A QUICK LOOK BACK
Well, well, well, things just keep going poorly for God and Israel. This week was a serious car wreck, as Israel outright REFUSED to enter the Promised Land. No worries. God was willing to grant their wish, promising that none of them would enter. It would be their children and grandchildren, a new generation, who would enter.
THE ROAD AHEAD
As the years pass, one generation dies away and another generation rises up. Will it go better for this generation than it did with the last one? You might think it should. But it doesn’t. The complaining continues, spilling over into an act of frustration by Moses that costs him dearly. You may think that God’s punishment is too harsh for Moses’ sin, especially when compared to the sexual sin and idolatry of the others. But Moses’ sin is great because of the responsibility God has given him. Moses is a prophet. He speaks for God. God speaks His messages to Moses, and Moses delivers those messages to the people. It is not a messenger’s job to edit or add to the message. It is simply to deliver the message as is. Moses added to the message. Adding to God’s messages is putting words in God’s mouth. We do not put our words in God’s mouth, but humbly ask God to speak through us. This theme of prophets as accurate messengers continues with the strange story of Balaam and Balaak. Balaam is not Moses. He is not loyally on God’s side, but God can speak through anyone God chooses. Something important is getting ready to happen though. You can feel it as Israel begins to encounter its new neighbors. God’s mighty work begun in Egypt is not finished yet. If you thought God created a stir in Egypt, wait until you see what God does in Canaan. I warn you, though. As Israel prepares to take the land by the might of their army, we are headed into some very rough roads ahead.
WEEK 8 Reading Schedule:
Feb 19 Numbers 19-20 Water From the Rock, Moses’ Sin, Aaron’s Death
Feb 20 Numbers 21-22 Bronze Serpent, Balaam and Balaak
Feb 21 Numbers 23-25 Balaam’s Oracles, Baal Worship Punished
Feb 22 Numbers 26-27 A New Census, Preparing For War
Feb 23 Numbers 28-30 Offerings and Vows
Feb 24 Numbers 31-32 War With Midian
Feb 25 Numbers 33-34 Directions for Conquering the Land