1 And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron saying, 2 This is the ordinance of the law that the LORD has commanded saying, Tell the children of Israel to bring you a red heifer without spot, that has no blemish, and has never been yoked to a plow: 3 You are to give her to Eleazar the priest, to bring outside the camp, and someone is to kill her before his face: 4 Then Eleazar the priest is to take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times: 5 Then someone is to burn the heifer in his sight; he will burn her skin, her flesh, and her blood, with her dung: 6 And the priest will take cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet, and throw it into the midst of the burning of the heifer. 7 Then the priest is to wash his clothes, and he is to bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he may come into the camp; the priest will be unclean until evening. 8 And he that burns her is to wash his clothes in water, bathe his flesh in water, and will be unclean until the evening.
- The blood was sprinkled seven times.
- Seven is the number of completeness in scripture.
- There are seven Spirits before God’s throne.
- Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you, and peace, from him who is, and who was, and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits that are before his throne.
God requires that we be pure when entering His presence
9 A man that is clean is to gather up the ashes of the heifer, put them in a clean place outside the camp, to be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel as a water of separation: it is a purification for sin. 10 And he that gathers the ashes of the heifer is to wash his clothes, and be unclean until evening: this is a never ending statute for the children of Israel, and the foreigner that stays among them. 11 He that touches the dead body of any man will be unclean seven days. 12 He is to purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day, and he will be clean: but if he does not purify himself the third day, and on the seventh day he will not be clean.
- This ritual was cleansing from uncleanness because of touching the dead.
- Christ has purified us from sin by confession. Based on His work at the cross for it, not our confession or acknowledgement of it.
- I John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
13 Whoever touches the dead body of any man that is dead, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul will be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled on him, he is unclean; his uncleanness is still on him. 14 This is the law when a man dies in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, will be unclean seven days. 15 And every open vessel, which has no covering tied on it, is unclean. 16 And whoever touches one that is killed with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, will be unclean seven days.
- God judges uncleanness in His house.
- It is important to realize in considering death that God conquered death through the cross.
- He is life and gives that life to us.
- 1 Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
- Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: and as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also are to walk in newness of life.
- 1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
17 And for an unclean person they are to take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and add living water will be added to these in a jar: 18 And a clean person will take hyssop, dip it in the water, sprinkle it on the tent, on all the vessels, on the persons that were there, on him that touched a bone, or one killed, or one dead, or a grave: 19 The clean person is to sprinkle on the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he is to purify himself, wash his clothes, bathe himself in water, and will be clean at evening.
- John 15:3 Now you are clean through the word that I have spoken to you.
20 But the man that is unclean, and does not purify himself, that soul will be cut off from among the congregation, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separation has not been sprinkled on him; he is unclean. 21 This is a perpetual statute to them: he that sprinkles the water of separation will wash his clothes; and he that touches the water of separation will be unclean until evening. 22 And whatever the unclean person touches will be unclean; and the soul that touches it will be unclean until evening.
- Today, Israel is breeding a pure strain of red heifer to be used for cleansing the future temple for God’s dwelling here on earth.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? 20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
- Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
1 Then, in the first month, the children of Israel, the whole congregation came to the desert of Zin: and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there. 2 And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 3 And the people argued with Moses and spoke saying, would God that we had died when our brothers died before the LORD! 4 And why have you brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness so that we, and our livestock, die here? 5 And why have you made us come out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? This is not a place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.
- Remember, the Israelites didn’t enter the Promised Land when God tried to lead them there, because of unbelief.
- They were afraid of the giants and cried all night.
- Now, they blame God and Moses.
- But it’s their own fault for not believing.
- Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
God appeared to them in His glory
6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell on their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. 7 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 8 Take the rod, and gather the assembly together, you, and your brother Aaron, and speak to the rock before their eyes; and it will give forth its water (CT from Hebrew: He will pour out waters of Him); you will bring water out of the rock to them: by this you will give the congregation and their livestock drink. 9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said to them, Hear now, you rebels; must we bring you water out of this rock? 11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and he struck the rock twice with his rod: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock also.
- Moses and Aaron obscured God’s glory by focusing on the bad behavior of the people rather than the glory and goodness of God.
- 37 years earlier, God provided abundance of water by having Moses strike the rock.
- These acts were symbols.
- This was to show the people that once we are saved we only need to speak to God to have our needs met.
- Christ is the rock (Psalm 18:2).
- He was struck in our place only once (Romans 6:10).
- God did a similar miracle for Samson in Judges 15.
- Today two springs of water still flow at Kadesh Barnea.
- Moses could no more get water from that rock than you or I.
- His anger with the people failed to show God’s grace.
- God provides the impossible.
- Nothing is too hard for Him.
- Judges 15:19 But God split a hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came out water; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived:
- Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is any thing too hard for me?
12 And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, because you did not believe me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, you will not bring this congregation into the land that I have given them. 13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel argued with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them. 14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, Your brother Israel says this, You know all the trouble that has come upon us: 15 How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians abused us, and our fathers: 16 And when we cried to the LORD, he heard our voice, sent an angel, and has brought us out of Egypt: and behold, we are in Kadesh, a city at your farthest border: 17 Please let us pass through your country: we will not pass through the fields or through the vineyards. We will not drink the water from the wells: we will go by the king's high way: we will not turn to the right hand or to the left, until we have passed your borders. 18 And Edom said to him, you will not pass by me: I will come out against you with the sword. 19 And the children of Israel said to him, we will go by the high way: and if I and my livestock drink your water, then I will pay for it: I will only go through on my feet, without doing any thing else. 20 And he said, you will not go through. And Edom came out against him with many people, with a strong hand. 21 Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: so Israel turned away from him. 22 And the children of Israel, the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh and came to mount Hor.
- God gives the world opportunities to help His people and blesses those who do.
- Genesis 12:3 And I will bless those that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you all families of the earth will be blessed.
23 And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom saying, 24 Aaron will be gathered to his people: he will not enter into the land that I have given to the children of Israel because you rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah. 25Take Aaron and his son, Eleazar, and bring them up to mount Hor: 26 Strip Aaron of his garments and put them on his son, Eleazar: Aaron will be gathered to his people, and will die there. 27 And Moses did as the LORD commanded: they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28 Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them on his son, Eleazar; and Aaron died there in the top of the mountain: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.
- John 11:25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he is dead, yet he will live:
- John 10:28 I give to them eternal life; and they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of my hand.
1 And when king Arad, the Canaanite, who dwelt in the south, heard that Israel came on the road to Atharim; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners. 2 And Israel vowed a vow to the LORD and said, If you will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities. 3 And the LORD listened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah.
- The word ‘Hormah’ means utter destruction.
- God gives victory in battle over enemies when asked.
- Ephesians 6:12-13 we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Therefore put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to go around the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was very discouraged because of the way. 5 And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, and no water; and our soul loathes this light bread. 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many people of Israel died. 7 And the people came to Moses and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against you; pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole: and every one that is bitten, when he looks on it, will live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it on a pole, and it happened that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked at the serpent of brass, he lived.
- God made a way for those bitten to be saved from death.
- This is a vivid example of looking to Jesus for salvation (Hebrews 12:2).
10 And the children of Israel set forward and camped in Oboth. 11 And they journeyed from Oboth, and camped at Ijeabarim, in the wilderness that is before Moab, toward the sun rising. 12 From there they moved, and camped in the valley of Zared. 13 From there they moved, and camped on the other side of Arnon, which is in the wilderness that comes out of the coasts of the Amorites: for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore it is said in the book of the wars of the LORD, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, 15 And at the stream of the brooks that goes down to the dwelling of Ar, and lies on the border of Moab.
- Notice what this tells us. What God did at the Red Sea He also did at the brook Arnon and at the stream of brooks that goes down to the dwelling of Ar.
- He reminds us that He will even part the sea for us.
- He makes a way when there is no way.
- 2Kings 2:8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that the two of them went over on dry ground.
God provided water
16 And from there they went to Beer: that is the well of which the LORD spoke to Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.
- Revelation 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is thirsty from the fountain of the water of life freely.
- Revelation 22:1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
17 Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing to it: 18 The princes dug the well, the nobles of the people dug it with their staves, at the direction of the Lawgiver. And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah: 19 And from Mattanah to Nahaliel: and from Nahaliel to Bamoth: 20 And from Bamoth in the valley, that is in the country of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks toward Jeshimon. 21 And Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites saying, 22 Let me pass through your land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink of the waters of the well: but we will go along by the king's high way, until we have passed your borders. 23 But Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his border: Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz and fought against Israel.
God gives victory against those who attack us
24 And Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon to Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong. 25 Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon. 27 Therefore those that speak in proverbs say, Come into Heshbon, let the city of Sihon be built and prepared: 28 For a fire has gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon: it has consumed Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon. 29 Woe to you, Moab! You are undone, O people of Chemosh: he has given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity to Sihon king of the Amorites. 30 We have shot at them; Heshbon has perished even to Dibon, and we have cast them down even to Nophah, which reaches to Medeba. 31 So Israel dwelt in the land of the Amorites.
- Sihon had defeated Moab. Then Israel destroyed Sihon.
- God allowed this because both Sihon, Moab, and the Amorites worshipped false gods.
- Worship of false gods leads to eternal death: that is much more severe than physical death.
- As God had promised, He gave His people cities and vineyards they didn’t work for and they didn’t steal.
- He owns the world and says who lives where for how long (Acts 17:24-28).
- Psalm 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
- Deuteronomy 6:10-11 And it will be, when the LORD your God has brought you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you great and good cities, which you did not build, 11 And houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, and wells, which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees, which you did not plant…
32 And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took its villages, and drove out the Amorites that were there. 33 And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at Edrei. 34 And the LORD said to Moses, Do not fear him: for I have delivered him into your hand, and all his people, and his land; and you will do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon. 35 So they struck him, and his sons, and all his people, until there were none left alive: and they possessed his land.
- These victories resemble our battles with sin, worry, envy, hatred, and lust etc.
- God has delivered the enemy into our hands.
- God went before them into battle.
- He went with them.
- He told them ahead of time the outcome.
- Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, it is he that goes before you; He will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: do not fear, neither be dismayed.
- _Romans 8:31 So what are we to say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He that did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how will he not with him freely give us all things?
SUMMARY: Numbers 19-21
- God requires that we be clean to enter His presence
- He appeared to them in His glory
- He brought water from the rock for them in their sight
- The LORD heard their cry for help against the enemy's attack
- He gave them victory
- He sent fiery serpents against those who murmured instead of asking Him for help
- He provided healing from the bites by a simple glance