Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 21


God had one more task for Moses to accomplish before he died.
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.
God wanted vengeance on the Midianites. He told Moses it was time to go to war again.
Numbers 31:3, 6-8 - And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian. And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand. And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. 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.
Joshua led the battle, and they won. They won the battle because it was what God wanted them to do. If you go around picking fights that God doesn't want you in He's not going to bless you! God blessed the children of Israel because they listened and obeyed.
Numbers 31:49-50- And they said unto Moses, Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war which are under our charge, and there lacketh not one man of us. We have therefore brought an oblation for the LORD, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the LORD.
Not only did God help them to win the battle, but He also made sure that no one from the army of Israel died. This was a miracle, and the people wanted to show their appreciation to God by a thanksgiving offering.
Numbers 31:54- And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of the congregation, for a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD.
Now the children of Israel had a good sized piece of land that they had taken over. The Lord had promised to lead them into Canaan, the Promised Land, but some of the tribes liked where they were.
Numbers 32:2,4-5, 16-18- 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, Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle: Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan. And they came near unto him, and said, We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones: But we ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced cities because of the inhabitants of the land. We will not return unto our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance.
The tribe of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh asked if they could stay on the East side of Jordan. They promised that the men of war would go over the Jordan River with Joshua and help all the other tribes to get their inheritance in the Promised Land, and then they would return to where they were now and it would be their inheritance.
Numbers 32:20-22- And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war, And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the LORD, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, And the land be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the LORD.
Moses told them that God would bless them if they kept their promise. Then he sat down and wrote about all of the things that had happened to God's people- starting with Creation until then.
Numbers 33:2a- And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD:
Then Moses gave them to the Hebrew children.
Deuteronomy 5:1; 6:2, 7- And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 31:1-2, - And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel. And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
Moses wanted the children of Israel to remember all that they learned while he was their leader. Then he wanted to encourage Joshua to follow the Lord's instructions and to lead the Hebrew children in the way that God would have them to go.
Deuteronomy 31:7-8- And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 32:48-52- And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying, Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession: And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people: Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel. Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.
God called Moses to view the Promised Land from a high mountain. Moses would die in that mountain. After 120 years of life on this earth, his time would now be over.
Deuteronomy 34:5-7- So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
God buried Moses' body in that mountain.
This is the eulogy that the chidlren of Israel gave Moses.
Deuteronomy 34:8-12- And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 20


King Balak of Moab had sent for the prophet Balaam to come and curse the Hebrew children. He thought that this would turn the battle into his favor.
Balaam had a little run in with the angel of the Lord who told him to only say what God told him to.
Numbers 22:36,41- And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast. 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 took the prophet up into a mountain where he worshiped his god, Baal. He showed Balaam the children of Israel.
Numbers 23:1-4a- And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams. And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram. And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the LORD will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place. And God met Balaam:
Balaam built seven altars and then went to meet God and hear what He had to say. God told Balaam to go back and tell the king...
Numbers 23:8- How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?
Instead of cursing the children of Israel, Balaam blessed them. This did not make Balak happy! He tried again three times. Balak and Balaam both seemed to think that God was going to change his mind. But He didn't.
Numbers 24:10-11- And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the LORD hath kept thee back from honour.
Balak told Balaam that he should flee away because he was very angry. The king blamed God, and said that he wasn't going to reward Balaam at all.
II Peter 2:15- 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;
Balaam told Balak how to turn the tables on the Israelites. You see, Balaam wanted the reward.
Revelations 2:14- 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.
Balaam told Balak that if he could send some of his people into the camp of the children of Israel, and get the Hebrew children to start worshiping Baal that God himself would punish them.
Numbers 24:25- And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place:
and Balak also went his way.
I'm sure that the king rewarded the prophet handsomely for this information. And he wasted no time in putting this plan into action.
Numbers 25:2-3- And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
Numbers 31:16-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.
God sent another plague to start killing off the Israelites for their sin. Then, he told Moses how to obtain forgiveness for this sin.
Numbers 25:4-5- And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.
All the people that had gone and worshiped the false god, Baal, were to be killed. That was the only way God would stop the plague.
Numbers 25:8b-9- So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.
24,000 people had started to worship the false god. That's a lot of people who were willing to turn their backs on God and start doing wrong! And God wasn't going to let them get away with sinning.
But, what about Balaam? Joshua led a battle at Balaam's home town. They won the battle and destroyed the Midianites.
Joshua 13:22- Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.
No one gets away with sinning. Sometimes years pass before we reap the full consequences of our actions, but God promises in Galatians 6:7- Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 19


The Israelites had just won two battles. They had taken out some very powerful kings, and received the possession of their lands. But, not everyone was happy about what was happening.
Numbers 22:2-3- And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.
Balak, the king of Moab, saw all the destruction that the Hebrew children were doing. He realized that God was on their side. He thought he could come up with a way to shift the odds into his favor.
Numbers 22:5-6- He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.
Balak knew of a prophet that was able to bless and curse. He thought if he had this prophet curse the children of Israel that he would be able to defeat them in battle. He sent a message to Balaam.
Numbers 21:7-8, 12-13- And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak. And he said unto them, 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. And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the LORD refuseth to give me leave to go with you.
God told Balaam "no", and so Balaam told the Moabite men that God wouldn't allow him to and that they had to leave. But, this didn't stop King Balak from trying again.
Balak sent more men who were even higher up in the government. He also sent a promise of great reward if Balaam would come to him.
Do you think Balaam should have said, "God already told me 'no'. So you're just gonna have to leave."? I think so, but he didn't.
Numbers 22:18-20- And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more. Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the LORD will say unto me more. And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, 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.
God told Balaam that he could go with them, but that he had to say only what God told him to say.
Numbers 22:21- And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.
Balaam got his donkey ready, and went with the men. The only problem was that God had already told him "no". So, it didn't make God happy that Balaam decided to go check out Balak's offer.
Numbers 22:22-23- And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him. And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.
God sent His angel to stop Balaam. Balaam couldn't see the angel with the sword, but his donkey could. And she didn't want to go anywhere near it.
The donkey kept trying to get away from where the angel was, and this was making Balaam pretty angry!
Numbers 22:24-25- But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
First, she went off the road, and Balaam hit her for it. The next time she saw the angel, she fell against the wall that was beside her and she crushed Balaam's foot. Again, Balaam hit her for it.
Numbers 22:26-27- And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam's anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.
This time, the donkey fell down and wouldn't move. Balaam hit her again. But then, God made something very interesting happen.
Numbers 22:28-30- And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.
The donkey started talking to Balaam! And Balaam started talking back. He didn't even think it strange that he was having a conversation with an animal. But, God thought it was about time for Balaam to see why his donkey was acting this way.
Numbers 22:31-33- 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. And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
Balaam saw the angel, and this time he fell down.
The angel said that if it wasn't for the donkey Balaam would be dead right not. Then the angel told Balaam what to do.
Numbers 22:34-35- And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again. And the angel of the LORD said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
The angel told Balaam only to say what the Lord wanted him to. Would he obey?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 18


The children of Israel had just won a tremendous battle. They had made a promise to God and had kept their word. But, now they were going back to their old ways of complaining.
Numbers 21:5- And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
Not only were they complaining about their situation, which was a result of their sin, but they were also complaining about God's provision of the mana. They weren't thankful for what God gave them.
God commands us in I Thessalonians 5:18- In everything give thanks: for his is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Numbers 21:6-7a- 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.
The people were punished with fiery serpents. They wanted Moses to pray that God would take the serpents away. But, God knew something else needed to be done.
Numbers 21:7b-8- 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.
God knew that if he only took the serpents away, whoever was bitten would die. God wanted to make a way for those who had already gotten a snake bite to live. He was going to show them the goodness of God!
Numbers 21:9- 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.
The ones who had a snake bite only had to obey God by looking at the brass serpent. This was another picture that God was giving to the children of Israel.
John 3:14-15- 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.
Christ was also put on a pole, a wooden one called a cross. He was lifted up like the brass serpent, and hung between heaven and earth on the cross. Anyone that wanted to look to Him could be saved from their sin. They wouldn't have to die and go to hell. They could go to heaven!
God knew that the children of Israel needed a Savior. He was going to provide one, but first he had to show them their need!
Anyone today can be saved, but they have to see their need, also.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 17


The Israelites were coming close to the end of their 40 years of wandering. They were going to be coming to the eastern border of the Promised Land, just along side the Jordan River. But to get there, they had to pass through the land that belonged to the descendants of Esau.
Numbers 20:14a, 17 - And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king's high way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders.
Moses was asking very nicely. He said they would stay on the main road, and they would buy anything that they needed.
Numbers 20:20-21- And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand. Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.
God didn't want the children of Israel to have to fight the Edomites. Neither did Moses. The children of Israel turned and went another way.
The Edomites didn't fight with Israel, but another king thought that he could win in a battle against them, and he came out with a great army.
Numbers 21:1- And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners.
He took some of them as his prisoners. This upset the Israelites. They knew that needed God's help to defeat this evil man. So, they made a promise to God.
Numbers 21:2-3- And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities. And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah.
The Israelites said they would destroy all the wicked people and their cities. You see, their cities had idols, and wicked pictures, and things that the children of Israel shouldn't have around. God didn't want the children of Israel to be tempted by these things, and it pleased Him that they were willing to destroy the wicked things.
God helped them to win the battle, and they kept their promise to God.
The Israelites were trying to make their way to the Promised Land without harming anyone. But, there were just some people who didn't care!
Numbers 21:21-22- And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink of the waters of the well: but we will go along by the king's high way, until we be past thy borders.
Again, Moses sent and asked if they could pass along the highway. He said they would pay for anything they needed and wouldn't bother anyone. But this king didn't want to let them pass either.
Numbers 21:23- And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel.
You would think that, after hearing about the defeat of the King Arad, this King Sihon would think twice about attacking. But no!
Numbers 21:24-45- And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong. And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof.
God, again, helped the Israelites. These wandering Hebrew nomads were learning how to be a mighty army.
Numbers 21:32-35- And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there. And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at Edrei. And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.
Moses was getting good at tactical commands. Joshua was learning how to be the General of an army. And the Israelites were obtaining the first part of their Promised Land.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 16


The children of Israel have been wandering the wilderness watching the older people die because of their sin of unbelief. Do you think that they changed their attitude? Nope! And it was going to push Moses past the point of patience.
Numbers 20:2, 6-8- And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 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.
God told Moses to go to the Rock once again. This time Moses was told to speak to the rock and the rock would give them water.
Numbers 20:10-11- And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 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.
Moses was so upset with the complaining of the children of Israel that he hit the rock instead of speaking to it. In his anger, Moses had disobeyed God!
Numbers 20:12- And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
God told Moses that his punishment would be to die in the wilderness with the others that had disobeyed Him.
Why do you think God was so upset with Moses for hitting the rock? It's because the rock was a picture of something.
I Corinthians 10:4b- and that Rock was Christ.
The rock was only to be struck once because Christ was only going to die once. After that, all anyone had to do to get saved would be speak to Christ.
Hebrews 9:28a- So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many
Moses didn't realize that he was breaking the picture of the type of Christ. He didn't understand that God was trying to show the Hebrew children something special.
Moses asked the Lord many times to forgive him and let him enter the Promised Land. God did forgive Moses, but God couldn't take away the punishment for sin. Moses would be able to see the Promised Land from a mountain, but he would not be allowed to enter it with the children of Israel.
Numbers 20:23-24- And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying, 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.
Not only would Moses die, but Aaron, also, would die without entering the Promised Land. Aaron was going to die now, and his son, Eleazar, was going to take over as the high priest.
Numbers 20:25-29- Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor: And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there. And Moses did as the LORD commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount. And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.
The Israelites realized that even their leaders, the ones chosen by God Himself, weren't allowed to disobey God and get away with it. They saw that all sin was to be punished- that was the point of the law. All sin was wicked in God's sight was something that God wants everyone to understand!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 15


God has just had to punish certain people of the tribes of Israel because they were questioning His way. God wanted to prove to the rest of the people what His way was. So, he came up with a small test.
Numbers 17:1-5- And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod. And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. 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.
God told Moses to have each tribe take a rod, a long piece of tree limb used for walking, and write a princes name on it. There would be 12 rods, one from each of the 12 tribes. God told Moses to write Aaron's name on the rod for the tribe of Levi.
God wanted Moses to place the rods in the Tabernacle and wait over night. The man who God chose would have his rod grow leaves and blossoms and fruit. This would be a miracle, because none of the rods had any roots. Moses wasn't going to water them, or put them out in the sunlight- things that plants need to grow. God was going to make the rod grow!
Numbers 17:7-9- 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.
The next day, Moses brought the rods out and the people saw that God had chosen Aaron.
The people spent many years after that wandering the wilderness for their sin of not following God's command to enter the Promised Land. The ones who were old enough to vote "no" died off in the wilderness.
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.
Yes, even Moses' and Aaron's sister died. Everyone that was over the age of 20 years old when Caanan was scouted would die in the wilderness. What a tragic ending for those who weren't willing to trust God!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 14


The children of Israel had been doomed by God to wander the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience. But, they were going to make things worse. They didn't seem to ever learn.
Numbers 14:40- And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned.
God had punished them, and now they thought they could just change His mind. But, they didn't have the relationship with God that Moses had. They were going to bear the consequences of their actions.
Numbers 14:41-45- And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you. But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah.
Moses tried to warn them, but again, they did what they wanted instead of what God wanted. They started a battle and they lost! Many of them died.
After this, another person thought that they would lead the Hebrew children.
Numbers 16:1-3- 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: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?
A man named Korah started accusing Moses and Aaron of putting themselves in a position of power. God had chosen Moses and Aaron, but Korah was so full of pride that he, Dathan and Abiram, and On, and 250 other men thought they could take the leadership away from them.
Numbers 16:4-5- And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face: And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.
Moses knew how God would react to this. He fell flat on his face! He told Korah that God would answer them tomorrow.
Numbers 16:6-7- This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.
Moses told them that they were to come before God with censers filled with fire. Korah and On and the 250 men were in front of Moses, but Dathan and Abiram weren't.
Numbers 16:12- And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up:
Oh boy! These men were very disrespectful! And God has a special punishment for those who don't respect the people He puts in charge.
Numbers 16:19- And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation.
So, Korah gathered everybody he could to come see the showdown. But again, Dathan and Abiram didn't come.
Numbers 16:23-26- And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.
So, God told Moses to go to where Dathan and Abiram were. God was going to punish them not only for their evil speech, but also for their stubborness. Their punishment would be even worse than that of the other people, so much so that God told Moses to warn everyone around them to move!
Numbers 16:27, 32, 33 -So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. 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.
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram and everything they owned slipped through a sink hole that God opened up. They fell straight into hell because of their insurrection. But what about the 250 other guys?
Numbers 16:35- And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
God killed them with fire. But the Israelites thought that it was something Moses had done.
Numbers 16:41-42- But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD. And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.
They started to accuse Moses, the friend of God. And God came down to take care of it.
Numbers 16:43, 46, 48- And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation. And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.
God doesn't take kindly to those who don't obey. God doesn't like when we lead others away from His will. And He won't tolerate when anyone goes after His chosen people.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 13

The children of Israel had been wandering through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. God had already helped them fight and win battles. Now, it was time to show them the land.
Numbers 13:1-3- And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 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 shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them. And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel.
God told Moses to send one leader from each tribe to search the land of Canaan and come back and tell the people what it was like. 
Numbers 13:17-20- And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.
Moses chose out the 12 men and sent them to Canaan with a mission- check out the land, check out the inhabitants and their cities, and check out the food.
Numbers 13:21-25- So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. And they ascended by the south, and came unto Hebron; where Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the children of Anak, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. 
These men went all over Canaan for 40 days. They even gathered some of the ripe food that was there to bring back and show the rest of the Israelites.
Numbers 13:26-29- And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. And they 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. 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. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. 
These Hebrew spies showed the wonderful foods from the Promised Land. They said how beautiful and nurturing the land was. But then they told of the giants that lived there. The tale of the savage heathen scared the Israelites.
One of the men that had searched the land, Caleb, knew that God was more powerful than any giant. He tried to get the people to understand that they could defeat anything with God's help.
Numbers 13:30- 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. 
Numbers 13:31-33- 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.
All God really wants from us is faith and obedience. Caleb had faith that God would help them win. He was willing to obey God. There was only one other spy that had faith, too. The rest did not, and they got everyone scared.
Numbers 14:1-3- And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 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! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 
The Israelites were so scared that they even talked about going back to Egypt. They began to look around for someone who was willing to guide them there.
Numbers 14:5-9- Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
Moses and Aaron knew that God would not be happy with how they were acting. Caleb and Joshua, the two faithful spies, tried to talk some sense into them, but they decided they weren't going to listen to anyone!
Numbers 14:10-11- But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?
The Israelites were going to kill Caleb and Joshua. And that's when God stepped in. 
He was so upset by their lack of faith that He was going to kill them all. Again Moses begged God not to kill them. And again, God listened to Moses and only punished them.
Numbers 14:22-24, 28-30- Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 
God said that all the Israelites that had said they wouldn't go would die in the wilderness. This led to the Hebrew children wandering about the desert for 40 years!
The only people who lived would be Caleb and Joshua.
Numbers 14:36-37- And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
But, the other 10 spies that talked the people out of trusting and obeying God died right on the spot by a plague. God doesn't like people to disobey Him, but He always punishes those who lead others away from obeying Him.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 12

So much is going on with Israel in the wilderness. They keep complaining, they keep sinning, and they keep fighting. There was even a time when Aaron and Miriam were at odds with Moses!
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.
Aaron and Miriam were upset that Moses hadn't married an Israelite. They thought that they were more righteous than Moses, and that meant God would use them more.
Numbers 12:2-3- And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) 
Now, Moses was meek. That means he was humble and he wasn't going to argue without a good reason. And the Lord knew this. The Lord also heard what Aaron and Miriam had said.
Numbers 12:4-8- 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. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
God had some things to say to Aaron and Miriam. He said that Moses was His friend, and He told Moses what to do. He said Moses was faithful to the Lord, and they shouldn't be talking bad about him.
Numbers 12:9-10- And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. 
God was so angry that he placed a terrible disease on Miriam. She would die a terrible death and Aaron could do nothing.
Numbers 12:11-12- And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb. 
Aaron begged Moses to forgive him. He was hoping Moses' forgiveness would cure Miriam of this wretched disease.
Moses didn't want to see Miriam die this way. So, he prayed to God for mercy.
Numbers 12:13-14- And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. 
God and Moses were such close friends that God changed Miriam's punishment for Moses' sake. Instead of dying from this terrible disease, she had to live outside the camp in shame for a week.
Numbers 12:15-And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 11

Moses had been leading the Israelites through the wilderness. He had been trying to teach them God's ways, but all he heard was complaining!
Numbers 11:10-11, 14- Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased. And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 
Moses was getting tired. He needed help. He told God that he needed some help. And God was going to take care of Moses.
Numbers 11:16-17- And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. 
God told Moses to choose 70 men. Men who were wise and kind and honest. Then God was going to work a miracle in their lives so that they could help Moses.
Numbers 11:24-25- And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. 
Moses chose the men. And 68 of them gathered around the Tabernacle. God took the spirit of Moses and put it on the 70 elders. And they prophesied.
But only 68 had gathered. What about the other 2?
Numbers 11:26-30- But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them! And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.
God took care of them, too. He put the spirit on them as well.
One of the men that saw it ran and told Moses. And this made Moses happy to know that God would do as he said.
But, what spirit was it? God said it was Moses' spirit, and Moses said it was God's spirit. Do you know?
Nehemiah 9:19,20,30a- Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go. Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: 
God put His spirit into Moses and the elders. His spirit went into them and became part of their lives. It gave them wisdom and understanding. It helped them do right, and lead with Moses.
We get God's spirit in us when we ask God to save us. The Holy Spirit comes into our lives and helps us have wisdom and understanding. It shows us right from wrong. And if we listen, the Holy Spirit will guide us in God's will for our lives!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 10

God had shown the people His ways. He led them through the wilderness as a cloudy pillar that stayed above the Tabernacle. As they journeyed towards the promised land, God taught them His ways. His way to dress. His way to eat, His way to live. and His way to worship.
Just like people today, the Israelites sinned. They grumbled, and complained, and desired. And God didn't like it!
Numbers 11:1-3- And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched. And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.
Once, when the people complained, the Lord killed some of them with fire.
Numbers 11:4--6- 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? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes. 
There was also a time where they complained about the food that God had provided for them. God sent angel's food down to them almost every morning. But, they weren't happy!
You see, some of the people that came out of Egypt were part Egyptian. They didn't have it as bad as the Israelite slaves did. They only remembered the good things about Egypt. They weren't thankful! 
So God answered them.
Numbers 11:18-20- And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt? 
God told them He would give them so much meat that they would be sick of it.
James 4:2-3- Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Sometimes, God doesn't give us what we want because it wouldn't be good for us. And He was going to teach the Israelites this!
Numbers 11:31-34- And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 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. And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted. 
These people had been given what they wanted by God, and yet they couldn't even say thank you! He had performed a miracle so they could have what they desired. So, God punished them and more died by a plague.
I wonder how long it is going to take them to learn to obey?!?!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 9

Moses had set up a temporary Tabernacle for the people to seek God. But, God had shown him on the Mount exactly how He wanted the Tabernacle set up. He had shown him what furniture He wanted in it. And He had shown him how He wanted the priests to dress.
Exodus 35:4-5a, 10, 20, 21- And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded; And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD'S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
Moses gave the people a chance to donate things to build the Tabernacle. No one was made to give anything. It was all voluntary. God wants willing people to give because they love Him. God never changes. He still wants the same thing today.
II Corinthians 9:7- Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
The Hebrew children gave willingly and cheerfully.
Exodus 35:30-31- And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; 
Then, God gave wisdom to a specific man so that he could build the furniture that was needed for the Tabernacle. It was going to be something wonderful!
Exodus 36:1, 4-7- Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded. And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made; And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
God had given the people the opportunity to give, and they gave so much that it was more than enough. We would find that God will supply not only our needs, but our wants if we just trust Him with what we have. We would come out saying, "I have more than enough!"
Exodus 39:1- And of the blue, and purple, and scarlet, they made cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron; as the LORD commanded Moses.
The men that God chose made, not only the tabernacle, but also the clothes for the priests. 
God had chosen Aaron and his sons to be the priests, but they had to do things God's way. They had to wear what God told them to wear. 
Exodus 39:42-43- According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.
God told Moses exactly how He wanted things. He even showed him how He wanted it to look. Then Moses told the people, and the people obeyed. This was the first time that the people worked together to build something for God. And it was exactly how God wanted it!
Exodus 40:17-19- And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up. And Moses reared up the tabernacle, and fastened his sockets, and set up the boards thereof, and put in the bars thereof, and reared up his pillars. And he spread abroad the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent above upon it; as the LORD commanded Moses.
Exodus 40:34-38- Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
Leviticus 9:1-2- And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel; And he said unto Aaron, Take thee a young calf for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the LORD. 
Leviticus 9:7-8- And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the altar, and offer thy sin offering, and thy burnt offering, and make an atonement for thyself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, and make an atonement for them; as the LORD commanded. Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.
Leviticus 9:23-24- And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
God was pleased with all that the priests had done, and He showed it by fire! But, something was about to happen that wasn't going to be so pleasant.
Leviticus 10:1-2- And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
God had been very specific about how He was to be worshipped. He was specific with Cain and Able. He was specific with Abraham. And He was specific with Moses.
Aaron's sons had heard how God commanded them to worship Him, but they decided to do things the way they wanted to. We can't do things our way and expect God to bless them. Nadab and Abihu paid the consequences of their sin with their lives.
Leviticus 10:3-7- Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. And Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said unto them, Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp. So they went near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp; as Moses had said. And Moses said unto Aaron, and unto Eleazar and unto Ithamar, his sons, Uncover not your heads, neither rend your clothes; lest ye die, and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled. And ye shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you. And they did according to the word of Moses.
When God tells us how He wants things, it is best for us to listen and obey. Whether we understand or not! Whether we agree or not! Whether we like it or not! God knows best.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 8

Moses had put up the Tabernacle for the people to worship God. He had talked with God and God had promised to go with them to Canaan. 
Exodus 34:1-2- And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.
God knows how forgetful people are. He wanted the 10 Commandments written where everyone could read them. He told Moses to make two more stone tables and to bring them into the Mount Sinai so that He could write them down again.
Exodus 34:4-5- And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
God proclaimed the name of the Lord to Moses. What do you think the name of Lord contains?
Exodus 34:6-8- And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. 
The name of the Lord is mercy, grace, justice, and judgement. Just the mention of God proclaiming His name made Moses drop to the earth and worship.
Exodus 34:11-14- Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: 
God promised to go with them into the Land of Canaan. He said that they would have to destroy the wicked people that lived there. But He wanted Moses to make sure that they destroyed their places of worship. God even told them that they couldn't marry any of those people because it would cause the Hebrew children to sin if they did.
Exodus 34:27-28- And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. 
Moses was up with God for another 40 days. He didn't eat the entire time he was up on the Mount. 
Remember, Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 that "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Moses didn't have to eat because God was talking with him.
Exodus 34:29-35- And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.
Moses had gotten so close to God that it changed him. The skin of his face glowed like the sun. This scared the Israelites, and Moses had to cover his face so that he could talk with them.
When we get close to God, it will change us. Our faces might not start to glow like the sun, but people will notice a difference. Some people might even become scared when they see the change that God has made in our lives.
Moses had to hide his face from the Hebrew children. But, unlike Adam and Eve, Moses never had to hide his face from God!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 7

The Israelites had sinned. They had Aaron build a a golden statue for them to worship instead of God.
Moses had come out the Mount and got so angry that he broke the stone tables that God had written the 10 commandments on. Now, Moses was going back up onto Mount Sinai to talk to God.
Exodus 33:1-4- And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way. And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments. 
God had already promised Moses that He wouldn't kill the Hebrew children for this sin. But, God was so upset that He told Moses He wouldn't go with the children of Israel to the promised land because he would end up killing them.
This made the people very sad when they heard this.
Exodus 33:7- And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.
Moses put up the Tabernacle so that the people who wanted to talk to God and hear from God could go somewhere to do this.
Exodus 33:8-10- And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. 
Moses followed what God wanted without question. He knew that God wanted people to go to the Tabernacle to commune with Him, so Moses was their example. 
Whenever Moses went to the Tabernacle, the cloudy pillar would go down on the Tabernacle. This let everyone who was watching know that God was talking with Moses. This gave the people hope and they worshipped God.
Exodus 33:11- And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. 
Moses had such a unique relationship with God that he got to speak with God like you would talk to your friend. He talked to God and he heard God answer him.
Joshua wanted a relationship with God. He was just a young man, but he went to the Tabernacle and he stayed there. This got God's attention. God was going to use Joshua in a very special way. But, Joshua didn't know this. He only knew that he wanted to have a relationship with God.
Exodus 33:12-14- And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 
Moses' relationship with God was so good, that Moses could ask God to change His mind and God would listen. Moses asked God to go with them and lead them into the Promised Land. God had already said He wouldn't, but because of Moses request God said "yes".
Exodus 33:17- And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
God told Moses he would answer his request. This made Moses desire a more personal relationship with God.
Exodus 33:18, 20- And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 
I'm sure this was something that broke God's heart. This man Moses was God's friend. God hadn't had a friend like this since Enoch walked the earth. God yearned to give Moses what he asked.
Exodus 33:21-23- And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
God put Moses into solid rock and then he covered Moses with His hand. Once he had turned around, He let Moses see Him from behind through solid rock. That was the most anyone had ever seen of God.
When someone gets that close to God, it changes them forever.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Israel In The Wilderness- Part 6

God had come down onto the top of Mount Sinai. He had shown himself to the 70 elders, and had called Moses up into the mount to give him a copy of the law.
Do you think the children of Israel walked around in awe of what was going on? Maybe they did at first, but then something happened.
Exodus 32:1- And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 
It has only been 40 days! Just over a month and the Hebrew children had gotten use to the thundercloud on the Mount. They decided they needed a different god, and they asked Aaron to make them one.
Exodus 32:2-4- And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 
Aaron took the gold and built a golden calf. And he told the people to fall down and worship the statue of the baby cow!
Exodus 32:5-6- And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
Aaron made an altar and told the people to have a feast to the Lord. So, they people started sacrificing on the altar to the false god. Then they ate and drank. And then they rose up to play. Do you know what that means?
They started to have a large party!
Exodus 32:7-8- And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
God was up on the Mount with Moses, but that didn't mean that God couldn't see what the Hebrew children were doing. He knew what was going on and it made Him angry!
Exodus 32:9-10- And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 
God told Moses that He was just going to kill them all and start over. He told Moses that his family would become the chosen people. What do you think Moses would do?
Exodus 32:11-14- And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. 
Moses reminded God of his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He asked God to spare the people so the Egyptians wouldn't say terrible things about God. Moses pleaded with God for the people that didn't deserve it.
And God listened to him.
Exodus 32:15-17- And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 
Joshua had been on the boundary line of Sinai. He was waiting for Moses for 40 days! When Moses came down, Joshua told him that he thought there was a war going on.
Exodus 32:18- And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. 
Moses had been raised in the palace of Pharaoh. Moses had heard these sounds before. It wasn't a war, it was a rock concert!
Exodus 32:19-20- And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. 
Moses got so mad that he broke the tables of stone that the Lord had written the 10 commandments on. Then he took the golden statue and started beating it until it was a pile of gold dust. Then, he threw the dust into the water and made the people drink it. Wow!
But, Moses wasn't done yet!
Exodus 32:21-22- And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. 
Moses asked Aaron why he did it. And Aaron committed the same sin that Adam and Eve committed. He blamed someone else for his sin. He said that it was the people's fault.
Exodus 32:26-28- Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. 
Moses told the people who wanted to serve the Lord to come to him. Then he told them to go through and kill the people that did the sinning. Three thousand men died that day.
Exodus 32:30- And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.
Moses told the people how he had to go back up onto the Mount and ask God to forgive their sins. Somehow, he had to find a way to get God to forgive their sins.