26 January 2017

A Clean Slate

Theme: A covering for sin

Know: God did not abandon His people. He gave them hope for the future and a covering for sin.
Think: Always be conscious for the cost of forgiveness of sin.
Do: Love and serve Jesus because He paid the enormous cost of our sin.

Scripture: Numbers 15:1-31

Notes and questions:
B2 Setting= the wilderness of Paran
B3 Outline
  • The special offering. (This is when they first enter the land). Numbers 15:1-16
  • The yearly harvest offering Numbers 15:17-21
  • Sacrifices for sin Numbers 15:22-31
    • Unintentional Numbers 15:22-29
    • Intentional Numbers 15:30-31
  • The wood gatherer Numbers 15:32-36
  • The tassels on the robes Numbers 15:37-41
B4 The gist of this is for us to learn to be thankful.
  • Our parents had to teach us to be thankful.
  • We have to teach our children the same.
  • God is no different. He needed to teach the children of Israel to be thankful.
  • It is a demand, but it is to teach them.
  • We all liked to have someone say, “Thank you.”
B5 Numbers 15:2, who was this law given to? In Numbers 15:15, to whom did the law apply.
B6 What is the significance of the words “when you come into the land?” (Numbers 15:2)
B7 Many consider the offering in Exodus 15:3 to be a peace offering. See Leviticus 17:5.

Derived from the root word “Shalam” (H7999) meaning to be safe, it was an offering of giving thanks, and were divide into 3 types of peace offerings (Leviticus 7:11-16)
  1. Thanksgiving for received salvation(Leviticus 7:12)
  2. a fulfillment of a vow – when expected salvation is received(Leviticus 7:16)
  3. voluntary offering of giving thanks(Leviticus 7:16) – as an expression of rejoicing with God, as in the case of Solomon at the dedication of the Temple (1 Kings 8:63)

The peace offering consisted of a part of an animal sacrificed to God through fire, part given to the priest as food and the rest eaten as a festive meal in fellowship.
The offerer could bring an ox, sheep or goat from his flock(Leviticus 3:1,6,12) but it would need to be without blemish. There was more freedom of choice as a male or female could be offered up, but there was no provision for a pigeon or dove as the whole point of the offering was the sacrificial meal, and a chance to join with God in a time of fellowship and thanksgiving.

The peace offering was also accompanied by 4 varieties of cakes(Leviticus 7:11-14)

The process of sacrifice
Similar to the burnt offering, the offerer brought the animal to the door of the tabernacle, laid hands on it, identifying himself with it, and killed it. The priests sprinkled the blood, after which the offerer removed all the fat of the animal as part of God’s burnt offering(Leviticus 3:3-5,9) set forth as a sweet savour to Him. The fat was prescribed as the food of YHVH offered up by fire(Leviticus 3:16). The second portion was given to the sons of Aaron as per the instructions of God(Leviticus 7:34, 10:15) The remainder was used in a sacrificial meal eaten inside the temple court with all of the offerers family including his servants(Deuteronomy 12:11,18) with much rejoicing(Deuteronomy 12:7). This is what Paul alludes to in 1 Corinthians 10:18. They were having communion with God. The meal was to be partaken on the same day, but could be eaten the next day if it was for a vow or a voluntary offering. Whatever was left had to be burnt with fire on the third day, and nothing left or eaten(Leviticus 7:15-18).

If the sacrificed meat came in contact with something unclean, it could not be eaten but burnt. All who ate it had to be ceremonially clean as well. Any who broke these precepts were said to be cut off from His people by God Himself(Leviticus  7:19-21).

The fat was not to be eaten as it was God’s portion, and the blood was not to be eaten(Leviticus 7:22-27) as it was used for atonement and had life(Leviticus 17:11).
B8 The amounts (best estimates) in today’s English are:
  • Grain offering
    • One tenth ephah= ~2 quarts (2.2 liters) (2 pounds) flour
    • One fourth hin= ~1 quart (1 liter) (2 pints) olive oil and wine
  • Ram
    • Two tenths ephah= ~4 quarts (4.4 liters) (4 pounds) flour
    • One third hin= ~One third gallon (1.3 liters) (3 pints) olive oil and wine
  • Bull
    • 3 tenths ephah= ~6 quarts (6.6 liters) (6 pounds) flour
    • One half hin= ~2 quarts (2 liters) (4 pints) olive oil and wine
B9 What insight does Acts 15:6-11 bring to our passage?
6 Both the apostles and the elders met together to deliberate about this matter. 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that some time ago God chose me to preach to the Gentiles so they would hear the message of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, has testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9 and he made no distinction between them and us, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 So now why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are. Acts 15:6-11
B10 Does this make us appreciate the work of Jesus Christ more? In what way?
18 On the one hand a former command is set aside because it is weak and useless, 19 for the law made nothing perfect. On the other hand a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 20 And since this was not done without a sworn affirmation – for the others have become priests without a sworn affirmation, 21 but Jesus did so with a sworn affirmation by the one who said to him, “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever’” – 22 accordingly Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 And the others who became priests were numerous, because death prevented them from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently since he lives forever. 25 So he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 For it is indeed fitting for us to have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need to do every day what those priests do, to offer sacrifices first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people, since he did this in offering himself once for all. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men subject to weakness, but the word of solemn affirmation that came after the law appoints a son made perfect forever. Hebrews 7:18-33
B11 What does God want to show every human about God’s standards? ...about sin?
B12 After giving the warning passage to Israel, someone deliberately, willfully, broke God’s law.
B13 What is the purpose of the Law? 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:20-23, KJV)
B14 What contrast do you see between God’s and man’s efforts in chapters 14 and 15?
  • God does not fail, man does.
  • God is faithful, humanity is not.
  • God keeps and guarantees His promises, humanity cannot.
  • Humanity often forfeits everything, but God’s plan still will happen.
B15 Numbers 15:37-38, Do we have to wear special clothing today? (The Israelites were required to wear blue tassels on the edge of their clothing). This was to remind Israel that they were to keep God’s law and not follow sinful things. What can we do to remind ourselves to keep God’s ways?
B16 What starts the downfall of all humans? See: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:21, KJV)
B17 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (2Tim 3:2, KJV)

1 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalms 100:1-5, KJV)

18 January 2017

Rebel Heart


Theme: Consequences of Rebellion

Know: The children of Israel treated God with contempt by doubting He could lead them into the Promised Land. God forgave them but they still had to face consequences for their unbelief.
Think: Rest in the assurance that God always keep His Word.
Do: Trust and obey God’s Word, never doubting His ability to accomplish His will.

Scriptures: Numbers 14:1-45

Notes and questions:
B1 The difference between fear and anxiety

Dr Harriet Lerner writes, “Sometimes we distinguish the two by our bodily experience. I'm sure you're aware that the neurobiology of fear is different than the neurobiology of anxiety. The sudden re-arrangement of your guts when an intruder holds a knife to your back (fear), is different from the mild nausea, dizziness and butterflies in your stomach as you're about to make a difficult phone call (anxiety).
Anxiety is also the word of choice to describe lingering apprehension, or a chronic sense of worry or tension, the sources of which may be totally unclear.
But the notion that "fear" always connotes something bigger and stronger than "anxiety" breaks down in real life experience.”

B2 Grumbling
  • A verse: Do all things without grumbling and disputing, Philippians 2:14
  • The Greek word for grumbling is γογγυσμός/goggusmos (gong-goos-mos'). The idea is a secret complaint, for example, John 7:12 (And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceives the people).
  • The Greek word for disputing is διαλογισμός/dialogismos
  • It has the idea of doubting, questioning what is true, and arguing
  • A link for a good article: http://thecripplegate.com/grumbling-pt-1/
B3 Setting: The Wilderness of Paran
  • Then
  • The characters
    • The Israelites
    • Moses and Aaron
    • The 12 spies among whom are Joshua and Caleb
B4 The outline
  • The Israelites respond to the evil report Numbers 14:1-10
  • Moses and God converse about the problem Numbers 14:11-38
  • The rebels go to fight but are defeated Numbers 14:39-45
B5 Numbers 14:1-10
  • The context: 26 Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 Then they told him, and said: "We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan."30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it." 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we." 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants [fn] (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight." Numbers 13:26-33
  • What is the underlying problem with these complaining Israelites?
  • Was the land a land of “milk and honey?”
  • Why were the Israelites discouraged then?
  • Why wouldn’t they listen to rational argument?
  • Why do people reject God’s message, even today?
  • Whom do the Israelites blame, get angry at? Why?
  • What can we learn about this?
  • Do we believe God’s promises?
  • Abraham passed God’s test, so did David, Moses, and many others. Others have failed the test as Adam, Cain, Balaam, and here. Why do people fail when God tests them?
  • Does God mind if we ask Him questions? Was there any difference between Mary’s and Zechariah’s questions? See Luke 1:18-20 and Luke 1:34-37.
Luke 1:18-23
 And Zechariah said to the angel, “By what will I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years!” 19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and began to wonder when he was delayed in the temple. 22 And when he came out he was not able to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them, and remained unable to speak. 23 And it happened that when the days of his service came to an end, he went away to his home.

Luke 1:34-35
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.
And, behold, your cousin Elizabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.
  • In Numbers 14:8, Joshua and Caleb tell them the giants’ protection is gone. What does this mean? How can we apply that for today?
  • Punishment comes to all sinners. We Christians have the Lord Jesus who was our Passover Lamb sacrificed for us. Is Numbers 14:10 an example of when people cross God’s line of no return, no time for repentance, now is judgement time?
  • Why do the Israelites want to go back into slavery, not long after they had been delivered? See 2 Peter 2:20-22 (If indeed they have escaped the corruption of the world through their knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, only to be entangled and overcome by it again, their final condition is worse than it was at first. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and turned away from the holy commandment passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud).”
B6 Numbers 14:11-38,
  • God’s statement to Moses is that He will destroy these rebels and make of him a greater nation than them. Is this a true statement?
  • Exodus 14:18, what important lessons can we learn about God and His dealings with humanity?
  • Exodus 14:18, the 3rd and 4th generations are punished? What if they do not commit the same sin? See
Deuteronomy 5:9-10
9 ‘You shall not bow down to them, and you shall not serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, punishing the guilt of fathers upon their children and upon the third and upon the fourth generation of those hating me, 10 but showing loyal love to thousands of those who love me and of those who keep my commandments.
Ezekiel 18:4
Look! All lives are mine. The lives of father and son alike are mine. The person sinning will die.
  • Even though God forgave them, they will still be punished. Why should they be punished, if God forgave them? Does God delay punishment?
  • Numbers 14:22, is there a limit for the amount of times we can test God?
  • The 10 spies feared the Amalekites and the Canaanites instead of God. How can we avoid the same danger of fearing the wrong thing?
  • The Israelites feared the inhabitants of the Promised Land saying they (Israel) would die. So now all Israelites 20 years old and older will die except Joshua and Caleb. What might happen to us if we do not believe God?
  • Some say that the actual wandering in the wilderness is only 38 years not 40 as God had stated. The 40 years of wandering would include the wandering they had done since they left Egypt.
  • The plague that brought death to the 10 evil spies was a sudden death by whatever cause. They experienced God’s wrath in this life, then only to face the eternal wrath later. They were totally rejected by God. We should be careful too.
B7 Numbers 14:36-45
  • Numbers 14:36-38, who lived and why?
  • Israel sought a second chance, but there was no second chance. What can we learn from this?
B8 Other questions
  • What is the difference between faith and doubt?
  • What does faith produce? How do we exercise faith?
  • What does doubt produce?
  • What happens when we rebel against God and His standards?
  • God has forgiven us our sins, but do those sins still have consequences?
  • How does knowing God’s promises help our faith?
  • What are the results of unbelief?
B9 A reminder
  • Objectives:
  • Know: The children of Israel treated God with contempt by doubting He could lead them into the Promised Land. God forgave them but they still had to face consequences for their unbelief.
  • Think: Rest in the assurance that God always keep His Word.
  • Do: Trust and obey God’s Word, never doubting His ability to accomplish His will.
B10 Next week:

  • A clean slate
  • Theme: A covering for sin
  • Scriptures: Numbers 15:1-31