Okay, let’s turn to Numbers, thirty two.
Now the children of Reuben [That is the tribe of Reuben.] and the children from the tribe of Gad had a very great multitude of livestock: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, indeed, the region was a place for livestock; They came to Moses, and to Eleazar, and the leaders of the congregation, and they said, If we have found favor in our sight, [verse five] let this land be given to your servants for a possession, and do not take us over the Jordan. And Moses said to the children of Gad the children of Reuben, Shall your brethern go to war, while you sit here? Now why will you discourage the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did, when I sent them away from Kadesh Barnea to see the land. For when they went up to the valley of Eshcol, they saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, so that they did not go into the land which the Lord had given them. So the Lord’s anger was aroused on that day, and he swore an oath, saying, Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land which I swore to give to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; because they have not followed me: Except for Caleb and for Joshua: for these two have wholly followed the Lord (32:1-12).
So here’s the situation now. They’ve come now to the border of the promised land. They have been wandering for forty years as a result of their disobedience. God had brought them to the border of the land once before. They’d come to the place of the entering into the land, and were ready to go in and take the land that God had promised to give them, but the ten spies that brought back that evil report, discouraging the hearts of the people, by telling them that it really wasn’t a good land at all. Telling them that the cities were huge, fortified cities. That the people that lived in them were Giants. “We were like grasshoppers in their sight. They can step on us and crush us, you know. We can’t do it!” Their report struck fear in the heart of the people, and of course the sister to fear is unbelief. Fear always opens the door to unbelief. When I begin to look at the obstacles instead of to God, I begin to fear, and with the fear comes unbelief. And, the people began to cry and say, “Why did we ever follow Moses? Why did we ever leave Egypt? Let’s get someone to lead us back to Egypt!”, and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And God declared that they would wander for forty years, until that whole generation, who at that time were twenty years old, and above, that whole generation died. “And then your children, which you said would be a prey to them, they’re the ones who will be able to go in and take the land.”
So now, that forty years is over. That generation has died. Moses is about the last one, waiting now to die. When the men, the elders of Reuben and Gad came to Moses and Eleazar and they said, “Hey, we don’t want to go over and possess that land. We’re satisfied here. We like this land. Look, we’re cattlemen. Look at all, we’ve got a bunch of cattle, and this is great cattle country. We just are satisfied here.”
Now Moses was afraid that they’re turning back, at this point, and not going in to take the land, would bring discouragement to the rest of the tribes. He knew that if they did not go in at this point, they could never survive another forty years of just wandering and roaming. So Moses was alarmed and he really began to chide them for this decision.
Spiritually, these people are like so many, who are satisfied with their current spiritual development. God is challenging you to go on into a full commitment. Into that life that God would have you to know and to experience. That rich, full life in the Spirit. But there are so many people who say, “Hey man, I’m satisfied. I’ve got all I want, you know”, and they’re not going on in their Christian walk. They’re not progressing. There are many people whose spiritual state is in a plateau, and they haven’t developed spiritually for years. They’re still at the same level that they were, ten, fifteen years ago. There’s been no spiritual development. Really, not to go forward in your Christian walk, is to go backward, because God wants us to be going forward.
Paul, the apostle, speaking of his own experience said, “I have not yet apprehended that for which I was apprehended, by Jesus Christ. Neither do I count myself complete. But forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth for those things that are before, I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God, which is in Christ Jesus”. Now what was true of Paul, should be true of each one of us. I’m certain that all of us can declare, “I have not yet apprehended that for which I was apprehended, by Jesus Christ”. In other words, God isn’t through with me yet. God still has more for me to do. When God apprehended my life, and called me to Himself, He had in His mind, a purpose and a plan for me, that I was to fulfill for the kingdom’s sake. God knew exactly what He had in mind, I had no idea. But God knew exactly what He had in mind for me and for my service to Him, within the kingdom. Now I have not yet apprehended that for which I was apprehended. I haven’t yet completed that purpose and that plan that God has for my life. I believe that had I completed it, I would not be here. God would take me home. So I have not yet apprehended that for which I was apprehended, yet, I’m pressing towards the mark. I’m pressing on. I want more of God, I want of God’s work in my life. I want more of God’s Spirit in the control of my life.
So we come to the place, each of us, where we determine, “Hey I’m satisfied here”, or “I want to go on and I want all that God has for me”. These people were satisfied with what they had already accomplished, with the territory that they had already taken. “Hey this is great cattle country, we’re great cattlemen. We’re satisfied to stay here.” There are too many Christians that are in that same category, “Hey, this is great. I love it. It’s good”, and they’ve hit a place of stagnation, as far as their spiritual development goes. Dangerous place to be.
It is interesting to note, that when later, the enemies came against the land, the first tribes to fall were those on the other side of Jordan. Because they didn’t have the natural defenses of the Jordan river. They were the first to go into captivity.
We remember at the time of Jesus, when He got into a little ship with His disciples, and the went to the other side of the sea, to the country of who? The Gadarenes, or those from the tribe of Gad. When they came over to the other side of the sea, to the area of the Gadarenes, there met them, these two men who were possessed by demons, who lived in caves near the city of Gadara. Men who were so fierce that no one could approach them. They could not be bound with chains. They were sitting there among the rocks, cutting themselves, and weeping and screaming. When they came running at Jesus and the disciples, Jesus commanded the spirits to come out, and the men were delivered. But we remember that the evil spirits went into a herd of swine that were near by.
Now, the keeping, the raising, of pigs was an unlawful thing for an Israelite. But these people had gotten so far from the Lord, they were engaged in an illegal traffic. When the demons went into the swine, they ran down that steep bank there, near the Jordan river, and were drowned. I mean, in, near the sea of Galilee. They were drowned in the sea of Galilee. So that the men of the city, the men of Gad, came to Jesus and they said, “Hey, would you mind leaving? We don’t want your kind of stuff around here”.
It’s dangerous to not go on and possess all that God has for you. All the gifts God desires for you. Dangerous finding contentment in spiritual mediocrity. I want all that God has for me. I don’t want to come short of any work that God is desiring to do in my life. Nor do I want to come short of any work that God desires to do through my life. Press in and take all that God has for you.
So Moses spoke to them rather harshly. It is interesting, concerning verse twelve, Joshua and Caleb were again brought up, they were the two spies who brought back a good report, and encouraged the people to go in and take the land. It said concerning them, “They will go in, for they have wholly followed the Lord”, and that’s the key. Those men who possess God’s best, are men who have wholly followed the Lord. They’ve completely committed themselves. They’ve gone for the whole work of God. Thus they are the ones that live to enjoy the riches of God’s blessings.
So, Moses sort of rebukes them, and he said, “Hey, you guys are no better than your fathers, who were a brood of sinful men! You will increase the anger of the Lord against Israel again, and if you turn away from following Him, He will once again lead them into the wilderness, and you destroy all these people. Your action could really mean the destruction of all of these people. For they would get discouraged, from going in and possessing what God had promised”. So, they said, “Look, here’s what we want to do. We would like to build some sheep folds here, for our cattle. We would like to fortify these cities, and put our wives and children in them. Then we will come on over the Jordan, and we will go in and help you fight until the whole land is possessed. But at that point, we would like to come back here, and live on this side. Because we do like this territory here, and we don’t want the inheritance within the land. We would just as soon have our inheritance right here”.
And we will not return [verse eighteen] to our homes, until every one of the children of Israel has received his inheritance. And Moses said to them, [Now look,] If you do this, if you arm yourselves before the Lord for the war, and all your armed men cross over the Jordan, before the Lord, until he has driven out all his enemies from before him, And the land is subdued before the Lord: then afterwards you may return, and be blameless before the Lord, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the Lord. But if you do not do so, then take note [or take heed] you have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out (32:18-23).
“Okay”, Moses said, “It’s a deal. If you guys go in and fight, until the land is taken, then you can come back and have this for your possession. But if you don’t, then you have sinned against the Lord”. So what is the sin that he’s warning them about? It’s the sin of doing nothing. We so often think of sin in only an overt form. “I did something wrong. I have sinned.” It is possible to sin by doing nothing. By not doing what is right. “He that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him, it is sin.” It is possible for you to sin by just doing nothing. Scripture says, “Curse ye, curse ye Meroz, bitterly”, for he did not come to the help of the people of God. So, the curse upon these people. Why? Because they didn’t do anything. They did nothing.
What are you doing for the Lord? “Nothing.” Watch out! That’s sin. The sin of doing nothing. The scripture is always exhorting us to the right actions, as well as avoiding the wrong actions. It’s important that we do the work of God. That we not be hearers only, but doers of the word. For if you are a hearer and not a doer, you’re only deceiving yourself. So there are things that you should be doing, as a child of God, and not to do them, is sin.
So, he is warning them, concerning the sin of doing nothing. Declaring, “You can be sure your sins will find you out”. Now, that is a principle that stands, I mean, it just, you can’t change it, it’s there. “Your sin will find you out.” There is no secret sin. “Everything is naked and revealed before Him with whom we have to do.” You do not, and cannot hide from God. Moses was speaking out of personal experience. He had sinned in killing the Egyptian, tried to bury the evidence. But he was caught. Be sure your sins will find you out.
When I was a little kid, my mother was into gardening. She was, ah, talk about Mother’s Day, of mothers, man! God blessed me with such a fabulous mother. I mean if there was anything so close to an angel that lived upon the earth, that was my mom. She was very much into nature, taught me a tremendous appreciation of nature. Taught me an appreciation of botany, and biology, and geography, and the whole thing. I mean, she was just really a beautiful person, and much into gardening. So from the time that I was a little kid, I would be, you know, cutting, chopping weeds and digging up the soil. We always had our garden. Every summer we had our garden. I remember one day, she was teaching me how to plant corn. We’d always plant two rows, never just one row. And you put the seed about an inch in the ground, and you put the seeds about eight inches apart. So, she was teaching me how to plant the corn. She went into the house, and I had the two rows to plant. Man dropping them two at a time in those holes, the bag of corn wasn’t going down very fast. So I began to just sort of pour it out, and cover it. Got it all covered, it looked nice. You couldn’t see a thing, you know. When she came out she said, “Well Charles! Did you plant those rows already?” “Yep mom!”. “Well did you plant it like I told you?” “Yep mom!” I thought, “she’ll never know”. She didn’t for a couple of weeks. The corn began to grow, and whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap!
You can be sure your sins will find you out. They will find you out in your conscience. Your conscience just won’t let you go! You’ve planted something there, and you can’t erase it. It is interesting that psychologists declare that most of neurotic behavior stems from a guilty conscience. And neurotic behavior is often nothing more than a subconscious desire for punishment. “I know that I’ve done wrong. I need to be punished. I’ve tried to hide it, but it’s there in my conscience, I can’t get rid of it.” And thus I start doing kooky, neurotic things, so that I will incur punishment. So that people will say, “What’s wrong with you? You’re stupid man to do something like that!”. Well, in reality, I’ve subconsciously done it, just so they will tell me how dumb and stupid I am. While they’re telling me, “What a nut, and rat, and stupid I am”, I may be sort of boiling inside, but in reality I’m feeling rather good, because they’re relieving me of this horrible guilt complex. “I should be punished, you know, I deserve it. I’ve done awful things.” Neurotic behavior stems from the subconscious desire, a guilt complex. They say that that’s where people’s mental problems really stem. From this guilt complex. Conscience.
Be sure your sin will find you out. Your conscience won’t let it go. It’ll find you out in your face. Purity marks a person’s face. Dissipation marks a person’s face. You can look at people and you say, “Man! He’s lived a terrible life. Look at the lines on his face”. Sin has left it’s mark. You can be sure your sin will find you out. In time, it will show all over your face, and you won’t be able to hide it from anybody. The bible speaks about a forward countenance. Forward face. People recognized.
Let a bunch of guys be standing on the street, on the corner talking to each other. Let a prostitute walk by, and listen to all of their remarks. They can recognize her. The calls, the suggestions that they make, as she walks by. But let a pure godly girl walk by. There’s a strange silence. They can tell. They know. You can’t hide it.
Ultimately, your sin will find you out. Of course if not now, later. Because when you stand before God, there’s no hiding of anything you’ve done. “So then all the wicked, small and great, shall stand before that great white throne, judgement of God. And the books shall be opened, and they will be judged out of the things that are written in the books. An accurate account is being kept of your life. Everything you’ve ever done. Thank God that there is a beautiful blotter that can blot out everything that is in that book. The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses a man of all sin. So that when the books are opened to my page, there will be nothing there of condemnation. Nothing there of guilt. “For there is therefore no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus.” Because He has washed and cleansed, my record, my past. I stand justified before God, through Jesus Christ. Oh how glorious that is, and how thankful I am!
So Moses told them,
Go ahead and your build cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; do what you said. So they answered Moses and they said, We will do as you command us. Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, shall be there in the cities of Gilead: But your servants will cross over, every man armed for war, before the Lord to battle, just as my Lord says. So Moses gave the command concerning them to Eleazar the priest and to Joshua, and the chief of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel: And he said to them, If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben cross over the Jordan with you, every man armed for battle, before the Lord, and the land is subdued before you; then you shall give them the land of Gilead as a possession. But if they do not cross over armed with you, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan. then the children of Gad and the children of Reuben answered, saying, As the Lord has said to your servants, so will we do (32:24-31).
So this land of Gilead is in what is now, Jordan. It is still now a very beautiful, fertile land. It goes from the Jabbok river, which is about half way between the sea of Galilee, and Jericho. The Jabbok, and it goes north from there, the land of Gilead, the mountains of Gilead are behind it. It goes on up to really the area of the south end, of the sea of Galilee. The Yarmuk river. So, if you want to, get a map and look at the Yarmuk and the Jabbok. The land of Gilead is between these two rivers. It is great cattle raising country, but today it is being farmed extensively by the Jordanians, who have been taught the farming by the Israelis. Who have gone over and taught the Jordanians how to really develop their farming land and all there. On the, in the Jordan plains, and in the hills behind, in the area that is known as Gilead.
In chapter thirty three, it gives you the names of the leaders of the various tribes, which we don’t need to go through. Chapter thirty three.
These are the journeys of the children of Israel, [So Moses, sort of like Captain Cook, kept a log of their journeys, and wherever they stopped, he would make note of it. Wherever they would camp, he made note of it. And so these are Moses’ notations of all of the places that they camped, as they had left Egypt to come to the land of promise.] So, departing from Rameses, there in Egypt, on the first month, the fifteenth day of the first month; the day after Passover they went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians. For the Egyptians were busy burying their dead, [So the Israel marched out boldly, the Egyptians were too busy burying their dead to care, at this point.] for God had killed the firstborn among them: and also on their gods the Lord had executed judgement (33:2-4).
So as you go back to the plagues, you find that they, the Egyptians worshiped the river. God struck the river, turned it a bloody color, and made the water just totally in palatable. They worshiped flies. God multiplied, or magnified the flies, and there were flies everywhere. They worshiped frogs, god multiplied the frogs until the women, in kneading out their dough, there’d be frogs jumping out of the dough and all, and just frogs everywhere. They worshiped, of all things lice! And God multiplied the lice and covered it. But living objects, I mean people, you know, I’m always, always, always amazed at the foolish, silly things that people are gullible for and will worship, when they have rejected the true and the living God. You know that’s idiocy itself. So God let’s you just prove what an idiot you are. By the things that you begin to worship and the way that you begin to worship them.
I look at these Hare Krishnas, Hare Krishnas, but they’re not so hairy, they’ve shaved. And I see them with their robes, and their shaved heads, and their finger symbols, and I watch them as they’re going through their little rituals on Laguna beach, or in front of the Liberty House in Waikiki, and you think, “How in the world can an intelligent person”, well they’re not intelligent people, that’s the problem. Because they have forsaken the true and living God. You do that, and let me tell you, you’re an open prey.
I look at these people up in Oregon, who had that Waushish community, and all. Have you ever seen what went on inside of that thing? I mean, that’s almost frightening! As they go into that screening, you know, lying on the floor, writhing and screaming and letting out the primordial kind of cries and screams, and then all of this junk! And then just stand there and just, you know. It just, the things that people will worship, or the way that they will worship when they forsake God, is really always rather astounding to me. They take leave of their senses.
So, God exercised His judgement against these people who were worshiping frogs, and flies. That’s what, you’ve heard of Bowzebub. Do you know what Bowzebub is? He’s the lord of the flies! Bow is lord and zebub is fly. The lord of the files! So many people worship Bowzebub. I’m fascinated with flies, I really am, I love to study flies. I’ve dissected them and looked at them in microscopes and all, and they’re interesting! I love to look at an eye of a fly, and a electronic, or electron microscope. Man! Fascinating! But worship? No! I find them interesting. I’ve often wondered how close they got to the ceiling, before they flipped over, so they could land on their feet. I mean, that’s fascinating! And how they’re able to grip the ceiling to hang up there you know. I mean there’s a lot of fascinating aspects, but worship? No. A fly is a fly. It’s a pest and it’s a menace in the house. The people actually worshiped them! God exercised judgement against the gods of the Egyptians.
So he then begins to tell you their journey.
They came from Rameses, they camped at Succoth. [Which means booths, tents] they departed Succoth, camped at Etham (33:5-6),
And it goes on through their whole journeys. We’re not gonna follow them. You can use that for your own interest at some time. Verse thirty eight then…
Aaron the priest went up to mount Hor at the commandment of the Lord, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, the first day of the fifth month. Aaron was one hundred and twenty three years old when he died on mount Hor (33:38-39).
So, brings us to the death of Aaron, then it goes on to their continued journeys. And now, in verse forty eight…
They have departed from the mountains of Abarim, and they have camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho (33:48).
So they are now at the border of the land. They’re down there in the Jordan valley. Jericho is on the other side.
Now the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, [verse fifty] saying, Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then you shall drive out all of the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, [That is the stones that they have carved out into their little images and idols.] destroy all of their molded images, the wood carvings, and demolish all of their high places (33:50-52):
Now the high places were their places of worship. In the highest part of the city, they built their temples for worship. These were to be destroyed.
You shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell in it: for I have given you the land to possess (33:53).
So in going into the land, they were actually to drive out all of the inhabitants of the land. They were to destroy all of their objects of worship, and their places of worship. They weren’t to leave anything, that would be a reminder of the way that these people worshiped that dwelled in the land. Why? Because their worship was so horribly vile, that God’s people could easily, and soon become, polluted. So God wanted to extinguish any relics, symbols, of their pagan worship, to keep a purity among His people. They were to utterly drive out the people. They weren’t to allow them to remain in the land. And God tells them in verse fifty five…
If you do not [And He’s warning them.] if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall be that those whom you let remain will be irritants in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell (33:55).
So that’s why you’re to get rid of them, otherwise they’re gonna be irritants, they will be thorns and they will harass you in the land. God warned them. Now, they did not utterly drive out the inhabitants. As the result, the inhabitants of the land became irritants. As a result, they were harassed. As a result, the children of Israel began to commit whoredom against God, and they began to worship the gods of the Amorites, and the Jebusites, and those people that dwelt in the land.
In chapter thirty four, God appoints now the boundaries of the land.
When you come into the land of Canaan; that will be an inheritance, these are your boundaries. And on the southern border shall be from the wilderness of Zin along the border of Edom, extending eastward to the dead sea (34:2-3):
And it gives the whole border. The western border was to be the Mediterranean ocean. The northern border was up into the area of Tyre, approximately and then moving on inland to the area of Hazor. And Hazor is about ten miles north of the sea of Galilee. Then their eastern border was the Jordan river, and the sea of Galilee on the east side.
Now when they come into the land, chapter thirty five,
They are to command the children of Israel that they give the Levites cities to dwell in for their inheritance (35:2).
Now the land was divided into the portions and they said, “Okay now, the tribe of Judah will have this territory”, and they gave the boundaries. And, “The tribe of Benjamin will have, this, and Simeon will have this, and Naphtali will have this, and Issachar will have this, and Asher will have this…”, and they apportioned off the land. But for the tribe of Levi, there was no portion of land. So what they were given were cities. And their cities were to be within the land, and there was to be forty eight cities in all, that were given to the tribe of Levi. They had the cities and they had the territory outside of the cities for a thousand cubits. These were the cities of the Levites, but they were not given any land, only cities within the various tribes. The land was to be divided. The bigger tribes, they were to have more cities dedicated to the Levites, the smaller tribes would have less cities dedicated to the Levites.
Among the forty eight cities, six of the forty eight cities were called, “cities of refuge”. Where if you had accidentally killed someone, you could flee and find refuge within the city. Now in that culture, and even to the present day in some of the cultures there, of the Middle East, they have what they call the revenge, or avenge killings. If you would kill a member of my family, then as the leader of my family, I would be the avenger of blood. Or I would appoint one of my sons, and I’d say, “Okay, go over and kill him”. And they would come over, and you have these avenge killings. This of course is something that did exist, and does even exist to the present day in some of the cultures, as I say, in the Middle East. New Guinea, and so forth where they have these avenging killings. There would be one that would be appointed to be the executioner of the family, who had lost a member of the family. Now it is possible that you killed the person accidentally. Made no difference. The avenger of blood would seek to kill you in return.
So God, provided six cities of refuge. Where if you killed someone accidentally, you’d take off running as fast as you could to get to the city of refuge. If the avenger caught you before you got there, he’d kill you. But if you could make it to the city of refuge, then you would have protection within the city. The avenger of blood could not come in. He could not take vengeance against you, and you would be protected within that city and many times you would be brought to trial, and they would determine whether or not you were actually guilty of an accidental killing, or if there were, there was premeditation involved. Now, as long as you remained in that city, you were protected. But if you went out of the city, you no longer had protection. And if the avenger of blood caught you outside of the city, he would take your life. You had refuge only as you remained within the city, and you had to stay in that city until the death of the high priest. At the death of the high priest, then you would be totally exonerated and you could go back and live at home again. But, otherwise you had to stay within the city of refuge for your own life.
Now, if you murdered someone deliberately. If you hit a guy with a piece of iron, if you hit him with a club, if you took a rock and bashed him, then there was no refuge for you. The avenger could come right into the city and kill you. There was no refuge for you. In fact, you were to be put to death if you were guilty of premeditated murder. If you were angry with the person, if you laid in wait, and you killed him deliberately, there was no mercy for you, even within the city of refuge, there was no safety for you.
I think that our justice system has become almost ridiculous, when it comes to the trying of some people who are guilty, known to be guilty of murder. All of this business of informing a person of his rights. All of these legal loopholes, are sheer stupidity. It’s a tragedy, as far as I’m concerned that this Ramirez, is still alive! I mean he should’ve been done in a long time ago, and what we’re doing is just wasting millions of dollars of the taxpayer’s money. No wonder the government has to raise our taxes! They have such ineptness, and they have so many stupid things! These long prolonged trials, when the person is known to be guilty from the beginning. To allow a person like that to, you know, be, you know they, this was just the preliminary trial. That’s just the showcase! Just give you a sample of what’s gonna be going on for the next year or so. We’re gonna be filled with all of the rot from this kid’s mind. We have to see this showcased before us on TV, night, after night. Sad and tragic and that’s not justice! According to the Mosaic law, the husband of one of those gals that he murdered so viciously, could be allowed in the room, and just take care of it. Without all of the long, prolonged garbage that they have to go through. So the system had it’s good points. It probably had it’s weak points too. But it was far more efficient, let me tell you, than what our system is today.
Now, we are told over and over again, the murderer is to be put to death. If it is a case of actual premeditated murder. Murdering with an instrument, of course today with a gun or whatever, the murderer is to be put to death. He is not to be ransomed, verse thirty one…
You cannot redeem or ransom a murderer who is guilty of death: he shall surely be put to death (35:31).
Capital punishment? Yes. A divine directive.
Blood defiles the land: and no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it (35:33).
God declares that the reason for this is because He was dwelling among the people, and He is a God of justice. And justice demands that the murderer be put to death.
Now we remember a week or so ago, we had the women’s lib movement in Israel, as the daughters of Zelophehad had come to Moses and said, “Hey our dad died, and we don’t have any brothers, and just because we’re girls, we shouldn’t be cut out of the inheritance. When the land is divided among the tribe, we ought to get our father’s portion. Just because we have no brothers, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t inherit the land”. So Moses inquired of the Lord and the Lord says, “Hey the girls are right. You know if there are no brothers, then the death of the father, then the inheritance should go to the daughters”. But this created then in the minds of some of those of the tribe of Manasseh, who was the tribe from which these girls came. They were of the tribe of Manessah.
They came to Moses and said, “Now look. There’s a problem here. If these gals marry someone from another tribe, other than the tribe of Manessah, they’ve gotten their inheritance, within our tribe. Now if they marry a guy from the tribe of Benjamin, then when they die, a part of our land then belongs to the tribe of Benjamin. That’s not right. Things will get confused”. So Moses said, “That’s right. You’ve got a good issue here. So if the daughters want the inheritance within the land, they’ll have to marry someone from that tribe, so that the land doesn’t get all confused”. Because you have the tribe of Benjamin inheriting a part of Manessah, and vice a versa. So to keep from the confusion of the borders or the boundaries getting all messed up, for a girl to inherit the property of the family, it was necessary then to keep that inheritance, to marry someone from in that same tribe, so that the inheritance doesn’t get all botched up. So that was the judgement and the case was decided and that’s basically chapter thirty six. And it ends with,
These are the commandments and the judgements which the Lord commanded the children of Israel by the hand of Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho (36:13).
So it brings us, really to the end. They’re ready now to enter into the land.
Deuteronomy means the second law. So now, Deuteronomy is going to sort of be a quick review of the first four books that we’ve covered. It’s sort of a reviewing of the first four books. The second law, Deuteronomy. And we will go back over in a quick review, through the book of Deuteronomy, the things that we have studied up until this point. An excellent way of teaching because it reinforces then, that which you’ve already learned. It brings the reinforcement to it, within your mind. So as we go through the book of Deuteronomy, we will basically be reviewing the things that we’ve covered in the first four books, sort of solidifying it in your mind, and then we move on, when we get to Joshua, into the conquering of the land. They’re ready to go now! They’re there at the plains of Moab, Moses is gonna go up on the hill and die, and they’re ready to go into the land, but we’re gonna rehearse and stay with Moses a little while longer, as we go back and review now, the history of Israel up to this point, as we deal with the book of Deuteronomy.
May the Lord be with you and give you a beautiful week, as you walk in fellowship with Him. And may you grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May you enter in and begin to take the possessions that God has made available for you, through His love. May you not just come to a place of spiritual stagnation, but this week, may God lead you into the conquering, of some of that territory that He really desires that you should have, that the enemy has held too long. May you find victories through your life through the power of God’s Spirit, as you move on and move forward in your relationship with Him. God bless you, fill you with His Spirit, keep you in His love. In Jesus’ name.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7050