“And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.”
Then they fell on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?”
So the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’” Numbers 16:20-24 NKJV
So many lessons in today reading of Numbers (at the bottom of this blog is the passage)!!! The lesson about who you are close to and associate with (but I am not talking about that today). The lesson from yesterday continued (nope, not doing that again). The lesson on the effectiveness of intercessory prayer (just look for it in the reading). The lesson about not continually complaining – let me start here and wander around in thoughts for a moment.
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Moses interceded for the Children of Israel – Who intercedes for the United States?
Yes, yesterday was a bit weighty. Today isn’t much better. Last week, we read about how these people loved God and worshiped with offerings. Then this week has been a train wreck and it is only Tuesday!
In case you haven’t read today’s reading yet, let me give you the overview: The people complain, God tells Moses and Aaron to get out of the way so He can destroy them. Moses intercedes and God has the earth open up and swallow just the offending family. Then God sends fire to just the other offenders. But God doesn’t destroy them all. And if we recall, they all are already under an extended grace, so if God is starting to seem like an angry, mean and unjust God – let us put it back into perspective and think about how frustrated He is and how at the end of His grace these people already are.
Then the people immediately complain AGAIN – because they literally did not learn from the very lesson they were complaining about! Doh! So this is where God make a plague against them. I won’t give it all away – it really is a good read.
Yesterday – we compared the USA to these Israelites (although we could have made the argument on a global level). Today, let us reign it back in for some self-examination.
I told you how God blessed me by removing me from a situation at work (maybe you recall the story). Since then I have been blessed with abundance with growing this ministry and taking classes and working on projects. As good as it all is and how blessed this time is – it is ALMOST (not quite, but I can see how it is tempting) temping to complain. I know whom I believe and He is able. He has made a way. He hasn’t told it to me, but He has made a way. However, in the lack of knowing and in the believing God is who He says He is – there is this foreign voice (it is not my voice and it is not the still small voice of my Father) and it is saying, in a nasty tone, “So, what is the plan?”
I remind myself, it doesn’t matter what the plan is – I am literally in the hands of my Father. What could be wrong? What could be the problem? If the father wanted me to do something else He would put me down in that spot. Like when my little puppy is in my arms – If I want her out of my arms and in her bed, I will put her there. If I want her to play, I will put her by her toys. If I want her to go out, I will put her down outside (be mindful that she is only 10 lbs). God is very much the same way with us – and right now, I am enjoying every minute of lap time with God that I can get while working on the things he has set before me to do.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 NKJV
What are the promises you are standing on – believing in? What is your promise land? Deliverance? Healing? Restoration? Purpose? Calling?
The biggest take away from the Book of Numbers is that the people were disqualified from their promise land. Even Moses (later) is disqualified from entering the promise land with the 12 tribes. This really can make you think – can I be disqualified from my promise?
Later, we will see Moses disqualified from receiving his promise (in the way in which he expected to receive it). He doesn’t enter the promise land with the 12 tribes and Joshua. BUT, he does get into the promise land!!
Jesus, Peter, James and John climb (what is believed to be) Mount Tabor in Northern Israel to pray. Jesus is transfigured – shines brightly. You can read all about it in: Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8 and Luke 9:28-36 – Peter also refers to it in 2 Peter 1:16-18 – and some believe John alludes to it in John 1:14. Anyway – the Disciples see Moses and Elijah hanging out with Jesus as He is transfigured. Moses went to heaven before he got to stand in the promise land. But somehow (probably by grace) he was able to once again qualify for the promise – and he stood in the promise land next to Jesus as Jesus was transformed.
I do not dare say that because it happened with Moses it somehow can happen to us as well – I am saying we can ask God. I am saying with God NOTHING is impossible. I am saying that My God is a God of restoration and has diligently been trying to restore man to Him and His Promises since the fall of Eve. I am saying there is hope if you slip away. AND I am also saying that the rest of that generation did not get to enter the promise land. Although we read today that they did not even try to stop complaining.
Yesterday we talked about nations disobeying and complaining – it is still heavy on my heart (Lord, forgive my land and save my people!). But today, let us focus on the individuals – each of us. Are we like the children of Israel who were bathed in promise and grace, yet grieved grace by continuing in sin that grace may abound. And we know God forbids it. (Romans 6:1-4)
“There is therefore now no condemnation” Romans 8:1 – So if you see yourself in the story here in Numbers, repent. And if you see yourself in its parallel in our modern world, then repent. Make it right with God and let us move on to receive the promises together! Do not let the enemy rob you of your joy with the spirit of complaining. And do not let the spirit of criticism catch you in a loop of condemnation. It is all the same spirit. Let it bother those who accuse the righteous and not bother the righteous – and just wait until we get to Deuteronomy where those spirits are sent back upon the accuser seven fold and the righteous justified. But let’s not get side tracked.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: 2 Peter 1:3
NKJV – “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,”
NAS – “for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
ESV – “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,”
NLT – “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.”
NIV – “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: Numbers 16-17 NKJV
Rebellion Against Moses and Aaron
16 Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; 2 and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. 3 They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You [a]take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?”
4 So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face; 5 and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, “Tomorrow morning the Lord will show who is His and who is holy,[b] and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him. 6 Do this: Take censers, Korah and all your company; 7 put fire in them and put incense in them before the Lord tomorrow, and it shall be that the man whom the Lord chooses is the holy one. You take too much upon yourselves, you sons of Levi!”
8 Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: 9 Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; 10 and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? 11 Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the Lord. And what is Aaron that you complain against him?”
12 And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, but they said, “We will not come up! 13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you should keep acting like a prince over us? 14 Moreover you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!”
15 Then Moses was very angry, and said to the Lord, “Do not [c]respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them, nor have I hurt one of them.”
16 And Moses said to Korah, “Tomorrow, you and all your company be present before the Lord—you and they, as well as Aaron. 17 Let each take his censer and put incense in it, and each of you bring his censer before the Lord, two hundred and fifty censers; both you and Aaron, each with his censer.” 18 So every man took his censer, put fire in it, laid incense on it, and stood at the door of the tabernacle of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 19 And Korah gathered all the congregation against them at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation.
20 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.”
22 Then they fell[d] on their faces, and said, “O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?”
23 So the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’ ”
25 Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. 26 And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men! Touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins.” 27 So they got away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, their sons, and their little children.
28 And Moses said: “By this you shall know that the Lord has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. 29 If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me. 30 But if the Lord creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the Lord.”
31 Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods. 33 So they and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them, and they perished from among the assembly. 34 Then all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up also!”
35 And a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense.
36 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 37 “Tell Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, to pick up the censers out of the blaze, for they are holy, and scatter the fire some distance away. 38 The censers of these men who sinned [e]against their own souls, let them be made into hammered plates as a covering for the altar. Because they presented them before the Lord, therefore they are holy; and they shall be a sign to the children of Israel.” 39 So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burned up had presented, and they were hammered out as a covering on the altar, 40 to be a [f]memorial to the children of Israel that no outsider, who is not a descendant of Aaron, should come near to offer incense before the Lord, that he might not become like Korah and his companions, just as the Lord had said to him through Moses.
Complaints of the People
41 On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.” 42 Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tabernacle of meeting; and suddenly the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. 43 Then Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of meeting.
44 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.”
And they fell on their faces.
46 So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make [g]atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the Lord. The plague has begun.” 47 Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. 49 Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident. 50 So Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, for the plague had stopped.
The Budding of Aaron’s Rod
17 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and get from them a rod from each father’s house, all their leaders according to their fathers’ houses—twelve rods. Write each man’s name on his rod. 3 And you shall write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi. For there shall be one rod for the head of each father’s house. 4 Then you shall place them in the tabernacle of meeting before the Testimony, where I meet with you. 5 And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you.”
6 So Moses spoke to the children of Israel, and each of their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their fathers’ houses, twelve rods; and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 7 And Moses placed the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness.
8 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord to all the children of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod.
10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony, to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.” 11 Thus did Moses; just as the Lord had commanded him, so he did.
12 So the children of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, “Surely we die, we perish, we all perish! 13 Whoever even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord must die. Shall we all utterly die?”