Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20020306.htm
NUMBERS: ON SPIRITUAL CASUALTIES AND VICTORS
Part XXV: God's Blessing Of GREAT Progress Due To A Persistent, United Trust In Him
Lesson: Since Israel SHIFTED from a FORMER FAITHLESS way of life to TRUST and thus OBEY God, and to do so CONSISTENTLY, God began CONSISTENTLY to REWARD Israel by GREAT VICTORIES, providing GREAT spoil and HONOR for Israel!
- God calls us to "walk" by faith, implying He desires a regular, habitual TRUST in Him, cf. Heb. 12:1-2.
- When God's people persistently, unitedly trust in God, they enjoy persistent progress as a result, and Numbers 21:16-35 in view of Israel's history illustrates how this is the case:
- God's Blessing Of GREAT Progress Due To A Persistent, United Trust In Him, Numbers 21:16-35:
- After repeated failures to trust God re: her wilderness water shortages, Israel trusted in God to guide her to obtain water at a place called "Beer" ("well") in the wilderness, Numbers 21:16-18 (last week's lesson).
- Israel continued to trust the Lord, and thus obeyed Him, resulting in persistent, great progress, 21:19-35:
- Israel kept trusting God to overcome the great Sihon of the Amorites, and gained his land and spoil:
- With Sihon, the Amorite king's land and people standing in the way of Israel's advance to the Promised Land, God directed Moses to request peaceful passage through Sihon's land as Israel had asked of Edom, Numbers 21:21-22 in light of Numbers 20:14, 17.
- As had the Edomites, Sihon and the Amorites refused Israel's peaceful passage, 21:23a; 20:18.
- However, we learn from Deuteronomy 2:30-31, God hardened the heart of Sihon in judgment that he might fight unjustly against Israel and be destroyed with Israel gaining all his spoil!
- Accordingly, Israel defeated Sihon and his land, gaining her spoil, Numbers 21:23b-24a.
- This was a great victory in that Sihon's exploits in dispossessing the Moabites of this territory had been noted in poetry, and Israel gained great respect for upsetting this dominant king, 21:25-29, 30-31: (a) So dominant had been Sihon's victory over dispossessing the former Moabite territory that a poem of that conquest is recorded for us in Numbers 21:27-29, cf. Num. 21:26. (b) However, when Israel destroyed Sihon, Israel's poets added her own final poem to Sihon's fall, Num. 21:30. (c) Thus, Israel's dwelling in Sihon's land was viewed as an amazing feat among the peoples of that era, and was an honorable reward from God for her faith in Him, cf. Numbers 21:31-32.
- Israel kept trusting God to avoid attacking a relative people, the Ammonites, with God's blessing:
- Numbers 21:24b tells us Israel did not trespass onto Ammonite territory as it was fortified.
- We learn from Moses' later comments in Deuteronomy 2:37 that God forbade Israel to fight the Ammonites as He had forbidden them to fight the Edomites, for as the Edomites were the descendants of Israel's relative, Esau, the Ammonites were the descendants of Israel's relative Lot, the nephew of Abraham, cf. Num. 20:14 with Obadiah :1, 10 re: Esau, and Gen. 19:36, 38 re: Lot.
- Israel kept leaning on God to overcome the great Og, king of Bashan, and gain his land and spoil:
- When Israel prepared to station itself to enter the land, another king, Og of Bashan, came out to attack Israel, Numbers 21:33.
- God then informed Moses not to fear this king and his people, but to engage the enemy as God would give Og's nation and spoil into Israel's hand as well, Numbers 21:34 with Deut. 3:1-2.
- Accordingly, Israel defeated Og of Bashan, destroying all the population but keeping the spoil and inhabiting the land, Numbers 21:35 with Deuteronomy 3:3-10.
- This was a great victory in that Og's people were the last of a race of giants inhabiting the land, giants that had caused the faithless generation previously to fear attacking the land, Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, ftn. to Deuteronomy 3:11 with Numbers 13:33-14:2.
Application: (1) If we struggle with areas of habitual spiritual defeat, our LOSS is due to our FAILURE to TRUST GOD as GOD wants to supply us VICTORY way beyond our poor power to COMPETE. (2) If we learn PERSISTENTLY to TRUST in God for victory, God will PERSISTENTLY provide us VICTORY over SUPERHUMAN difficulties and areas of former failure!