Numbers 15 Ė 17
In Chapter 15:1-16 God talks to Moses and instructs him to
tell the children of
2 Thessalonians 1:6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,† 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,† 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.† 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
From passages like these we learn a great lesson to pay very close attention to Gods will and not our own. Now the Lord† speaks to Moses again,
Numbers 15:17 Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,† 18 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land to which I bring you,† 19 'then it will be, when you eat of the bread of the land, that you shall offer up a heave offering to the LORD.† 20 'You shall offer up a cake of the first of your ground meal as a heave offering; as a heave offering of the threshing floor, so shall you offer it up.† 21 'Of the first of your ground meal you shall give to the LORD a heave offering throughout your generations.
Again we see God teaching the principle that we are to give our best or our first to God. The word heave simple contribution.
In verse 22 Ė 31 we find out what is to be done with those who break God commands† unintentionally and intentionally. First it deals with the congregation. If the entire congregation commits some sort of sin and they didnít realize it then they are to
Numbers .. offer one young bull as a burnt offering, as a
sweet aroma to the LORD, with its grain offering and its drink offering,
according to the ordinance, and one kid of the goats as a sin offering.† 25 'So the priest shall make
atonement for the whole congregation of the children of
If an individual sin unintentionally they are to offer up a female goat for their sin and they to will be forgiven. However, if someone does it on purpose knowing full well what they are doing they are to be cut off from the camp and their guilt be left on them.
From these verses we see how destructive sin can be. Even when a person sins unintentionally there was a need for a sacrifice to be made. When think about these laws it really causes me to be thankful that we are no longer under the law of Moses but under the system of grace. I am sure that we have all sinned unintentionally from time to time and may still not be aware today that we have sinned against God but I believe that† the grace of God covers these things. However, I personally think that its important that we not only ask God forgiveness† for the sins that we know that committed but to ask for forgiveness for those sins that we donít know that we committed just as the children had to make offering for those sins they didnít know they had committed.
Numbers 15:32 Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day.† 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation.† 34 They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him.† 35 Then the LORD said to Moses, "The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp."† 36 So, as the LORD commanded Moses, all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died.
Again, we see seriousness
of God for his people to obey his commands. When I think about this story it
reminds of how denominations view the
1 Corinthians 4:6 ††Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,† 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.† 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Lets this man who decided to pick up sticks and break the command of God to serve as example to us as Christians today to take the word of God seriously and not to allow ourselves to think that we can get away with abusing Gods grace.
Numbers 15:37 Again
the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,† 38
"Speak to the children of
Not† only did† God remind them by word he made them start wearing these tassels so that they could remember that† they are to obey† Gods commands. This was another memorial that God into place.
In chapter 16 a rebellion takes place.
Numbers 16:1 Now Korah the son of Izhar,(yitz Ė har) the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan (daw Ė than) and Abiram (ab-ee-rom) 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 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?"
Here we go again, these men think that they are equally qualified to be the leaders of the congregation and they accuse Moses of making himself greater than everyone else. Which simply is not true and we can see this in Moses response.
Numbers 16: 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, 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?
Notice Moses doesnít act like dictator here and command the people to kill these men. No, instead he bids them to let God decided this† matter. First Moses talks to the Levies and begin† to see what their motivation is to take part in this rebellion. It seems that the Levites were beginning to thank highly of themselves because God had separated them† out for a specific purpose. If you will remember not all the Levites could priest and only the descendants of Aaron could be high priest. It appears they did not like that rule because Moses ask them are you seeking the priesthood as well? This is common thing that you can read about in history. Many of the rebellions that are started is because a† group of people decide they donít like the rules and so they try to over throw the leaders so they can be in power and make their own rules. Now this can work when it man that is making the rules but when† God makes the rules a rebellion is futile and thatís exactly what these men are about to find out.
After this Moses tries to talk to these other men that were involved in this rebellion but the refused to come to him and notice what they say.
Numbers "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!"
Here more false accusations directed at Moses and† as continue on the next verses you find that this makes Moses mad and he ask God not to accept their offerings because Moses had not brought any harm to these men. The next day the 250 and Moses and Aaron light their censors and then the glory of the Lord appears to them and God tell Moses and Aaron to separate themselves from the congregation and he will wipe them all out.† But, notice what Moses does,
Numbers 16:22 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?"
Now Moses wasnít happy that these men were rebelling but he did not want the whole congregation to have to pay for these men. So look at Gods solution.
Numbers 16:23 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
Moses wants them to
understand that none of things that he has done starting from the time there
Numbers "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
you imagine how scary that was to see the ground literally open and underneath
these men and their family and to watch them†
fall deep into the earth because of the rebellion. No wonder the
"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 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
Once again we see God
setting up a memorial for all the children of
Numbers 16:41 On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured 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 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.
It is times like these
when† I read about the children of
Numbers 17:1 And the
LORD spoke to Moses, saying:† 2
"Speak to the children of
This miracles of budding
of the rod would forever show that preeminence of Aaron and that he is the God
chosen high priest. At the end of this chapter we see the fear of death
expressed by the children of