Margin notes: Things I scribbled in the white spaces on April 22, 2008


1 – “”Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.”” (Numbers 27:16-17, ESV)

RAF: What a beautiful prefiguring of Christ. Even though he is about to face death, his heart is concerned for the people – that they might not be Shepherdless. Though it was on their account that he would not be crossing over, nevertheless, he loves them – as they are God’s people. And one cannot truly love God, and not love those upon whom He puts His name and calls His own. Moses could only consign them to the care of another like himself – Joshua. But Jesus consigned us to another like HIMSELF, the Holy Spirit. John 14:18 / 1 John 2:7-11

2 – ” “If a woman vows a vow to the Lord and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears of her vow and of her pledge by which she has bound herself and says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand.” (Numbers 30:3-4, ESV)…”But if her husband says nothing to her from day to day, then he establishes all her vows or all her pledges that are upon her. He has established them, because he said nothing to her on the day that he heard of them. But if he makes them null and void after he has heard of them, then he shall bear her iniquity.”” (Numbers 30:14-15, ESV)

RAF: Passivity becomes tacit approval. It is true for us in all circumstances. To refrain from speaking out against sin becomes virtual approval of it. We are to expose the works of darkness, and not to simply let them go unaddressed – lest we be found as having entered into those sins by our silent approvals.

3 – ” The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Avenge the people of Israel on the Midianites. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.”” (Numbers 31:1-2, ESV)

RAF:Make no mistake, those who oppose God’s people or try to hinder them from entering into their inheritance, will, be judged. God does not take lightly those who tempt His children and plot their harm or destruction. He will have vengeance. See: 1 Cor. 6:3?

4 – “So Moses said to them, “If you will do this, if you will take up arms to go before the Lord for the war, and every armed man of you will pass over the Jordan before the Lord, until he has driven out his enemies from before him and the land is subdued before the Lord; then after that you shall return and be free of obligation to the Lord and to Israel, and this land shall be your possession before the Lord. But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:20-23, ESV)

RAF: Those who have received something of God’s promised blessings here, before the rest, have an obligation to still help their brothers and sisters gain what God has promised them. What blessings we have received here and now above others, are not to deter us from helping them in the battle against indwelling sin. Instead, we are to go before them. To take up arms on their behalf even though we’ve already received a measure of rest. We cannot rest until they are safely rooted in their inheritance as well.

5 – ” And the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you and destroy all their figured stones and destroy all their metal images and demolish all their high places. And you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it.” (Numbers 33:50-53, ESV)…”But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell. And I will do to you as I thought to do to them.”” (Numbers 33:55-56, ESV)

RAF: Inheriting Canaan takes on the type of the Christian life. Jordan, like baptism, is where we cross over to being taking up the new and promised life. The inhabitants of the land, are the remnants of indwelling sin in the believer. We are to be about the business of driving them out. We must destroy all the idols that have been erected in our hearts over the years, so that the worship of the One True God is alone there. This is hard warfare. There are wounds ahead. Battles of great fury. Tears and hardship. This is not easy. But it is God’s promise to us. And we know it is His desire for each one of us to “posses his own vessel in sanctification and honor” (1 Thess. 4:4 – NASB) Verses 55 & 56 spell out the danger and sorrow of not pursuing this course. Those remaining inhabitants, those sins that we think to make treaties with, or leave alone if they leave us alone – will be like thorns in our eyes and sides. They will make our lives miserable on every hand ruining our ability to see clearly and walk rightly. And God will bring judgment as a result.

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