Thursday, July 31, 2014

Now or Later

O. T. #333  "Now or Later"
July 31, 2014
Numbers 14-Part 6
Tut 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.
Numbers 14:44-45


I am the type of person that likes to plan out my day, my week. Now I am learning to be flexible. When something comes up, someone wants me to do a task, I am flexible to change my plans. Serving the Lord is more important than a day calendar filled and check off when completed. Waiting may not be in God's plans. It may be too late for the purpose to be accomplished. Do it now, not later. Now is the time to go and do. Israel had to learn that lesson the hard way. Check it out.

I really am trying to get through this chapter, but I am bogged down-Israel sent spies to check out the Promised Land instead of trusting God to keep His promise to give it to them; the ten spies gave their bad report and died 8 weeks later; Joshua and Caleb encouraged the Israelites to believe God could give the land to them; the Israelites were punished for their unbelief-forty years in the wilderness instead of living in the luscious land of promise.

God never breaks His promises. People break their promise to God. Although the ten men died, two did not-Joshua and Caleb. Caleb received his Promised Land some 40 years later, a mountain Hebron) which he wanted (Joshua 14:12) and where the patriarchs were buried. Joshua inherited on Mt. Ephraim, the city of Timnath-serah, which Joshua built and lived (Joshua 19:49-50).
FYI: Caleb was of the tribe of Judah and Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim (Joseph).

Are we staying faithful to our God? Our descendants will reap the blessings as a result.


In verse 39, we read:
  • The Israelites mourned bitterly when Moses reported all of this to them.
  • The next morning they went up toward the high hill country.
  • The Israelites admitted that they had sinned.
  • They said they would go up to the place the LORD promised.
But it was too late. Every "what" of God for our lives is usually accompanied by a "when," also. Timing can often determine the difference between obeying and disobeying the will of God.  (Falwell)

Moses told Israel:
  • Do not to go up.
  • The LORD was not with them.
  • They would be defeated by their enemies.
  • The Amalekites and Canaanites would face them there.
  • Because they turned away from the LORD, He would not be with them.
  • They would fall by the sword.
So it said. So it happened. In their presumption that God would be with them, defeat their enemies, and give them the land, but it did not happen at that time. Israel was smitten and discomfited, beaten back down the hill country.

KJV uses the word discomfited, which means to bruise, violently strike, beat down, break in pieces, crushed, destroy, smite. (Strong's Concordance)

God told them what to do, yet they chose to wait. When God reveals His will, gives us directions, that is the time to obey.

God's timing is perfect! When He speaks, the time to respond in obedience is now. there is no such thing as postponing a decision with God. Either we obey, or we disobey. It is either faith or unbelief, obedience or disobedience. He is fully aware of your circumstances. He knows all the He has built into your life until now, and He extends His invitation knowing that His resources are more than adequate for any assignment He give you. Now is always the acceptable time to respond to the Lord.

Are we ready and willing to obey what God tells us?


Trust and obey God.

Love God with all my heart.

Follow His commands and His Spirit.

Be flexible.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Following Fully

O. T. #332 "Following Fully"
July 30, 2014
Numbers 14-Part 5
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. Numbers 14:24


You will recall that Caleb and Joshua did not agree with the ten spies' report. They believed Israel could conquer the giants in the Promised Land because God gave it to them. They stood up against these ten and in front of the two million gave a report contrary to the ten. What courage and faith!

It's one thing to read about what happened at Kadesh-Barnea; it's another thing to experience it. Such was the case when we were making plans for our new sanctuary. There were some people who questioned how we could build it when we didn't have the money in the bank for such a huge task. Others believed it was God's will and He would provide what was needed. So far, the latter is true. God has provided the money, so we are debt free, and He receives the glory for the accomplishment.
(We only lack the ceilings and doors installed, floors painted, and restroom fixtures.) How wonderful, powerful, providing our God is!!!  We are walking by faith, following fully our God and seeing Him provide!

What an honor to have God describe a person like He described Caleb:
  • God's servant
  • had a different spirit
  • followed God fully (wholeheartedly).
God promises to bring Caleb into the land where he went to spy and his descendants would inherit it. In Joshua 14 we read of it happening. Caleb was as strong and capable of being a soldier at age 85 as he was at age 40, when this promised was made to him.
In verse 12, Caleb boldly claimed his inheritance: Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day.
Because of Caleb's faithfulness to the Lord, Moses swore that day, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance.

Not only was Caleb a bold, generous, courageous, noble, and heroic spirit, but the Spirit and influence of the God of heaven thus raised him above human inquietudes and earthly fears, therefore he followed God fully. It literally means he filled after Me: God showed him the way he was to take, and the line of conduct he was to pursue, and he filled up this line, and in all things followed the will of his Maker. (Clarke's Commentary)

How many of us fall short of the blessings of the Gospel when we distrust the power, faithfulness, and goodness of God. Joshua and Caleb took God at His Word. How many follow God fully?


Verse 34, NIV, states: For forty years-one year for each of the forty days you explored the land-you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have Me against you.

The whole wicked community that banded together against God would meet their end in the desert, where they would die. In less that eight weeks the ten unbelieving spies died.

Although the Israelites were at the edge of the Promised Land, they were commanded to turn back into the wilderness where all who were twenty years of age and older would die (except Joshua and Caleb), and where they would wonder forty more years, and where they would wander for forty more years. (Rye Study Bible)

There are times that the majority of the people are not right in their decisions. We must seek God's will in matters, then stand for it, whether we are in the majority or minority. Follow God fully so His will is accomplished through us.


Trust God's power, faithfulness, and goodness.

Fully follow God's Word and Spirit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

He Is

O. T. #331  "He Is"
July 29, 2014
Numbers 14-Part 4
The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.  Numbers 14:18


How many times has God been patient, merciful, and forgiving towards me? Countless...And He is still...

Moses interceded for Israel to protect the Lord's reputation with the Egyptians, who would charge the Lord with inability to complete His deliverance of Israel and, thus, deny His power. Secondly, the Lord's loyal love was the basis on which the Lord could forgive His people. (MacArthur)

How did Moses describe the attributes of our God?
The LORD is:
  • longsuffering,
  • of great mercy,
  • forgiving iniquity and transgression,
  • not clearing the guilty,
  • visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
Three things God had solemnly made a declaration of, which Moses here fastens upon, and improves for the enforcing of his petition.
  1. The goodness of God's nature in general; that He is long-suffering, or slow to anger, and of great mercy; not soon provoked, but tender and compassionate towards offenders.
  2. His readiness in particular to pardon sins of all sorts.
  3. His unwillingness to proceed to extremity, even when He does punish.  (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible)
Don't we all need God's forgiveness, patience, and mercy?
His love never fail, never gives up, never runs out on me, as the song goes.


In verse 19, Moses asks God to pardon the iniquity of this people.
How does God answer?

  • I have pardoned according to thy word. (verse 20)
  • As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. (verse 21)
  • The ten men of unbelief and the rest of Israel which provoked God and rebelled against Him, would not see the Promised Land, except Joshua and Caleb. (We will discuss tomorrow.)         
The men (10) who brought up an evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
(verse 37) So less than 8 weeks later, 10 of the 12 spies died.


Intercede for those in rebellion against God's Word and will.

Keep believing His Word is true and He does what He says He will do.

Thank Him for His patience and mercy toward me; never forgetting it.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Conversation

O. T. #330  "A Conversation"
July 28, 2014
Numbers 14-Part 3
And the LORD said unto Moses...Numbers 14:11-12
And Moses said unto the LORD... Numbers 14:13-19


We get to read about the conversation between the LORD and Moses. It is right here in this chapter.
What if my prayers were revealed, written down? What if everything I asked for happened? Aren't we glad that Jesus intercedes for us with His wisdom? Some selfish prayers I am grateful that He doesn't grant.

Here we are still camped at Kadesh-Barnea at least forty-two days while the twelve men were gone spying out the Promised Land. They returned with a report of giants, walled cities, but fruitful land. The people cried all night. Were they thinking they were not going to get to go into such a wonderful land to live and raise their children? Or thinking they were stuck in the wilderness to die, defeated before they got to see the good land? They had come this far to give up?

Only Joshua and Caleb had the faith that God could conquer it for them, despite the odds.
We read of Moses and Aaron on their faces, praying for this crucial time and decision in Israel's history. Joshua and Caleb even tore their clothes in grief and mourning, then attempted to persuade the people with a speech. To their dismay, the people wanted to stone them.
That is when the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. (verse 10b)

The LORD spoke to Moses:
  • How long will these people provoke Me? Provoke means to scorn, to blaspheme, despise.
  • How long will they refuse to believe in Me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?
  • I will smite them with pestilence.
  • I will disinherit them.
  • I will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.
God had only been good to Israel and demonstrated His loving strength towards them countless times. He could give rebellious Israel what they deserved-judgment. He could fulfill His promises of a land, nation, and blessings to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob through Moses instead. God offered Moses the position of being "patriarch" to a new Israel. This offer was similar to that made back in Exodus 32:7-14. (Guzik)
(The first offer to Moses to become the patriarch was made after Israel worshiped the idol of a golden calf.)

Do we provoke the LORD?
Do we refuse to believe Him?
Do we realize that He could snap His finger, better yet, speak a word, and we are dead?
Are we willing to disobey God and loose out on our Promised Land?
Are we tempted to leave our difficult situation or assignment to someone else?
How strong is our faith?
Will we attempt to encourage others when their faith wavers?


Did Moses even consider such an offer from God? It doesn't appear that he did, for Moses went right on into an argument of why God should spare sinful Israel:
  1. because of God's testimony among the heathen (verses 13-16);
  2. and because of God's former promises to Israel (verses 17-18).
In verse 18, Moses quotes God's own words back to Him, spoken in Exodus 34:6-7). If we, too, desire to remind the Lord of His promises to us, we must first of all know God's Word. (Falwell)

The heathen had heard about what God had done for the Israelites.  If He killed Israel now, wouldn't they say that He wasn't able to conquer the land? Was God's reputation on the line? Would God keep His promises? What would the LORD do? What would Moses do? Is there mercy for Israel?
Come back tomorrow to find out.


Repent of my rebellion.

Plea for mercy.

Stay focused on God, not the giants in my life.

Love, encourage, and intercede for others.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Delighting Others

O. T. #329  "Delighting Others"
July 25, 2014
Numbers 14-Part 2
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...  Numbers 14:8-9a


Do I delight people with things I do-an encouraging word, a smile, a complement, a helping hand, a surprising gift? Better yet, do I delight Jesus? Is He pleased with me? Sadly, I  that answer is not a yes all of the time. I figure that if disobedience makes Him angry at me, then obedience must make Him happy, right? It appears to be the case with Israel. Continue with me.

After hearing the reports (giant people) and seeing the evidence (giant grapes), the Israelites cried and wept all night. Their unbelief came was revealed when they questioned God and their circumstances. they suggested stoning their leaders, as well as returning to Egypt.

The entire Old Testament record would have been totally different had Israel but heeded these words. Not only would Israel not go into the Promised Land, but they would murder anyone who dared to go in. A similar situation is seen in John 11 and 12.  (Falwell)

Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before them all. Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes in anguish. Would the worldly majority win this inner battle or would the spiritual minority win?

Moses and Aaron were older and wiser and knew how bad the situation was. They simply prostrated themselves in prayer and said not a word (knowing it would do no good), but they knew that they must cry out to God for a miracle if Israel is to be spared.  (Guzik)

Caleb and Joshua gave it one more try to persuade the Israelites that the conquering was possible with God on their side. What a speech we read about in this chapter:
  • The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. (Surely seeing the fruit with their own eyes counted for something.) (verse 7)
  • If the LORD delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which flows with milk and honey. (food needed to live and extra to enjoy) (verse 8)
  • Only rebel not against the LORD. (verse 9)
  • Neither fear the people of the land. (verse 9)
  • We will swallow them up, for their protection is gone; defense has departed from them. verse 9
  • The LORD is with us. (verse 9)
  • Do not fear them. (verse 9)
Delight means to bend, to be pleased with, favor, in Hebrew.

Does our faith delight the Lord? Does He bend down toward us, having pleasure in us? Do we make our Savior happy in what we are doing? Are we obeying Him?

Psalm 37:4 says Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desire of thine heart.

Do we want God's desires for us? Are our desires His desires for us?
How can I delight the LORD today?


Only do not rebel against the LORD, neither fear the people of the land. (verse 8)

Webster's Dictionary states the definition of rebel as to oppose or disobey one in authority or control.

Joshua and Caleb were warning the Israelites. Little did they know the consequences of this discussion to not go into the Promised Land at this time.

So this decision was an out right rebellion against God's instructions and abilities to keep His promises. They were opposing God? Ooooo. That was serious stuff. When challenged, God will win every time.

1 Samuel 15:23 says, For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.

Sisters, is it a serious thing to rebel and disobey God? God is the One in authority and control. When we don't go His way, we are sinning as if we were into witchcraft.
Forgive me, LORD Jesus for all the times I did not do what You wanted me to do, please.


Repent of my rebellion; turn away from my sins and to God.

Obey my Lord's commands and His Word.

Don't be stubborn, surrender.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crucial Times

O. T. #328  "Crucial Times"
July 24, 2014
Numbers 14
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6


Throughout the past 42 years, we have been confronted with crucial times. We had to make a decision which effected our entire family. Sometimes we decided to move away, take another job or church, which meant switching schools for our children. Other times, we stayed and endured whatever. The hardest was walking in the time of indecision. Israel was at that time in their history, their lives. Are you there?

I know we've been camped out for a while with the Israelites listening to the spies' reports. They waited 40 days (testing) for these leaders to return from their expedition into the Promised Land. You'll recall that they brought back evidence of the wonderful, fruitful land. Along with that encouragement was the information of the walled cities and the inhabitants were strong, giants.
Caleb spoke up and told everyone that they were able to overcome it and suggested that they go up at once and possess the land that God promised to them.

I wonder if Jesus was standing at the door of the Tabernacle this time, listening and watching. This was a very crucial decision for the Israelites. Their life for the next forty years depended upon it that one thing. Would they march in trusting God to remove those giants so they could live there or not?
God had already promised that land to their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Hadn't they heard about all this all their lives while growing up in Egypt as slaves? And this God who delivered two million slaves could not take down a few thousand enemies?
Well, it is easy for me to sit here in judgment upon those people. It wasn't my son and nephews that would have to go fight. It wasn't my family that would be in danger of being attacked by those "ites."
Nevertheless...their focus was not on the blessings, but on the difficulties. Ouch!

Yet, I dare say that not a family in our country has not had a family member serve in one of our wars in the last century, has there? My father, grandfather, uncles, and nephews have. It is a sacrifice of a few for the protection of the many so our freedoms in American will continue. They deserve all the thanks we can give them, guys, gals, and your families.


How did the people react to all of this?
  • They lifted up their voice and cried over their circumstances.
  • They wept aloud all night.
  • The children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron.
  • The whole congregation said, If only we had died in  of Egypt! or in this desert!
  • Why is the LORD bring us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?
  • Our wives and children will be taken as plunder.
  • Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?
  • We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.
Yes, this was a crucial time in the history of Israel. They were on the edge of experiencing God deliver their enemies and lands into their hands.
What would it be? Would they stay camped there? Would they return to Egypt? Or would they go forward, obeying, and receive the blessings of God?

Are you at a crucial time in your life? In your family's history? Is there a decision you are having to make that will either devastate or bless your children the rest of their life? Will you decide to continue to walk by faith, though you see no way out of your situation? Or will you turn to the world for answers, give up on God?

What will it be, dear friend? Our God has parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River so His children could cross over them to experience a good life. He can part the high waters for you, if you will just stay faithful to Him. Stand on His Word. Stand still and see the workings of the Lord in your life. God is faithful. He keeps His promises, sweet one.


Reading Psalm 103: Bless the LORD O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits...

Trust in the Lord.

Ask Him to give me His desires for my life and my family.

Surrender my desires to His.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Giants or Grasshoppers?

O. T. #327  "Giants or Grasshoppers?"
July 23, 2014
Numbers 13-Part 3
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak-which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. Numbers 13:33


The twelve men, who ere sent to spy out the Land of Promise, gave their report to everyone: the land was fruitful, the cities were walled for protection, and the people were strong. The people who lived in, possessed the land were specifically mentioned. I call them the "ites." What became the focus of the report? Was it on the luscious fruit and fertile land or on the walls around the cities that had to be broken down, or the huge people? The strength and power of God is not even mentioned.

Caleb  stilled, which means to hush in Hebrew, the people. He challenged the Israelites to go up at once and possess the land, for they were well able to overcome the obstacles.

Then the good report went bad. The ten spies spoke up and said to the Israelites:
  • They were not able to go up against the people, for they were stronger.
  • The land devours those living in it.
  • All the people they saw were of great size in stature.
  • Seeing the giant Amalekites caused them to seem like grasshoppers in their own eyes. 


In essence, the ten Israelite spies, who were the leaders of their tribe, told the people they could not win in any battles against those giant warriors and protected cities. How would we have reacted if we had heard that report?

I recall watching the Christian movie, Facing the Giants. The underdog football team came together physically, mentally, and spiritually. The coach kept encouraging the boys and they kept winning games. Their faith in God kept increasing. Whether they won or lost, they would praise God. This resulted in the final championship game, going up against the giants, which they won. Although they had struggles and challenges, together the team faced them and conquered them. They did not listen to the discouragers and reports.

When we have giants in our life that we come up against, what do we do? Do we go to God with the problem, issue, situation? In God's eyes, all our problems are small, but to us they are big. He can handle anything and everything.

We know that Moses, Joshua, and Caleb were the only ones of the leaders who continued to believe God was all-powerful and willing to conquer those giants and give the land to His children. We know that this unbelief cost that generation of Israelites, for they did not get to see and experience Almighty God work for them, nor did they get to live in such a wonderful land.

How is our perspective when we face problems that seem bigger than us? Do we trust our God to take care of it? To break down the wall of impossibility? To give us strength to stand up against the giants who are doing things wrong? When our money runs low, do we seek our God's will for us?

Are we giants in faith or grasshoppers? How do we look at God-a giant or a grasshopper?

Do you remember that David met the giant Goliath with only five smooth stones, a slingshot, and a giant faith in his God? You know how that turned out.

The account of David and Goliath vividly pictures the source of the Christian's faith-not our own size, strength, or resources, but the power of Almighty God. If we focus on our opposition and problems, they will seem gigantic. But as we focus on God we will see our situation in the proper perspective and be assured that all things are possible with God. (Phil. 4:13)  (Blackaby)


Recognize God as being all-powerful.

Take my problems to Him to resolve.

Trust and obey.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


O. T. #326  "Waiting"
July 22, 2014
Numbers 13-Part 2
And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.  Numbers 13:25


Our two children and their families decided to vacation together this summer. They met about half way between them and spent a week in the Smokey Mountains in a lodge. They had a blast hiking,  enjoying God's creation, and being together. I am glad that their family ties remain strong in spite of the distance between them. While this was going on, Mom and Dad were home, doing chores, working, and holding down the fort, so to speak. (They had done the same for us, twice, this summer.) We were waiting for word that they safely returned  home.  And they did, to our relief. I can relate to the Israelites in camp, waiting on the spies to return.

Meanwhile, back at camp, the Israelites awaited the return of the spies. They waited and waited. Forty days they waited, then finally they returned. Twelve men returned from their forty days of camping, exploring, and spying out the Promised Land. That is over a month. Did they go in for 20 days and come out for 20 days?

Forty, in the Bible, is a number associated with testing. (Falwell)

What did these spies bring back to Kadesh with them?
  • Word, which means a matter as spoken; a report.
  • Fruit of the land for everyone to see.
  • The people are strong, the cities are walled, and the land is flowing with milk and honey (fertile land).
  • The Amalekites dwell in the land south; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and the coast of Jordan.
These Israelite scouts who were born and raised in Egyptian captivity, had never seen a walled city. It must have been an unnerving sight, to say the least.

What are you waiting for-a test result, an interview result, resolved differences, things to work out?
Are you trusting God while you wait?


Caleb spoke up and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

NIV says, for we can certainly do it.
NLT states it, We can certainly conquer it!

Isn't that a good report? Encouraging words? Relief?

Romans 8:37 states, In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
In that verse, conquerors means superiority, in the Greek.

Is there something in your life that is trying to conquer you? Are you letting it or are you going to conquer it through God's help?
Is there a task which the Lord has for you to do as a conqueror? Do you have faith in the Jesus that He will strengthen and give you wisdom accomplishing it?


Be humble before God and seek His leading in my life.

Wait patiently for answers.

Trust God and be faithful to Him while trusting.

Obey and conquer when He leads.

Give God the glory for the results.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Luscious Fruit

O. T. #325  "Luscious Fruit"
July 21, 2014
Numbers 13
The LORD said to Moses, Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.  Numbers 13:1a (NIV)


A couple of years ago, I received a tame blackberry bush as a gift, which I planted in the place of my prospective fruit and flower garden. Last year it had a few small berries on it, which the blackbirds ate. This year, there were several luscious, sweet, huge blackberries. I picked them and ate them. So why don't I go buy more bushes so I can enjoy a lot of luscious huge blackberries? I've seen how they grow. I have even tasted them. But do I have faith that if I pay the cost of purchasing the bushes, I will receive the most? Do I want to pay the price?
Well, the spies for Israel saw with their own eyes and tasted with their own lips the luscious fruit in Canaan. but did they have the faith that they could conquer it for themselves? Did they want to pay the price to do so? Follow on and we will find out.

The LORD had promised Abraham and his descendants a land of their own. It was where they could worship Him and enjoy His provisions. Along their way,they were given daily food and water.They received the commands on how to live, the sacrificial system which pleased God when followed. Israel had experienced the power of God as He brought the plagues upon Egypt so they could be freed from slavery and seek their own land; He parted the Red Sea for them to cross and protected them by drowning the Egyptian army which pursued them and wanted to bring Israel back as slaves; they experience the Shekinah Glory of God through the cloud; they got their quail meat to eat. What more evidence did they need that God is real, caring, and all-powerful?

Could He not bring down walls of great cities with only the sound of trumpets? Could He not keep the sun from going down so they could kill their enemies? Could God confuse and frighten their enemy so they turn and kill their own? Where is their faith, love, obedience in and for God?

Before discussing chapter 13, let's go to Deuteronomy 1:22.
Moses is speaking: And they came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.

The people asked for spies; it had not been Moses' idea (although he approved), nor had it been God's idea. When Jehovah heard their request, He approved; and the spies were sent to search out the Promised Land.  It seems that the original idea for an expedition came from man and not from God.(Falwell)

Now we pick up verse 1 of chapter 13. What are the instructions God gives to Moses?
  • Send out men to search the land of Canaan, which He would give the children of Israel.
  • One man from each tribe was to be sent as a spy. We read the twelve names in verses 4-16.
The leaders are different from those previously mentioned. Presumably, the tribal leaders in the four earlier lists were older men. The task for the spies called for some leaders who were younger, probably about forty years of age, based on the ages of Caleb and Joshua.  (MacArthrur)

This plan was the desire of the people, not the commandment of the Lord. He permitted this plan to be used so that He might reveal to the people what their hearts were really like. God had already told them many times what Canaan was like, what nations wee there, and how He would defeat their enemies and give them their promised inheritance; so what need was there for men to go in and spy out the land? Sad to say, human nature prefers to walk by sight, not by faith. (Wiersbe)

What need, indeed.


The two most important men of these twelve scouts were Caleb (verse 6) and Joshua (verse 8). Oshea is another name for Joshua. I looked it up. We know that the twelve were gone on the expedition for 40 days. I assume they traveled by foot, not donkey or camel, for it is not mentioned.

The assignment of the 12 men was three-fold:
  1. Look at the land, see what it is like, if it is good or bad, fertile or poor. Are there trees on the land? Bring back some fruit of the land (season of the first ripe grapes).
  2. Observe the people, whether they are strong or weak, few or many.
  3. Check out their cities, if they are walled or fortified.
So they went and explored the land. Details of the places they quietly visited are mentioned in verses 21-22. At the Valley or brook of Eshcol, the men cut down a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. It was so huge that two men carried it on a pole between them, along with pomegranates and figs.

I have never seen such large grapes. What a fruitful land! Who would not enjoy having that in your backyard?


Walk by faith, not by sight.

Trust God to do what He says He will do.

Give Him the glory when He fulfills His promises.

Friday, July 18, 2014


O. T. #324 "Jealousy"
July 18, 2014
Numbers 12
And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath He not spoken also by us? and the Lord heard it.  Numbers 12:2


We have experienced the criticism of my husband as pastor, which is expected since he has been in the ministry some 34 years. One time, it went so far as to have a man try attempt to removed him as pastor, behind his back, which dissolved. It was a difficult thing to confront the man with this. He apologized, and then we had to forgive him. A similar situation occurred with Moses in this chapter.

The LORD commanded Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to come out of the Tent of Meeting, all three of them. It was a called meeting, front and center. The Lord was not going to put up with the criticism of the two highest spiritual officers under Moses.
Previously, Moses had been criticized by the people. This was  different. Now it was his sister and brother, his fellow leaders that were doing it.
The LORD Himself came down, in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle and spoke directly to this trio.
God has promised to defend His servants (Is. 54:17).

What did God say?
  • He reveals Himself to a prophet in visions and speaks to him in dreams. (verse 6)
  • This was not the procedure with Moses, for Moses was God's servant, faithful in all God's house. (verse 7)
  • God spoke face to face (mouth to mouth), clearly, not in riddles, showing His form to Moses. (verse 8) Currently, only Moses had this privilege, not Aaron or Miriam.
Why were Miriam and Aaron not afraid to speak against God's servant Moses? No answer was given. How could they say anything? They were guilty of the accusation. No excuses. God had heard them.

How do we react when God convicts us of our sins and we know we are guilty Do we repent, agreeing with God against us? Or do we make excuses? Do we blame others instead of acknowledging our guilt?


What had Miriam and Aaron done that was so awful that God came down to reprimand and speak to them about them directly about this matter? He could have just killed them dead right then and there. He could have given Moses the directions for their punishment. Neither happened. God handled the situation personally. It would not be repeated, that's for sure.

The two things which these two did wrong were:
1. Most seriously, they questioned Moses' position as the spokesman for God to Israel. (verse 2) This
    was an outright sin and they knew it. God set the two straight on that matter, as discussed above.

     Miriam and Aaron asserted that God had spoken to them in the same way that He had spoken to
     Moses. (MacArthur)

     Why were these two leaders attacking their leader?

      Jealousy got ahold of Miriam, a prophetess (Ex. 15:20) and  Aaron, the high priest of Israel.
      There is little doubt that Miriam was the ringleader. The feminine verb used in verse 1 is in the
      original text. It was Miriam who would receive the most severe judgment from God. Aaron had
      already shown himself to be less than a tower of strength in tines of temptation (Ex. 32:21-24).

2. Their criticism was against Moses' wife, Zipporah. (verse 1) This is questionable. She was a
     Cushite (Ethiopian and Gentile) woman. This may have been Moses' first or second wife, which is
     not certain. Anyway, neither marriage to a foreigner from Egypt or a Cushite dwelling in Arabia
     was not prohibited. Exodus 34:16 prohibited the marriage to a Canaanite. Was a sister envious of a
     foreigner? We do not read of Zipporah's death nor if this is a first wife.

Moses proved his meekness (humility) by refusing to fight them; he left his cause in the hands of God, who took care of the matter. Miriam became leprous and her sin held up the march of the camp for seven days. Aaron confessed his guilt, and Moses prayed for his sister Miriam, an evidence of true love and humility. It is a serious thing when spiritual leaders become envious of one another, because their sin affects the whole congregation.  (Wiersbe)

Miriam became the first and only recorded Old Testament Israelite ever to be healed of leprosy. (Falwell)

Miriam's sins slowed down the journey of the Israelites. Oh, how our sins effect others.


Don't question God's choosing of His leaders.

Pray for them instead of criticizing my leaders.

Pray for those who falsely accuse me of wrongs; then forgive them.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

An Expensive Dinner

O.T. #323  "An Expensive Dinner"
July 17, 2014
Numbers 11-Part 5
...Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.  Numbers 11:23b


I recall an expensive dinner we had, some twelve years ago. The six of us, our two children and their spouse sat down to an authentic seafood dinner in Maine. We all wanted to try the local exquisite lobster, clam chowder, fish, and shrimp. What a meal it was! Dad told the kids he was paying for it before ordering, so they got what they wanted to eat. Perhaps he had second thoughts when the $100 bill came to the table. What an expensive meal back then! The cravings for seafood was satisfied, with my husband paying the price. In a similar manner it happened to Israel. Pull up to the table and read on about their meal.

Complaining and lusting after meat and spices. God promises that they shall have their fill of the flesh and the usual daily manna. For a month they would eat quail; so much that it would be coming out their nose. That should fill them up, put an end to the meat thing.
What was greedily coveted, in a little time comes to be nauseated.(M. Henry)

Verse 23 in the NIV says, The LORD answered Moses, "Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you."

Instead of  arm, the KJV says hand. Either word, the answer is no.

Had Moses forgotten the wonderful works which he previous experienced God's power do? What about the plagues of Egypt, the parting of the sea, the water from a rock, raining manna from heaven? Was God weaker than He used to be? Definitely not!
What do we learn from this?
  • God's hand is not too short that it cannot reach down and still perform miracles. He controls the waters and the winds.
  • Nothing can restrain God's power, but His own will. He could have wiped all the Israelites off the face of the earth, but Mercy chose not to do so.
  • With God nothing is impossible. Do we ask Him in faith believing He can do it or supply our need? 
David Guzik's Bible Commentary states:
God had not suddenly become weak or limited. God has resources that Moses knew nothing about. We might say that God likes to meet our needs in completely unexpected ways.
Before God provided the meat for Israel, He first provided leadership and oversight. For this expanded leadership to do the job, they needed to have an outpouring of the Holy Spirit-and they needed to have the same spirit that was on Moses. They needed to have his vision, his heart, and his attitude.

See Psalm 78:27-31 and Psalm 106:13-15.

Are we equipped to serve those we lead? Christians can be filled with the same Holy Spirit.

This magnifies God's word above all His name, that His works never come short of it. If He speaks, it is done. (Henry)


And so it happened, just as God said it would. While the people were still chewing the meat, the anger of the Lord burned against them and he struck them with a severe plague.
Some of their loved ones paid for the meat on the table, with their lives. What an expensive dinner!


Trust God to keep His Word.

Stop complaining and be grateful.

Don't lust after the things of the world.

Love God and others.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Want to be Fat

O. T. #322  "I Want to be Fat"
July 16, 2014
Numbers 11-Part 4
I am not able t bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.  Numbers 11:14


I want to be fat. (Did that grab your attention?) I want to be fat in faith, that is, not fat physically but fat spiritually. After having such a busy month this summer, I see that I have gained weight. So now, I am back to my walking a mile five times a week and watching my diet. It is so hard to give up pie, ice cream, and sodas and eat salads. But in order to get back into my clothes, I know what I need to do. (I make my regiment easier by listening to a Bible study on line while I walk.) It is difficult, but worth it. My complaining about weight gain is due to my own fault. The tire around my waist is because I shoveled it in, food into my mouth. I regret it. Did the Israelites have something to regret?

We read in this chapter where the Lord provided meat for some 600,000 men of Israel and their families for one month. The Lord was able to do what He said-provide.
Was the heat, the barren land, and the hostile crowd beginning to get to Moses?
What complaints, bordering on charges, did Moses bring to God?
 Moses asked God (starting with verse 11):
  • Why He had brought this trouble upon him.
  • What he had done to displease God that He put the burden of all the people upon him.
  • Did he conceive all these people? Did he give them birth?
  • Why do You tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant to the land You promised on oath to their forefathers?
  • Where can he get meat for all these people?
Moses continued:
  • They keep wailing to me, "Give us meant to eat!"
  • I cannot carry all these people by myself: the burden is too heavy for me.
  • If this is how You are going to treat me, put me to death right now-if I have found favor in Your eyes-do not let me face my own ruin.
Do we see Moses' prayer being self-centered? How many times did he say I or me?
How many times are our prayers that way, too?


Moses was facing an unbearable burden-dealing with the complaints of so many. God stepped up and took care of the situation-quail. Before doing so, God instructed Moses to gather 70 men of the elders and officers of Israel at the Tabernacle to meet with them.

While it is true that Moses had been allowed by God to appoint some administrative helpers in the past (Ex.18:13-270, it would seem here in Numbers 11 that the request was granted not so much to glorify God as to accommodate the prophet!  (Falwell)

The solution-God would take the Holy Spirit that was upon Moses and share it with those 70 men.
They would share the burden of the people with him so Moses would not bear it alone. (Moses counseled the people with problems.)

God provided the 2 million people with quail to eat for a month. They asked for meat, by George that was what they would get. They ate meat until it was coming out their nose. It was all due to them despising the Lord. (verse 20).

Recon they were sorry for complaining after all that? do we complain about something to God and then He gives it and we are sorry for asking and complaining?

When we allow ungodly cravings to rule our lives, God may send what we crave-and leanness into our soul as well. Don't be ruled by your cravings. Promised land people must be ruled by more than their physical or emotional appetites.  (Guzik)

Isn't it better to be fat in faith than lean in unbelief?


Ask God to give me His desires for my life.

Seek Him instead of things.

Stop complaining; be grateful.

Be fat in faith.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Feastly Food

O. T. #321  " Feastly Food"
July 15, 2014
Numbers 11-Part 3
...Who shall give us flesh to eat?  Numbers 11:4c


As I have traveled to other countries, I have seen people thankful for such meager meals of rice and bananas day after day. We Americans are so spoiled to having such a variety of food on the table to eat. Do we complain when we have leftovers? Do we lust after a table full of a feastly variety of food to choose from? (My own word)

The people traveled away from Mt. Sinai, where they had camped almost a year. Then they were on the move. They began to complain, it displeased the Lord, and He brought fire on some of them. Moses prayed and God put out the fire. Moses named the place Taberah because the fire of the Lord burnt among them.

What else happened? We learn that there was a mixt multitude among the Israelites.

The word in the original resembles our "riff-raff" and denotes a mob of people scraped together.
(Barnes Commentary)

Much of Israel's problems would from this point be attributed to this mostly unsaved, partly Egyptian group that leaped on the bandwagon after the mighty Passover miracle in Egypt.  (Liberty Bible Commentary)

So it was this group that began lusting for the food back in Egypt, that was complaining about what they did not have to eat at the present time. The Israelites joined in with them.

What were they questioning? Who shall give us flesh to eat? They wanted meat to eat.
They lusted after food back in Egypt, which was at no cost to them:
  • fish,
  • cucumbers,
  • melons,
  • leeks,
  • onions,
  • garlic.
They complained that their soul was dried away, that they lost their appetite, and they never saw anything but manna.

Why had this been enough, sufficient for them until now? Back in Exodus 16, they same thing happened. they complained against their provider, God. He gave them wafers, heavenly manna to eat. All they had to do was gather it.
How ungrateful! but they kept thinking about what they had back in Egypt, not remembering their slavery and hard life as well. The guys were focused on the food they didn't have instead of what they did have. Did they want to go back to their life of slavery instead of living freely with their God? Their flesh was rebelling.

Aren't we like them? If only... Why can't we... Look at so and so, they have...

God provides, yet we want something bigger, better, newer, more modern. Guilty.
We should be thanking God that we have a variety of food to eat, instead of rice everyday.
Why are we not thankful for the used car that runs well and without a car payment, instead of wanting a new shiny one that we have to pay tax for in order to get the tag, plus the monthly bill?
Do we lust after all those modern technical gadgets, which drains our pocket?
Do we really have to have the latest shoes and clothes to wear this summer, which runs up our credit card?

Really, are we no different from the Israelites?
God's love showers us with good things, provides us with what we need, but are we satisfied?


NIV says in verse 10: Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent.  The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled.

Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament states:
One of the sad results of carnality among God's people is discouragement on the part of the leaders (verse 10). Now Moses himself complained to God! Notice how often he said "I" and "my" and "me" in his prayer, for his concern was himself and not God's glory. Moses should have known that the same God who delivered the, led them, and provided for the, would give them flesh in the wilderness; but, as often happens, self-centered praying killed his faith.
The Lord gave Moses 70 men to help him, in response to Moses' despair. Quail flew about three feet above ground so the people could knock them down and easily kill them to eat. Sometimes God gives us what we ask, even if it is not what His desire for us is. We find out the answer is not a blessing at all, don't we? Do we learn a lesson from our experience?
Do we need a change of heart, a change of focus?


Learn to be content, thankful, and have a grateful heart.

Focus on the Lord Jesus as my source of joy, not things.

Share with others.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Fire of Judgment

O. T. #320  "A Fire of Judgment"
July 14, 2014
Numbers 11-Part 2
And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.  Numbers 11:2


On the fourth of July, we went to my brother in law's house to watch the city's fireworks display. We didn't want to fight the crowd and wanted a simple place to relax. His wife and I got a fire going in the pit in their back yard. S'mores were made, we enjoyed the glow, and the mosquitoes were kept away somewhat. This fire was enjoyable in that it didn't burn us. However, some of the Israelites got burned by a fire of judgment. Read on.

We read where the people complained and the Lord sent fire upon some of them. This was the first divine judgment since the golden calf punishment back in Exodus 32.
Now what?
The people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.

What do we see here?
  • Moses still loved the people.
  • God still loved the people.
  • The people knew where to turn, to their leader and intercessor.
  • As a result in Moses' praying, God quenched the fire.
Where do we turn when we sin, and see the consequences of it? Do we seek God's forgiveness? Or do we hide it under the rug? Others are usually affected by our sins.


Did you read verse 3? That place was named Taberah, which means burning in Hebrew.
It was not going to be forgotten. Do we have reminders of our mistakes, our rebellion, our turning from the Lord? Perhaps it is in the form of a scar, a child, a lack of money, a broken relationship.

I Thessalonians 5:19 tells us, do not quench the Spirit.
In Greek, this word quench means extinguish, go out.

Are we on fire for the Lord, or do we let our enthusiasm go out?


Submit to, not quench the Holy Spirit.

Let God's Word burn within me.

Friday, July 11, 2014


O. T. #319  "Complaining"
July 11, 2014
Numbers 11-Part 1
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.  Numbers 11:1


I find myself complaining about things more often than giving thanks to my God. Often, I get caught up with those criticizing. Ouch! His mercy does not strike me with fire and burn me up. He puts up with so much from me. Yet, I am not alone. Israel did the same thing.

The cloud was moving and the people were scurrying, ready to go. After spending about a year camped at Mt. Sinai, they were finally leaving. Leaving the past behind-the golden calf, the lack of faith. Hmmm. Maybe not.

It was less than 200 miles between Mt. Sinai and Kadesh. Moses listed 20 stops between these two places. The Sinai area is dotted with mountains, rugged valleys, and sandy ground; but their journey was never too long or difficult, for the cloud of the LORD was upon them.

The Lord provided all that was needed for His children to make the journey to the Promised Land. They ate meat and bread (quail and manna), had water to drink, shoes that never wore out. What more could they want?

How about us, are we grateful for the food and drink that God gives us? What about our shoes, ladies? How many pairs do we have in our closet? Clothes?


And when the people complained...
It did not say: after a week passed, after the rugged terrain wore them out, after the scorching sun beat down on them the first afternoon. No passing of time is mentioned, no hardship is written, no lack of their needs being met. God was their provider and is ours today.

In the Hebrew, complained (anan, pronounced aw-nan') means to mourn.

Do we do the same thing? Are we discontent with our situation, with what God has given us, reaping what we have sown?

What happened whenever the people complained?
  • It displeased the LORD.
  • The LORD heard their complaining.
  • His anger was kindled.
  • Fire of the LORD burnt among them and consumed those in the uttermost parts of the camp.
What the cause of this complaining was, we know not. Maybe it was the length of the way. But surely no people had ever less cause for murmuring; they had God among them, and miracles of goodness were continually wrought in their behalf. His extraordinary kindness was lost on such an ungrateful and rebellious people. divine justice was necessarily incensed against such inexcusable conduct. (Clarke's Commentary)

Are there times that our behavior is inexcusable? Yet, God forgives us.

Philippians 2:14 says, Do all things without murmurings and disputings.

Lord, have mercy on us sinners, complainers. Help us to be grateful for all you do for us and provide for us.


Stop complaining, Linda.

Give thanks in all things.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wagon Master

O. T. #318 "Wagon Master"
July 10, 2014
Numbers 10-Part 3
And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law. We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.  Numbers 10:29


When I was a kid, I used to like watching the struggles and challenges which the guys dealt with on the show Wagon Trail. That group of cowboys took people to the unsettled west of our early nation. They met many hardships, from Indian raids to dried up waterholes, sickness and stampedes, rugged terrain and wagon wheels breaking. The wagon master always had help to deal with such things. Similarly, Moses wanted help to lead the two million people.

You will recall that earlier in this chapter, the children of Israel began their journey toward the Promised Land, after camping almost a year around the Sinai Wilderness. The cloud is leading them and the Ark of the Covenant is with them. God was  going before them while in their midst. He reminds the Israelites again, in verse 10, I am the LORD your God.

There is nothing that God cannot do, friends. He wants us to depend upon Him for everything, live by faith and not by sight. He looks into our hearts to see our motives and intentions, as well as our faithfulness to Him.


Now we begin today's lesson in verse 29 reading about Hobab, Moses' brother in law and Raguel (Jethro), Moses' father in law.

At the beginning of the march, Moses attempted to secure the services of his brother in law to act as a "wagon-master" guide for the people. It is not certain whether he accepted this offer or not. However, the context of Judges 4:11 would indicate he did not.  (Falwell)

Moses promised Hobab a portion of the inheritance of Israel within the land if he would come. Numbers does not explicitly state whether Hobab responded to Moses or not. but Judges 1:16 implies that Hobab agreed to Moses' request. Later, he joined with Judah in the conquest of the land and did receive the blessing of dwelling in the land.  (MacArthur)

When someone wants our help in God's Kingdom work, do we pray about our answer before giving it?

Even though the journey is hard  and the road is long, the One who goes before me will help me carry one. (from a song)
Keep moving for Jesus and carrying the Gospel.


Seek the Lord's will when asked to help in our church or ministry.

Surrender my will to His.

Honor the Lord in all I do.

Be ready to move when He says so.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Time to Move Forward

O. T. #317  "Time to Move Forward"
July 9, 2014
Numbers 10-Part 2
The children of Israel took their journey out of the wilderness of Sinai: and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.  Numbers 10:12

*Forgive me for not writing yesterday, but our church is in Vacation Bible School this week, and I suddenly became the director. Also, I attended my cousin's funeral yesterday morning. Thanks for your faithful, friends in continuing on this road of faith with me.


To me, it is more fun and exciting to pack and get ready for a trip than when I return home. Perhaps it is all the laundry to be done and the putting away of things that bog me down. I know that I should not let it zap the joy I experienced on the trip.

Well, the time had come for Israel to move on toward their Promised Land that flowed with milk and honey, Canaan, the land God would give to His children. The priests were watching the cloud to notice when it moved. That was the signal for the camp to start walking on. It was time to go forward.

Doesn't Jesus want us move on, walk by faith, go forward in our journey of life? Isn't that how our faith grows? Are we ready to follow His leading, conquer those trial and temptations, overcome the giants standing in our way? Reach our promised land? Are we ready? It is time to go forward, friends. Get your shoes of faith on. Get packed, and bring your Bible. There's an exciting journey ahead as we continue reading about Israel. Lots of lessons for us to learn are around the bend.


Finally, in an orderly and obedient fashion, Israel departed from Sinai as the Lord commanded through Moses.  Only 13 months after the Exodus from Egypt and 11 months after the arrival at Sinai, Israel began to march toward Canaan. (verses 11-28) (MacArthur)

We read the twelve leaders of the first generation of Israel noted here for the fourth and final time in the book of Numbers. The tribe of Judah was given preeminence as the ruling tribe. They led the march toward the Promised Land.

God leads His people in an orderly way, each tribe was placed at a specific place around the tabernacle and each section moving as the trumpets commanded.

Does He expect any less from us? If we listen, He will give us specific directions on His will for us today. Are we listening?

As Moses would later write, The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, "Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: Turn you, and take your journey... to the land of the Canaanites... Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them. (Deut. 1:6-8)

The cloud moved off the Tabernacle, so it was time for the Israelites to move. They journeyed out of the wilderness of Sinai and rested in the wilderness of Paran.

Paran can be identified as that large central wilderness of Sinai. (Falwell)

How excited the people must have been to finally get going. Did they leave those idols behind? Did they stop questioning Moses? Did they march right up to those enemies and slay them? What could it have been like for this first generation of Israelites? Did they get to see and live in their wonderful land? Hum. Stay with us to find out the answers.

Are you ready to move on, leave those old attitudes, criticisms, judgings, differences behind? I am ready to step by faith. It is time to go forward.


Leave behind those hurt feelings, discouraging words, criticisms, differences.

Repent and obey God.

Experience the blessings of God as I follow Him by faith.

Love Jesus with all my heart and give Him the glory for all He does.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Blowing the Trumpet

O. T. #316  "Blow the Trumpet"
July 7, 2014
Numbers 10-Part 1
Make two trumpets of hammered silver for calling the community to assemble and for signaling the breaking of camp. Numbers 10:2


In my town, we have storm sirens that sound for a tornado warning. Since we live less than a mile from town, we can hear it go off. Also, fire trucks and ambulances have sirens to use as emergency vehicles. Israel used two silver trumpets to signal the people for a specific purpose. If both were blown, then all the congregation was to gather at the tabernacle. If only one was sounded, then only the heads of the tribes were to appear (verse 4).
The purposes of sounding the trumpets were:
  • to summons (verse 2),
  • to give warning in case of attack (verse 5),
  • when Israel would go to war (verse 9),
  • at Israel's appointed feasts (verse 10).
[Resource: Liberty Bible Commentary]


The priests and Levites lived next to the Tabernacle. They would be the first ones to see the cloud moving. It was their responsibility to warn the camp.
Trumpets were associated with both Israel and the church. The rapture of the church, when God calls His heavenly people together, will be with the sound of the trumpet (1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 4:1) (Wiersbe)

When God says move, do we refuse to go or are we ready to move? Do we offer excuses or answer the call? Are we refusing to go or do we refuse to stay?

Friends, Heaven and Hell are real eternal places. Are we warning the people, our loved ones, about the consequences of sin? Are we sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ?
Are we ready for the last trumpet to sound? Are our family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers ready?


Be ready to move when God says to move.

Prepare my heart for the journey with Jesus.

Look where God is working and join Him.

Watch God work in hearts.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Keep Your Head in the Clouds

O. T. #315  "Keep Your Head in the Clouds"
June 3, 2014
Numbers 9-Part 2
At the commandment of the LORD, they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.   Numbers 9:23


Keep your head in the clouds, friends. I know, you ask how to do that when you are going through such turmoil in your life. The answer is to keep your spiritual eyes on Jesus, surrounded by His love.

I can't count the number of times I have flown in an airplane. There have been many times that I sat by the window, looking out over the clouds. What an amazing sight! I have seen gray clouds, black clouds, and white fluffy ones with the sun shining around them. There have been a few times I even saw a rainbow from up there. What a glorious sight! I know my Lord is up there in the clouds, yet at the same time, He is down on the ground, even in a dark cave.

Realistically, I know that when our way sometimes gets surrounded by gray clouds.  However, there is hope in Jesus. There is a bright, fluffy, white cloud around me, somewhere. I just have to look beyond my present circumstances and keep my eyes on Jesus. He never leaves me nor forsakes me. Shall we get our heads into the clouds? Live above those  problems.

In this chapter we read about the glorious cloud which covered the Tabernacle.

Liberty Bible Commentary states:
This cloud was the Shekinah Glory sign of God whereby Israel could enjoy a visible assurance that the people were, indeed, being led by God. Paul refers to this glory cloud as one of the great advantages enjoyed by the nation Israel (Rom. 9:4-5).
Other times when God appeared in the form of a glorious cloud were:
  • at the Red Sea (Ex. 13:21-22),
  • in the tabernacle of the Holy of Holies (Lev. 16:2),
  • in the Temple of Holy of Holies (2 Chron. 5:13),
  • it disappears in Ezekiel's time (Ez. 10),
  • at the birth of Christ (Luke 2:9),
  • on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:5),
  • at the Ascension (Acts 1:9-11).
When the people saw the cloud, they knew God was with them. Isn't that what we want, too? We want the reassurance that God is with us, leading us in our wilderness journey. We are on our way to our Promised Land called Heaven. Who is doing the leading and who is doing the following in our life? Who is in charge of our life-God or us? The thing is, are we following daily the Holy Spirit's prompting or are we the going our own way?

Israel obeyed the Lord at this point in her experience. Throughout the wilderness wanderings, the Israelites could only journey as the cloud led them. When it did not move, they stayed encamped where they were. (MacArthur)


When the cloud moved, Israel moved, and when the cloud stayed, Israel stayed, whether it was two days, a month, or a year.

It would have been foolish and dangerous for the campers to move without the direction from God. the Jews were a pilgrim people, living in tents, and they had to be ready to move at a moment's notice.  (Wiersbe)

Year, translated in Hebrew normally means more an extended period of time (Gen. 4:3; 24:55; 40:4) that is more than a month. (Falwell)

What did the people do in verse 23, at the command of the LORD?
  • They rested in the tents.
  • They journeyed at the LORD's command.
  • They kept the charge of the LORD.
Oh, to be so faithful, dear ones. What is our heart's desire? Can we rest in our tent knowing Jesus is in charge of everything, still sitting on His throne as ruler of the universe?
Are we willing to journey into our neighborhood, across town, into our state, across the nation, or even around the world so others will hear the good news of our Savior and what He has done for us?
Will we keep the charge? Through whatever, will we remain faithful to our Savior as Paul? Are we willing to endure whatever for His glory?


Daily surrender to my Lord Jesus.   

Watch, listen, and follow the Holy Spirit's leading.  

Look for His glorious working.

Give Him the glory for all He does.   

Keep my head in the clouds with Jesus, above my problems.                                                                

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stand Still

O. T. #314  "Stand Still"
June 2, 2014
Numbers 9-Part 1
And Moses said unto them, Stand still, and I will hear what the LORD will command concerning you.  Numbers 9:8


How often do we stand still and hear what the Lord has to say for us? For others? Am I still long enough to hear the Lord speak to me? Do I pray for others with heavy burdens?

It was only written down that it happened twice in forty years. It was the first of seven great religious festivals, first observed in Leviticus 23:5. Can you guess what it was?
If you are reading chapter 9, you know I am talking about the Passover.

This feast was first introduced by God and observed by Israel during their final days in Egypt (Ex. 12). Israel may have kept it on other occasions, but we are not told about it. The next observance of this feast took place on the western bank of the Jordan (Joshua 5:10) in the land of Canaan. (Falwell)

I wonder how many children only go to church on Easter morning during the year. Have we neglected to share the deliverance God has made for our soul? Our deliverance is from the penalty of sin. Does our family see Him working in our life throughout the year?
Do they see us opening up the Bible and reading it more than once a year? What about our grandchildren?


Look at our key verse. Moses was faced with a problem at this time. He needed counsel from God so he could give others counsel. What did he do?
Moses told them to stand still and he would hear what the LORD commanded the people to do.

Do people share their problems with us and we don't have an answer for them. How can we help them? Go to God for instructions for them. He holds the solution.

What was the problem Moses confronted? Some Israelites had touched a dead body and were ceremonially unclean to participate in the Passover. What were they to do?
When Moses asked, God answered:
Tell the Israelites when any of you and your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they may still celebrate the LORD's Passover. (verse 9, NIV)

They were given specific instructions:
  • A month later they could observe the Passover.
  • They were to eat all of the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, not leaving any leftovers.
  • They must not break any of the lamb's bones.
Another situation was about the one who was ceremonially clan and not on a journey, but did not celebrate the Passover. He was to be cut off from his people because he did not present the LORD"s offering at the appointed time. He was to bear the consequences of his sin.

Do we bear the consequences of our sin, even if we have asked forgiveness? Yes.

Galatians 6:5 says, For every man shall bear his own burden.

Each one shall carry his own responsibility, shoulder his own pack, bear his own private load.
The Greek word phortion is used to designate a pack carried by a soldier.

Do we intercede for others like Moses did?


Allow the Lord to use me wherever.

Study His Word so I can follow it.

Pray for others.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Refreshed and Serving

O. T. #313  "Refreshed and Serving"
July 1, 2014
Numbers 8-Part 2
And Aaron shall offer the Levites before the LORD, for an offering of the children of Israel, that they may execute the service of the LORD.  Numbers 8:11


The requirements for the serving Levites is different for us believers serving Christ today. Yet are we who are called into special ministry living differently? Are we loving God and loving others? Are we following the teachings of Jesus? Are we faithfully serving and refreshed each day? Do we come to our Savior daily for the cleansing of our mind and soul?
We have so much stuff pulling us away from the Word, worship, and surrendering to God. The pull of technology alone is tremendous. Keeping up with everything is so demanding. Yet, Jesus waits for us, patiently. He doesn't put demands on us, but calls us through love.

In Leviticus 8 we read about the consecration of the priests and the commission of them in Numbers 3:5-13. Now Moses tells us of the six things which were to be done at the dedication ceremony:
  1. They were to be sprinkled with purifying water. (verse 7)
  2. All hair was to be shaved from their bodies. (verse 7)
  3. Their clothes were to be washed and cleansed. (verse 7)
  4. A burnt offering, grain offering, and sin offering were to be given. (verses 8,12)
  5. They were to identify themselves with the remaining tribes by the laying on of hands. (verses 10,17-18)
  6. They were then to be formally offered to God. (verse 21) (Liberty Bible Commentary)
In contrast to the priests who were consecrated (Ex. 29:1,9), the Levites were cleansed. this cleansing of the Levites made them pure so they might come into contact with the holy objects of the tabernacle. Since the Levites took the place of the firstborn, who had acted as family priests among the people of Israel, all the congregation of Israel showed their identification with the Levites by the laying on of their hands. The Levites were given by God to assist the priests. (The MacArthur Bible Commentary)

God established the offerings in place of the people as a purification.

The requirements of the Levites to serve in the Tabernacle were age 25-50 active serving, and began serving at age 30, with a 5 year apprenticeship before 30.

 Later on, the age was lowered to 20 (2 Chron. 31:17 and Ezra 3:8), probably because of different circumstances. (Kenneth Jones)

Are we set apart from the world? Do others recognize that we Christians are different? Is our life living proof that we have been saved, washed in the blood of the Lamb of God?
Are we serving our Savior in the church and in our life?


The underlying principle here seems to be that the dedication to God is a very serious and sacred thing. Paul emphasizes this vital element concerning New Testament believers in Romans 12:1-2.

In Hebrews 9, we read that Christ came as high priest, went through a greater and more perfect tabernacle not man-made, didn't enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. In the Old Testament the blood of goats, bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those ceremonially unclean sanctified them. (NIV reference)

Hebrews 9:14 states, How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleansed our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.

Christ is the mediator of a new  covenant. He died as a ransom to set us free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Those who are called will receive the promised eternal inheritance.


Thank Jesus Christ for His redeeming sacrifice for me.

Daily come to Him for forgiveness of my sins.

Thank Him for my eternal life that He has provided.

Praise Him, serve Him, love Him.