Tuesday, September 30, 2014


O. T. #374  "Learn"
Sept. 30, 2014
Deuteronomy 4-Part 1
Take heed to yourselves...Deuteronomy 4:9,15,23


Listen, you might learn something. You live and learn (from mistakes, hopefully). How many times have we heard those phrases? Parents and adults tried to instruct us when we were growing up. Chances are, none of us heeded it all. We had to find out on our own. Learn from our own mistakes.
Moses was trying to remind Israel to obey God when they entered the Promised Land and He would bless them.

What was Moses trying to teach this second generation of Israelites?
1. Listen and Learn
    Successful conquest and full enjoyment of life in the land was based on submission to
    God's law. Statutes were permanent rules for conduct fixed by the reigning authority, while
    the second deal with judicial decisions which served as precedents for future
    guidance. (MacArthur)
 2.  Live and Learn
      God's Word given through Moses was complete and sufficient to direct the people. The
      should learn from the rebellion of the first generation. It cost them entrance into the
      Promised Land and their very lives.
3.  Lead and Learn
     The purpose of the law was to make Israel morally and spiritually unique among all the
     nations and draw those nations to the true and living God. They were from their beginnings
     to be a witness nation. Their obedience of God's law would provide a testimony to the world
     that God was near to His people and that His laws were righteous. Fear and reverence God
     was the basic lesson for Israel to learn. (MacArthur)


God used seven different means in effecting Israel's deliverance:
  • Temptations (to try or prove),
  • Signs (to come near), fire and cloud
  • Wonders (to persuade),
  • War (hostile engagements) Amalekites, Amorites, Bashanites,
  • Mighty Hand,
  • A Stretched-Out Arm, Egyptians,
  • Great Terrors, ten plagues, Egyptian chariot wheels in the Red Sea. (Clarke)
What does God have to use to bring us to surrender to Him?
What has He already used in this attempt? Did it work?

Three times in this chapter Israel was warned to take heed. (verses 9, 15, 23)

Heed, in the Hebrew, means attend to, beware.

Do we take heed to God's warnings?


Listen and learn, live and learn, lead and learn from my past and Israel's past.

Study God's Word and heed it.

Surrender to God's will.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

When You Get Over There

O. T. #374  "When You Get Over There"
Sept. 29, 2014
Deuteronomy 3-Part 2


Here we read of the prayer of Moses for himself and the answer God gave to him.

O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? (verse 24)

In Hebrew, the word greatness means magnitude; stoutness; the word mighty means strong (usually in a bad sense, hard, bold, violent).

Moses had seen and experienced the greatness and mighty hand of God-the ten plagues on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, manna, quail, water, protection, victory over the enemies of Israel. Yes, he knew how powerful his God was! After all, Moses spoke face to face with God, was called the "friend of God."

Moses was right, you know, who can speak and make things, such as planets, sun, moon out of nothing, and the animals and man?

Do we acknowledge that there is no other God in heaven or earth? Are we thanking and praising Him for working mightily in our life?

Moses had such an earnest desire to cross over into the Promised Land. He reminds the congregation of the reason he was not allowed to do so.  Moses had sinned by not obeying the instructions of God, and he struck the rock twice, instead of once, for water to appear. God could not break His vow and allow this.

We should never allow any desires in our hearts, which we cannot in faith offer up to God by prayer: and what desires are innocent, let them be presented to God. The more we see of God's glory in His works, the more we shall desire to see.  (Falwell)

Are we watching what we pray for and how we ask? Are we bowing before Him in praise and worship?

What was God's answer to Moses' prayer? His request was denied.
Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. (verse 26b)
Don't ask Me anymore, Moses. You have my answer, now accept it.

Moses was sled up the mountain to Pisgah where he saw the Promised Land with his own eyes.
Aren't there times that the answer to our prayers, according to God's will, is a no? Do we accept it?


We have been at this church over 17 years. God sent us. He could have said before hand, "Now when you get there...". It was later on that my husband, the pastor, said that God sent him here to build a new sanctuary. It has been over 3 years since we broke ground for it. What a long haul! Our faith will soon be sight as it nears completion. God has done so much in this process, provided so much money, workers, the right people to direct, faith to carry on. His greatness, His mighty hand, and His works continue to amaze us. He is the one who deserves thanks and praise and honor, not us. His wonders never cease. After all, He is our God! The sanctuary is a place where we will worship Him, and Him alone as God.
Joshua would soon experience the same great God and His might hand.

Joshua was to be Moses' successor. Moses was reminding him of the victories Joshua had seen; consider what God had done. The Lord would do the same to all the kingdoms over there where he was going; consider what God had promised.

What was the charge Moses gave to Joshua?
  • Do not fear them.
  • The LORD your God shall fight for you.
Should we who are experienced and aged in God's service do the same to the younger ones?

Jesus told His disciples, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem... (Luke 18:31)
I read this some where concerning that verse:
We go up to Jerusalem to fulfill God's purpose, not our own. What seemed failure from man's standpoint was a tremendous triumph from God's, because God's purpose is never man's purpose. (unknown author)
Where is our Jerusalem that God is sending us to this week to accomplish His purpose? If it looks like we failed, be assured, God's purpose will be accomplished. It may not look like success in our eyes, but God looks deeper than we do and farther than we do.


Listen to God's directions.

When I get where God has sent me, do what He said to do; accomplish His purpose, not mine.

Do His will, His way.

Don't fear others; stay focused on God.

Surrender and watch God fight for me.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Walls Around My Heart

O. T. #373  "Walls Around My Heart"
Sept. 26, 2014
Deuteronomy 3-Part 1
All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many.  Deuteronomy 3:5


There was a time in my life when I put up walls around my shattered heart and no one was going to hurt me again. Well, that was a miserable time. Only my close family was allowed in. Did I say it was a miserable time-no trust, no joy, loneliness, no love shared? Eventually, the love of Jesus penetrated through the wall and went straight to my heart like an arrow. He filled it up with forgiveness, love, and the fruit of the Spirit. Then, it overflowed to others, in spite of the hurt they caused me and my family. I am so glad, too. Life is so much sweeter.
Israel had faced some 60 giant walled cities where their enemies lived. Want to know what happened? Continue on.

Moses continues to review what happened to Israel in the past. We last read about God giving them victory over Sihon, the Amorite. This chapter tells about the defeat of Og, another king of the Amorites. Moses had asked permission for Israel to peacefully travel through their land, but the offer was refused. It was when these two kings attacked Israel that gave them permission to fight. (The victory was a warning to the other nations in the land of Canaan.)

Let's not forget that these people were giants in the land.
Their cities (60) were described as:
  • fenced with high walls,
  • gates, and
  • bars.
These walled cities had frightened the first generation of Israelites. In spite of all that, Israel, with God's help, utterly destroyed them. (Moses does not give details.) They took the cattle and spoil. Moses was challenging Israel to cross over Jordan and conquer those cities, just as they had done in the past.

Keep in mind, this was a large area of land. God gave His children great victories and Moses repeatedly reminded them of it. This became the land later distributed to the two and one-half tribes-Gad, Reuben, and half of Manasseh (Joshua 13). It was given with the stipulation that they aid the other tribes in conquering their Promised Land.

East of the Jordan River, Israel controlled the territory from the Arnon River to Mt. Hermon, a length of about 150 miles. The land west of the Jordan still needed to be conquered. This statement helps date these speeches as pre-conquest.  (MacArthur)

Do we share the victories which God has given us in our life? Do we give Him the glory for them?
Are there walls around our heart that need to come down so the love of God can penetrate it? So others' love can come in also?


In verse 11, Moses described the bed of King Og as being 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. It does not mean that he was that tall, because warriors normally had beds constructed with were somewhat longer than their stature. but he was a giant, and Moses mentions the size of his bed to illustrate the great victory which the Lord had given them. (Falwell)

The wives, children, and cattle were to remain in Israel's cities until the rest of the land was conquered. (verse 19-20)

Do we remain where God puts us until He tells us to go? Do we daily pray for our men in the military and our leaders?
Are we prayer warriors for our church people as they go out into the world, facing the opposition of their faith?

Speaking of walls, did you know the city of the New Jerusalem in heaven will have a wall around it. Revelation 21 describes the city as:
  • surrounded by a wall great and high, with precious stones in it,
  • having 12 pearly gates, three on each side, always open,
  • 12 angels at the gates,
  • names of the twelve tribes of Israel written on them,
  • 12 foundations with the names of the 12 apostles in them,
  • foursquare in measurements (1,500 miles),
  • streets of pure gold,
  • always lit with the glory of God and the Lamb of God,
  • inhabitants' names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.
What a sight that will be! And to think, it will be our home forever and ever. Glory to God in the highest!


When facing my giants, depend on God for the victory.

Pray for the walls around people's hearts to fall and the gate open when sharing the gospel of Jesus.

Keep looking forward to the New Jerusalem with my Savior.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Fear of God

O. T. #372  "The Fear of God"
Sept. 25, 2014
Deuteronomy 2-Part 2
This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.  Deuteronomy 2:25


I remember one time when I was in a store and walked by a tall guy. As I looked up at him, it seemed like he was 7 feet tall. (Probably not) I am sure he was a basketball player for the local college team. To me he was a giant.  We have a few men in our church who are 6 1/2 feet tall. I realize that with God, I need not be afraid of such giants. God brought down the giants living in the Promised Land.

The first generational spies saw giants living in the Promised Land. They did not think they could defeat those giants, even with God's help. And so the giants remained there for a while. Shall we find out what happened to the giants so long ago?

Moses is still reviewing the wanderings and past events in Israel's history. In this chapter, we read of some battles and the workings of God in the land of the giants before Israel arrived:
  • To protect and provide for the descendants of Lot, the Ammonites, the Lord defeated the Zamzummites in the land of the giants.
  • He destroyed the Horites so the descendants of Esau could live in Seir.
  • Caphtor, the early Philistines group, defeated the Avim.
This should have been encouraging words for Israel to hear. If God could and would defeat the giants for others, surely He would do the same for Israel.
From that, I see that even before Israel arrived, God was working in the land of the giants, so the good guys would be living there.
Doesn't God go before us, preparing the way? Now that is encouraging-He works things out before we get there. All things are possible with God. Nothing is too difficult for Him. Are you facing any giants in your life? Guess what, God can take care of them.


Moses continues the historical survey detailing the defeat of the two Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, and the takeover of their territory. (Deut. 2:24-3:29) (MacArthur)
Recon He put the fear of God in them? Well, verse 25 says they feared Israel, so I figure that since Israel represented God, that is how it was.

Has the Lord put the fear of God in you? It seems that our society has lost it. So many people do not respect and fear God as they should. They wander around doing their own thing, sinning deep in the pit, not considering that one day they will stand before Almighty God and give an account.
God has the power to snap a finger or blow His breath and we no longer exist. May I never loose sight of this.

*The latter part of verse 36 says there was not one city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us.

Isn't that encouraging?


Let God handle the giants in my life.

Submit to Him.

Pray that He keeps the fear of God in me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

They're Meddlin' With Me

O. T. #371  "They're Meddlin' With Me"
Sept. 24, 2014
Deuteronomy 2-Part 1
Meddle not with them: for I will not give you their land, no not even a foot breadth...  Deuternomy 2:5a


When I taught elementary children in another part of our state, I would often hear the phrase, "He/she is meddlin' with me". When I heard that, I knew there was a dispute among the sweet ones. Hmm.
So I would go settle the little problem before it was blown into a big one.
Don't we do the same thing as adults? When someone offends us, we get mad, don't talk to them, nor have anything to do with them? Sometimes we even make snide remarks about them or to them. Why don't we go to them and settle the matter? Pride, pride, pride.
God was trying to prevent any such things from happening to His children, so He warned them.

Keep in mind that Moses is preaching his sermon to the second generation of the Israelites. In the first chapter, he reviewed the first part of their 40 years of wanderings in the wilderness. We know it was because of unbelief in God's ability to help them conquer the Promised Land back then was the reason they were where they were.

Skip down to verse 7. What does Moses tell the Israelites?
  • The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands.
  • He has watched over your journey through this vast desert.
  • These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.
Just as the Lord gave Israel food, clothing, and protection, so He does us.
Is the lack of faith the reason we are where we are or have been in our wilderness? It can be a physical location or spiritually a wilderness. Have we been wandering in our wilderness due to rebellion. Perhaps it is a loved one that is there. Is it due to our not trusting God?
Has God not provided what we needed, sustained us, even when we did not acknowledge Him in our life? Has He not blessed the work of our hands? Did He not watch over us while we were traveling on that journey in our life? All those years, months, or days, wasn't God with us, whether we prayed to Him or not? Did we lack for anything?

Israel had to admit that those things were all true. And so do we, whether we gave God credit for our survival or we took the credit. Perhaps our provisions did not meet our expectations, but we still had them. We survived, didn't we?

Thank God for all He does for us. Praise Him for His everlasting love and mercies.


Moses reviews Israel's journey from Kadesh to Moab, where they were camped. Notice that he includes himself as Moses uses the word "we" in verse 1. He identifies with those in rebellion.

Those who were faithful identified with those who were under the judgment of God. This is true obedience and humility.  (Falwell)

God had directed Moses to lead the Israelites to pass through the territory of their brothers, who were the descendants of Esau, in Seir, to their current position. These Edomites would be afraid of Israel this time. Back in Numbers 20:14-21, the Edomites refused Israel passage through their land. What a change of attitude or heart. Anyway, God would not allow Israel to attack them, for He had given Esau possession of Mount Seir (Gen. 32:3; 36:6-8) The Edomites' land was not a part of the Promised Land, so Israel would not occupy it.

Israel had been instructed to not fight with three nations because they were blood relatives-Edom (descendants of Esau), Moab, and Ammon (descendant of Lot).

What instructions were the Israelites given concerning this situation?
  • Meddle not with them. Meddle means to anger, contend, stir up, strive. In other words, don't make them mad, thus provoke them to war.
  • Pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.
Aren't we like little children on the playground stirring up trouble and strife? Do we meddle with our brothers and sisters in the faith? Do we allow others to stirred up and anger by what is said to us, about us, or done to us? Do we do what is fair concerning our brethren? Are we showing them love in spite of how they treat us?


Forgive others of what they do to cause us to be angry toward them.

Let it go, then let love in.

Watch my words and deeds so I don't anger others.

Don't meddle in someone's business.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Listen Here

O. T. #370  "Listen Here"
Sept. 23, 2014
Deuteronomy 1-Part 2
Go not up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest ye be smitten before your enemies.
And ye returned and wept before the LORD: but the LORD would not hearken to your voice, nor give ear unto you. 
Deuteronomy 1:42,45


There are times that I am sure God wants to tell me, "Stop it, Linda. Listen here, I..."
Why do I not stop long enough to hear what lesson He wants me to learn so I don't have to repeat it? We expect our children to listen to us, don't we? To learn from what they did wrong or might do. Israel would not listen to God's earlier instructions.

It is easier for us to read, looking back at the events in the lives of the Israelites. However, they were living through all of this, so it must have been difficult to keep their faith in God at times. Certainly, most of the first generation failed at this. Moses had believed that the second generation would not fail to follow God into their Promised Land.
We can see God's graciousness toward His chosen children, the Israelites.
Moses reviewed God's gracious acts:
  • Promises to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (These three are mentioned 7 times in this book.) Their seed would occupy that chosen land to live as a nation who fully followed God, as an example to the heathen nations.;
  • Promised Land fertile for crops and livestock (Forty years earlier spies brought back luscious fruit from the land.);
  • Provisions for the 40 years in the wilderness, including manna, quail, and water, and present daily food;
  • Population growth between 1-2 million, so many Hebrews that Pharoah in Egypt was afraid of being overthrown (as many as the sand and stars);
  • Protection from enemies, with victory over the Ammorites, Moabites, and Midianites already;
  • Purpose divine-to worship only God, Jehovah, with laws, rules, and covenants.
Can we thank our gracious God for His promises written in His book for us to read and apply to our lives? How blessed we are in America with abundance of food and knowledge to grow and preserve. Are we sharing our blessings with our neighbors? Do we tell of God's grace and mercy, as well as salvation? Are you a chosen child of God who praises and worships Him?


In verses 9-18 we read of Moses' failure. Then in verses 19-46, we read of the nation Israel's failure.
First of all, Jethro, Moses' father in law, is speaking and advising Moses. Due to such a large number of people, Moses was spending his day trying to settle arguments and judge those who broke the law. Taking Jethro's suggestion seriously, he appoints judges to hear and settle disputes and matters of lesser importance in Israel. This freed Moses to judge the more difficult cases (Ex. 18:26).

Moses gives a partial summary of the reports of the spies sent out from the first generation, some 38 years earlier. (They focused on the strong giants living in walled cities of the land instead of how powerful their God would have defeated them.)
Israel's rebellion began with murmuring in the tents (Num. 14:2), and expanded to an outward rebellion, wanting to return to Egypt (Num. 14:4).

Moses challenged this new nation:
  • Dread not neither be afraid of the giant enemies. (verse 29)
  • The Lord who goes before you, will fight for you; remember what you saw in Egypt and the desert. (verse 31)
  • God carried you as a father carries his son, all the way here. (verse 31)
  • The Lord judged their unbelief and would not allow the first generation of Israelites to enter the Promised Land, except for Caleb and Joshua. God would give the land to this second generation. (verse 39)
  • The Israelites would not listen when God told them, after repenting too late, to not go up against the Amorites. It resulted in them being chased like a swarm of bees after them, beaten  down, and Israel wept before the Lord. He paid no attention to their weeping. He would not hear nor give ear to it. (verses 40-46)
Brother Falwell give us some insight:
  • Trust in God does not hide the difficulties; it demonstrates faith in God who will help in overcoming impossible situations.
  • Unbelief was not a permanent condition.
  • Learn from the past history, but be holy now.

Recall what all God has done for me and share it with others for encouragement.

Trust and obey our God.

Go and Get , See and Set

O. T. #369  "Go and Get, See and Set"
Sept. 22, 2014
Deuteronomy 1-Part 1
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.  Deuteronomy 1:8


Keep in mind that Moses is preaching his first sermon to the second and new generation of Israelites. He knew what an important message this was-if not heeded, they would not properly occupy the land promised to their fathers, if at all.

Moses starts out by reviewing the problems and victories of their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. It had been 400 years since they had been back in the land of promise. Moses emphasizes the past deliverances of God and His future fighting for them. It was a time of reminding and preparation. Consider-this generation was age 20 and under when they began the 38 years of wandering. Now they were close to 60 and under. Did they understand the cause of it? Did they remember all the events? The new generation needed to know why the nation of Israel was organized and why it had not entered its inheritance sooner.

What did this overview remind Israel?

The LORD our God spoke to them at Mt. Sinai, Horeb. (They spent a year or so receiving instructions for the Tabernacle and erecting it, the Ten Commandments, as well as the national and social laws.) This generation experienced the provisions of God with the manna and water. Their sandals did not wear out either. These people had even grown up and lived in slavery in Egypt, experienced God's power when He parted the Red Sea, walking through it, and had seen His leading with a cloud by day and a pillar of fie by night as their guide. Several times God's judgment came upon the nation for their sins-plagues, fire, earth swallowing up families.  Recon they were prepared to walk by faith as their God led?

It is always good to share with our younger generation and family the mighty works of our God, in His Word and in our lives. Sing His praises. Tell of His wonderful deeds. Give God the glory. Extend His love.


Israel had stayed there long enough. It was time to leave the mountain of the Lord.
Turn and take, go and get, see and set. (verses 7-8) Their loving God guided Israel according to His divine purpose and promise to Abraham in Genesis 15:18; 17:8.

Israel had turned from the weary wilderness to take a journey meant for them. They had to go and get the land of the Amorites and Moabites. As Israel camped on the east side of the Jordan River, they would see the Promised Land which was set before them to conquer and in which to live.

Sounds like a pep talk to me. Moses lays it all out, the past, the present, and the future.
Aren't there times we need the same? Review what great things God has done for us, then continue on walking by faith. Share the hope we have in Jesus.


Let go of my wilderness attitudes that had me in bondage.

Get on following and serving God.

See the Lord's wondrous work in my life.

Set my focus on Jesus and my Promised Land of heaven.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Long Sermon

O. T. #368  "A Long Sermon"
Sept. 19, 2014
Introduction to Deuteronomy
...Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them.  Deut. 1:3b


Ok, let's hear some excitement, for we are beginning the fifth book of the Old Testament, the last of the Pentateuch. I know, I'm finding it hard to get excited about a repeat, too. There is a chance that we will get fire-up like Moses, the prophet and author of this book. After all, we could learn something new. The Bible is like that, so many have commented, in that every time we read it, God reveals/teaches to us something new.


The English title Deuteronomy, in the Greek, means second law. It is not actually a second law given to Israel, but it is an explanation of the first law given to the first generation at Mt. Sinai, which is recorded in the book of Exodus. Moses is the writer of this fifth book of the Pentateuch.

Deuteronomy is primarily sermonic in character, and its sermons drive home what the Jew should have learned from the first four books. Moses omits certain things, such as the building of God's house, the service of the priests and Levites, the laws of sacrifice and purification, the festivals, and the three annual feasts. (Falwell)

Like Leviticus, Deuteronomy does not advance historically, but takes place entirely in one location over about one month of time. (1:3) Israel was camped in the central rift valley east of the Jordan River. This location was referred to in Numbers 36:13 as "the plains of Moab." It concentrates on events that took place in the final weeks of Moses' life. The major event was the verbal communication of divine revelation from Moses to the people of Israel. The only other events recorded were: (1) Moses' recording the law in a book and his commissioning of Joshua as the new leader (chapter 31). (2) Moses' viewing of the land of Canaan from Mt. Nebo (chapter 32). (3) His death. (The MacArthur Bible Commentary)

Here I sit with three different books/commentaries. They divide this book into similar sections:

Moses looks back at Israel's past wanderings (chapters 1-4)
Moses looks within and reviews the law and Sinaitic Covenant (chapters 5-26)
Moses looks ahead at the new Palestinian covenant (chapters 27-30)
Moses looks up with his departure and a new leader (chapters 31-34).
[Resources: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, Liberty Bible Commentary]

Theological Themes:
Although Deuteronomy has legal details within it, rather than focusing on the priests, it focuses on the people. Moses calls the new generation of Israelites to obey and love the LORD their God. This book is directly quoted over 40 times in the New Testament, with Jesus Christ quoting certain verses. The phrase "the LORD your God" is used 250 times.
Key word and the number of times they are used include: land-153, inherit-36, possess-65, hear-44, hearken-27, heart-46, love-20. (Wiersbe)

Much about the attributes of God is mentioned several times: love, He is the only God, jealous, faithful, merciful, yet angered by sin. Israel was called to obey, love, serve her God by walking in His ways and keeping His commandments. Obeying, they would receive His blessings.


What would have only been an eleven day journey by foot, turned out to take them thirty-eight more years after leaving Mt. Sinai. It was due to the first generation's unbelief, rebellion against God. So they wandered around in a wilderness, with family, possessions, and animals, led by a cloud and a pillar of fire. They went around and around in the desert.

Moses restated the law because Israel was a new generation, to prepare them for the future with a new challenge, there would be a new leader to follow, new temptations and problems would be encountered. Deuteronomy gives a new and deeper meaning to these Jewish laws and show what they meant in the everyday lives of the people. All of us today can learn much from this book about a loving God and obeying His will.

Verse 5 sets the stage for the first sermon by Moses. He was undertaking to expound the Law. He had given many other sermons, but none was as important as this message. If this sermon failed, the people would not properly occupy the land, if they were allowed to enter at all.  (Falwell)

Prepare for a long sermon next week. It lasts for four chapters. It's always good to look back and learn from the past. So let's get ready with our ears and hearts open to what God has to say to us.


Let go of unbelief, then believe God's promises, and follow Him.

Look back, look within, look ahead, and look up.

Learn from the past, but focus on the present, and hope for the future.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Number of Mistakes

O. T. #367  "A Number of Mistakes"
Sept. 18, 2014
Summary of Numbers
... not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Num, for they followed the LORD wholeheartedly.  Numbers 32:12 NIV

There is so much that happened in this book of the Bible. Are we ready to learn from Israel's mistakes and sins? God had Moses write them down for our benefit. Will we heed the Word of God, His instructions, doing things His way? Or will the story of our life contain a number of mistakes, our rebellion, and sins?

Shall we review what happened in the book of Numbers before we continue into Deuteronomy?
We know that Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD. (33:2a)

It was a written reminder of what God had done for his people, His intervention, and physical battles.
Falwell tells us that the Pentateuch, first five book of the Bible, was written between 1450 B.C. and 1410 B. C. Very little detail is given of the 38 years of wanderings. Emphasis is placed on the significant events, not the extent of time.

Something noteable is that the word wilderness is used 48 times in this book. The Hebrew title for this book is "in the wilderness."  (MacArthur)

The MacArthur Bible Commentary informs us of the setting:
  • Encamped at Mt. Sinai, the Lord entered into the Mosaic covenant with Israel. (Ex.19-24)
  • Israel traveled from Sinai to Kadesh. (Num. 10:11-12:16)
  • Events took place in and around Kadesh, located in the wilderness of Paran. (Num.12:16-13:26)
  • then in the wilderness of Zin (13:21-20:1)
  • Israel traveled to the plains of Moab (20:14-22:1)
  • All the events of 22:2-36:13 occurred while Israel was encamped in the plain to the north of Moab. This was a flat and fertile piece of land in the middle of the wasteland.
Three theological themes permeate Numbers:
  1. The Lord communicate to Israel through Moses, so the words of Moses had divine authority. Israel's responses to Moses mirrored her: Obedience (chapters 1-10), disobedience (chapters 11-25), and renewed obedience (chapters 26-36).
  2. The Lord is the God of judgment. His anger was aroused when Israel sinned.
  3. The faithfulness of the Lord to keep His promise given to the seed of Abraham, the land of Canaan. (MacArthur)

I will try to highlight some events during this time in Israel's history:

At Mt. Sinai:
  • Back in Exodus 32, Israel had committed a terrible sin, made a golden calf, bowed down and worshiped it instead of remaining faithful to worship God. After the calf was destroyed, Moses asked whoever was on the Lord's side to come stand with him. Levi and his tribe did. We see the Lord honoring the faithfulness and loyalty of Levi when He chose the Levitical tribe to be the priesthood of Israel. Aaron was appointed the first high priest and his son Eleazar replaced him. What a blessing for this tribe!
  • Cleansing, consecration, and commission is called for Israel. We read about the separation when the Nazarite vow is established. Those who followed it included Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist, and Paul. (Although Christ was a citizen of Nazareth, He was not a Nazarene.) This vow involved no grapes or wine, not cutting hair, no contact with a dead body.
  • We read about the purity, separation, leaders, dedication of Levites, and the Passover in chapters 10-14.
To Kadesh-Barenea:
  • There were 20 stops along the way there. There was moving, murmuring, and missed opportunities.
  • The major event was the 12 spies' reports-10 said they couldn't conquer the Promised Land, but Caleb and Joshua said they could. The congregation lacked faith in God and refused to go, which resulted in 40 years in the wilderness, with death of the older generation. Those age 20 and up died there, while the younger and new generation, along with Moses, Caleb, and Joshua, go to see it. (Moses did not get to enter, but died before hand.)
  • We can't forget the lessons of Balaam and his talking donkey.
To the East Bank of Jordan:
  • Legislation, leaders, Levites were reestablished.
  • The land of Moab was conquered and the Midianites were destroyed by Israel.
  • Offerings and vows to God were renewed.
  • Drive out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, destroy their idols, and divide the land by casting lots.
  • Instruction on the dividing of the land of Canaan, with the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half of Manasseh.  
A few notable verses NIV:
Numbers 14:17-18:  The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.

Numbers 11:23:  Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.

Numbers 32:23:  But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.

Read the key verse again. The question to ask ourself today is this, "am I following God wholeheardedly?"
Wholeheartedly in the Hebrew means to be complete or full.

Caleb's heart was  undivided and filled with faith. His report was made according to his convictions, certain that God would take the land. God could be trusted. Caleb obeyed God's instructions.


Repent of my sins.

Obey God wholeheartedly.

Follow HIs leadings.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What If

O. T. #366  "What If"
Sept. 17, 2014
Numbers 36
And if they...  Numbers 36:3


Can't we spend all our time, energy, and thoughts focused on the what if's in this world and in our life? What if my husband or children die young? What if my business fails? What if I loose my home? What if I get a deadly or debilitating disease? What if we loose our freedoms? What if..? What if...?
There comes a time when we have to lay it down at the feet of Jesus and let Him solved the problem or possible situation. I must not waste my time dwelling on those worries, but live by faith today for Him. Israel did that in this chapter.

The question came up again. The leaders of the tribes raised the question concerning those women. They were talking about the five daughters of Zelophehad, who was of the tribe of Manasseh, so of Joseph. You may recall that Ze had no son to inherit his land, so God Himself gave it to Ze's girls. (Numbers 27:11)

So these leaders presented a "what if" situation dealing with this tribe. If these daughters married into another tribe, the original tribe's land would be depleted. All that the gal owned would be given to her husband and family. Sounds to me like these leaders were more concerned with "the land" than with the tribe staying pure.

Since a tribe would lose an allotted inheritance in the year of Jubilee if an inheriting woman had married into another tribe, the woman of any tribe who inherited land must marry within her own tribe.  (MacArthur)

Again, the LORD was a problem-solver. In verse 6, the daughters of Zelophehad were instructed:
Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry.

It was permissible that she could marry her cousin on her father's side of the family. This was permissible back then, but not advisable today. God Himself had directed this, so how could the gals do otherwise? If this is done now days, the children might have mental problems do to the close relations, the DNA. Besides, Gentiles have such a wide choice in the world today that they should not need to marry a close relative. I would think that it would be frowned upon.

The point is, do we do what God directs us to do?


Numbers began with the children of Israel being in the wilderness and finishes as close to the Promised Land as you can get without actually being there.  (Guzik)

Here they are, camped in the plains of Moab, beside the Jordan River, near Jericho. The old generation was passed away, except for Moses, Caleb, and Joshua, and those under age twenty when the wilderness journey began.  This was the new generation would have similar problems, but they did have faith to follow God into the land He promised their ancestors to give them.

Many Christians die in their wilderness because they will not trust God and will not enter into what He has set before them. They came this far by faith, and would need faith to take them the rest of the way.  (Guzik)

What happens to our faith while we experience our wilderness? Does our faith continue to grow stronger in God or do we fall by the wayside? I pray that we will continue to read the Word, obey it, and experience God's love and peace with a growing faith.


Let go of complaining, murmuring, and rebellion, and the fleshly desires.

Let go and let God.

Trust and obey Him.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Christ is Our Refuge

O. T. #365  "Christ is Our Refuge"
Sept. 16, 2014
Numbers 35-Part 2
These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.
Numbers 35:15


Last time we discussed the cities of refuge which the Israelites could use for protection is they killed someone, accidently or otherwise, and an avenger was seeking restitution before their trial.

Here is some added information:
  • Israel was instructed to build and maintain proper roads to these 6 cities of refuge? (Deut. 19:3)
  • Even a stranger  could take refuge in such a city. (verse 15)
  • One witness was not enough to condemn a murderer to death, for it was insufficient testimony. (verse 30) (1 Timothy 5:19)
  • A killing polluted the land, but it was atoned whenever the murderer was put to death. (verse 33)

How was Christ and a city of refuge similar? How is Christ our refuge?
  • were appointed by God;
  • announced in the Word;
  • were accessible to all;
  • easy to reach;
  • a place where one in need could live;
  • provided protection within their boundaries;
  • gave full freedom when the death of the High Priest occurred.
[Resources: Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament, David Guzik's Commentary on the Bible]

Do we flee to Jesus Christ for our refuge? Or do we go to something else?


God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

Go to Him when in need.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Where is Our Refuge?

O. T. #364  "Where is Our Refuge?
Sept. 15, 2014
Numbers 35
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1


When we are overwhelmed by things happening in our life, in times of trouble, where do we go for our refuge? There are so many options which people run to for comfort, escape, help-drugs, alcohol, friends, work. God wants to be our refuge, our strength, our help in time of trouble. He stretches out His hand and bids us to come to Him. Those who are burdened and heavy laden, come. Find rest in Jesus.

You will recall that the Levite tribe, those of the priesthood, were not allowed to inherit land when Israel came into Canaan, the Promised Land. However, God allowed them to live in 48 cities throughout the land. This was so they could teach the law to the tribes and exert spiritual influence on them (Joshua 13:33; Deut. 18:1-2). Also, the Levites were given suburbs around each city for the grazing of their cattle, for their goods, and all their beasts. (verse 2)

A suburb was defined as open country whither flocks are driven for pasture; hence the area around a building, or the margin of the sea.

I don't recall reading the word suburb in the Bible, do you? Our modern suburbs are different. People live in the suburbs of large cities, but the grass is scarce. Often there is only a few feet of grass in the front or back yard around each house. I suppose folks are happy to live that way, but it is not for me.

Are we willing to take the gospel to the suburbs? Are we willing to move there to be a witness or missionary? Humm.


This chapter not only discusses suburbs, but it also talks about the cities of refuge. What are they?

Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament explains:
  • Six cities were appointed, with 3 on each side of the Jordan River, to be such.
  • Since Israel had no police force, the elders in each city constituted a "court" to consider capital crimes.
  • If a person accidently killed another person, without murderous intent, called manslaughter, then they needed some kind of protection was needed for that person. The elders would meet him, hear his case, and hold a trial. If it was clear that the slaying was accidental, then the person would be allowed to live in the city under their protection. The avenger of blood could not touch such a one.
  • If the person was guilty of murder, he would be turned over to the proper authorities and then slain (Deut. 19:11-13).
  • If the person left the city of refuge, he could be slain.
  • When the high priest died, the person would be free to return to his own city safely.
  • This law was given to prevent uncondemned murderers living throughout the nation, thus leading Israel into deeper sin.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
In Hebrew, this refuge means a cliff; a high fort, defense.

Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. Psalm 57:1
This refuge means to flee for protection; to confide in: have hope, put trust.

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in
God. Psalm 62:7
Refuge is a shelter; hope, trust. (Same definition for the following verses.)

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I
trust. Psalm 91:2

I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.  Psalm 142:5

Saul and his army of 3,000 Israelites were pursuing David to take his life. As David trusted in God's protection, he lived through it all, about 12 years worth.

Is God our defense, protection, hope, shelter, in whom we trust?
Will we find our refuge in our God or in something else? He awaits, friend, with open arms.

                    ...and run to Jesus for my refuge.

Friday, September 12, 2014


O. T. #363  "Boundaries"
Sept. 12, 2014
Numbers 34
Command the children of Israel and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan: (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:)  Numbers 34:2


When we bought our farm, after inheriting half, we had to have it surveyed. The guy put down markers in the ground at the four corners to mark the boundaries. Our fences were to not go beyond those markers so everything was correct. Actually, the back fence was moved to its incorrect placement years earlier. Israel was given boundaries for what would be their land after it was conquered. Shall we look into it?

We read where God gave the eastern bank of Jordan to the 2 1/2 tribes. Moses is instructed on the boundaries of the land in Canaan to be distributed among the other tribes of Israel. Only for a brief time was this area occupied; it was during the reigns of David and Solomon.

According to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, quarter means direction, region, side; border refers to a boundary; the territory enclosed: border, landmark, coast, quarter, space.

The borders of the Promised Land went from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, including the Hermon mountain range and the Jordan Valley from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea.

God gave precise instruction to Israel concerning the boundaries of the land of Canaan. Sadly, the actual conquest of the land fell far short of these boundaries.  (MacArthur)

When God sets boundaries for us as His children, do we stay within them? Or do we fall short? do we go outside of those limits He establishes, only to regret it later? He has specific instructions for us so we protect our witness, our family, our church. He wants to keep us from being hurt, straying off into sin, bringing others with us. God warns us about covetousness, adultery, idolatry, fornication. He wants the best for us.
Are we determined to obey those instructions, staying within the boundaries He sets? We will be blessed it we do. Our children will follow God's Word and serve Him. Our business will honor Him and prosper. Our church will be a lighthouse in the community.


When it was time to distribute the land of Canaan, it was to be done by the casting of lots under the supervision of 12 appointed men. Among these were Eleazar the high priest, Joshua, and one leader from each tribe left without land.

Do we trust our leaders in our church to make the right decisions? Are we praying for God's guidance for them? How about our husband? Are we praying for the decisions he makes for our family? Are we ready to follow them?
Are we content to live within the boundaries which God has established for us or are we rebellious, going our own way?


 Read God's Word so I know what boundaries by which He has established for me to live.

Stay within those boundaries.

Be content to live within those boundaries.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remember When and Where

O. T. #362  "Remember When and Where"
Sept. 11, 2014
Numbers 33
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan: Numbers 33:51

Praying for the families who lost loved ones on 9-11 when the Twin Towers were attacked and brought down.
Do you recall where you were when it happened?


When our family is talking about a certain time that a particular thing happened, I think back to where we lived at that specific time. Then I recall which years we lived there. That helps me to remember when something occurred. To my best recollection, we have lived in 18 various places since we moved off to college in 1980 until now. You understand, my madness, don't you? Some places our son would not remember, since he was less than two years old when we first moved. The people, activities, and churches hold vivid memories for me. It may have been that way for Moses and some of the Israelites.

This long chapter is where Moses listed the 40 stops between Egypt and Moab that the Israelites made. These places would have been the camps where they stayed during their forty year journey through the wilderness. Looks like they averaged about one place a year, though it may not have happened that way. This younger generation, who conquered Moab and were presently living there may not have had memories of all of the places they lived, camped.

Some of the names would have brought back vivid memories.  (Falwell)

We may consider the whole book of Numbers as a diary, and indeed the first book of travels ever published. (Clarke)

When you add Egypt and Moab into the forty places, they total 42, as they rested at the shore of the Jordan River. When they crossed over Jordan, they entered the rest (later) of the Promised Land. Similarly, there are 42 generations from Abraham unto Christ, the Promised Messiah and Savior.

Do you have special events in your life that you can recall the time and place it happened?


I am not going into those many places where Israel pitched their tents. Certainly crossing the Red Sea and camped at Mount Sinai would have been highlights. Also, it was a memorable journey which would have involved drought, desert, fiery serpents, pits, an earthquake, squabbles, and death. Through it all, God was faithful to provide for their needs, even their shoes and clothes did not wear out. Time after time God showed His love and mercy, as well as His judgment to His chosen children.

Here are four commands God gave Israel as well as a two-fold warning:
  1. When they passed over Jordan, they were to drive out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan.(In verse 52, there was no command by God to carry out a mass slaughter of the Canaanites. Falwell)
  2. They were to destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places. (verse 52)
  3. Take possession of the land and settle in it, the land which God gave them to possess. (verse 53)
  4. Distribute the land by lot according to their clans. The larger groups got a more land; smaller groups got less land.
The warnings of what would happen if Israel did not drive out the inhabitants, disobeying God's instructions included:
  1. The inhabitants would become pricks, barbs, in Israel's eyes. A prick is a brier as a hedge.
  2. They would be thorns in Israel's sides.
  3. They would give Israel trouble in the land where they live.
  4. God would do to Israel what He planned to do to them.
If Israel failed to obey God, she would be the object of God's punishment in exactly the same way as the Canaanites were. (MacArthur)

For a brief time during the reigns of David and Solomon Israel possessed this area. Then came the Syrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians to take over, due to Israel's idolatry. And we know the rest of the story. The 400 years of silence between the Old Testament and New Testament, the Romans and Greeks ruling and Jews were scattered. However, since 1948, Israel has been a nation once again.

Are we warning people of judgment to come? What about the love and mercy and salvation of Jesus?
Are we standing up against sin in our society?


Remember all the good and bad I have experienced; how God delivered us from my sins.

Follow God's Word and Spirit.

Be a faithful warrior growing in faith and love.

Pray for Israel, our military, our leaders, and God's protection and direction now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

To Stay or to Go

O. T. #361 "To Stay or to Go"
Sept. 10, 2014
Numbers 32-Part 3
We will pass over armed before the LORD into the land of Canaan, that the possession of our inheritance on this side Jordan my be ours.   Numbers 32:32


I may have already shared our dilemma-to stay in our home town and home church, near family, or go away to college for the ministry. My husband waited too long to make the decision to go and the fall semester began. Finally, I started packing, after enduring much stuff due to this waiting around. He agreed that we must step out on faith and follow God's leading to a particular Baptist college located 6 hours from our family. So we made the needed preparations, said our good byes, then moved our stuff and our two preschoolers with us. God was faithful in providing us a house to rent near campus, me a job, him with classes and work study. Then the end of the semester came and the final tuition payment had to be paid before my husband could take finals. God provided. We were so blessed and taken care of by our heavenly Father. We went to do His will and His will went before us. We experienced God's provisions and working in so many wonderful ways. Had we stayed instead of going, we would have missed out on them all. Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.
Two tribes of Israel had the same dilemma.

We have discussed how the two tribes of Gad and Reuben request permission for them to stay on the east side of the Jordan River and not cross over whenever the rest of the Israelites do.  Moses included some stipulations if they were going to stay instead of go. These were agree upon, with the warning that if they do not do so, they would be sinning against the LORD, and their sins would find them out. Moses was urging them to carefully and completely fulfill their obligations.

The two tribes committed themselves to provide their warriors for the conquest of the land. Non-participation would be sin and God would certainly find and judge the tribes for their sin. (MacArthur)

How seriously do we take our agreements we make with others? How about our commitments with God? Is it a lie if we don't do what we say we will do, keep our agreements, commitments? A lie is a sin. I have not considered this before now.


The tribe of Manasseh wasted no time in joining the two tribes of Gad and Reuben once their agreement was made. (2 Kings 17) All three joined together in seeking land in that territory. From the Amorites Manasseh took Gilead (verse 39).

Verses 39-42 indicate that Manasseh conquered cities not yet taken and settled in the northern area of Gilead. (MacArthur)

As I said before, the Assyrian invasion of Israel, in 732 B.C., began with the captivity of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (1 Chron. 5:26).

To stay or go. Are we often confronted with that dilemma? There are times that our heart may say one and the Lord says the other. To which will we listen?


...of the things which hold me back from going where and when God leads me to fulfill His purpose.

Whenever God tells me to stay, then stay where He placed me; wherever He says to go, then go.

Keep my focus and eyes on Jesus and ears open to His voice.

Live by faith, not by sight.

Tell of the wonderful things God does for me and give Him the glory.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Are Are You Settling for Second Best or God's Perfect Best?

O. T. #360  "Are You Settling for Second Best or God's Perfect Best?
Sept. 9, 2014
Numbers 32-Part 2
But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.  Numbers 32:23


As a child, did you ever try to hid something from your parents? Something you did wrong and they would not approve nor be happy about? Yes, I have done those things as a teenager, lying and deceiving my parents, using my friends when making up stories to cover my sins. Ouch! Eventually, the truth came out. I had to admit my sins, my wrongs. Yes, my sins found me out. It was not a pretty picture they painted of me, either.
My way was not the best way. The path I was on was wrong for me. My parents were trying to guide me and protect me from bad mistakes I could have regretted  for the rest of my life. I thank God for wise parents. With His help, I didn't settle for second best nor a big mess in my life. It was His perfect best that He gave to me, though I had to wait for it. I am forever thankful. I am so blessed with God's perfect best for my life!

We left the two tribes of Gad and Reuben requesting to stay in the land where Israel was already living. It was the land they had already conquered from Moab. The land was good for grazing and they had herds of livestock which needed grazing. These guys were living by sight and not by faith. They desired what was easy, not enduring the hard times, not wanting to fight enemies for a land they had not seen, to obtain God's perfect best for them. They settled for second best.

For what do we settle? Are we willing to fight for what we know is God's perfect best for us or second best? Of course, it may require faith and to be in a spiritual fight. Remember, God gave victory to the Israelites in some of the most unusual ways.

What did Moses warn these two tribes?
If they turned away from following God, He would again leave all this people in the desert, and you will be the cause of their destruction. It would be a life or death situation if Gad and Reuben tribes turned away and did not obey God's instructions. If they bowed down to other gods and worshiped them instead, they would be destroyed.  (Deut. 30:17-18)

Do we warn our loved ones who turn to their own ways and desires, away from following God?


How did the tribes of Gad and Reuben respond to Moses' warning?
  • We would like to build pens for our livestock.
  • We want to build fortified cities for their women and children's protection while we are gone helping Israel.
  • We are ready to arm ourselves and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place.
  • We give up any right to inheritance of land on the other side of Jordan.
Do we arm ourselves with the whole armor of God, as Ephesians 6 tells us before we go out to battle in the world? Salvation, righteousness, truth, peace, faith, Word of God are our armor against the temptations and evil that surround us.

Have we found our place of service unto the Lord? Will we help others find their place in which God has for them to serve? Are we willing to give up our rights, our will, to obey and follow God?

Moses did not take all of this lightly, did he? What were the requirements he laid out before these leaders?
  • If you arm yourselves before the LORD for battle,
  • if all of you will go armed over the Jordan before the LORD until He has driven His enemies out before Him,
  • then when the land is subdued before the Lord, you may return and be free from your obligation to the LORD and to Israel.
  • This land will your possession before the LORD.
  • But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.
  • Build pens and cities, but do what you promised.
Do we stand up for God's Word and principles for us to live by, proclaiming abortion and homosexuality, fornication, adultery, drug abuse, and alcohol use as sinful. Do we show others the righteous way to live? Are we prayer warriors for our brothers and sisters and children? The devil is working hard to destroy their lives. Shouldn't we work hard to bring them to the light of Jesus? Stay in the fight, dear one. Press on. fight the good fight of faith. Victory is around the corner.

Stay with me, friends. We will find out how all of this turns out next post.
Are you are contemplating settling for second best or continuing to march for your Promised Land?
Keep in mind that nothing can stand against our God who is greater, stronger, mightier, higher than any other. If our God is for us, who can stop us? If He is with us, who can stand against us? (Chris Tomlin's song)


Realize that my sins will find me out.

Bring my failures, sins, lack of faith before the throne of God. Confess and ask forgiveness, so they are under the blood of Jesus.

Ask for faith to carry on to accomplish His will.

Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.

Pray and encourage others that are in a spiritual battle.

Don't settle for second best, but strive for God's perfect the best for our life, our Promised Land.

Give God the glory for the victories.

Monday, September 8, 2014

United, Yet Divided

O. T. #359  "United, Yet Divided"
Sept. 8, 2014
Numbers 32
Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.  Numbers 32:5


Has your family ever been divided on an issue? Ours has. I believed a course of action was wrong, not trusting in God, waiting on His timing and provision. Taking matters into their own hands. But I was out numbered and my conviction was overruled. They went ahead and did it anyway. It was not a happy process to endure. It definitely challenged my faith. Although we were divided on an issue, we were still united as a family, lovingly supportive of their decision. Looking back, maybe God used this method to provide what could not have otherwise have been. So far, all is well.
Two tribes of Israel wanted to go on their own, be divided from the rest of the nation by a river. Take a look into this matter.

Here they are, Israel is camped in the newly conquered land of Moab where the Midianites were defeated. It was a land for the cattle to graze. Look around and see. That's what the children of Gad and the children of Reuben did. (The half tribe of Manasseh would later join them.) It was so great, in fact, they wanted to stay there, settle down, settle in, make their homeland. (These tribes had herds of cattle.)
Actually, who would not want to cross over Jordan into the Promised Land? Do we? Are we willing to do whatever it takes for us to experience our Promised Land, what God wants to give us here and now? Will we live by faith or by sight? (Of course, heaven is our ultimate Promised Land.)

So their leaders approached Moses and Eleazar with a proposition:
  • If we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.
  • These two tribes wanted to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan River (from the Dead Sea to the Sea of Galilee).
  • As we have said, both of the tribes of Gad and Reuben wanted the ideal land for their herds. 
  • Also, both tribes had suffered a decrease in population from the first to last census. Maybe they felt it was better for them to select their own land than to cast lots with the others.
Where is their faith? Are they only living by sight? To me, if your tribe is smaller in number, then it would be safer to be have the rest of the nation close by rather than be separated. However, they didn't think that way, apparently.
Do we seek God's grace in a matter so He allows us to partially obey Him? Sometimes going our own way is not the best way. God always knows what is best for us.


I wonder if the old lawgiver's thoughts went back to the tragedy when Israel rebelled  at Kadesh. (The people listened to the ten spies report on the giants in the land and refused to go conquer it.) Moses lived through the 38-40 years of the people, which were 20 years and older, dying off. What an experience in the wilderness.)

What was Moses' response to the request?
  • Shall your countrymen go to war while you sit here?
  • Why are you discouraging the Israelites from going over into the land the LORD has given them?
  • Your father did the same thing at Kadesh Barnea, discouraging entrance into the land the LORD had given them. They aroused the LORD's anger.
  • It resulted in them not following God wholeheartedly. (verse 11,NIV) Their doubt in God's ability to give them the land was considered evil.(verse 13)
  • Not one of the men age 20 and up got to see the Promised Land,(much less enter it).
  • Except for Caleb and Joshua who followed the LORD wholeheartedly, so these two would get to enter. (Moses got to see it earlier.) These three saw what a beautifully lush land that was waiting for them to come.
  • Moses warned these two tribes that they were doing the same thing. If they turned away from following God, He would again leave all this people in the desert, and you will be the cause of their destruction.
I am going to stop there in the middle of the story. Find out what happened tomorrow.
Joshua and Caleb followed the Lord wholeheartedly; He said so. Their trust and complete faith was in what God said He would do-give them the Promised Land. (Numbers 14 and Joshua 14 give us more insight.)

 God warns us to wholeheartedly follow Him, as well as obey, love, seek, and believe Him wholeheartedly. Are we doing it with all of our heart?

Wholehearted means to be complete, full.
Wholehearted obedience is wholly obeying God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30)

God is pleased when we wholeheartedly follow Him. The question is, "Are we?"


Walk by faith, not by sight.

Wholeheartedly follow the Lord God.

Love God with all my heart, soul, and mind.

Love my neighbor as myself.

Completely follow His Word and Spirit.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Total Obedience

O. T. #358 "Total Obedience"
Sept. 5, 2014
Numbers 31-Part 2
Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.  Numbers 31:2


God is not pleased with partial obedience, half-hearted obedience, nor disobedience. He wants complete, wholehearted, total obedience. It would be well with us if we were to remember this. Israel should have, also, but did not.

The 12,000 Israelites warred against the Midianites and won.
What was the result?
  • They slew all the males, as the LORD commanded Moses.
  • Five kings of Midian, mentioned in verse 8 were killed.
  • Balaam was killed with the sword.
  • The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children.
  • They took all the Midianite herds, flocks, and goods as plunder.
  • They burned the camps and towns where the Midianites had settled.
  • Everything they captured was brought before Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the Israelite assembly by the Jordan.
Sounds like they had a great victory. That is, until you read verses 13-18.What may seem like a victory to one may not be complete obedience to the Lord.


Moses and Eleazar and all the leaders of the community met the army outside of camp. Moses was angry with the officers of the army which returned from the battle.

Why was he angry? They didn't kill all of the Midianites. Especially the women, since they were the ones who turned the Israeli men away from the LORD in Peor, into idolarty and immorality. Thus the LORD struck them with a plague. How quickly they forgot. (Numbers 25)

What specific instructions did Moses give the army?
  • He told them to kill all the women who had slept with a man. This was so the same thing was not repeated and to prevent the fall of the men into sin.
  • So Moses directed them to kill all the boys, also. This was because little boys grow up to avenge fathers' death and perpetuate the  Midian culture-which in itself was anti-God. (Guzik)
  • They were allowed to save for themselves, as slaves, the virgin girls who had not slept with a man. These young girls would not be connected with immorality and idolatry.
  • Anyone who had killed or touched anyone who was killed had to go through the cleansing ritual, purifying themselves, their clothing, and captives. In other words, purification of the soldiers was required. (verses 19-20)
  • Eleazar reminded the soldiers that the gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, lead, and anything else that cold withstand fire must be put through the fire, then it would be clean. It must be purified with water of cleansing.
  • Anything not withstanding fire must be put through that water.
Some may question the harshness of all this and are bothered about it. god was protecting His children, a new nation and generation of believers.
Keep in mind:

These orders to burn and kill came from God. He is the righteous Judge of the earth. He was fully aware of all the circumstances and consequences involved at the time of the command. Israel was fighting for its very survival, and often that meant to kill or be killed. the moral habits of some of these desert people were almost unimaginable in their degeneration. (Falwell)

What happened to the confiscated wealth from this battle?
  • The spoils was to be divided into two parts, with one part going to those who took part in the war and the other part to the rest of the congregation. God did not want looters and pirates.
  • From the portion which the army received, they were to give a portion to the LORD.
  • It all included over 800,000 animals, well over 1 million dollars in gold. (Falwell)
Did the Lord bless His children and at the same time eliminate the Midian enemies?
Not one Israeli soldier was missing or killed.(verse 49)
They were faithful to bring an offering as an atonement for their souls before the LORD. (verse 50)
David established this as a permanent rule of war, some four centuries later. (1 Sam. 30:24-25)

Do we allow worldly things such as secular music, songs, media, their ways, to be in the Lord's house of worship? There should be a separation of things used for the gospel and the Lord's honor. Are we watching out for those things which do not please the Lord?


Totally obey what the Lord has said in His Word.

Be faithful in following His Spirit's leading.

Pay attention to the details.

Separate myself from the worldly ways and things which do not please the Lord, nor honor Him.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pay Backs Are Tough

O. T. #357  "Pay Backs Are Tough"
Sept. 4, 2014
Numbers 31-Part 1
And the LORD said to Moses, "Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites." So Moses said to the people,  "Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites and to carry out the LORD's vengeance on them."  Numbers 31:1-2 NIV


There are some mean people who need to be paid back for the awfully mean things they have done and are doing to me. Someone needs to make them pay. Yet, I can't pay them back. God won't allow me to do it. I must wait on His revenging hand, timing, wisdom, and mercy. Justice will be had. May I add, God usually takes it further and far worse than I ever would have. Pay backs are tough. I am responsible to forgive them and  love them in spite of everything. A hard row to hoe.

We read here about the destruction of Midian. I found some background on this group of people.

The Midianites were descendants of Abraham through his wife Keturah (Gen. 25:2). Some forty years earlier, Moses (a descendant of Abraham through Sarah) had married a Midianite, Zipporah. but in the ensuing years, this tribe had degenerated until they were no different from a dozen other pagan desert people.  (Falwell)

The Midianites were nomadic people, at this time associated with the people of Moab. God commanded they be attacked in retribution for their seduction of Israel into sexual immorality and idolatry (Numbers 25:1-18). (Guzik)

The Midianites were a large confederation of tribes, associated with various smaller groups...They roamed through the arid lands of Sinai, the Negeb, and Transjordan. Here it is those Midianites associated with Moab that are picked out for vengeance. (Wenham)

In verse 2, the LORD told Moses to avenge, take vengeance, on the Midianites for Israel. Again, in verse 3, He instructs Israel to go against the Midianites and avenge the LORD of Midian, carry out the LORD's vengeance on them.

The King James Bible uses the word avenge, which means to punish, take vengeance; charge, deliver up, thrust, pay.
The New International Version of the Bible uses vengeance, which refers to vindication, retribution, punishment.

In Romans 12: 19, Paul says, Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay," saith the Lord.

Paul is quoting Deuteronomy 32:35, To Me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

In the Blackabys' Experiencing God Day By Day Devotional, they say:
One of the hardest areas in which to trust God is in the matter of justice. When we perceive an injustice, we want to see the guilty party punished. We want justice to prevail, especially if we are the victim. We become impatient if we are not avenged quickly. Yet God warns us that vengeance is not our prerogative. We are to desire justice, but we are not to seek vengeance (Micah 6:8). When someone offends us, our responsibility is to respond to the offense with forgiveness (Matt. 5:44). God takes the responsibility to see that justice is done. God loves people too much to allow sin to go unchecked. If we are impatient and seek revenge, we presume that we are wiser than God, and we reveal a blatant lack of trust that God will do the right thing. If we refuse to trust God's justice, we become enslaved to bitterness and anger. We must guard our hearts and trust God to exercise His judgment against those who oppose Him.
I could not have said it better. What more could I say about this subject?
The hard part is to forgive these people and love them in spite of it all. Ohhhh so hard.
Are you with me? Let's make the right choice-focus on Jesus instead of those people.


Now we know who Israel was sent to kill. Before the battle, God has the Israeli army comprised of 12,000 soldiers, a 1,000 of each tribe ready. Phinehas, the priest, was to lead the charge with the holy instruments and the trumpets to blow in his hand.

Liberty Bible Commentary tells us:
Priests were called the "anointed of the battle."
They gave the army three facts:

  1. The Lord goes with you.
  2. He will fight for you.
  3. He will save you. Victory by Israel was dependent upon Israel's obedience to God.
Are you fighting a battle today, friend? Take to heart, God goes with you, for He never leaves us. He will fight for you, if you will let Him do the fighting. He will give you victory over this battle, so give Him the glory for doing it.

In Matthew 5:44, Jesus says: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

Easy words to type and read. Hard words to apply.
The words of an old hymn comes to my mind- Trusting Jesus that is all. Trusting Jesus whether great or small. Trusting Jesus, through it all. Trusting Jesus, that is all.


Forgive those who hurt me, so bitterness does not grow in my heart.

Leave the vengeance to God.

Focus on my blessings and praise God for them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Keeping Vows or Oaths

O. T. #356  "Keeping Vows or Oaths"
Sept. 3, 2014
Numbers 30
If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.  Numbers 30:2


My sister and brother in law will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary tomorrow. My parents were married forty-six years before Dad passed away. My brother and sister in law have been married forty-one years. My husband and I will celebrate our forty-second wedding anniversary in two months. Our children have been married seventeen and sixteen years. Do you see a pattern in our family? We are blessed with a family who keeps their wedding vows. I am so proud of them. It is important that our younger generation sees love and commitment in our lives.

It is becoming a serious and common matter in our society to say a vow, sign an agreement or oath, then later break it whenever a person decides it is unimportant or does not want to do it any longer. Broken vows are found in marriages, business, employment, and everyday life. What happened to the days when "I do" is forever? When our word of "Yes, I agree to do this" is as good as a signature? Where are our commitments? Why are we hurting our witness in the world? Israel received instructions about vows and oaths which they would make in the future. They could apply to us today, also.

Here we have Moses speaking to the heads, the leaders, of the tribes of Israel. These were to communicate to all of Israel these instructions concerning vows/oaths.
The keeping of vows involving three types of people are given direction:
  1. the vow of a man,
  2. the young woman still living in her father's house,
  3. the vow of a married woman,
  4. the vow of a widow or divorced woman.

First, the man who makes a vow unto the Lord or takes an oath or pledge has obligated himself and must not break it his word, but do everything he said he would do. A vow to God is no small thing and is to be taken seriously. Also, if a man breaks an oath, he has simply committed sin.

Second, the vow of a young woman still living in her father's house, which is made unto the Lord or as an oath of obligation, wasn't taken as binding unless her father approved of it. (verses 3-5)

Third, the vow of a married woman could be made void by her husband on the day he hears it, or else she is obligated to keep the vow or oath, with her husband confirming it. If he waits until later, then the husband is responsible for her vow or oath. (verses 6-8 and 10-15)

Fourth, the widow or divorced is bound by her vows or obligations. (verse 9) She has no "head" of her household (her "head" is God directly), so she is bound by her vows. (Guzik)

When God declares someone to be in a position of rightful authority and others are expected to submit to that authority, the head is accountable before God for the result. God never grants authority without accountability. When this is understood, it makes submission much easier.  (Guzik)

Do we keep our words, our vows to God, our oaths to others?
As a wife, are we submissive to our husband's directions and final word of authority?


David Guzik explains this matter:
  • In Matthew 5:34-37, Jesus wasn't forbidding oaths, as much as telling us that we should be so filled with integrity in our words that an oath is unnecessary.
  • Jesus answered under oath in a court (Matt. 26:63-64), and God Himself swears oaths (Luke 1:73; Acts 2:30; Heb. 3:18, 6:13,17)
  • Because God takes our vows seriously, sometimes it is better not to make a vow. (Ecc.5:4-5)
  • Many vows are just plain foolish; "I'll never do that again" is a foolish vow. It is foolish and unwise to demand such a vow from someone else.
  • There is a vow we all can and should make-a vow to praise God (Ps. 56:12).
Are our words that of integrity? Are we known by others that we keep our word? Are we careful with  what we say "yes" to do? Do we discuss things with our husband before agreeing to something? Do we praise our God throughout the day?


Discuss matters of importance with my husband, then submit to his leadership.

Remember that "no" is an acceptable answer.

Decide which "yes" is the best answer for me.

Keep my words of commitment.

Take my vows seriously that are made unto the Lord.

Fulfill my obligations.