Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XIV - Blessing By Learning From The Sinful Tragedies Of Others
(Numbers 15:1-41)
  1. Introduction
    1. God's way for us to enjoy His blessing in our lives is for us to obey His Word.
    2. However, for one reason or another, various parties disobey God and thus always face tragic consequences in the end!
    3. Numbers 15:1-41 reveals the lesson we can learn from the tragic consequences of disobeying the Lord in the lives of others so that we can be motivated and learn to avoid such disobedience (as follows):
  2. Blessing By Learning From The Sinful Tragedies Of Others, Numbers 15:1-41.
    1. Right after Israel learned a whole generation would be judged to die in the wilderness for repeated unbelief in God (Numbers 14:27-29), God gave directions for what the younger, surviving generation of Israel would need to do when it ENTERED the Promised Land, Numbers 15:1.
    2. These directions instructed the 2nd generation to avoid the sin that led to the deaths of the 1st generation:
      1. God told the 2nd generation to thank and praise Him unlike the 1st generation, 15:1-16:
        1. The Lord gave directions on burnt and freewill offerings in Numbers 15:3-12 that describe the fellowship offerings used to express thanksgiving and praise, Bib. Know. Com., O.T., p. 233.
        2. These were not the sin or guilt offerings of Lev. 4:1-6:7, for unlike those offerings which were set, these offerings varied in "form and content," Ibid.; Ryrie Study Bib., KJV, ftn. to Numbers 15:4.
        3. This directive was applicable not only for everyone living in Israel, but also for all the aliens who lived among the people of Israel, Numbers 15:13-16.
        4. Hence, the emphasis to this 2nd generation was one of having a thankful and praise-giving attitude versus the complaining attitude that led to their parents' fall as in the case of Numbers 14:1-2, 27.
      2. The Lord directed the 2nd generation to maintain a thankful attitude unlike the 1st generation: versus the case in Numbers 11:6-10, they were perpetually to offer up the Land's firstfruits, 15:17-21.
      3. The Lord called the 2nd generation to avoid a rebellious attitude of the 1st generation, 15:22-36:
        1. For sins done unintentionally in ignorance, the people would enjoy God's gracious forgiveness through sacrifices for these trespasses, Numbers 15:22-29.
        2. However, if anyone sinned with a presumptuous, defiant, rebellious attitude, no offering was to be given as such a sin would result in the death of the guilty, Numbers 15:30-31.
        3. To illustrate the severity of such rebellious sins, Numbers 15:32-36 relates an incident in the wilderness wanderings where a man was stoned to death for defiantly violating the Sabbath!
        4. Hence, God emphasized to the 2nd generation that it NOT do what the 1st generation had done in Numbers 11:1-4 in tolerating a rebellious spirit against obeying God lest it suffer severe discipline!
      4. God told the 2nd generation to attach blue tassels to their garments to remind them to obey God's Word rather than heed their own hearts' desires or values, Num. 15:37-41. Hence, God stressed to the 2nd generation that it not heed the views they themselves or fellow associates might have regarding what was true and desirable as errantly happened with tragic results in Numbers 11:1-4, 5, 10-34. Rather, they were to obey God's Word and avoid such disastrous discipline from the Lord!
Lesson: God directed the second generation of Israel to LEARN from the TRAGIC FAILURE in (a) outlook and (b) attitude of the first generation so as to avoid God's discipline and gain His blessing.

Application: In specific terms, (1) WE need to be THANKFUL and PRAISE God for His goodnesses to us instead of COMPLAINING if we would avoid the tragic end of the 1st generation of Israel out of Egypt. (2) WE need to CONTINUE a life of THANKSGIVING and PRAISE unto God if we would desire to CONTINUE seeing His blessing in our lives. (3) WE need to avoid defiantly, presumptuously sinning against the Lord if we would avoid the tragic discipline of Israel in the wilderness. (4) WE need to avoid the ideas and values others or we ourselves might concoct and heed SCRIPTURE instead if we would enjoy God's blessing and escape the views that led to sinful unbelief of Israel in the wilderness wanderings!