NUMBERS - MOBILIZING A NATION Print E-mail

NUMBERS – MOBILIZING A NATION 

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

July 31, 2018, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

Again the Holy Spirit has led us to the right study for a now time.  One of the purposes of numbering was to mobilize an orderly host for war.  Each tribe was given its assigned place and task.  In order to fulfill God’s Kingdom purpose for their nation, it would require FAITH and TRUST in God.  It took 40 years of God’s providential miraculous care to bring forth an entire nation with the FAITH to obey God’s purpose.

 

What do we say to the Church of the 21st Century of your FAITH for such a time as this?

 

Numbers covers a little less than 40 years (38), from Mount Sinai to Jordan.

 

The purpose of Numbers is to give an account of the 40 years that Israel wandered in the wilderness.  To the natural eye the book of Numbers is one of wandering, but to the eye of faith, this book is one of Divine direction.

 

Num. 9:20-23: …at he commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed.

 

For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters. (Rev. 7:17)

 

God numbers and aligns the tribes and the priests to record the two generations at the beginning and the ending of the 40 years.

 

After receiving the Law, as seen in Exodus and Leviticus, and being numbered at Mount Sinai, the Old generation (1-14) came to Kadeshbarnea, gateway to the Promised Land.  There they rejected through unbelief the land promised to them in the Abrahamic Covenant.  Because of their sin of disobedience, they were caused to wander and perish in the wilderness.

 

Num. 14:33:  Your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness.

 

Heb. 3: 16-19: For some, when they had heard, did provoke…to whom swore He that they should not enter His rest… (Heb. 3: 16-19).

 

Kadeshbarnea is the gateway out of the wilderness into the promise of God.  We will all stand before God in our Kadeshbarnea.  Will we have the faith to believe God as Caleb and Joshua did and inherit the promises of God; or will we die in the wilderness?

 

Jn. 15:2:  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

 

Under the leadership of Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, the new generation is raised up to enter Canaan.   

 

Num. 32:7-15:  Why will you discourage the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD has given them?  Thus your fathers did when I sent them away from Kadeshbarnea to see the land.  For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, so that they did not go into the land which the LORD had given them.  None of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, except Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the LORD.  The Lord’s anger was aroused against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone…if you turn away from following Him, He will once again leave them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all these people.  

 

In faithfulness to His Covenant, God raised up and numbered a New Generation of believers and prepared them for entering the land; and to prepare and equip them for war.

 

The history of Numbers begins where the book of Exodus left off.  Numbers is the book of the wanderings and testing of the Wilderness.  God’s people must all go through a wilderness experience; but not a wilderness wandering.  Wilderness wanderings are the result of sin/disobedience. 

 

 Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established, believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”

 

I have been made aware that faith is weak among many Christians.  Many only believe what they can see with the natural eye, circumstances, and/or the voices of the majority. 

 

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Faith says God will do what He says He will do and He will supply all our needs according to his riches in Glory.

 

When God’s people fail to enter the promises of God, it is because of unbelief and disobedience.

 

Heb. 4: 1-6: …For we who have believed do enter into rest…it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached did not enter in because of unbelief.

 

  But God will always raise up a believing people. 

 

Jesus Christ is seen in the Book of Numbers as:

 

  1. The Tabernacle, the Sanctuary in the Wilderness (Jn. 1:14).
  2. The Passover Lamb. (1 Cor. 5:7; Num. 9:1-14)
  3. The Fiery Bright Cloud (Num. 9: 15-23).
  4. The Smitten Rock (Num. 20: 8-11).
  5. The Son of Man lifted up as the Serpent of Brass (Num. 21:9; Jn. 3:14).
  6. The Star out of Jacob. (Num. 24:17; Matt. 2:2)

 

2 Pet. 1: 10-11: Brethren give diligence to make your calling and elections sure, for if you do these things, you shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

The first numbering took place at Sinai.  This census showed 603,550 males above the age of 20, exclusive of Levites.  Another census 38 years later showed 601,730.  This mobilized the nation for war. 

 

The Levites were excluded from being numbered and prepared for war because they maintained the Tabernacle.

 

As soon as Israel left Sinai, the people complained (11:1). 

 

11: 1-3:  They complained about the way (10:29-36) that the LORD led them.  This 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.  The people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.  He called the name of the place Taberah; because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.

 

11: 4-9:  They complained about the Food:  This started among the mixed multitude who 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 freely ate in Egypt, the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic. But now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all, besides this manna, before our eyes.

 

11:10-15:  Moses lost his patience and pushed the panic button.  He exaggerated his responsibilities, losing sight of His God-given enablement.  Since being called as a Pastor, I often pray before the LORD to not let me commit the sin of Moses by losing my patience.  I have been tempted of late especially when I was sick.  Maybe Moses wasn’t feeling well either.  Moses was complaining to the LORD.

 

Moses said to the LORD, Why have you afflicted your servant? and why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all these people up on me?  Have I conceived all these people? Have I begotten them, that you should say to me, carry them in your bosom, as a nursing father bears the sucking child, unto the land which you swore unto their fathers?

 

11: 16-30:  The LORD said to Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know 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 you.  I will come down and talk with you there; and I will take of the spirit which is upon you, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you do not have to bear it alone. 

 

11: 31-35:  God sent quails and a plague.  A wind went forth 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 a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and it was two cubits high upon the face of the earth.  The people stood up all that day and all that night; and all the next day.  They gathered the quails.  He that gathered least gathered ten homers; and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.  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.  He called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah; because there they buried the people that lusted.

 

They continued to murmur through the rebellion of Miriam, which caused cloud to depart until that situation was healed.  She was smitten with leprosy.  Aaron repented and Moses interceded.  The camp did not move ahead until this was dealt with.

 

Korah and his company were an influential group of ambitious and envious men.  They challenged the authority of Moses and attempted to intrude into the Priestly Office.  The glory of the Lord appeared and dealt with the three ringleaders who were swallowed by an earthquake and went down alive into Sheol.

 

There seems to be a gap between Numbers 19 and 20.  After 38 years of wandering, they found themselves in the same place (Kedesh), no nearer to the promised land (20:1).   Sin is a serious matter and has to be dealt with.

 

The murmuring in chapter 29: 2-6 is significant in this is the first recorded trial and failure of the new generation, showing that they were no better than their fathers.

 

Chapter 20 opens with the death of Miriam and closes with the death of Aaron and tells of the failure of Moses in between.  Death and failure is connected with wilderness wandering. (Amos 5: 25-26),

 

Moses sin is found in smiting the rock twice in his anger.   Numbers 20: 7-13.

 

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together.  Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water, thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and the animals.  So Moses took the rod from the LORD as He commanded him.   Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?”  Then Moses lifted his hand struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.  Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not brings this assembly into the land which I have given them.”  This was the water of Miribah because the children of Israel contended with the LORD, and He was hallowed.

 

Miribah (pleading, contention, strife, quarrel).

 

 Moses spoke in the heat of his spirit as though he was the primary object of their murmurings.  Moses sought the vindication of himself as the servant of God and not the vindication of God.  Since Moses smote the rock in anger and self-will instead of speaking to it in faith and obedience, God was compelled to vindicate Himself by using Moses as an example instead of an instrument. 

 

I have been given several opportunities this past week to take on Kingdom controversy as personal toward me.  I did not do that nor did I interject myself personally into the equation!!!  Thank goodness!!!  I was being tested and didn’t know it until I pulled this study together.  All rejection, complaining, murmuring, rebellion, etc. against the words, ways and ministry of God is against Him, not His servant instruments. 

 

We do not have to vindicate ourselves when people interject us into their controversies with God.  Don’t get pulled into the trap.  Especially ministries who are under the exclusive covenantal authority of God.

 

This is serious business.  All foolish playing around must come to an end.

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Principles of Present Truth by: Kelly Varner.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those who I entered into their labor.

 
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