Numbers 13-15

Numbers 13-15…Exploring Canaan, the people rebel, and offerings for unintentional sins.

Numbers 13 describes the unbelief and complaining of the people about the land God was going to give them in Canaan. They thought more highly of their own wisdom rather than God’s. We do the same and make foolish decisions by believing our emotions rather than Divine revelation. We walk by sight not by faith far too often, and need to be reminded of the objective reality of the gospel. God’s word will keep us from doing that, so we should depend upon it for sustenance.

Moses made humble intercession for Israel in Numbers 14. He was a type of Christ, who prayed for those that hated him and used him. We show our hatred for Christ every time we rebel. And yet, He is patient and merciful, and continues to love us. He knew we would fail to love Him perfectly when He went to the cross, which makes His sacrifice all the more amazing.

We see just how deceptive sin is in Numbers 15. Offerings were made for unintentional sins. In the Psalms, David prayed to be cleansed from his secret faults, those of which he was not aware. Sins committed ignorantly, will be forgiven through Christ the great Sacrifice. When he offered himself up once for all upon the cross, He seemed to explain one part of the intention these offerings, in His prayer in Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Numbers 10-12

Numbers 10-12…The silver trumpets, fire/quail from the Lord, and Miriam/Aaron oppose Moses.

The silver trumpets in Numbers 10 typify the preached gospel. It sounds an alarm to sinners, calls them to repent, proclaims liberty to the captives and slaves of Satan, and collects the worshipers of God. It directs and encourages their heavenly journey, stirs them up to combat against the world and sin, encouraging them with the assurance of victory. It leads their attention to the sacrifice of Christ, and shows the Lord’s presence for their protection. It is also necessary that the gospel trumpet gives a distinct sound, because very few have been called to repent and believe. The sounding of the trumpet of the gospel is God’s ordinance, and demands the attention of all to whom it is sent.

God’s wrath burned against the people because of their complaining in Numbers 11. Complaining is a manifestation of unbelief, pride, and selfishness, with unbelief being at the very heart of it. We are all guilty of unbelief, and therefore need to repent. An habitual, lively faith, is needed for us to fight our three spiritual enemies; our nature, the world, and Satan.

The patience of Moses was tried in his own family, as well as by the people. Opposition from our family and closest friends is painful, but is to be expected in a fallen world. Moses dealt with this opposition by exercising humility. When we understand our relationship with God rightly, we’ll deal with others rightly. In other words, if we know we’ve been given far more than we deserve in Christ, we’ll be more likely to treat others mercifully.