28 August 2012

The Law of Approbation

Joshua 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

The Scofield Study Bible offers this brief, insightful note: “The law of appropriation. God gives, but we must take.”  Is that not the truth?  The land was theirs.  God had given it to them.  The victory was theirs.  God had already promised it to them.  The battle was the Lord’s.  He had said that He would fight for them (Deuteronomy 1:3; 3:22; 20:4).  But they still had to go out to the battlefield and fight.  They still had to engage the enemy and claim the victory God had given.

Consider these applications of this simple truth:

22 August 2012

Broad Plates

In Numbers 16, Korah (a Levite) and Dathan and Abiram (from the tribe of Reuben) led a company of 250 Levites in an uprising against Moses’ leadership and Aaron’s priesthood.  “Wherefore lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord (v. 3)?”  These Levites had a position in the Lord’s service but were not content with the position they were given.

(Explanation: God selected Aaron and his descendants to fill the office of the priesthood.  Aaron was a Levite.  Thus, all the priests were Levites.  The Levitical priesthood of Hebrews 7:11 is that of Aaron’s descendants.  But not all the Levites were priests.  There were many families besides Aaron’s in the tribe of Levi. These Levites were selected by God and separated by God for the service of the tabernacle and the service of the priests.  But they did not offer sacrifices or perform the other priestly duties.  This is what angered the group in Numbers 16.)

The test that was to determine whether Moses and Aaron had lifted themselves up above the congregation of the Lord (the charge of vv. 3, 13) or if it was the Lord who had done so involved Korah, the 250 Levites, and Aaron all taking censers, with fire and incense, and standing before the door of the tabernacle.  It is unclear to me what the purpose of the censers was or how the determination was expected to be made, but when the Lord appears, He makes His selection very clear, saying to Moses and Aaron in verse 21, “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment,” and in verse 24, “Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.”

You’re probably familiar with what happens next.

08 August 2012

God Does Not Hate You

Deuteronomy 1:27 And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 

What an amazing statement.  What a twisted mentality.  Basically, they were saying…

“God delivered us from Egypt because He hated us…”
“God delivered us from Egypt so He could destroy our lives…”

Nothing could have been further from the truth.  The Lord redeemed His people from Egypt because He loved them (Deuteronomy 7:8).  The Lord brought His people out of Egypt so He could bring them into a land of blessing (Numbers 24:1). 

But their unbelief and their lusts had so clouded their minds that they soon forgot all of that and came to the absurd conclusion that God hated them. 

06 August 2012

Why the Hebrews Wandered

You know the story of the wilderness wanderings.  God delivered His people from Egypt’s bondage on Passover night; He destroyed Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea, where the Hebrews had crossed on dry ground; then He gave Moses His law atop Mount Sinai.  From Mount Sinai (aka Horeb), it was an 11-day journey to Kadesh-barnea (Deuteronomy 1:2), from whence the people would enter the promised land.

If you grew up in Sunday school, you probably learned the tale of what happened there in song form (though you may not realize it).  It was at this point that…