NUMBERS

The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.

1:2    Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. 

    This census was taken about 1450 B.C. and was probably the first one taken (?). It was interesting to note that only 20+ year old men were counted. These were the men able to go to war. (DRM 2/22/88)

1:45-46    So all the numbered men of the sons of Israel by their fathers' households, from twenty years old and upward, whoever was able to go out to war in Israel, 46even all the numbered men were 603,550.

    I saw in the introduction to this book that God asked Moses to take two censuses while they were in the wilderness; the first at the (near) beginning of the exodus and the other at (near) the end. Both numbers are nearly the same, which shows me that the Lord wanted us to see the number was consistent, even though the generations changed. (DRM 5/3/09)

1:51    So when the tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down; and when the tabernacle encamps, the Levites shall set it up. But the layman who comes near shall be put to death.

    God is holy. God's Word is holy, and the fixtures in God's temple are holy. In this case no temple had yet been built, as the Jews were in the wilderness. They had a tent like tabernacle that moved with them. ONLY the Levites were allowed to take care of God's holy things.
    I think this is about respect for God - and to give Him all the honor He truly deserves - as He is our Creator, Sustainer and King. (DRM 5/4/09)

3:4    (Aaron's sons) Nadab and Abihu, however, fell dead before the Lord when they made an offering with unauthorized fire before him in the desert of Sinai. 

    This verse shows me that everyone should listen to the Lord and obey His commands, or face the consequences! Lord, let me always obey Your word! (DRM 2/23/88)

3:9    You shall thus give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons; they are wholly given to him from among the sons of Israel.

    I would call this the "transfer of power." Aaron was appointed God's priest with his sons (Exod. 28:1), but now with all the additional duties, God chose the tribe of Levi. The Levites would become the future "priests" of Israel.
    God knows the amount of work that we do, and provides help as needed, PTL! (DRM 5/5/09)

    The term "Levites" designates all of the descendants of Levi except Aaron and his progeny who are called "priests." Word of Life diary comment.

3:44-45    Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 45"Take the Levites instead of the firstborn among the sons of Israel and the cattle of the Levites. And the Levites shall be Mine; I am the LORD. . . "

    According to this verse, the firstborn sons of the families of Israel would no longer be dedicated to the Lord, but rather the Levites part of the family.
    This is confusing to me, as I thought the firstborn son was always special for Jews - even today. This is most like just for temple/tabernacle preparations? (DRM 5/6/09)

4:16    Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, is to have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense, the regular grain offering and the anointing oil. 

    This chapter of Numbers dealt with counting more people and their duties as involved in the moving of the "tent." Everyone has a purpose and a job. (DRM 2/24/88)

4:31    Now this is the duty of their loads, for all their service in the tent of meeting: the boards of the tabernacle and its bars and its pillars and its sockets, . . .

    During the exodus, God designed the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. This tent had to be moved every time the Israelites traveled along the journey. Today we don't think of the size of that task much. In these verses, God directed Moses on the names of the families and tribes to do the moving work. Everyone seemed to have an assignment, if they were between 30 and 50 years old (v. 23).
    Like the Israelites, God has a task for each of His spiritual children. First we have to know what it is, then we have to do it. This is how the body of Christ should work together. (DRM 12/15/15)

5:24    He shall have the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water will enter her and cause bitter suffering. 

    This chapter deals with a woman who leaves her husband. The verse above deals with how the priest shall deal with the woman. I'm surprised at curses in the Bible! (DRM 2/25/88)

6:2b, 3a    If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the Lord as a Nazirite, 3he must abstain from . . . 

    The law seems to continue throughout these five books. Thank God that I can commit myself to Him, but not have to be restricted by the old law! (DRM 2/26/88)

6:5    All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall pass over his head. He shall be holy until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD: he shall let the locks of hair on his head grow long.

    This verse refers to one of three vows of a Nazirite, to dedicate himself to the LORD (v. 2). This Old Testament laws shows the Lord God the true intent of the heart of the person. Since Jesus came then left the Holy Spirit, I believe that He knows our hearts desires - but still it would be good to observe this law for self-discipline. (DRM 5/7/09)

6:24-26    . . . The LORD bless you, and keep you;
                25The LORD make His face shine on you,
                26The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
                    And give you peace.'

    According to my Bible, this is "Aaron's Benediction." God spoke these words to Moses to tell Aaron (v. 22-23).
    So long as we follow the Lord's direction to serve Him and proclaim Him whenever possible, I would think He would also bless us in a similar way. He wants the best for us, and will bring us through the trials of life however He chooses.
    The Lord God has already blessed us in some way, and He wants to remind us that He will "give you peace." (DRM 6/18/14)

    This benediction, pronounced by many pastors at the end of church services today, affirms that God provides for and protects His people, assuring us of His presence, pardon, and peace. - (From INSIGHT, Our Daily Bread, 6/18/14)

7:4, 5    Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying 5"Accept these things from them, that they may be used in the service of the tent of meeting, and you shall give them to the Levites, to each man according to his service."

    This offering of oxen and carts (v. 3) from the leaders of Israel (v. 2) seems to have been used for the Levites service - to get around - not as a sacrifice of the animals.
    In this verse (v. 5), God wanted the animals to be useful, rather than so many sacrifices in later times. (e. g. David, 2 Sam. 6:17)
    God has/had specific plans for each of His directives. Our job is to hear and do as He says, and not to guess what to do on our own. This isn't easy - as we always need to hear His voice. (DRM 4/20/16)

7:13, 79    Same for 12 verses: "His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, both according . . . " 

    In this chapter of the Bible, I read twelve times that each leader of each tribe brought the same offering to please God. I should learn not to try to be "better" than others, but to be able to conform and relate. (DRM 2/27/88)

7:89    Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim, so He spoke to him.

    Sometimes it's very hard to hear the voice of the Lord God, or Holy Spirit. As this verse states, Moses heard the voice of God above the mercy seat. I hear the Holy Spirit better in one place than in others. To hear the "voice" of God you must be silent and away from distractions - it isn't easy (for me) to do in today's hectic world. (DRM 5/8/09)

8:7    To purify them (the Levites), do this: Sprinkle the water of cleansing on them; then have them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes . . .

    Another rather strange law is shown here in the purification of the Levites. I certainly would have trouble fulfilling this law and thank God that Jesus Christ replaced the old laws. (DRM 2/28/88)

8:14    Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the sons of Israel, and the Levites shall be Mine.

    In this passage, between Numbers 8:5-12, there are four different "offerings" mentioned. Each had a different purpose, but all were required to purify the Levites for service to the Lord. Since this system is no longer used, Christians who want to serve the Lord (that should be everyone) have to make this known to the Lord, and repent of all past sins. He will know our true desire. (DRM 5/9/09)

8:24-25    "This is what applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall enter to perform service in the work of the tent of meeting. 25But at the age of fifty years they shall retire from service in the work and not work any more. . . "

    While I don't know the exact statistics, I don't think people lived as long then as they do today. In one verse God gives us threescore and ten years. The work also could have been very strenuous in the moving of the sacrifices, I would think. Still, God showed that he cared about His people and didn't overwork them. (DRM 5/10/09)

9:12    They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. (The Passover lamb)

    Thank God that our Passover Lamb has already died for our sins!!! This could be the reference verse comparing Jesus with the Passover lamb. (DRM 2/29/88)

9:17    Whenever the cloud was lifted from over the tent, afterward the sons of Israel would then set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the sons of Israel would camp.

    As the Israelites were traveling in the Exodus, God was with them. It's hard to imagine why they rebelled if His cloud was also in their midst. They had a physical cloud that directed their paths - to stay or to move.
    How I would also like a clear direction on the next steps that I should take in my life every day - as sometimes the Holy Spirit is hard to hear. (DRM 5/11/09)

9:22    Whether it was two days or a month or a year that the cloud lingered over the tabernacle, staying above it, the sons of Israel remained camped and did not set out; but when it was lifted, they did set out.

    During the Exodus, God clearly directed Moses on how to do everything for the Israelite people. There was no doubt what God's will was on many subjects, as He had Moses write down what we call the Law.
    Today, as Christians, we receive the Law through the Bible - as it was previously written. Not everything I (we) want to know today is in the Bible though. These answers come from either Christians, or through the Holy Spirit that lives in each believer . . . that's where we need to hear His still small voice. (DRM 8/19/14)

10:2    Make yourself two trumpets of silver, of hammered work you shall make them; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for having the camps set out.

    I am not visualizing a trumpet like today, but a single straight stem trumpet that plays only one note. Later verses state the different signals that the trumpets were to give to direct the people - thus an early way of "mass communication." Today a church bell in a steeple would be similar.
    How am I communicating with others? At least one "note" is better than none. (DRM 5/12/09)

10:12    Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran. 

    This is what I would call a "traveling chapter." The trumpets were made and the order of march is described here. I must always be willing to follow God's leading in my life! (DRM 3/1/88)

11:1    Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.

    I complain too much. Why did this happen to me? When will this trial end? I don't feel good; etc. - like the Israelites did in this verse.
    Now we know what God thinks of people who complain too much - He gets angry and even tried to destroy the people on the outskirts of the camp with a fire.
    God has a plan. It's not our plan all the time. His is better than ours - and we are to obey and not complain. When we tell others of His love for us, we finally realize He has our best interests in His heart.
    I'm going to try to stop complaining. (DRM 11/19/14)

11:13, 14    Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, 'Give us meat that we may eat!' 14I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me.

    God had delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians and now were in the wilderness. He gave them manna to eat and they came up with various ways to prepare it (v. 8). Still, they wanted and needed protein/meat, and complained to Moses - who is asking God in these verses for their needs.
    Like Moses and the Israelites, we have daily needs and God is the true Provider. Even if we earn a salary, He has to keep us healthy enough to do work to get paid. Our total dependence is on Him.
    It is our duty to admit we need Him every day and pray to Him for our needs - not necessarily our wants. (DRM 7/10/15)

11:17    Then I [God] will come down and speak with you [Moses] there, and I will take of the Spirit who is upon you, and will put Him upon them [seventy of the elders]; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you will not bear it all alone.

    God had given the Holy Spirit to Moses at some previous time, probably at the burning bush? Now that all the Israelites were complaining about the food, Moses wanted to give up. God's solution is in this verse.
    I believe that just when I want to give up, God will solve all my problems - IF I only listen to His voice. (DRM 5/13/09)

11:18c    . . . The Lord heard you when you wailed. . . 

    So many times I ask the Lord for things! Happily many times He provides. Other times He does hear me, but seems to say "not yet." May I be more willing to listen. (DRM 3/2/88)

11:33    While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very severe plague.

    God is in control. God is not mocked (Gal. 6:7). The people in the desert complained that God didn't provide any meat for them. They wanted to go back to Egypt. So God, Who can do anything, provided the quail as "demanded" by the people - but those who were greedy immediately got a plague and died. (v. 34)
    This is another example of the benefit of waiting on the Lord's direction, as not following His way will lead to a worse outcome. (DRM 5/14/09)

12:9-10    So the anger of the LORD burned against them [Aaron and Miriam] and He departed. 10But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. As Aaron turned toward Miriam, behold, she was leprous.

    It is not for us to understand God. Both Aaron and Miriam had spoken against Moses' marriage to a Cushite woman (v. 1) and the Lord God came to talk to them and tell them of His favor toward Moses. As these two verses show, God gave Miriam leprosy for seven days (v. 14). I don't know why Aaron was "spared." Perhaps it just wasn't written here. God has the right to make any decision He chooses. We are still to follow and obey. Eventually (maybe in Heaven) we will know the reason. (DRM 5/15/09)

12:11    . . . and he said to Moses, "Please my lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 

    In this chapter, Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses, their brother. God intervened, and Miriam was made leprous. 
    This verse shows that we can beg for forgiveness after we know we have done wrong. But the better way would not to have done wrong in the first place!
    Try to do better and not sin as much . . . (DRM 8/26/87)

13:2    [the LORD spoke] "Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers' tribes, every one a leader among them."

    What did the Lord really say to Moses here? He said, "I am going to give. . . " When God says that, I'd believe Him. Knowing history here, perhaps Moses shouldn't have asked these people for their thoughts, but done what God said.
    That's one of my problems also. I listen to lots of people - and should just go ahead and do what the Holy Spirit says - as He is/should be/the Director of life. (DRM 5/16/09)

13:25    At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 

    Moses had sent a party to explore upcoming territory and (I think) did not expect their return soon. It would be interesting to check the several 40 day references in the Bible. (DRM 3/3/88)

13:31    But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us."

    Caleb was the only one of the group that spied out the land that had faith that the sons of Israel could take the land, the others, as stated in this verse, didn't agree. If they had only remembered all of the miracles that God had done to get them this far, and had faith that He would provide here, the outcome would be totally different. (DRM 5/17/09)

13:32    So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size.

    Giants existed in the time of the exodus from Egypt. Think also of David and Goliath. They were real and intimidating.
    God directed the Israelites to move from Egypt to the promised land and He knew the giants were there. He would have let them take over the land and defeat the Nephilim/giants if they trusted in Him - but they didn't and spent more time in the desert.
    Maybe today looks intimidating to you. We can have spiritual giants that want to defeat our plans to do something for the Lord. Don't give up! Have faith in the Lord to fight the battle. (DRM 8/20/16)

14:3    Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?"

    The Israelite spies had just come back from looking at the land they were intending to go to. Ten of the twelve were negative - fearing they could not defeat the giants already in the land.
    In this verse the fear of the ten spies had now entered the Israelite population in the wilderness. Satan had succeeded in diverting their plans.
    The "minority report" was not listened to (vv 9-10) and the Israelites suffered much longer from disobeying the Lord God.
    Are we/I disobeying the Lord in anything? Repent from sin and follow His way. (DRM 3/4/15)

14:6-8    Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, of those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7and they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, "The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us - a land which flows with milk and honey.

    The Israelites had two options. There were 12 spies (13:2) that were sent to see what the land contained. When they returned, ten of them said the land had giants (13:33) and very large fortified cities (13:28). They said not to continue that way.
    The minority report (these verses) believed the lord God would be with them to take over the land no matter the obstacles. The people of Israel needed faith in the Lord.
    We are the same way, we need absolute faith the Lord will provide for our needs. (DRM 8/19/17)

14:9    Only do not rebel against the LORD, and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them."

    The Israelite spies had just returned from looking at the land they were to enter. The people were like giants (13:32) and the Israelites would have to fight to obtain the land. They rebelled and wanted to return to Egypt (v. 4).
    This verse is part of what Joshua and Caleb, who believed the Israelites could conquer the land, spoke to the people. Even with all the miracles they had just experienced, they seemingly had no faith that God would bring them through this new trial.
    When we face trials, which can come in many ways, we need to put our faith in the Lord. He will bring us through so long as we trust Him. Sometimes it's not easy - but it really works. (DRM 3/2/16)

14:12    ". . .I will smite them with pestilence and dispossess them, and I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they."

    God was angry with the Israelites in their refusal to go into the spied land. God wanted to kill them all and start over with Moses, Joshua and Caleb probably. Moses then pleaded for the Israelites and that God not kill them "as one man." (v. 15)
    Moses and God were "close," in that Moses could propose solutions and God would listen. I'm sure that He also listens to our desires, but He always makes the FINAL decision. (DRM 5/18/09)

14:20    The Lord replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked."

    Moses "pleaded" with the Lord not to kill all the Israelites. This verse reminds me of the New Testament where Jesus forgave people of their sins. No one but God can forgive sins. (DRM 3/4/88)

14:22, 23    Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.

    Even though God knew it would happen, He never intended for the Israelites to be in the desert - exodus - for 40 years. When they scouted out the land (Numbers 13:28-33), the report was they would fail against the inhabitants already there.
    They had lived through all of God's miracles and still had no faith that He could prevail against the inhabitants already in their promised land.
    As a result of their lack of faith, God had them all (that generation) die in the desert. We need faith that God will fulfill His promises in our life by trusting in Jesus to bring us to our promised land - Heaven. (DRM 2/27/17)

    Many of life's circumstances health concerns, relationship struggles, financial setbacks can either be viewed in comparison to our own frailities or in the light of our all-powerful God. (from Our Daily Bread INSIGHT BILL CROWDER 2/25/17)

14:29    . . .  your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me.

    God won! Is that a surprise? The Israelites had put Him to the test ten times (v. 22) and He was tired of their complaining and could/would do something about it. Moses' negotiation for God not to kill all of the people at once also somewhat succeeded, but it made the ordeal in the wilderness all the longer. Don't ever refuse to do what God clearly asks you (me) to do! (DRM 5/19/09)

14:42, 43    Do not go up, or you will be struck down before your enemies, for the LORD is not among you. 43For the Amalekites and the Canaanites will be there in front of you, and you will fall by the sword, inasmuch as you have turned back from following the LORD. And the LORD will not be with you."

    This is part of a quote by Moses (v. 4). The Israelites wanted to fight their enemies but the Lord God had not given His approval (vv. 33-35) as they had feared His previous directives and wanted to go their own way.
    We have the same problem when we want to go our own way. (I know this!) If God doesn't want "our" plan to succeed, it will fail. We have to pray first, check the Bible if knowledge can be gained there on the project, then wait on the Lord. If He wants our plan to succeed, it will succeed. Remember the phrase, "If it's God's will." Do it His way. (DRM 2/25/16)

    Before making a quick decision, consider why you want to make it quickly.
    Consider if it will honor God and what it might cost others.
    If you are afraid to make a decision, think about why that might be.
    Most of all, pray! (From Our Daily Bread 2/25/16)

14:44    But they went up heedlessly to the ridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses left the camp.

    After the Israelites were told what would happen due to their disobedience, they decided to "give in" and go into the "hill country" on their own.
    Without the Lord's permission they failed, as He was not with them. The same happened in my life. I must have patience and do only as He directs to succeed. (DRM 5/20/09)

15:27    Also if one person sins unintentionally, then he shall offer a one year old female goat for a sin offering.

    In this passage, sinning appears to be the breaking of any of the Ten Commandments (v. 22). I hope they had a lot of goats available! Also this is for unintentional sins. The man who intentionally picked up sticks on the Sabbath (v. 22) died (v. 36). God hates sin. Praise the Lord that Jesus came as our sacrifice for sins - but that doesn't mean we (I) can keep on doing them. (DRM 5/21/09)

15:31    Because he has despised the Lord's word and broken his commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains in him. 

    This verse refers to people who blaspheme the Lord (v. 30). Obviously (to me) people who take the Lord's name in vain are not a part of Him..
    Lord, help me to be patient with these people and tell them about your eternal love. (DRM 3/5/88)

15:39, 40    It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, 40so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God.

    This section of Numbers refers to the tassels put on the clothing of (now Orthodox) Jews.
    This verse is great for us to learn the history of the tassels. I don't know any Orthodox Jews today, but imagine they follow this tradition.
    We all need reminders of what God has done for us in the past. It's easy to see His working in our daily lives, but to comprehend all that He has done for us over a lifetime is amazing - and deserving of worship.
    Thank you God=Jesus for Your love and protection! (DRM 6/19/15)

16:32    and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them with their households and all Korah's men and all their possessions. 

    Korah and his followers had opposed Moses and his rule in Chapter 16. The Lord showed his disapproval by the act in verse 32. While the Lord may not be so obvious today, HE IS STILL ACTING in our lives. (DRM 3/6/88)

17:8    Now on the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.

    This was another way for God to show His will to the whole Israelite nation. Each of the twelve households (v. 2) put in a rod, but the next day only Aaron's rod budded, blossomed and produced almonds. Only God could have accomplished this, as nature doesn't work that fast! Sometimes God's will is easily discernable, sometimes the outline is in the Bible, and sometimes it requires the input of the Holy Spirit. (DRM 5/22/09)

18:7b    I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary must be put to death. 

    This made me think of God's gift of my salvation. I must remember that everything that I have physically, materially or spiritually were gifts from God, not myself. (DRM 3/7/88)

19:11    Whoever touches the dead body of anyone will be unclean for seven days.

    There is little to say to add to this verse. The whole chapter consisted of this law and what would happen. . . Thank God we have Jesus to lean on! (DRM 3/10/88)

20:9-10    So Moses took the rod from before the LORD, just as He had commanded him; 10and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, "Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?"

    This was Moses' great sin. What did he do wrong? He didn't tell the people that God was the provider. He was claiming the power that he was providing the water by not saying that this was a miracle of God.
    This should remind me (us) to always give God the credit for the things He does in our lives, like healing ailments and directing how we should serve Him. (DRM 5/23/09)

20:12    But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land . . . " 

    God had told Moses to ASK for water from the rock, but Moses disobeyed and hit the rock in anger to get water.
    Moses did not obey God, so his people suffered longer. This means something to me also: I must learn to trust in the Lord to provide all my needs. I know this to be true in my mind, but to carry it out in actions seems to be very hard lately. (DRM 6/24/87)

21:2    So Israel made a vow to the LORD and said, "If You will indeed deliver this people [in the Negev] into my [Israel's] hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities."

    After nearly 40 years, Israel was finally "getting it." Before attacking a city in the Negev, they prayed - or made a vow to the Lord for His protection, and He delivered up the Canaanites (v. 3). This new generation apparently learned the Lord's ways - and truly wanted to go His way.
    I continue to pray for His direction every day, and hope I am learning from the past mistakes of the Israelite people so many years ago. (DRM 5/24/09)

21:9    So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.

    This almost sounds like an idol, but the Lord has a purpose in this metal snake - that people that believed IN HIM would have security for eternity. (DRM 3/9/88)

22:2-3    Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3So Moab was in great fear because of the people, for they were numerous; and Moab was in dread of the sons of Israel.

    Word traveled that the Israelites had defeated other cities nearby (21:25) and now they were near Moab. The leader of Moab (Balak) asked Balaam to curse the Israelites for his protection, but God told Balaam that He was with them, so he refused to curse them.
    There is nothing that can stop God from doing anything He wants. I (we) must always be on the Lord's side. (DRM 5/25/09)

22:12    God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed."

    The King of Moab wanted Balaam to curse the Israelites after they had come out of Egypt. (v. 11)
    In this verse, God told Balaam that the Israelites were His people. This has not changed since that day. Satan has tried to exterminate them in many ways, but God continues to love them and is now bringing them together again in their homeland. (DRM 1/30/13)

22:28    And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"

    God had directed Balaam not to go with the man unless they came to get him (v. 20), but Balaam went anyway - against God's wishes. An angel was put in the path to stop Balaam and the donkey, but only the donkey could see the angel, then couldn't go any further. When God made the donkey speak, it showed (again) that nothing is impossible for God.
    Like Balaam, sometimes I want to go my own way, then God will make it clear that I'm not going in His path/will. (DRM 5/26/09)

22:32    The angel of the LORD said to him [Balaam], "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your was was contrary to me.

    Balaam was traveling on his donkey to a place the Lord didn't want him to go. Balaam didn't know that.
    As he was traveling on his donkey, an angel appeared - but only the donkey could see him. Balaam was carried to places he didn't want to go and hit the donkey to get back on course. The donkey talked back, then Balaam could see the angel and found out what was happening.
    Most of the time we don't know that angels are watching or directing our paths. It's easy for me to get frustrated when things don't go MY way, but it could be that God has other plans. (DRM 2/23/15)

22:34    Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.

    How nice it would be to have an angel of the Lord tell me if I was doing wrong! To be easily convicted of the errors in our ways can now be done by the Holy Spirit within our lives, and when we do wrong, this Spirit will generally tell us. (DRM 1/19/87)

23:26    Balaam answered, "Did I not tell you I must do whatever the Lord says?"

    Balak was always asking Balaam to curse the Israeli's and he wouldn't or couldn't do it. Balaam was right in his complete devotion to God. I should be also. (DRM 3/11/88)

24:17a, b    I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. 

    The King is coming! This sounds like another prophecy to me. Thank God that Jesus Christ DID come to save us for our sins! He will return! (DRM 3/12/88)

25:1    While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women. 

    Certainly God did not allow sexual immorality during the Old Testament and had these people killed. Today sexual immorality still lives and, while the pain is not always obvious, God WILL deal with all people. (DRM 3/13/88)

26:64    Not one of them (in this census) was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai.

    Moses was quite a person to lead the Israelites for such a long time! God really blessed him! There are hundreds of thousands of people in each census and to think they all died is amazing, but this was God's will. (DRM 3/14/88)

27:12    Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go up to this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the sons of Israel."

    Moses had sinned against the Lord God when he struck the rock at Meribah, so he could not go into the promised land; however God allowed Moses to see the land from a distance before his "death."
    No one, except Jesus, is exempt from sin, the only way to please God and receive eternal life is to confess our sins and trust in Jesus to be our substitutionary sacrifice. (DRM 5/27/09)

27:22    Moses did at the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly.

    The Lord directed Moses to appoint Joshua as his (Moses) successor. This "future" change of "power" was orderly and planned by God. This is just a sample of the fact that God has already planned everything that will happen in our future also. (DRM 3/15/88)

28:14c    . . . This is the monthly burnt offering to be made at each new moon during the year. 

    This chapter deals with offerings to the Lord on special occasions. It was interesting to me that monthly offerings were with the lunar cycle - thirteen per year.  (DRM 3/16/88)

29:7    On the tenth day of this seventh month hold a sacred assembly. You must deny yourselves and do no work. 

    As I continue to read about festivals and sacrifices involved, I thank God for sending Jesus Christ to earth to be the perfect sacrifice for all of our sins. (DRM 3/17/88)

31:7    They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and killed every man. 

    I must prepare myself for the killing and warfare described throughout the Old Testament. I think the purpose may be to show us that God is powerful, vs. God is loving in the New Testament. (DRM 3/18/88)

32:5    They said, "If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession; do not take us across the Jordan."

    The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad (v. 1) saw that the land they were on was good for livestock and asked Moses if they could stay there; thus separating from the rest of the Israelites that were about to cross over. Moses didn't want them to separate, as he feared that this would be a repeat of the Kadesh Barnea (v. 8) incident. Like for us, God makes the final decision, not Moses. We (I) have to listen to His plan. (DRM 5/28/09)

32:22    . . . and the land is subdued before the LORD, then afterward you shall return and be free of obligation toward the LORD and toward Israel, and this land shall be yours for a possession before the LORD.

    This was part of the negotiation agreement between Moses and the sons of Reuben and God. The "sons" would be able to get the land on the east side of the Jordan so long as they went over with the Israelites and helped secure the other side. Then they could return to the east side to shepherd their flocks.
    God is willing to listen to our calls/prayers and will agree so long as it fulfills His will. (DRM 5/29/09)

32:25    The Gadites and Reubenites said to Moses: "We your servants will do as our lord commands."

    What a great example for me to follow! When there are problems or troubles, it is easy to go some other way, but to do as the Lord commands, requires total devotion to Him! (DRM 3/19/88)

33:3, 4    They journeyed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the next day after the Passover the sons of Israel started out boldly in the sight of all the Egyptians, 4While the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn whom the LORD had struck down among them. The LORD had also executed judgment on their gods.

    These verses recall details from the exodus that I didn't remember reading before. I expected they would start out after Passover, but didn't know it was the "next day." I also partly wondered why the Egyptians delayed their chase of the Israelites to the sea. So here (v. 4) is the reason for their delay.
    God knew all the details for both the Egyptians as well as where the Israelites needed to be near the sea that He would divide.
    God=Jesus knows every detail of my/our lives. He doesn't make mistakes. Let Him lead - we are to follow as He directs. (DRM 10/30/16)

33:38    At the Lord's command Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor, where he died on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. 

    Aaron has a long and fruitful life. It was interesting to note that Israel settled soon after the fortieth year in which Aaron died.
    Lord, help me to be as fruitful as Aaron was. (DRM 3/20/88)

34:12b    "This will be your land, with its boundaries on every side."

    In this chapter the Lord pinpoints the boundaries for Israel. While I know that the people of Israel never controlled all of this land God is not done with us yet and God never fails! (DRM 3/21/88)

35:11    . . . then you shall select for yourselves cities to be your cities of refuge, that the manslayer who has killed any person unintentionally may flee there.

    This makes me think of the "wild west" in USA history. With laws that were seemingly less enforced, if a man killed another man (or woman) someone could kill him in revenge (avenger, v. 12). These cities were set up to protect people from the avenger - primarily if the murder was an accident - unintentional. Today, in a fair judicial system, a person would be judged by his/her peers. My (our) duty is to be law abiding citizens and avoid this process if possible. (DRM 5/30/09)

35:34    Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the Lord, dwell among the Israelites.

    The previous verse uses the word "pollute" which I believe is similar to defile. God created the earth for our use, not abuse. We must remember that the Holy Spirit is dwelling within each Christian. (DRM 3/22/88)