Saturday, November 11, 2023

November 11, 2023

God informed Moses that he needed to appoint a successor because he would be gathered to his people (die) and would only get to see with his eyes the land promised to Israel due to his behavior concerning the water at Meribah. 

And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying, Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Numbers 27:15-16

God chose Joshua because he is “a man in whom is the spirit.” They had an ordination ceremony in front of Eleazar, the priest, and the entire congregation, where Moses laid his hands upon him to impart some of his honor. Until I read this, I had not taken the laying on of hands very seriously. I thought it was more of an act of prayer, but it is so much more significant: a spiritual connection. I’m sure it was for the people watching to show that Joshua is now in charge, but it was much more. How do you impart honor? He already had God’s Spirit, but Moses transferred honor to him by touching him. God told him to do it, and God gave him the honor he desired him to have. 

If the laying on of hands can impart honor, could dishonor also be imparted? Knowing the character of those touching you during certain ceremonies might be a good idea because this seems to be something taken seriously by God. 

And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses. Numbers 27:22-23

Friday, November 10, 2023

November 10, 2023

God is fair. As the land was divided between the heads of households in a census where only the men were numbered, a family of sisters was left with no inheritance because they had no brother to collect their portion. So, rather than being left out, they brought their case before Moses, and he enquired of God. God’s response: 

The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them. Numbers 27:7

God did not thrust them aside just because they were women; he honored their father by giving them land, which also created a new rule in Israel concerning inheritance. Much of what we hear as women can sometimes make us feel as though we are second-class citizens, but that is only true in a worldly sense, but it is not God’s intention. Being coheirs with Jesus, we are one with him and have our inheritance in him. God is not harsh to those who honor him; he is fair and loving and makes no distinction between those covered by salvation in Jesus. 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Thursday, November 9, 2023

November 9, 2023

The Lord told Moses to take a census of the new generation; out of all of them, only Joshua and Caleb were at Mt. Sinai because God promised that the rest wouldn’t go into the promised land. The point of the census was for them to know how to divide the land and how many were of fighting age. After all the plagues and God’s fury, there were almost as many of them as were at Mt. Sinai. God’s plan will succeed whether he must take some people out or not. Never think you are the only way for God to complete a task; he can use anyone. This chapter also clarifies that Korah’s children didn’t die with him when the earth opened up or by the fire that took 250 men. We also see that they redeemed their name by writing some of the psalms. In this case, we see that God protected those not associated with the sins of their father; he saved the innocent. Luckily for us, we have Jesus as our redeemer, and even though we sully our own name, we are still known by his name: Christian.

And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign. Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not. Numbers 26:10-11

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

November 8, 2023

When cursing the Israelites through Balaam didn’t pan out for the Moabite leadership, they employed another tactic to try and weaken them. Reading between the lines, and with some commentary help from Matthew Henry, it seems that along with the Midianites, they enticed some of the Israelites away from camp with their women and their worship of Baalpeor. God became furiously angry because he expected them to only worship Him, especially after all he had done to set them free from Egypt. One formidable leader, Zimri, even had the nerve to bring a Midianite woman into the camp, almost daring them to do something about it. He forgot to read the room! Phinehas, the priest, followed them into Zimri’s tent and killed them both with his sword! His actions stopped a plague that had already killed 24000, and God blessed Phinehas with peace and a promise of a position in the everlasting priesthood. 

As ministers in God’s kingdom, we must be willing to do more for his advancement than others. As you can see from this story, he is very jealous and expects our commitment to him alone. There are consequences when we venture into sin. God doesn’t play games. I’m grateful that Jesus paid the bill for my sin and that he withholds his wrath and doesn’t give me what I deserve. Be thankful for your salvation today. 

Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Numbers 25:11

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

November 7, 2023

The story of the prophet Balaam spans three chapters. He was not a prophet of God; his god was Satan. We know this is true because, at the beginning of chapter 24, he decided to lay down his enchantments because he knew he was hearing directly from the Almighty God. This portion of scripture is a warning to those of you who listen to modern-day prophets; even those who are of the synagogue of Satan can hear a word from the Lord if he chooses to use them for his benefit. He ends up predicting curses upon those who sought him to curse Israel. They were so angry at him, but he told them he could only say what God had told him to say. Balaam shows us that even those overtaken by the power of Satan know that God is the Almighty, even though they may not have a relationship with him as we do. Mixed in with his curses to other nations was the prophecy of Jesus seen in the distance by Balaam. 

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

We are all created beings, including Satan, and God can use whoever he wants whenever he wants to further his plan. We are living a well-orchestrated life, and his plan for our redemption is drawing near. Balaam saw Jesus in the distance, but we see him close. Prepare your hearts and minds for amazement. Wait for it; it will surely come!

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Habakkuk 2:3

Monday, November 6, 2023

November 6, 2023

Just because God may permit us to sin, it doesn’t mean he approves our actions or is any less angry. God had promised Israel that he would be an enemy to their enemy, and Balaam was about to find that out as he ventured along the trail to meet Moab’s representatives. If you do not believe that God can do whatever he wants, this should intrigue you; an angel of the Lord stood in the pathway, but only Balaam’s donkey could see him. The donkey tried to go around him and ran into a field; Balaam hit her and turned her back. Then the angel moved down to a narrow section of the path with a wall on both sides; the donkey crushed his foot trying to avoid him; then Balaam hit her again! After getting beaten three times, God opened the donkey’s mouth, and she spoke! “What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?” After arguing with the donkey, God finally opened Balaam’s eyes so he could see the angel with his sword drawn. He then realized that the donkey had saved his life. 

All this anxiety and turmoil is about a so-called prophet speaking words against Israel. It’s a good lesson in the argument that words matter. God was so concerned about it that he sent an angel to stop Balaam from speaking cursing words against Israel and even used his donkey to try and stop him. God eventually allowed him to meet with the men, but he had something else in mind: Balaam could only speak blessings over Israel and not curses. This story shows how important it is to choose your words carefully and not harm anyone by them. God takes words seriously, and so should we. 

How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied? Numbers 23:8

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29

Sunday, November 5, 2023

November 5, 2023

The country of Moab feared the Israelites because they appeared to cover the earth, though they shouldn't have been because they were the family of Lot and God had given them the land they were in. Men were sent to find a prophet to curse Israel, and they found Balaam and attempted to hire him. Balaam told them he had to ask God and waited for an answer in his sleep through a dream. God told Balaam not to go with them and not to curse Israel. That should have been the end, but either curiosity or the hopefulness of earning good money kept him associating with these men. Israel had not yet entered the Promised Land; they were still wondering; however, they were camped near Jericho by the Jordan River, so it was getting close. God had given him the answer, but in his temptation to receive payment for his services, God gave him over to his desire and allowed him to go with these men. That's when things get exciting, and the story takes an unusual turn, but we will touch on that tomorrow. 

It's funny that this has come up now because of the turmoil going on right now with Israel. God forbade Balaam from cursing the people of Israel. We do not have a complete picture of what is going on in the Middle East and should refrain from making a judgment. Who is causing the havoc of war? Do we really know? I expect that it's the same people who have been stirring things up since before Covid. The nefarious are to blame for trying to destroy the people of the world, and these current events are a part of it. Do not believe the mainstream media; it is propaganda. They show you only what they think will be titillating. Stand firm in your commitment to Jesus; don't fall for the lies; take sides with God; love him and love people. We, as God's people, are blessed. I pity those who come against us; they will get everything they deserve!

And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed. Numbers 22:12