Overview of today’s post. We will go into some laws, a rebellion that causes men to be swallowed up by the earth, and later introduction to the prophet Balaam.
Let it be noted, we learn here the reason Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land, wasn’t because of the disobedience of Israel. It was the disbelief of Moses himself. (Ch.20)
Sins, Penalties, and Reminders
Ch. 15:01-21 When the children of Israel enter the Promised Land they are to make an offering. It could be by means of fulfilling a vow or by complete choice. This offering will be accompanied by a grain and drink offering.
Ch.15:22-29 Unintentional Sin
Ch. 15:30-31 Presumptuous Sin– person brings reproach to the Lord and is cut off from the people.
(Definition: Presumptuous means failing to observe of what is permitted or appropriate.)
Ch.15:32-36– Penalty For Violating Sabbath
-A person is stoned to death. (Remember, this is before Christ came, and fulfilled the Law.)
Ch. 15:37-41- Tassels To Remember Commandments
Similar to our WWJD, tassels were used on garments to remind Israelites not to commit sin.
Men Swallowed Up By The Earth
Men approach Moses and wonder why he was chosen by God. This causes a huge ordeal. Eventually, Moses makes a comment that should these men die by natural causes he (Moses) wasn’t chosen by God. But should the earth swallow them up, he was chosen by God. He states as a reminder, he didn’t get this far on his own. Rather, God was with him.
The earth does indeed open up and swallow the men, and their entire households.
Ch.17- Due to the multiple complaints against Moses, God tells Moses to have each of the head of households write a name on a rod. The man God chooses, that staff will blossom.
Aaron’s rod blossoms and even produces ripe almonds.
His rod went into the tabernacle to be set as a reminder for the people not to complain against God again, lest they die.
Ch.18- Covers information for Levites
Ch. 19- Covers Laws of Purification
Moses Doesn’t Trust God
Ch. 20:01-13- The people complain when they are thirsty. Only this time…Moses lets his anger get to him. God is completely prepared, and He tells Moses to speak to a rock. When Moses speaks to the rock, the rock will bring forth water. This will hallow God in the eyes of the people.
But Moses gets mad at the people. “Must we bring water out of this rock for you,” he shouts before striking the rock twice.
He didn’t speak to the rock, as God told him. God responds, “Since you didn’t believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of Israel. You won’t be the one to bring them in the land I have given them.”
Ch. 20:22-29- New Priests are appointed, and Aaron dies
Bronze Serpent & Stingy King Shiloh
Ch.21:04-09 Again, the people despair with the loss of food and water. God isn’t happy and decides to send a punishment of fiery snakes. Many people are bitten and die. Moses makes a bronze serpent and those that look upon it, live.
Ch.21:21-32 Messengers go to King Shiloh and tell them, “Hey, our people are going to go through the king’s highway. We won’t drink your water or go into your fields or vineyards.”
King Shiloh, “Nah.”
A battle begins and Shiloh is defeated. Instead of just passing through, Israel gains possession of all of the cities. Spies are sent and drive out the Amorites.
Balaam Is Asked To Curse The People Of Israel
Ch. 22:01-21 As Israel comes closer, Moab becomes afraid. Moab seeks out the prophet Balaam asking him to curse the people of Israel.
When Balaam speaks to God, he requests that God allows him to overpower the people.
But God tells him no. “These people you will not curse. They are blessed.”
Balaam returns and tells Moab the people cannot be cursed. He gets bribed with silver and gold, but still Balaam responds, “No, I can’t go against God.” Balaam stays a night in order to receive more information from God.
God tells him that if the men with him want him to rise in the night, he can go with them. But only to do what God tells him to do.
The men do not ask Balaam to join, but the next morning he rises and leaves with the princes of Moab anyways.
Balaam disobey’s God’s order, and while traveling the Angel of God becomes an adversary against him.
Balaam’s donkey sees the Angel of God standing with His sword drawn, so logically, the donkey turns away from the path and goes into the field.
Balaam strikes her.
She (the donkey) is on a narrow path and the Angel of the Lord also is on the path. When the donkey moves, Balaam’s foot is crushed against a wall.
Balaam strikes her again.
The Angel of the Lord stands in the narrow path, to which there is nowhere to go. The donkey lays down.
And Balaam strikes her one last time.
God opens her mouth and allows the donkey to speak.
She complains of him striking her, and how she never once has disobeyed him before. God then opens his eyes, and he sees the Angel of the Lord standing near. The Angel of God says had the donkey not moved, Balaam would have been killed by now, and the donkey would have lived.
Balaam asks for forgiveness, and tells God, “If You want me to return, I will.”
God says, “It’s fine, but do what I tell you.”
Balaam’s Prophecies 1-4
Ch. 23:01-12– Balaam makes seven alters, and makes offerings. Balak wants him to curse the Israelites. But instead of cursing the Israelites, Balaam blesses them.
Ch.23:13-25– Balak shows Balaam the Israelites on the outer side, and thinks this will encourage him to curse the Israelites for Balak.
Balaam meets with the Lord and is told what to say. Instead of cursing, he blesses the Israelites once again. Balak gets upset, and tells Balaam, “If you’re not going to curse them, fine! But don’t bless them either!”
Balaam says he must follow what God tells him.
Ch.23:27-30- Balak thinks if he takes Balaam to the other side that God will be pleased enough for Balaam to curse the Israelites.
Ch.24:01-14, This wasn’t the case. Balaam blesses the people of Israel for the third time.
Ch.24:15-25- One last time, Balaam blesses the people of Israel giving the fourth prophecy.
Okay, 11 chapters left to cover of Numbers 🙂 see you next week!!!
What do you think about a talking donkey?
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