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



Original 22 Jan 17


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 about grumbling


B3 Setting: The Wilderness of Paran


Many opinions as God’s people seem to have forgotten where it is.


An interesting article What Do Mt. Horeb, The Mountain of God, Mt. Paran and Mt. Seir Have to Do with Mt. Sinai?


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


This is the context: 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 1:18-23 and Luke 1:34-37.


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      


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




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

13 January 2017

A Place to Meet with God

Theme: The glory of God’s presence

Know: The children of Israel constructed and consecrated the Tabernacle according to the instructions provided by God. He validated this place of worship with the glory of His presence.
Think: Maintain awareness that I am a vessel that carries the presence of God.
Do: Spread the glory of God’s presence by living for Him and sharing my faith.

Scriptures: Exodus 40:1-38

Notes and questions:
B1 Basics
  • The setting is at Mt Sinai.
  • Chapters 35-40 have the details of the Tabernacle that God has instructed Moses to erect.
  • The basic theme is the worship of God.
  • The basic idea is the correct worship of God.
B2 Outline
  • The instructions given and followed Exodus 40:1-16
  • The tabernacle raised Exodus 40:17-32
  • The glory of God comes to the tabernacle Exodus 40:33-38
B3 Facts
  • Moses had been shown the pattern, plans, for the tabernacle Exodus 25:8-9
  • It has been one year, since their first Passover (in Egypt).
  • It took about 6 months to make everything required for the tabernacle.
  • Image
  • Plan--It is about 150 feet by 75 feet
B4 Exodus 40:1-16,
  • Read Exodus 39:42-43--42 According to all that Yahweh commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did all the work. 43 And Moses saw all the work, and, look, they had done it; as Yahweh had commanded, even so they had done it: and Moses blessed them.
  • Who did the work of preparing the items of the tabernacle?
  • Exodus 40:1-3, who was in charge of setting up the tabernacle?
  • The Ark of the Covenant
  • Why was the Ark in the Holy of Holies? See: Exodus 25:22 - "There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.”
  • Why was the covenant, the 10 Commandments, in the Ark?
    • Exodus 31:18 - When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.
    • It is the standard for right and wrong.
    • It must not be corrupted.
    • It was written by God and is therefore holy.
    • The law condemns, but the mercy seat was above it.
  • In Exodus 40:9, the anointing oil made everything that was anointed holy and consecrated. What makes us holy and consecrated?  Consider
    • Exodus 19:23
    • Ezekiel 42:20
    • Leviticus 20:7-8
    • 1 Corinthians 3:17
    • 1 Peter 1:14-16
  • Did God have a plan for the Tabernacle? Does He have a plan for the church today or does it change with the culture?
  • In Exodus 40:17, how obedient was Moses? Is there something for us to learn from his obedience? See Exodus 20:6, John 14:15
B5 Exodus 40:17-32,
  • Note that Moses begins with the holiest parts first, then works his way to what is less holy. How did the people approach the Tabernacle? How do we approach God today? Who makes the first move in this, God or man?
  • In Exodus 40:32, it is noted that Moses did everything that God had commanded. It is common these days to state that God’s standards change with the culture. Do God’s standards change with the culture?
  • Note that the Tabernacle is associated with Israel’s freedom from slavery. What might be the application?
    • Who brought them freedom?
    • Who can free us from bondage to sin?
B6 Exodus 40:33-38,
  • Where was God when Israel first saw His presence? Mt Sinai, where His glory was seen on the mountain top from afar.
  • Where is God’s presence now? It is with the people.
  • Where is God’s presence today? See 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 6:16, and Ephesians 2:21-22.
  • In Exodus 40:34, is the cloud God? No, it hides God. He lives in the midst of the cloud.
  • Why was Moses not able to enter the Tent of Assembly?
  • How do we know God is with His people today?
Next week

  • Rebel heart
  • Theme: Consequences of rebellion
  • Scriptures: Numbers 14:1-38