1631.) Numbers 36

August 3, 2015

Num36 inheritance

Numbers 36   (CEV)

The Laws about Married Women and Land

1One day the family leaders from the Gilead clan of the Manasseh tribe went to Moses and the other family leaders of Israel 2and said, “Sir, the LORD has said that he will show  what land each tribe will receive as their own. And the LORD has commanded you to give the daughters of our relative Zelophehad  the land that he would have received.

This passage is a reference back to Numbers 27:1-11, where the five daughters of Zelophehad were concerned that their father’s inheritance would vanish, because there were no sons in their family. God, through Moses, declared that if a father has no sons, the inheritance can then go to the daughters.

27. Five Sisters art

“Five Sisters” by Paula DiLeo

3But if they marry men from other tribes of Israel, the land they receive will become part of that tribe’s inheritance and will no longer belong to us. 4Even when land is returned to its original owner in the Year of Celebration and Jubilee, we will not get back Zelophehad’s land–it will belong to the tribe into which his daughters married.”

If the land was given to the daughters, then when the daughters married, the land went to their husband’s tribe — and eventually, the original tribe’s lands would become depleted.

5So Moses told the people that the LORD had said:

These men from the Manasseh tribe are right. 6I will allow Zelophehad’s daughters to marry anyone, as long as those men belong to one of the clans of the Manasseh tribe.

7Tribal land must not be given to another tribe–it will remain the property of the tribe that received it. 8-9In the future, any daughter who inherits land must marry someone from her own tribe. Israel’s tribal land is never to be passed from one tribe to another.

The solution is fairly simple. If a daughter in a family receives an inheritance of land, she must marry within the tribe. Since the tribes were large enough, this really was no burden. If a daughter married outside the tribe, she had to forfeit the inheritance, because not only did she have inheritance rights, but the tribe did also.

10-11Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah the daughters of Zelophehad obeyed the LORD and married their uncles’ sons 12and remained part of the Manasseh tribe. So their land stayed in their father’s clan.

36. Five Sisters snow

The “Five Sisters of Kintail” in Scotland, covered with snow

13These are the laws that the LORD gave to Moses and the Israelites while they were camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho.

The Book of Numbers began “in the desert of Sinai” (Numbers 1:1). It now finishes as close to the Promised Land as you can get without actually being there!

The end of the book of Numbers.

_________________________

Let’s review!

From The Bible Project — HERE  is a fun, animated 5-minute review of the book of Numbers.  Enjoy!

_________________________

Upon finishing Numbers, let us consider these thoughts from the Apostle Paul–

1 Corinthians 10:1-12 (NIV)

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

_________________________

Music:

“Forever God Is Faithful” seems a fitting song with which to close out our study of Numbers.  HERE  it is performed by Michael W. Smith.

_________________________

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images courtesy of:
verse 7.   https://cdn.19baskets.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2015/05/numbers-36-the-inheritance-of-the-people-of-israel-shall-not-be-transferred-from-one-tribe-to-another.jpg
DiLeo.  http://www.pauladileo.com/images/faces_large/01.gif
Five Sisters, Scotland.   http://lifeattheendoftheroad.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/030309-029-large.jpg
Example verse.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/elegantwaexamplecopy.png

1630.) Numbers 35

July 31, 2015


Numbers 35   (CEV)

The Towns for the Levites

1While the people of Israel were still camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, the LORD told Moses 2to say to them:

When you receive your tribal lands, you must give towns and pastures to the Levi tribe. 3That way, the Levites will have towns to live in and pastures for their animals. 4-5The pasture around each of these towns must be in the shape of a square, with the town itself in the center. The pasture is to measure three thousand feet on each side, with fifteen hundred feet of land outside each of the town walls. This will be the Levites’ pastureland.

The tribe of Levi had no “state” or “province” within Israel. Their inheritance was to be the Lord alone: Then the Lord said to Aaron: You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel (Numbers 18:20). Yet, the Levites had to live somewhere. God commanded that each tribe give cities to the Levites, so that the Levites would be sprinkled throughout the whole nation. The Levites were to be given more than just the cities; around each city, they were to be given common-land — land suitable for the grazing of their animals and for small-scale farming.

–David Guzik (and all following remarks in purple)

6Six of the towns you give them will be Safe Towns where a person who has accidentally killed someone can run for protection. But you will also give the Levites forty-two other towns, 7so they will have a total of forty-eight towns with their surrounding pastures.

8Since the towns for the Levites must come from Israel’s own tribal lands, the larger tribes will give more towns than the smaller ones.

This reflects God’s desire to evenly distribute the Levites, who were to be the most spiritually focused Israelites — the full-time ministers, so to speak — evenly throughout Israel, so their influence could be distributed throughout the whole nation. This shows the wisdom of God in not making a Levitical state that others would have to go to. God intended that these ministers go out among the people, to influence them for the Lord.

In the same way, God does not intend that there be a Christian country or state where all the Christians live together in spiritual bliss, and simply say to the world, “come and join us if you want.” Instead, God wants Christians to be sprinkled throughout the whole world, influencing people for Jesus Christ.

The Safe Towns

9The LORD then told Moses 10to tell the people of Israel:

After you have crossed the Jordan River and are settled in Canaan, 11choose Safe Towns, where a person who has accidentally killed someone can run for protection. 12If the victim’s relatives think it was murder, they might try to take revenge.  Anyone accused of murder can run to one of these Safe Towns for protection and not be killed before a trial is held. 13There are to be six of these Safe Towns, 14three on each side of the Jordan River. 15They will be places of protection for anyone who lives in Israel and accidentally kills someone.

Joshua 20:7-8 records the actual choice of the cities. They fulfilled the plan of being evenly distributed; no one was very far from a city of refuge. Deuteronomy 19:3 also tells us that proper roads were to be built and maintained to these cities of refuge. A city of refuge was no good if the slayer could not get there quickly.

Laws about Murder and Accidental Killing

The LORD said:

Significantly, the Bible makes the clear distinction between killing and murder. All murder is killing; but not all killing is murder. Society needs laws to establish the principles that decide a death to be either an unfortunate killing or true murder.

16-18Suppose you hit someone with a piece of iron or a large stone or a dangerous wooden tool. If that person dies, then you are a murderer and must be put to death 19by one of the victim’s relatives. He will take revenge for his relative’s death as soon as he finds you.

20-21Or suppose you get angry and kill someone by pushing or hitting or by throwing something. You are a murderer and must be put to death by one of the victim’s relatives.

Num35 angry

Matthew 5:22 (NIV)

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.

22-24But if you are not angry and accidentally kill someone in any of these ways, the townspeople must hold a trial and decide if you are guilty. 25If they decide that you are innocent, you will be protected from the victim’s relative and sent to stay in one of the Safe Towns until the high priest dies. 26But if you ever leave the Safe Town 27and are killed by the victim’s relative, he cannot be punished for killing you. 28You must stay inside the town until the high priest dies; only then can you go back home.

29The community of Israel must always obey these laws.

30Death is the penalty for murder.

Genesis 9:6 (ESV)

“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.”

But no one accused of murder can be put to death unless there are at least two witnesses to the crime.  31You cannot give someone money to escape the death penalty; you must pay with your own life!

32And if you have been proven innocent of murder and are living in a Safe Town, you cannot pay to go back home; you must stay there until the high priest dies.

33-34I, the LORD, live among you people of Israel, so your land must be kept pure. But when a murder takes place, blood pollutes the land, and it becomes unclean. If that happens, the murderer must be put to death, so the land will be clean again. Keep murder out of Israel!

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Let There Be Peace on Earth”  sung by the Harlem Boys’ Choir. How our communities, our nation, our world all need this message! Today, “Let it begin with me.”

_________________________

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images courtesy of:
“Dove of Peace.”  Stained glass by Chantel Pare.   http://chantalstainedglass.50megs.com/images/3peacedove_btn.jpg
city of refuge.   http://www.bibleexplained.com/moses/Numb/c%20f%20refuge-sm.jpg
angry face.  http://thesituationist.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/big_make-face-angry.jpg

 


1629.) Numbers 34

July 30, 2015

34. Tribes map

Numbers 34   (CEV)

Israel’s Borders

1The LORD told Moses 2to tell the people of Israel that their land in Canaan would have the following borders:

3The southern border will be the Zin Desert and the northwest part of Edom. This border will begin at the south end of the Dead Sea. 4It will go west from there, but will turn southward to include Scorpion Pass, the village of Zin, and the town of Kadesh-Barnea. From there, the border will continue to Hazar-Addar and on to Azmon. 5It will run along the Egyptian Gorge and end at the Mediterranean Sea.

6The western border will be the Mediterranean Sea.

7The northern border will begin at the Mediterranean, then continue eastward to Mount Hor.  8After that, it will run to Lebo-Hamath and across to Zedad, which is the northern edge of your land. 9From Zedad, the border will continue east to Ziphron and end at Hazar-Enan.

10The eastern border will begin at Hazar-Enan in the north, then run south to Shepham, 11and on down to Riblah on the east side of Ain. From there, it will go south to the eastern hills of Lake Galilee,  12then follow the Jordan River down to the north end of the Dead Sea. The land within those four borders will belong to you.

The listing of the four boundaries is not only for information, but also to display again the dimensions of God’s great gift to his people.

-notes from The NIV Study Bible

13Then Moses told the people, ” You will receive the land inside these borders. It will be yours, but the LORD has commanded you to divide it among the nine and a half tribes. 14The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh have already been given their land 15across from Jericho, east of the Jordan River.”

The Leaders Who Will Divide the Land

16The LORD said to Moses, 17” Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun will divide the land for the Israelites. 18One leader from each tribe will help them, 19-28and here is the list of their names:

34. TenMen. Esther

Ten men to help divide the land. Ten men to be present for public prayers.  “Ten Men” by SuSan “Esther.”

Caleb son of Jephunneh from Judah,

Shemuel son of Ammihud from Simeon,

Elidad son of Chislon from Benjamin,

Bukki son of Jogli from Dan,

Hanniel son of Ephod from Manasseh,

Kemuel son of Shiphtan from Ephraim,

Elizaphan son of Parnach from Zebulun,

Paltiel son of Azzan from Issachar,

Ahihud son of Shelomi from Asher,

and Pedahel son of Ammihud from Naphtali.”

29These are the men the LORD commanded to help Eleazar and Joshua divide the land for the Israelites.

_________________________

Music:

An encouraging word  — as we see how graciously God led the people of Israel day by day from place to place, and as we review our own experiences and look forward to continued walking with the Lord.  HERE  The Oslo Gospel Choir sings “Never Gonna Lose My Way.”  Because the Lord is faithful, “my foot’s on solid ground, I trust in You!”

NEVER GONNA LOSE MY WAY

Words by Jan Groth; Music by Tore W. Aas

I was doing fine so long,
thinking I was too strong,
and nothing in this world could shake me.

Everything was black or white,
either wrong or right,
condemning was so very easy.
But I’m getting wiser,
through defeats and fights,
and it’s so much nicer,
to realize Your love is the cause.

I am never gonna lose my way,
step by step You lead me day by day,
and I’m glad to know that You will always see me through,
my foot’s on solid ground, I trust in You!

When I used to feel so good,
doing what I should,
convinced that I knew all the answers.

Yes, I simply couldn’t see
it was all a mystery,
how people could be weak and faulty.

But I’ve learned my lesson,
yes, I see my misery,
and it’s my confession,
I’m pulling through,
it’s all because the grace I see.

I am never gonna lose my way,
step by step You lead me day by day,
and I’m confident that You will always see me through,
my foot’s on solid ground, I trust in You!

__________________________

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images courtesy of:
tribes map.   http://www.bibletrack.org/notes/image/Tribes.jpg
compass.   http://stufffromroom311.pbworks.com/f/CompassRose.jpg
Esther, “Ten Men.”  http://www.jewishartandsoul.com/TenMen.jpg

1628.) Numbers 33

July 29, 2015
33. wilderness_journey_map

One idea for the route. Too bad, too sad — Moses didn’t leave a map, so today’s scholars try to guess . . .

Numbers 33   (CEV)

Israel’s Journey from Egypt to Moab

(Looking back)

1As Israel traveled from Egypt under the command of Moses and Aaron, 2Moses kept a list of the places they camped, just as the LORD had instructed. Here is the record of their journey:

33. pyramid

Good-bye to Egypt!

3-4Israel left the Egyptian city of Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month.  This was the day after the LORD had punished Egypt’s gods by killing the first-born sons in every Egyptian family. So while the Egyptians were burying the bodies, they watched the Israelites proudly  leave their country.

The plagues the Lord brought upon Egypt were not randomly chosen; they were specifically intended to humble the people and rebuke their belief in the false Egyptian deities. With God’s power behind them, the Israelites left Egypt boldly, more like conquerors than slaves.

5After the Israelites left Rameses, they camped at Succoth, 6and from there, they moved their camp to Etham on the edge of the desert.

7Then they turned back toward Pi-Hahiroth, east of Baal-Zephon, and camped near Migdol.

8They left Pi-Hahiroth,  crossed the Red Sea,  then walked three days into the Etham Desert and camped at Marah.

9Next, they camped at Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees.

10They left Elim and camped near the Red Sea,  11then turned east and camped along the western edge of the Sinai Desert.

an oasis at Elim, complete with palm trees

an oasis at Elim, complete with palm trees

12-14From there they went to Dophkah, Alush, and Rephidim, where they had no water.  15They left Rephidim and finally reached the Sinai Desert.

This portion of the journey took them more than a year; most of the time was not spent traveling, but in receiving the law at Mount Sinai.

16-36As Israel traveled from the Sinai Desert to Kadesh in the Zin Desert, they camped at Kibroth-Hattaavah, Hazeroth, Rithmah, Rimmon-Perez, Libnah, Rissah, Kehelathah, Mount Shepher, Haradah, Makheloth, Tahath, Terah, Mithkah, Hashmonah, Moseroth, Bene-Jaakan, Hor-Haggidgad, Jotbathah, Abronah, Ezion-Geber, and finally Kadesh.

This portion of the journey took them some 38 years — not because the distance was so long, but because God led them in wanderings because the generation of unbelief had to die in the wilderness. Only then could a generation of faith could be raised up to take possession of the Promised Land.

37When they left Kadesh, they came to Mount Hor, on the border of Edom.

38That’s where the LORD commanded Aaron the priest to go to the top of the mountain. Aaron died there on the first day of the fifth month,  forty years after the Israelites left Egypt. 39He was one hundred twenty-three years old at the time. 40It was then that the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Southern Desert of Canaan, heard that Israel was headed that way.

33. Moab

The green plains of Moab, now part of Jordan.

41-47The Israelites left Mount Hor and headed toward Moab. Along the way, they camped at Zalmonah, Punon, Oboth, Iye-Abarim in the territory of Moab, Dibon-Gad, Almon-Diblathaim, at a place near Mount Nebo in the Abarim Mountains, 48and finally in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho. 49Their camp stretched from Beth-Jeshimoth to Acacia.

The LORD’s Command To Conquer Canaan

(Looking forward)

50While Israel was camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, the LORD told Moses 51to give the people of Israel this message:

When you cross the Jordan River and enter Canaan, 52you must force out the people living there. Destroy their idols and tear down their altars. 53Then settle in the land–I have given it to you as your own.

54I will show you  how to divide the land among the tribes, according to the number of clans in each one, so that the larger tribes will have more land than the smaller ones. 55If you don’t force out all the people there, they will be like pointed sticks in your eyes and thorns in your back. They will always be trouble for you, 56and I will treat you as cruelly as I planned on treating them.

If Israel failed to drive the Canaanites out of the land, they could still occupy the Promised Land — but the corrupt practices and heart of the Canaanites would find a place among Israel, and Israel itself would eventually be driven out of the land.

This became true of Israel’s history. They did not fully drive out the Canaanites, and though they possessed the land, the corruption of the Canaanites continued among Israel until eventually God allowed Israel to be driven out of the land in exile.

__________________________

Music:

Just as the people of Israel could look back and see God’s continuing care for them, so we as individuals can do the same. I look back over the years of my life and praise God for his loving kindness to me.  HERE  is “God Will Take Care of You” sung by the choir from Michael’s Children’s Home. Be encouraged!

__________________________

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images courtesy of:
wilderness journey map.  http://www.avakesh.com/images/2007/06/21/wilderness_journey_3.gif
pyramid.   http://www.dailygalaxy.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/01/28/egy005_2.jpg
palm trees at Elim.  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3e/21/80/3e2180b8180fac7087a4d60c30e7bc18.jpg
Sinai desert.  http://www.photomediashop.com/wallpapers/images/wallpapers-800/97-sinai_212-WP.jpg
Moab.  http://www.ronaldecker.com/moab.jpg

1627.) Numbers 32

July 28, 2015

Numbers 32   (CEV)

Land East of the Jordan River Is Settled
(A Conversation)

1The tribes of Reuben and Gad owned a lot of cattle and sheep, and they saw that the regions of Jazer and Gilead had good pastureland.

32. cowboys

2So they went to Moses, Eleazar, and the other leaders of Israel and said, 3-4” The LORD has helped us capture the land around the towns of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon. That’s good pastureland, and since we own cattle and sheep, 5would you let us stay here east of the Jordan River and have this land as our own?”

32. Heston as Moses

6Moses answered:

You mean you’d stay here while the rest of the Israelites go into battle? 7If you did that, it would discourage the others from crossing over into the land the LORD promised them. 8This is exactly what happened when I sent your ancestors from Kadesh-Barnea to explore the land. 9They went as far as Eshcol Valley, then returned and told the people that we should not enter it. 10The LORD became very angry. 11And he said that no one who was twenty years or older when they left Egypt would enter the land he had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Not one of those people believed in the LORD’s power, 12except Caleb and Joshua.  They remained faithful to the LORD, 13but he was so angry with the others that he forced them to wander around in the desert forty years. By that time everyone who had sinned against him had died. 14Now you people of Reuben and Gad are doing the same thing and making the LORD even angrier. 15If you reject the LORD, he will once again abandon his people and leave them here in the desert. And you will be to blame!

32. cowboys

16The men from Reuben and Gad replied:

Let us build places to keep our sheep and goats, and towns for our wives and children, 17where they can stay and be safe. Then we’ll prepare to fight and lead the other tribes into battle. 18We will stay with them until they have settled in their own tribal lands. 19The land on this side of the Jordan River will be ours, so we won’t expect to receive any on the other side.

32. Heston as Moses

20Moses said:

You promised that you would be ready to fight for the LORD. 21You also agreed to cross the Jordan and stay with the rest of the Israelites, until the LORD forces our enemies out of the land. If you do these things, 22then after the LORD helps Israel capture the land, you can return to your own land. You will no longer have to stay with the others. 23But if you don’t keep your promise, you will sin against the LORD and be punished.

Numbers 32:23 (King James Version)

Be sure your sin will find you out.

This was one of my mother’s favorite verses as she raised her children, and I confess that my own personal experience bears testimony to the truth of this Scripture!

24Go ahead and build towns for your wives and children, and places for your sheep and goats. Just be sure to do what you have promised.

32. cowboys

25The men from Reuben and Gad answered:

Sir, we will do just what you have said. 26Our wives and children and sheep and cattle will stay here in the towns in Gilead. 27But those of us who are prepared for battle will cross the Jordan and fight for the LORD.

32. Heston as Moses

28Then Moses said to Eleazar, Joshua, and the family leaders, 29” Make sure that the tribes of Gad and Reuben prepare for battle and cross the Jordan River with you. If they do, then after the land is in your control, give them the region of Gilead as their tribal land. 30But if they break their promise, they will receive land on the other side of the Jordan, like the rest of the tribes.”

32. cowboys

31The tribes of Gad and Reuben replied, ” We are your servants and will do whatever the LORD has commanded. 32We will cross the Jordan River, ready to fight for the LORD in Canaan. But the land we will inherit as our own will be on this side of the river.”

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “Home on the Range”  sung first by Roy Rogers and then by Gene Autry.  Now when last did you hear this song?!

_________________________

33So Moses gave the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half of Manasseh   (see map above) the territory and towns that King Sihon the Amorite had ruled, as well as the territory and towns that King Og of Bashan had ruled.  34The tribe of Gad rebuilt the towns of Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35Atroth-Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36Beth-Nimrah, and Beth-Haran. They built walls around them and also built places to keep their sheep and goats.

37The tribe of Reuben rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38Sibmah, as well as the towns that used to be known as Nebo and Baal-Meon. They renamed all those places.

39The clan of Machir from the tribe of East Manasseh went to the region of Gilead, captured its towns, and forced out the Amorites. 40So Moses gave the Machirites the region of Gilead, and they settled there.

41Jair from the Manasseh tribe captured villages and renamed them ” Villages of Jair.”  42Nobah captured the town of Kenath with its villages and renamed it Nobah.

_________________________

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images:
map of tribal lands.    http://www.jesuswalk.com/gideon/images/12tribes_map250x389.gif
cowboys.  http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/kids/forts/images/cowboys.jpg
Charlton Heston as Moses.  http://www.chrisjonesblog.com/images/2015/01/charlton-heston-as-moses-in-the-ten-commandments.jpg

1626.) Numbers 31

July 27, 2015

This map shows generally the traditional route for the Israelites in the wilderness. See Midian on the east side of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Numbers 31   (CEV)

Israel’s War against Midian

1The LORD said to Moses, 2” Before you die, make sure that the Midianites are punished for what they did to Israel.”  3Then Moses told the people, ” The LORD wants to punish the Midianites. So have our men prepare for battle. 4Each tribe will send a thousand men to fight.”

We are generally uncomfortable with the idea of vengeance because it doesn’t seem consistent with God’s love. Yet, in the right context, vengeance is something good that God is interested in. The Scriptures repeatedly speak of the vengeance of God as a positive thing. Evil comes when we take vengeance into our own hands.

–David Guzik

5Twelve thousand men were picked from the tribes of Israel, and after they were prepared for battle, 6Moses sent them off to war. Phinehas the son of Eleazar went with them and took along some things from the sacred tent  and the trumpets for sounding the battle signal. 7The Israelites fought against the Midianites, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. They killed all the men, 8including Balaam son of Beor

Remember Balaam (and his talking ass)?   He finally gets his due.

and the five Midianite kings, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba. 9The Israelites captured every woman and child, then led away the Midianites’ cattle and sheep, and took everything else that belonged to them. 10They also burned down the Midianite towns and villages.

11Israel’s soldiers gathered together everything they had taken from the Midianites, including the captives and the animals. 12-13Then they returned to their own camp in the hills of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, where Moses, Eleazar, and the other Israelite leaders met the troops outside camp.

14Moses became angry with the army commanders 15and said, ” I can’t believe you let the women live! 16They are the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and invited our people to worship the god Baal Peor. That’s why the LORD punished us by killing so many of our people. 17You must put to death every boy and all the women who have ever had sex. 18But do not kill the young women who have never had sex. You may keep them for yourselves.”

19Then Moses said to the soldiers, ” If you killed anyone or touched a dead body, you are unclean and have to stay outside the camp for seven days. On the third and seventh days, you must go through a ceremony to make yourselves and your captives clean. 20Then wash your clothes and anything made from animal skin, goat’s hair, or wood.”

21-23Eleazar then explained, ” If you need to purify something that won’t burn, such as gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead, you must first place it in a hot fire.

1 Corinthians 3:10-14 (New Living Translation)

Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.

Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw.  But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.  If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.

After you take it out, sprinkle it with the water that purifies. Everything else should only be sprinkled with the water. Do all of this, just as the LORD commanded Moses. 24Wash your clothes on the seventh day, and after that, you will be clean and may return to the camp.”

God uses the same means to purify believers today — the fire of trials and the water of washing.

When God uses the fire of purification, we can say with Job: When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold (Job 23:10). The fire purifies precious metal by causing the impurities (the dross) to rise to the top, where the refiner can skim them away. The refiner can tell when the gold is pure, because he can then see his reflection in the pool of gold.

When God wants to wash us clean, He not only uses the waters of baptism, but also the ministry of the Word as described in Ephesians 5:26: That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.

–David Guzik

Everything Taken from the Midianites Is Divided

25The LORD told Moses:

26-27Make a list of everything taken from the Midianites, including the captives and the animals. Then divide them between the soldiers and the rest of the people. Eleazar the priest and the family leaders will help you.

28-29From the half that belongs to the soldiers, set aside for the LORD one out of every five hundred people or animals and give these to Eleazar.

30From the half that belongs to the people, set aside one out of every fifty and give these to the Levites in charge of the sacred tent.

31Moses and Eleazar followed the LORD’s instructions 32-35and listed everything that had been taken from the Midianites. The list included 675,000 sheep and goats, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 young women who had never had sex.

36-47Each half included 337,500 sheep and goats, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys, and 16,000 young women. From the half that belonged to the soldiers, Moses counted out 675 sheep and goats, 72 cattle, 61 donkeys, and 32 women and gave them to Eleazar to be dedicated to the LORD. Then from the half that belonged to the people, Moses set aside one out of every fifty animals and women, as the LORD had said, and gave them to the Levites.

48The army commanders went to Moses 49and said, ” Sir, we have counted our troops, and not one soldier is missing. 50So we want to give the LORD all the gold jewelry we took from the Midianites. It’s our gift to him for watching over us and our troops.”

Grateful for every soldier who comes home safely.

51Moses and Eleazar accepted the jewelry from the commanders, 52and its total weight was over four hundred pounds. 53This did not include the things that the soldiers had kept for themselves. 54So Moses and Eleazar placed the gold in the LORD’s sacred tent to remind Israel of what had happened.

God wanted Israelites to have the hearts of givers.

_________________________

Music:

God wants our offerings, yes, but more than that, he wants us — our hearts, souls, mind, and strength.  HERE  is Vineyard Music singing “Take My Life.”

_________________________

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images courtesy of:
map showing Midian.    http://www.ldolphin.org/exodusmap.jpg
fire.    https://christiscoming777.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/outer-darkness-hellfire.jpg
soldier coming home.   http://dugglass.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/soldier-coming-home.jpg

1625.) Numbers 30

July 24, 2015

“A Scout is trustworthy.”

Numbers 30   (CEV)

Making Promises to the LORD

1The LORD told Moses to say to Israel’s tribal leaders:

2When one of you men makes a promise to the LORD,  you must keep your word.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5  (ESV)

When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

Num30 promise

Reflections on promises:

Let God’s promises shine on your problems.
~Corrie Ten Boom

We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot.
~Abraham Lincoln

Eggs and oaths are easily broken.
~Danish Proverb

A promise is a cloud; fulfillment is rain.
~Arabian Proverb

No pillow so soft as God’s promise.
~Author Unknown

3Suppose a young woman who is still living with her parents makes a promise to the LORD. 4If her father hears about it and says nothing, she must keep her promise. 5But if he hears about it and objects, then she no longer has to keep her promise. The LORD will forgive her, because her father did not agree with the promise.

6-7Suppose a woman makes a promise to the LORD and then gets married. If her husband later hears about the promise but says nothing, she must do what she said, whether she meant it or not. 8But if her husband hears about the promise and objects, she no longer has to keep it, and the LORD will forgive her.

9Widows and divorced women must keep every promise they make to the LORD.

10Suppose a married woman makes a promise to the LORD. 11If her husband hears about the promise and says nothing, she must do what she said. 12But if he hears about the promise and does object, she no longer has to keep it. The LORD will forgive her, because her husband would not allow her to keep the promise. 13Her husband has the final say about any promises she makes to the LORD. 14If her husband hears about a promise and says nothing about it for a whole day, she must do what she said–since he did not object, the promise must be kept. 15But if he waits until the next day to stop her from keeping her promise, he is the one who must be punished.

16These are the laws that the LORD gave Moses about husbands and wives, and about young daughters who still live at home.

This is an outworking of the principle of headship. When God declares someone to be in a position of rightful authority and others are expected to submit to that authority, the head also is accountable before God for the result.

–David Guzik

_________________________

Music:

HERE  country music star Alan Jackson sings “Standing on the Promises of God.”

________________________

Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images courtesy of:
Scout promise.   http://images.clipartpanda.com/scout-clip-art-scout-clipart-3.gif
pinky promise.    http://blog.onebyonedesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/promise.jpg

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