Bible Study March 16

March 16, 2023

Numbers 11, 12, and 13 reveal instructions on obeying God’s law, the one place for worship and warnings on idolatry.

Chapter 11 –

Therefore – in light of all God had done for Israel – Moses called them to love God and keep His commandments. All of Israel’s history had been for the purpose of learning God’s discipline. Moses delivers a brief history lesson to them beginning with Israel’s deliverance from Egypt where God’s greatness, strong hand, and outstretched arm decimated Pharoah.

There was a bright future available for the Israelites if they obeyed God and loved Him with their whole hearts. Moses compared Canaan with Egypt reminding them that Egypt had to be irrigated by hand in order for anything to grow by contrast Canaan was watered by rain from the sky.

The choices God gave Israel boiled down to two clear choices: a blessing for obedience and a curse for disobedience. Moses cautioned them to be carful to follow all the statutes and ordinances set before them.

Chapter 12 –

True worship verse false worship. As Israel entered Canaan, they would see the various Canaanite worship centers which we typically erected high on mountains, on the hills, and under every green tree. This kind of perverted worship often included sexual symbols and immoral sexual acts. Instead Israel was to worship at the place God would choose to put His name on His dwelling. God intended to centralize worship with the ultimate fulfillment being the temple in Jerusalem.

Moses then repeated what he had just said in 12:5-7. When they entered Canaan, they were to only worship in the place designated by God for worship. That would be the only appropriate palce to worship and offer sacrifices. Although animals could only be sacrificed in one palce they could still hunt animals for food. The one thing they had to do was not eat the blood of the animal but pour it on the ground like water. Any animal offered for sacrifice had to be eaten in the presence of the Lord.

Chapter 13 –

Some people might think that if a self-proclaimed prophet is able to perform a miraculous sign or wonder then he must be the real thing. But Satan and his followers will do the same thing to lead people astray. The Lord would allow apparent wonder workers to appear to test the Israelites – to se if they would keep God’s laws, stay faithful, and continue to worship Him.

Any false prophet who would attempt to lead Israel astray was to face imminent death because they were encouraging rebellion against God. False doctrine is not to be tolerated in the church either.

Sadly, the temptation to fall into idolatry could come from and intimate source such as a brother…son…daughter…wife or close friend. Idolatry among God’s people had the potential to infect an entire city in Israel, so if anyone was found guilty of tolerating it, the inhabitants of such city were struck down with the sword, and the city was NOT to be rebuilt.

Moses told the people the only way to avoid judgement was to keep God’s commandments and to do what is tight in the sight of the Lord. Following God’s word is always the proper path to follow.

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