sins of those who believe Him. He will ultimately deal with all sin. Trust Jesus, and be saved.

Condemning Law; Saving Grace

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: and he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.” Numbers 27:18-23 (KJV)

The verses preceding these tell us of Moses being commanded by God to go onto Mount Abarim from which he would look over into the Promised Land, and see the destination of the children of Israel. Moses would die there, because he had rebelled against the LORD and struck the rock rather than speaking to it (Numbers 20:7-11).

We can see in the reading of the books of the Law that the Law is unable to deliver. It teaches, it convicts, it provides not salvation, except in perfection of keeping it; which no one is able to do. So the Law condemns, and leaves with no hope. The apostle Paul says of the Law,

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Galations 3:24-25

Moses represents the Law, because he is the Lawgiver. Joshua represents the salvation of the LORD which is by grace. Joshua would lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus which means “Jehovah is salvation”.

Jesus Christ is our Victor, not the Law.

Deal Quickly with Sin

“And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 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. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.” Numbers 25:6-9 (KJV)

The world and those caught up in unholiness do not understand holiness, and this zeal which Phinehas had for the holiness of God. Many of those who profess to be Christians are okay with the world and its unholiness; thus, portraying to the world, an unholy god.

Verse 3 of chapter25 tells us that the LORD’S anger was kindled against Israel, because they had joined themselves with the very people who had been trying to have them cursed by Balaam. Balaam showed that he hated God, His holiness, and His people by leading the people of Moab to join with Israel in flagrant rebellion against God (Revelation 2:14).

I am not going to try and explain Phinehas’s actions, except God did approve of them, because of His zeal; and due to his zeal for the holiness of God the plague which had came on the people was stopped. God also blessed Phinehas, and his family (Numbers 25:12-13). The actions of Phinehas most likely saved the lives of thousands more of the people of Israel.

Sin was dealt with by God through the death of His Son. God Himself struck Him (Isaiah 53:4-9). That is how God views His holiness. How quickly will I deal with sin in my own life? How about you? Let us deal first with our own sin, then we can with mercy deal with the sins of others.

The Vessel God Uses

“And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: he hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the Most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: 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. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.” Numbers 24:15-19 (KJV)

To me Balaam is a puzzle. He is a man of enchantments for foretelling the future, and evidently for pronouncing curses on whomever he will (Numbers 24:1). Yet in the above verses, and in others in the saga of Balaam, we see him as a man who appears concerned with saying what the LORD says.

If God could use a donkey to speak to Balaam (Numbers 22:22-41) I do not know why God could not use a lying  prophet to speak His truth.

In the prophecy written above we see a prophecy of the coming Messiah of Israel. Balaam speaking of Jesus Christ coming. The prophecy is pointing mostly to the second coming of Christ, but Jesus was the fulfillment of “There shall come a Star out of Jacob”, and the rest of the prophecies as well.

He will come again and all who have opposed Him will be destroyed.

For more study on Balaam you may follow this link.

The Living Look

“And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 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. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 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.” Numbers 21:6-9 (KJV)

The people were complaining, murmuring about the bread that came from heaven, which they had called “Manna” which means “what is it?”. It seems to me that people of today, even professing Christians have grown tired of the Bread from heaven. He is Jesus our Lord and Saviour.

Due to the murmuring of the people of Israel God sent fiery serpents into the camp; and these serpents bit them, and many of these murmurers died. Their deaths were due to their conspiracy with sin to overthrow God’s very means of their sustenance. Murmuring, ungratefulness, says to others and to God, “I know what is best for my life, and this is not it”.

When I first began studying the Bible I came to this verse, and I knew that it was a type, a picture of the sinner looking to Jesus on the cross, and being delivered from sin. My question was, “How does a serpent represent my Saviour?” The study continued until I discovered 2 Corinthians 5:21, then I had the answer. God made Jesus to be sin for us… that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, became on the cross the very thing that His Father hated and despised; and took the holy judgment and wrath that only myself, and the whole human race was responsible for. If I would have died for my own sin; if you were to die for your own sin, then there would not be eternal life; but eternal death, and dying torment.

By looking to Jesus, His death, burial and resurrection we can look unto Him and live eternally in the presence of God, and in His glory.

Hear the words of Jesus Himself,

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15

Blossomed Authority

“And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness. 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. And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.” Numbers 17:6-9 (KJV)

Following God’s judgment on Korah, Dathan and Abiram in chapter 16 because of their rebel hearts; and questioning of Moses’ and Aaron’s leadership, and authority God tells Moses to collect the “rods” of the “Prince” of each tribe, with Aaron’s among them. Their names were placed on each rod.

This was done to stop the murmurings of the people (v. 5). The LORD also said, “The rod I choose shall blossom” and it did far more.

These rods were not separated one from another, but put before the ark of the covenant. The Testimony was the Ten Commandments of stone within the Ark.

We can see from the above text that Aaron’s rod is the one that blossomed,and bear fruit of almonds. Now cut, dead, rods just do not bear fruit, little lone, blossom. It was the authority of God showing the people of Israel who was His chosen High Priest. That was what God said. That is what would stand.

The rod, budding, and blossoming, then bearing fruit is also a picture of the resurrected Christ Jesus. Risen from death to life, blossoming, and bearing the fruit of the glory of God.

Jesus is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25-26). Believing, trusting Him you will never die. Do you believe this? Will you believe this?

Despising the Word of the LORD

“But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken His commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.” Numbers 15:30-31 (KJV)

Have you ever heard someone say, “I know that is a sin, but I am going to go ahead and do it.” They might even include in their statement something like this; “I know God is a forgiving God. He will forgive me anyway.” That is presumptuous sin. According to the above verse “…his iniquity shall be upon him”

The individual who would live this way, is in great peril; and is not taking what God says seriously. This individual is a blasphemer. Verses 32 – 36 show a man who picked up sticks on the Sabbath day; a clear violation of the fourth commandment “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy”. He “thumbed his nose” at God, and said, “I will do it anyway”. He was stoned to death.

This type of disobedient sin would not come from the heart of a man or woman of God; who has been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

There is forgiveness of sin. There is only death to blaspheme God by “despising the word of the LORD”.

The apostle John has written,

“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Presumptuous willful sin is still a serious matter with God. Let us always flee to the cross of Jesus.

Let Us Go Up At Once

“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:30-33 (KJV)

Before these verses we find Moses sending twelve men to check out the Land of Promise, the land of Canaan. Joshua and Caleb have returned with the other ten, excited about what they have seen. To them the possibilities are wonderful. Look a the cluster of grapes they have returned with; so large it is carried between two men on a pole.

God had promised the land to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants that had become a great number of people. At the time of this venture, they had been in the wilderness about two years. Had they came back believing as Caleb and Joshua; rather than in unbelief they would have crossed into the land much earlier than they did.

God gave them a promise. The ten did not believe it. Two saw the promise and the possibility. Ten saw the problems, and the power of the enemy.

I have been often quick to judge these people, but now I have discovered that I tend to be like the ten who were unbelieving. The giants are too big. The mountains are too tall. I am too small. I tend to forget that my God makes all things possible. Jesus even said,

“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:20

Because of the majorities unbelief they would not enter the Promised Land. None of the adults 20 years and above would be allowed to enter the Land; and they were condemned to 38 more years in the wilderness. The Hebrew Letter says,

“So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19

Let us walk in the promise of the Christ who loved us unto death, even the death of the cross that we might do all things through His name, and glorify Him. For as the angel Gabriel said unto Mary,

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37

The Cloud of the LORD

“And the cloud of the LORD was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp. And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let Thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Thee flee before Thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.” Numbers 10:34-36 (KJV)

I have heard the phrase, “She’s walking in a cloud” or something similar; but this cloud would take on a whole new meaning. This is not the first time it has been mentioned and it is relevant due to the children leaving Mount Sinai at this point.

They have received all their instructions, and the Law, and the building of the Tabernacle has been completed.

This cloud became a Pillar of Fire at night. This Cloud and Pillar of Fire are connected with the Ark of the covenant. They are one in representing the presence of the LORD with Israel in the wilderness.

“The cloud of the LORD” was a covering for them from the hot sun during the day. The Psalmist speaks of this in Psalm 105:39. When the Cloud moved the people went with the Cloud.

Prayer is offered by Moses as the Cloud leads the way, “Rise up, LORD, and let Thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Thee flee before Thee.” It is for certain that no enemy can stand against GOD.

The Christian has the very presence of the LORD within. We too are directed by God; led by God, filled by God; and made holy by Him. He is our refreshment, our protection, and our strength. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Blessed Shoulders

“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.” Numbers 7:9 (KJV)

The Tabernacle has been completed and set up. Offerings of carts, wagons, has been brought for the carrying of some of the weightier thing so the Tabernacle for moving. No wagon is given to the sons of Kohath. They must bear the holy thing upon their shoulders.

The altar of burnt offering, though not mentioned as being carried the bronze laver, the table of showbread, the lampstand (Menorah), the golden altar of incense, the Ark of the covenant with the mercy seat; all to be carried with any utensils by the sons of Kohath; upon their shoulders (Numbers 4:1-20). They were not to touch the holy things, “Lest they die”.

How did they carry them without touching them? A description of the process is given in verse 12 of Numbers 4. Each article was to be covered with a “cloth of blue” then “with a covering of badgers’ skins”.

These holy articles had already been built with rings in the sides for poles to be inserted, or as in the case of the Ark the poles were to remain (Exodus 25:14-15).

What does all this have to do with Christians of today; or even the world today? I pray I can answer that. The whole of the Tabernacle is a picture or pattern given to Moses of the Presence of God in heaven. It is a picture for us of God’s indwelling presence. God desires to be in the midst of His people. It ultimately points to Christ Jesus.

The name “Immanuel” means God with us. Jesus Christ is Immanuel. God came in the person of His Son to die for our sins; to reconcile fallen, sinful man unto Himself, that we might be one with Him (John 17:21).

Of this verse Matthew Henry wrote,

“Observe, No sooner is the tabernacle fully set up than this provision is made for the removal of it. Note, Even when we are but just settled in the world, and think we are beginning to take root, we must be preparing for changes and removes, especially for the great change. While we are here in this world, every thing must be accommodated to a militant and movable state. When the tabernacle was framing, the princes were very generous in their offerings, for then they brought precious stones, and stones to be set (Exo_35:27), yet now they bring more presents. Note, Those that have done good should study to abound therein yet more and more, and not be weary of well-doing.”
from Matthew Henry Commentary

These were blessed shoulders. Sons of Kohath – allied with God to bear His holiness on their shoulders.

The LORD Bless You

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
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.
And they shall put My name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27 (KJV)

This blessing was given to the Priests of Israel to bless the people. It was not an earned blessing, but a blessing from the hand of God’s mercy and grace. Of this blessing it has been said,

Here is a benediction that can go all the world over, and can give all the time without being impoverished. Every heart may utter it: it is the speech of God: every letter may conclude with it; every day may begin with it; every night may be sanctified by it. Here is blessing—keeping—shining—the uplifting upon our poor life of all heaven’s glad morning. It is the Lord himself who brings this bar of music from heaven’s infinite anthems. D. L. Moody, Notes from My Bible, pg. 41
from BELIEVER’S BIBLE COMMENTARY

The Lord Jesus Himself is our greatest blessing and the greatest fulfillment of this blessing. It is however a blessing in which we can be a blessing to others.

From this preacher,

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.

Keeping the Way

“But those that encamp before the tabernacle toward the east, even before the tabernacle of the congregation eastward, shall be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty and two thousand.” Numbers 3:38-39 (KJV)

In previous chapters the order was given for the twelve tribes encampment around the Tabernacle; with the place of God’s presence in the midst of them.

Then between the twelve tribes, and the Tabernacle was the Levites placed as GOD ordered around the Tabernacle. Notice in the above verses the ones near the gate or entrance of the Tabernacle was Moses and Aaron, and his sons; that would include their families, and the purpose of their being there was “Keeping the charge of the sanctuary…”. The word “charge” has to do with “Guard”. They were the one’s to keep out the “stranger”, so that he/she might not die.

I can see in this that the purpose of the minister of God the Biblical preacher is to tell others that there is only one way to God, and that Jesus is the “Door” (John 10:1-9). To try and enter another way is to perish.

Every Christian is to be a guardian of the way to God. We are to show men, women, boys, and girls the way to God. The way to God is through the “Door”, and Jesus says “I am the Door” (John 10:7, 9)

It is a great harm to lead others to believe that there are alternative ways to God, other than through the cross of Jesus Christ.

They Pitched by Their Standards

“And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.” Numbers 1:54 (KJV)

“And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses: so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers.” Numbers 2:34

The book of Numbers is rightly titled. It is the numbering or counting of the people, and organizing them in their encampment in the wilderness as they journey. That is clearly noted as we read the first few chapters of this book of the Law.

When we read in the noted verses above we need to realize that when it says to us “the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses” that it is dealing with the matter at hand; that is the counting of the people, and in chapter two their placement in their camp in proportion to the Tabernacle in the wilderness.

The number of men 20 years of age and above; and not counting the Levites; was 603,550 men. We see a great mass of humanity in the wilderness. With women and children this number could easily reach 2 to 3 million people total. And these “did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses.”

In reading these two chapters and the setting up of their encampment you should also note the position of the Tabernacle with the position of the tribes. The Levites; the caretakers, spiritual leaders; were in the midst of the camp with the Tabernacle in the midst of them. That is just where GOD wants to be; in midst of the lives of His people.

GOD has made it possible to be right in the hearts of His people through the death, burial and bodily resurrection of His Son Jesus. All of these journeys, the Tabernacle, the Ark of the covenant, etc. are pictures of the Christ, the Son of God. He desires to be the center, very being of your life.

Possessing the Promise

Possessing the Promise

Numbers 33:50-56

What Israel had to do to Possess the Promise:

1. Drive out the Inhabitants of the Land.
2. Rid the Land of all their Images of worship.
3. Destroy all their places of Worship.

What the Christian must do to Possess the Promise:

I. RID THE HEART OF ALL EVIL
II. DRIVE OUT ALL PAST SINS; PUT ON THE LORD JESUS.
III. THE HEART MUST BE CLEARED OF ALL PAST IMAGES OF WORSHIP.
IV. THE HEART GIVEN FULLY TO JESUS.
A. Possessing the Promise – We are to Put on the Lord Jesus Christ…
Rom. 13:12, 14; 1 Cor.15:53, 54; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:24; 6:11; Col. 3:10, 12, 14; 1 Thes.5:8; 2 Tim. 1:6

Where Our Possession Is

Where Your Possession Is

Numbers 32:20-33

1. The Land of Canaan; the Land of Promise was on the West Side of Jordan.
2. Two Tribes were Content to Be Given Land on the East Side of Jordan.
3. Agreement Was Reached; then the Half Tribe of Manasseh Wants in Too.
4. What Happens When God’s People do not Receive the Promise by Their Own Choice?

I. THE PROMISE FOR THE CHRISTIAN IS CHRIST AND HIS INHERITANCE.
II. THE CHRISTIAN CANNOT BE CONTENT OUTSIDE OF THAT PROMISE.
III. THERE WILL BE CONTINUING DISCONTENT ON THE EAST SIDE OF GOD’S PROMISE.
IV. WHERE DOES YOUR POSSESSION LIE?

 

Able to Overcome

Able to Overcome

Numbers 13:30

1. Look at the background story (vv. 1-3; Deut. 1:19-23).
2. They searched the Promised Land to find it just as God had said; “A land flowing with milk and honey” (vv. 26-29).
3. They looked at the problem, rather than the Promise (vv. 31-33).

I. GOD HAD GIVEN THE PROMISE OF THE LAND; WHY DOUBT IT.

II. THOUGH IT MAY SEEM PRACTICAL TO SEARCH OUT THE LAND; WE WILL ONLY FIND IT AS GOD HAS SAID.

III. LET OUR FAITH BE LIKE THAT OF CALEB; “LET US GO UP AT ONCE” – WITHOUT DELAY.

Jesus Through the Bible – Even the Vision of Balaam

“And he took up his parable, and said, ‘Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: ‘He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: 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.  And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.'”  Numbers24:15-19

Often the words of a false prophet are not worth posting; however in this case they are documented in Scripture and the prophecies of true prophets to be considered worthy.

Balaam prophesied of Jesus.  Jesus is the “Star out of Jacob”.  He is also the “Sceptre” that “shall rise out of Israel”.  Jesus is the Conqueror of the enemies of Israel, and forever shall be.

If a false prophet has some vision of who Jesus is why do you not have the heart and vision to see, that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, crucified, buried, raised bodily from the grave; and coming again.  Jesus is the conqueror of all sin, and the Victor over all enemies of God and His people (1 Corinthians 15:51-58;  Romans 8:35-39).

Through the Bible in a Year – 022413

THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR

Things That Really Count
Numbers 11 – 30

In our world today everything is digital. What does that mean. Some how the “experts”, at least those in the know about such things have figured out how we can have cell phones digitally; with their towers digitally; televisions are digital now; the computers are digital.

A “digit” is defined in the MIRRIAM/WEBSTER DICITONARY as “any of the figures 1 to 9 inclusive and usually the symbol 0.”

Some how the numbers 1 and 0 are the link to it all. When you have the right equipment you can place those numbers in “cyber space”, pull them out with a CD player, DVD player, or HDTV picture, and you have music, movies in your home and over the air, sattelite TV.

We look in the Bible and we see Digital is nothing new with God. Numbers or Digits do count with God.

1. The People Count;

2. The Sacrifices Count;

3. Disobedience Counts toward Judgment (Chapters 11-16);

  • We see complaining of hunger in the numbers (11);
  • We see unbelief in the numbers (12-14);
  • We see envy of leadership (16);

4. There is a Prophet who Counted for Profit (23-25);

5. The Rock in the Wilderness Counts (20:7-11; Exodus 17:6; 1 Corinthians 10:4);

6. The Inheritance Counts for All (26-30; Romans 8:16-17).

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Error of Balaam

The Error Of Balaam

Numbers 31:16; Jude 11

I. NO ONE CAN CURSE THOSE WHOM GOD HAS BLESSED (Numbers 22:6-14).

* + “I will bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you” (Genesis 12:3).
* + “And when Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.” (Numbers 24:1)
* + The thought of Balaam’s face being set toward the wilderness is that he may find a way to curse them.

II. TOO ANXIOUS, FROM GREED FOR WEALTH, LEADS TO THE ATTEMPTED CURSING OF WHAT GOD HAS BLESSED (22:15-21).

* + Remember Esau, and Jacobs stew (Genesis 25:29-34)?
* + The voice Balaam heard louder than any other was the jingle of the gold and silver coins in their purses, the position, power, prestige and profit he could receive if he would just “curse” these people wandering in the wilderness
* + There is no need to seek God’s advice again.

1. He is simply wanting God’s approval to go with the men (Numbers 22:1-21).
2. God in his patience with Balaam gives him a clear message which he disobeys (vv. 20-21).

III. WHEN THE DUMB CAN SEE AND SPEAK THE LORD MAY COME AND OPEN BLIND EYES THAT THEY MIGHT SEE (vv. 22-35).

* + “If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.” 22:20 (KJV)
* + Why is it that we can get out of the will of God, then blame God for not working in our lives?

1. “I can’t see God doing anything anymore”; someone might say.
2. It could be that God may have some “donkey” to speak to you so as to spare your life.

* + Here are some signs of the blindness of Balaam:

1. It is quite clear that the first approach was from enemies of God’s people;
2. Their payment method of divination, shows us that he was viewed by the haters of Israel as connected with sorcery;
3. He listened to them and their payment a second time without reservation;
4. When God tried to stop him, or at least to get his attention, he could not see it.

IV. THOSE WHO SAY THE RIGHT THINGS; BUT DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT HEART (vv. 23:7-12, 18-24).

* + Can a prophet or preacher say the right words without being in right relationship with God?
* + It is certain that Balaam knew the right words to say, and evidently God was giving him those words to say.

1. So the answer to those questions must be; YES!

* + Balaam’s life bore no fruit of righteousness.

Even John the apostle writing the words of Jesus to the church of Pergamum,

“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” Revelation 2:14 (KJV)

V. WITH EYES WIDE OPEN; YET CONTINUE TO DENY THE TRUTH FOR SAKE OF LUST (vv. 24:2-9, 15).

* + It is the confession of Balaam himself that says his eyes were opened.

1. It is the LORD who opened his eyes (v. 4) to see Israel for who they were.

* + Jesus said; “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (KJV)

+ There are many who say they know Christ, but have a greater heart for making wealth than they care to know the One who makes wealth.

VI. THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL, AND THEIR BLESSINGS (vv. 24:15-24).

* + Balaam’s eyes have been opened to the blessing of God upon the nation of people called Israel.
* + In this “parable” is a prophecy of the Lord Jesus; “there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel…” (v. 17).
* + Moab and Edom had been sources of conflict with Israel; even though related; and the coming King would and will deal with them according to His power and might.
* + The mere mention of his name throughout Scriptures seem to indicate that he was false in his life, and that is one of the keys to the recognition of the man of God.

1. The man of God is true to God;
2. The man of God is faithful to God and His Word;
3. The man of God lines his life with the Word of God;
4. The man of God speaks and the Word of God comes to pass.

(Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:20-22)

VII. AN EVIL THAT CAN BRING GOD’S CHASTISEMENT UPON HIS CHILDREN AND THE ANSWER (Chapter 25).

* + When God’s people sin it causes grief in the heart of God.
* + Since Balaam could not curse the people of Israel; he did one of the worse things that a pretender, hypocrite can do; cause evil to come into the heart of God’s people.

1. The sin of Balaam, and Israel was the ecumenical move of bringing the unholy into the holy.
2. Moab and Midian were of the same bloodline as Abraham

* + John Baptist and Jesus said, “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” Matthew 3:9 (KJV) [words of John Baptist.]

“I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.” John 8:38-40 (KJV)

* + “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

1. Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Galations 3:6; James 2:23).

VIII. THE HEART OF BALAAM WHICH WORKS RUIN (Numbers 31:16).

+ Though the heart of Balaam was with the Moabites and the Midianites; and for the wealth and perks that went along with it; there is in the midst of this immorality, and debauchery; many people who are grieved by the sins taking place in the camp of God.

* + These are found at the “…door of the tabernacle of the congregation”, and weeping because of this great sin against God and the people of God.
* + If we do things to cause a brother to sin; or to stumble and fall; then we fall into the category of the error of Balaam.

1. If we do or say something that causes us to look good while harming another; then that is the error of Balaam.
2. You may think, “I am not doing or saying it for pay?” Oh! You’re not? You have taken away something that belonged to another. You are in the “Error of Balaam”.

* + Though the child of God cannot sin successfully; neither will God overlook those who treat His children poorly.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 11 – The Doom of Balaam

The prophet of God was to be faithful to God, God’s Word, and to God’s people.  The prophet of God was to speak the truth, speak what God said, and on the immediate surface of things it almost seems that Balaam was faithful in those things.  However,  What was he doing going with the enemy of God, and God’s people anyway?  There is a clue itself.  If we listen to the arguments of our day; it might go something like this; “Well! We need to join with them, identify with them, know their desires, likes and dislikes if we are going to win them to Christ.”

What it ultimately comes down to is are we going to serve God and be faithful to Him; or are we going to serve mammon [material gain, popularity] and people’s approval?  Balaam does not want to “rock the boat”.

My reading today consisted of Numbers 24 – 36.  We are told in Numbers 24;

“And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.”  Numbers 24:25 (KJV)

We are not told precisely what Balaam has done but we see the  results when in chapter 25 we have the evidence of his fine demonic labors.

“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.”(v. 1ff).

There was a man in Israel’s camp who saw the tragedy unfolding and became bold, courageous and filled with righteous indignation;

“And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 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.”  25:6-8

The Moabites had joined with the Midianites to destroy Israel.  Balaam had failed to curse Israel as Balak had wished; but he did leave them a means to curse Israel.  It seems that Balaam may have seen a weakness in some of Israel’s people, so he suggested to king Balak of infiltration with their debauchery in idol worship; and profaning the people of God and violating the laws of God.  He is no prophet of God at all who shows the enemy of God the weaknesses of God’s people to cause their downfall.

In the end Balaam and five kings of Midian are killed by an army of 12,000 Israelite men (31:8).  In verse 16 we are told that it was Balaam who caused the “trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor”;

“Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through 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.” Numbers 31:16

The New Testament gives three verses dealing with the “prophet” Balaam,

“Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” 2 Peter 2:15
“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” Jude 11
“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.”  Revelation 2:14

Woe be to the pastor, preacher, evangelists, and any believer who follows the way of Balaam, who runs greedily after the error of Balaam; or holds the doctrine of Balaam, casting a stumbling block before the children of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship