“Praying Back God’s Promises” (Num. 14)

In Numbers 13 twelve spies are sent into the ‘Promised Land’ to check it out at the time of the “first-ripe grapes’ v.20.  They came to the brook of Eshcol which means ‘cluster’ and cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes and bore it between two men on a staff, some cluster of grapes, Amen?  They searched the land for 40 days and said, “Surely it flows with milk and honey and this is the fruit of it.”  Nevertheless, the people are strong that dwell there and the children of Anak the giants are there and we are as grasshoppers in their sight and ours.’  Joshua and Caleb disagreed and said, “No!  Let us go up and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it.”  Then all the children of Israel had a ‘boo-hoo’ pity party all night and murmured against Moses and Aaron, and voted to elect a new Captain to lead them back to Egypt; ‘Oh No!’

“Then Moses & Aaron fell (na-fal) to fall prostrate, on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.” Num. 14:5 – This was a sign of ultimate humility.  At first I thought it was before God but on further examination I believe they were humbling themselves before the congregation of Israel.  Then Joshua and Caleb rent or tore their clothes which was a sign of mourning and extreme grief, and pleaded with the assembly not to rebel against the LORD or fear the people of the land, because ‘they were bread for us.’ However, the Israelites chose to stone them instead.

Then the glory (ka-bowd) splendor, honor, Shekinah of the LORD appeared before all the children of Israel.  You see, they were not rebelling against the leadership of Israel, they were rebelling against the LORD YeHoVaH!  Think of that the next time you mount a charge against your pastor.  It better be for heresy and you better be on your face when you begin the charge!  Then the LORD YeHoVaH says, “How long will this people provoke Me?  How long before they believe Me?”  Here comes Moses’ test – “Step aside Moses and I will smite them, disinherit them and make a great and mighty nation of you.”

Then Moses begins to intercede for this rebellious nation, v. 13-19.  Would to God we had more leaders in America praying like this today for our nation.  “And Moses said unto the LORD…” What a prayer, you need to read it, study it, write it on the walls of your homes. “If you smite them LORD, the Egyptians will hear it and tell the Amalekites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Canaanites and the children of Anak and they won’t be, “bread for us.”  They have heard your “cloud” goes before us by day and your “fire” by night and you are among your people and are seen “face to face.”

Then Moses reminds the LORD (YeHoVaH) of something He had said, a promise He had made to Moses and the children of Israel when He gave them the second tables of the law in Ex. 34:5-9 on Mt. Sinai, in Num. 14:18.  We have already dealt with that prayer, so we won’t spend a lot of time on it here.  However, Moses reminds God of His promises and prays them back to Him, holding Him to His Word.  Sort of like, “Yeah but, You said God in Exodus 34:5-9….”  We need to pray God’s promises back to Him, David did, Moses did, the prophets did, the apostles did, the early disciples did, our Christian leaders did and we should.

Moses reminds the LORD in v. 18 that He is ‘long-suffering’ (arak-af) slow to anger, patient (arak) before he flairs His nostrils (af) and of great (raba) much, abounding, abundant, exceedingly, chief, mercy (kheh-sed) goodness, kindness, faithfulness, lovingkindness, pity; forgiving (na-sa) to lift up, to bear up, carry or take away or off; forgiving what?  Iniquity (a-von) perversity, depravity, guilt or punishment of iniquity, a depraved action or crime; and transgression (peh-shah) transgression, rebellion, defection, which they were guilty of.  Moses doesn’t mention the third major category of sin in Hebrew culture (chet or chata) ‘missing the mark’, the way, the goal or the path, to stumble or make a false step.   So there are your three main categories of sin in the Hebrew culture (avon) iniquity; (pesha) rebellion and (chet) missing the mark.

After Moses names the two big ones to God, he clarify’s by stating, “And by no means (na-ka) to be pure, clear, free, exempt.  The words ‘means and clearing’ are the exact same words in the Hebrew text (an-ka; na-ka) and the words “the guilty” are in italics showing they are not in the original text.  This could be translated, “forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, but will not always pardon,”  (Gesenius’s Lexicon)  You have the same Hebrew construction in Nahum 1:3, “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked!  On Calvary, one sinner was saved so that no one would despair, but only one so no one would presuppose!  Moses goes on reminding God He visits (pa-kad) attends to, reckons, punishes, appoints the iniquity (a-von) perversity and depravity of the fathers upon the children (ben) sons, grandsons, unto the third and fourth; generation is in italics in the text.  How does all this work?  I’m not quite sure, and how long is a generation, 40 years, 100 years, does anybody really know?   I have learned a few things in 70+ years raising four children and watching them raise twelve grand-children; “Whatever you do in moderation, your children will do in excess.” They don’t become more conservative from one generation to the next but more liberal, more worldly, more socially minded and seem to (chet) veer off the mark., the paths you have set for them.  Four generations, I won’t live to see that, two and maybe a little of the third but not the fourth.

Moses goes on in v.19, “Pardon, (sa-lakh) pardon, forgive, be merciful, propitious, show Yourself, gentle; I beseech Thee, the iniquity (a-von) the perversity and depravity of this people.  Not, Your people, or My people, just ‘this people’ (am) this nation, these kinsmen according to the greatness (go-del) magnitude, magnificence, Majesty of Thy Mercy (kheh-sed) goodness, kindness, faithfulness, love; Just as Thou have forgiven (na-sa) this people, from Egypt (mits-ray-im) even until now.”  Doesn’t the Hebrew word for Egypt ‘Miz-ray-im’ sound like misery or miserable?  They were glad to be out of there but as soon as it got tough they longed for those leeks and onions, are we any different?

As soon as Moses finishes his prayer in v.19, the LORD answers in v. 20 and listen to YeHoVaH’s response, “And the LORD said, I have pardoned (sa-lakh), according to thy word (da-bar) speech, utterance, words, prayer (Moses).  The LORD continued and said in v. 21, “But truly, (u-lam) but in deed, a strong adversative, I live, (chay) alive, living, life, all the earth shall be filled (ma-la) filled full, abundance, with the glory of the LORD.  Then He goes on to tell them that everyone over 20 will die in the wilderness and only their children will enter the promised land.  Ten of the spies except for Calab and Joshua are struck with a plague and die; a bunch go up to fight the Amalekites and Canaanites without  the Ark and they die, due to the sin of presumption.  So, there are about 2.5 to 3 million people in the camp and about 5,000 will die every month or 60,000 every year for 40 years; that would be about 2 million, 400 thousand.  Plus a lot of new births and marriage’s happening for 40 years, hence the need for the ashes of the ‘Red Heifer’ in Num. 19 and we will get there.

Question, have you ever prayed like this for your pastor or your congregation?  What a blessing they are missing out on, as well as you.  Imagine God talking to you like He talked to Moses in Num. 14:20-21, that would give you something to put in your “Blessing Journal.” Amen?  These people struck the lentil and the door posts with the blood of the lamb, marched out of Egypt victorious but failed to enter the “Promised Land” due to unbelief, Heb. 3:18-19.  How many of us have marched up to Calvary to be washed in the blood of the Lamb but have never entered into His “Promises” laid out for us in His Word, shame on us.  Till next time, I’ll see you on my knees or, “…Between The Lines…”

“Praying Back God’s Promises – Num. 14” (Part #3) 2/5/16

Posted in Ancient Judaism, Christianity, Communion With God, Devotional, Family Altars, Gateway To God, Groaning In Prayer, Heart After God, Portraits of Prayer, Practicing The Presence of God, Prayer, Prayer Closet, Prayer Dialogue, Prayer Journey, Prayerology, Unbroken Fellowship, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

“Prayer For Siblings” Num. 12:13

Prayer For Siblings

“And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee.” Num. 12:13

Numbers 12:1, “And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian/Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian/Cushite woman.” Now was this Zipporah, the daughter of the Midianite priest from Exodus 2:21? Remember, he was forty years on the backside of the desert before the exodus from Egypt and twenty plus years now wandering with the children of Israel. So, he could have been married to Zipporah for 50-60 years and she could have died and he could have married an Ethiopian/Cushite woman or it could have been Zipporah, your guess is as good as mine. However, then did it take 50-60 years for his siblings to bring it up if it was Zipporah? God didn’t have a problem with the marriage just Miriam and Aaron and notice who is named first, Miriam! This is a major problem in Israel even today with the Ethiopian Jewish people making (aliyah).

The word ‘Ethiopian’ is made up of two words meaning “burnt face or black face” and Ethiopia is known in history as the land of the ‘Blacks.’ Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian describes them as, “The tallest and handsomest of men,” and they are frequently represented on Egyptian monuments, and their history is interwoven with Egypt’s.  So, it was only natural for Moses to take one for a wife coming out of Egypt, whether it is Zipporah or not. Although Reuel/Jethro a Midianite priest was from northern Saudi Arabia. In fact he or his decedents Hobab is with Moses in Num. 10:29 as they begin their journey from the Mt. of God. Another indication that they were not camped in the Sinai peninsula but in Northern Saudi Arabia at Mr. Jabal, check it out. So, you have a choice to make, but either way Miriam is upset and so is Aaron, in Num. 12:1.

We also learn here that Moses is more then a prophet to God, Num. 12:6-8. God speaks to His prophets in dreams and visions, but He spoke to Moses, “mouth to mouth in plain speeches.” So, Moses was more then a prophet, he was God’s special spokesman, a special agent, a faithful friend of God. Then God asks Miriam and Aaron the inevitable question, point blank, “Wherefore then, were you not afraid to speak against My Servant Moses?” Even though he is your kid brother, or the middle child, and has a speech impediment and is very “meek” v.3! (anav – humble, pious, gentle) “above all men on the face of the earth.” They also thought they should have a voice or opinion in the daily direction and affairs of the goings on in v.2. And the Lord heard it and in v.4, He spoke suddenly (pith-om – with intensive power and sudden terror, in a moment with determination, and surprise!) I take it He was not happy with Miriam and Aaron!

In fact, the Lord is very angry with Moses’ siblings in v.9, so much so that He strikes Miriam with “Leprosy” and Aaron confesses their sin to Moses and begs his forgiveness by asking for prayer (biy) for Miriam. Moses immediately cries out (tsa-ak) to cry out for help, this is to cry aloud in grief to the Lord (YeHoVaH) saying, Heal (ra-pha) to heal, to make healthful, this is a name Jehovah gave Himself in Ex. 15:26b, “For I am the Lord that heals thee.” (Jehovah-Rapha) Because healing is what I am! Here now, O God (El) God, O Mighty One, It is in the power of Your hand to do this! Now there is a short prayer for a woman with leprosy, only eight words, Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee!”

Do you think we have to pray long to get a message to God? When He knows what we have need of before we even ask! Moody used to say, “These who pray long in the pulpit, pray short in the closet.” Did you ever do a study of the prayers in the Bible? They are all very short, how about Peter sinking in the water, or the thief on the cross, or the Syrophenecian woman begging for her daughter, “Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee!” To ‘beseech’ is to ask earnestly, to entreat, to implore, to solicit. A good synonym for this word would be ‘to beg’! “Heal her now! O God, I beg you!” That sounds earnest! When was the last time you prayed for your brother or sister like that with strong (ischyros) mighty tears (dakry), Heb. 5:7, like Jesus did for you in the Garden, or Moses did for Miriam?

Miriam obviously was the ring leader in this rebellion for more power and authority. I think the Ethiopian woman was just an excuse to get at the real underlying issue, “Has the Lord only spoken by Moses?” She’s the only one that gets hit with leprosy and after her judgement you don’t hear about her again until she dies and is buried in an unknown site in Num. 20:1. Soon after this incident, what happens to her during the seven days outside the camp?  No one knows, her strength was broken, and her gift of prophecy was taken away! I don’t believe she lived long after this event, and she did not die of old age or leprosy but of a broken heart and a crushed spirit. She like Moses and Aaron never entered the ‘Promised land’ either. Like Miriam we need to learn that it was envy and pride that crucified the Lord Who personified humility and meekness! “But whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister/servant (diakonos), And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant/slave (doulos);” Matt. 20:26-27. “For even the Son of Man came, not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45. Are we any better, are we? Till we meet again, I’ll see you on my knees or, “…Between The Lines…”

Prayer For Siblings” 12/19/15

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“The Prayer Against Burn-out”

“The Prayer Against Burn-out”

The ‘mixed multitude’ v.4  (sap-sup) rabble, collection of grumblers, fell to lusting which caused the children of Israel to weep and mourn and cry for flesh to eat.  This, “Mixed Multitude” or (sap-sup) always seem to be with us, even in the church today.  Christ talks about them as the ‘tares‘ only in Matt. 13;24-43 (zizanion) darnel, false grain.  Webster says, the word darnel is from the word (darnu), stupefied; so called from it’s supposed stupefying qualities, a weedy rye grass with poisonous seeds, often found in grain fields.  Jesus explained later that the ‘tares’ are the children of the ‘Wicked One,’  Sown by Satan who profess to be Christian’s in outward ways but inwardly they are lost. They talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk. Only the angels in the end can be trusted to separate them Matt. 13:40-43 and cast them into hell.  So great is Satan’s power that the ‘tares’ often themselves stupefied, really suppose they are children of God’s kingdom. Matt.7:21-23.  However, not all unbelievers are called children of the devil, only those who have willfully rejected the light are to be designated as such, Matt.13;38; Jn.8:38-44.  You don’t have to worry about the world or who is saved or not, just be a lighthouse and tell them all about Jesus and leave the results up to God!

In Num. 11:10 Moses hears the people weeping (ba-ka) – to wail, cry, shed tears, lament, a brew-ha-ha, to flow by drops; with theirs families (mish-pocheh) family, clan, tribe, because they were tired of the free manna. As they were standing in their tent doors and complaining, all three million of them, the anger (af) the nostrils of the LORD’s face begin to flare; here we go again; and His anger was greatly kindled (kha-ra) hot, furious, burning, incensed, ablaze; and Moses had a (ra-ah) (ah-yin) evil eye, seeing evil things!  In v. 1 the LORD heard the complaining (ra-ah) (o-zen) and an evil report entered His ear, but here He sees an evil report or thing, something displeasing, rebellious, or sinful.  Think about your life for a moment, what kind of reports does God get on you?  What does He see in the closets of your life, in the dark rooms?  What kind of displeasing reports does He have to listen to about your life, work, testimony or lack thereof? Doesn’t your Bible say, “That every idle word will be accounted for?” We might as well say, ‘Thought, word and deed or lack thereof!’

Moses now prays for himself and used the same word (ra-ah), “Why have You afflicted (ra-ah) me, your servant (eh-bed), Your bond-servant, man-servant, even Your slave.  Why have You thought evil, or bad of me?  What wrong have I done to You, LORD that You should treat me this wickedly, this ethically evil?  Did you ever feel like you are getting the short end of the stick from God wrongfully?  ‘Where or when have I not found (khan) grace, favor, good-will in Your sight; in your (ah-yin) eyes.’  Then why have You laid, or appointed, or placed this burden, this (mas-sa) load, tribute, on me?  It’s too heavy for me, I can’t bear it!  I am about to “Burn Out!”  This is a plea of pastor’s today, a cry for help because they are drowning!  It’s not the budget, or the sermons, or the administration, it’s the sheep.  They keep bleating or bleeding; Now you can stop one with a tourniquet but not the other.  :)

Moses asks God, “Have I conceived, am I the progenitor, the father of all these people?  Did I conceive this nation, did I give birth to this ‘Mishpocheh,’ this clan or tribe?’  Have I begotten them, did I travail in birth with them, did I beget them that You LORD should say to me, “Carry (nasa) bear them up, lift them up, nurture and endure them; in thy bosom (khak) the breast with the arms, named for embracing; of a nursing father (a-man) to support, confirm, be faithful, and nourish them.  Now if you want to know more about whether a man can nurse a child, you can google it and you will get a lot of documented information.  God is talking here about a nursing father bearing a sucking child (ya-nak) to suckle, or nurse; unto the land which Thou did swear (sha-vah). This word is stronger then swear, it means to adjure, to command or charge solemnly under oath, to entreat solemnly unto their fathers or forefathers.

Moses goes on entreating the LORD, “Where am I going to get enough meat to feed all these people?”  It sounds like Jesus talking to Peter, “Feed My sheep!” Yet He gave Him nothing to feed them with, so let them chew on you. Sound familiar, pastor, deacon, elder, leader?  You see they cry to you, not to God, to feed them, to teach them, to care for them, to scratch their backs, to pick their bugs, etc.  And Moses tells God, “I’m not able to bear all this people alone, by myself, because this burden is too (ka-vad) too massive, too great, too burdensome, for me!” I have been there, I have ‘Burned Out, Crashed, Collapsed, Bottomed Out!’ Then it is time for a ‘Cabin, a Bible, a Canteen and a Blanket and just wait on God. How long, He will let you know, when you hear a knock on the door, open it! You are going to need help, just like Moses, human and divine.

If You have to deal this way with me, after this fashion said Moses; kill me (ha-rag) slay, murder, destroy me; let me not see or look at or perceive my wretchedness, wickedness or malignant disposition.  He is “Burned-Out” and wants to die like Elijah in 1 Kings 19:4-7; or Job in Job 6:9; or Jonah in Jon. 4:8, and so many others.  Then the LORD answers Moses’ prayers and sends him help in the size of the first ‘Sanhedrin’ or “Seventy Men” to bear the burden with Moses. (Now remember, his congregation was three million strong, with a (sap-sup). Then the LORD took some of the Spirit which was upon Moses and put it upon the ’70’ so they could bear the burden of the people together. P.T.L. It is good to share the load with others, this helps to prevent ‘Burn-Out.’ Stop trying to push that wheel-barrow all by yourself, especially uphill, get some help and do it today. Your cabin is waiting and so is your God! I’ll see you on my knees next time or, “…Between The Lines…” 

“The Prayer Against Burn-Out”      (Num. 11:10-15)

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“The Back-row Baptist Prayers”

Numbers 11:1-3

“And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed those who were in the farthest parts of the camp. And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched. And he called the name of the place Taberah, because the fire of the LORD burned among them.”

They hadn’t marched but three days from Sinai to Kadesh-barnea when the complaining started probably due to the mixed multitude in v.4 or the ‘back-row’ Baptists sitting in the farthest or uttermost part of the camp. v.1,  “And when the people, God’s people, began to complain (anan) murmur and complain, to be sad, sorrowful and to begin to mourn, but you never do that, right?  This was not uncommon to the children of Israel, in Exodus 16:2 they murmured against Moses and Aaron till they received the (Manna – what is it) from heaven.  Then in Exodus 17:3 they murmured against Moses until they got water from the rock, but it doesn’t end there either as they wandered and were tested, they kept complaining and Moses kept interceding. Psalm 106:25 says, “They murmured in their tents and hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD.”  But that doesn’t speak of us, right?  1 Corinthians 10:10 says of the church, “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer.”  Interesting He doesn’t say ‘Jewish People’ here in verse one, just people (am) in general; a people, a nation, a kindred, a multitude.  However, he does say, it displeased (rah) (o-zen) “to hear an evil report in one’s ears.”  So when we murmur, complain, or walk around with a puss on so low we can suck marbles out of a gopher hole without bending over, God gets an evil report in His ear and it displeases Him.  He doesn’t like mugwumps, back-row pew warmers, or lemon suckers. As it says in v. 1, “He hears it (sh-ma) and is paying  close attention.” So, be careful with your belly-aching at church!

Not only does He pay attention but His anger (af) the nostrils on His face flair up; in other words He gets angry, and it shows; In fact His anger is kindled (kha-ra) hot, furious, burning, incensed, and the fire (ash) flames, the supernatural fire of the LORD, burnt (ba-ar) or started burning, among them and consumed (akal) ate, devoured, burned up, those in the farthest (ka-tseh) end, extremity, or outskirts, of the camp or encampment. So, the people started complaining, and it was reported to God, and His anger was kindled set on fire and His wrath began to fall on them and consume those farthest from the Tabernacle because it was in the center of the camp and the mourners brigade was in the outskirts, the back rows, and people began to die again!  They never learn, but then do we ever lean? You say but they were stiff-necked and stubborn, ‘Hello!’

So, they call on their chief intercessor; well the only intercessor they know of, to go to God for them before they were all consumed and turned into crispy critters: “And the people cried (tsa-ak) to call out for help, to cry aloud, to summon, they were desperate.  Why?  Their family and friends were dying; that’s why!  They cried unto Moses, “Help us!”  How many people had to die first?  Two, one hundred, two thousand, two hundred thousand?  And Moses prayed (pa-lal) – intervened, interposed, interceded, stepped in the gap!  And the fire was quenched (sha-kah) subsided, collapsed, sunk down, or submergeded.  “And he called the name of the place Tab-erah (tav-a-ra) – Burning, in the wilderness of Paran.

You can’t help but wonder why so much prayer in the book of Numbers as compared to Leviticus, Exodus and Deuteronomy? From Exodus 12:1 when they left Egypt it was the first month, the tenth day of Nisan or Passover. Leviticus lasted 30 days at Sinai and then in Numbers 9:1 it is the first month of the second year and it’s Passover again.  So, from Exodus 12:1 to Numbers 9:1 only one year has passed.  Then from Numbers 9:1 to Deuteronomy 1:1, 38 more years pass as they are about to enter the “Promised Land.”  So, there are 38 more times or years for them to get into trouble and need their intercessor in Numbers than the other Books.  So, fasten your seat belt and grab a falafel and hang onto your yarmulke we have 27 chapters and 37 years to get through on camel yet.

Now as I was saying before their intercessor Moses had a tough row to hoe. You may have one person to intercede for or one congregation.  He had 3 million and a mixed multitude and they were stubborn, stiff necked, hard hearted and had chutzpa!  But you don’t know anybody like that right?  To intercede is to step between two people, to be a ‘Go-Between; a ‘Mediator.’  Inter is the prefix for between; and cede is suffix for ‘to go.’  A go between, to intervene.  Intercession requires sweat on your part, holy-sweat; it’s more perspiration then inspiration at times.  That’s why we have so few ‘intercessors‘ today and so, many ‘interferers, interrupters, interjectors, interlopers, and interrogators.’ in John 15:15.

Moses was a ‘Friend of God,’ Exodus 33:11 and Jesus called us His ‘Friends’ in John 15:15.  Only a ‘Friend’ can go to a Friend‘ on behalf of another to intercede.  We can go to the Father in the name of His Son based on His Son’s authority because He made the way possible.  We don’t come before God in our name and authority, we come in His Son’s name, who is our Friend!  I can intercede for you and you can intercede for me and just in case you are too overwhelmed by the circumstances or you don’t know how or what to pray for, the Holy Spirit who lives in you will make groaning’s for you “which can not even be uttered” because He knows the mind and the will of God!  It’s too bad most of us miss out on this vital ministry in our lives and in the lives of those around us.  Till we meet again, I’ll see you on our knees or “….Between The Lines….” 

“The Back-row Baptist Prayers” 11/25/15


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“The Lost Prayer Blessing”

Numbers 10:35-36

“And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, “Rise up, LORD and let thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Thee flee before Thee.”

“And when it rested, he said, “Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.”

Unfortunately I don’t hear many pastors or spiritual leaders praying a blessing over their congregations anymore except in the liturgical churches. It seems to be the “Lost Blessing” of the church age. It was the privilege of the father in the Jewish home to bless his children and this usually happened every Sabbath and generally on his death bed, watch ‘Fiddler on The Roof’ or read the book of Genesis. II Corinthians 13:14 was a popular blessing; you will hear it in movies and in liturgical churches or Numbers 6:24-27; Oh, that one was just for the Jewish people in Aaron’s day, really? How about Romans 15:13, my wife just shared that verse with me recently and it blessed my heart. I think we should re-discover this lost art so our wives, children and congregations can benefit from the rich blessings they are missing out on. Pick up a book on the subject, I think you will find it very enlightening and enriching. ( Now back to my blog…)

Well, it’s the second year, the second month, and they have built the Tabernacle, celebrated Passover and ‘Little Passover’ and mover out from ‘Camp Sinai’ and “the ark of the covenant went before them,” v.33 to find a resting place. The cloud was before them by day to give them guidance and protection from the sun in the hot desert and the pillar of fire by night to guide them and to give them warmth from the cold desert nights. You could not see a pillar of fire against a hot sun in the desert by day, hence the need for the cloud nor could you see the cloud in the night desert sky, hence the need for the pillar of fire. So, the cloud was upon them by day and the fire went before the by night.

“And it came to pass,” v.35, when the ark (aron) the chest, coffin, ark of the covenant, carrying the stone tablets with the law carved on them with the (kapporah) the mercy seat covered in blood and never cleaned with the two Cherubim where God, the (YHVH) would meet with His people and talk or commune with them; When the cloud or pillar of fire rose up they broke camp and when it stopped they made camp for as long as it stayed stationary. So, it came to pass, v.35 when the ark set forward, (nasa) to pull up, to spring up, to pluck up or to go up. Interesting, “NASA” is the acrostic for our ‘National Aeronautics Space Association’ and it is the Hebrew word for ‘lifting up,’ I wonder if there was any connection? Probably not!

Moses said, “Rise up, LORD, (kum) arise, stand up, become powerful, show Thy strength. WOW! What an invitation or declaration! He is not commanding God, you don’t command God, he is just saying, “Stand up, LORD, show them who You are, let them see Your power!” “Let Your enemies be scattered (puts) dashed to pieces, not just dispersed, but destroyed! Total Annihilation! He goes even further, “Let them that hate Thee (sana) are hateful toward Thee, flee (nus) disappear, hide, fly away on horse back, from before Thy (paneem) face!” Where can you flee from the presence of God? Psalm 1397 ff. He is omnipresent, so you can run, you can fly, you can sail, but you can’t hide from His presence!

When it rested (nu-akhh) settled down, set or laid down again, to take a breath, he said, “Return, O LORD (shuv) restore, refresh, return; this is the same word we use for repent but not for God, He doesn’t repent. His is more of a ‘Returning, Restoring & Refreshing’, unto the many thousands of Israel. How many? Why do you bother with the Hebrew words Roger? Unto the many (rev-a-va) multitude, myriad, tens of thousands, thousands is (eh-lef) thousand, ten thousand or 10,000 x 10,000 which equals millions. This verse verifys the fact that they had 2.5 to 3 million people as they set out from Sinai not 50,000 – 250,000 as some liberal scholars believe. This is why it’s important to look at the meaning of the Hebrew words, they give meaning to the context and authenticate God’s word and promises. God said it, that settles it, so I believe it!

“Rise up, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered, and let them that hate You or Your word flee before You!” Till next time, we’ll see you “…Between The Lines…”

“The Lost Prayer Blessing” 11/18/15 

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“Intercession For Little Passover.” Num. 9:8 – 11/11/15

It was the first anniversary of their “Passover Celebration” after their exodus from Egypt (Mizraim). They are in the wilderness of Sinai, the Tabernacle has been built, the Aaronic priesthood has been established to offer their sacrifices, but they have a problem.  Some of them have touched dead bodies or been near one and they are defiled and they are not at Numbers 19 yet where they get the, ‘Red Heifer’! So, they don’t have the ashes for purification, and what are they to do? Offer a sacrifice, skip the feast, fast and pray, what?  What they need is an answer from God, so they need a mediator, an intercessor, someone to stand in the gap between them and JeHoVaH.

Job had this problem and his book pre-dates Numbers and seems to have been written around the time of Genesis or there abouts.  He is looking for a ‘Daysman/Mediator’, a ‘Go-Between’ that might lay His hand on man and God,  Job 9:33.  Job’s reply to Eliphaz and his friends in Job  16:21 is, “Oh, that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleads for his neighbor!”  Job longs for that person to be the ‘point man’, to be in the front, to make his case clear, to be his advocate and so are these men.  The problem is you only find the word ‘intercessor’ one time in the Scriptures in Isa. 59:16 and there it is used in a negative way as the LORD states, “He saw there was NO man, and wondered that there was NO intercessor…”  It sounds a lot like Ezk. 22:30, where the LORD says, “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.”  No not one!  Jeremiah was in Jerusalem at that time, but what value were his prayers for a people who would not repent.  Jer. 11:14; Ps. 66:18.

So they needed an intercessor, someone to plead their case with God and there was only one man they knew of with that kind of experience, Moishe or Moses, because he had done it several times before.  So, Moses says unto them in v.8, “Stand still,’ (amad) ‘come forth and present yourselves before the LORD;’ ” And I will hear” (sha-mah) listen, obey and give heed to; “what the LORD (YeHoVah) will command (tsa-vah), order, command, appoint, ordain, for you to do.”  Moses hadn’t touched a dead body, only these men had, so only they had to follow the LORD’s divine commands, vv. 9-14; and thus we have the institution of (Pesach Shenei) or ‘Little Passover’, celebrated 30 days after the first Passover and still celebrated and observed today.

We have three levels of Intercessors today:

l –  The Son of God, who ever lives to make intercession for us, Heb. 7:25; 9:24; and Ro.8:34.

2 – The Spirit of God, who helps our weakness, inability and want of strength and makes intercessions for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, Ro. 8:26.

3 – The Saints of God – who are to help one another in need, 1 Tim. 2:1; especially in spiritual struggles.

There is a process here for us in 1 Tim. 2:1; Supplications – an entreaty to God of a need or want and in the New Testament times the suppliant carried an olive branch with him as a sign of peace; Prayers (proseuche) is used of prayer in general:  Intercession is to intercede, to go between on behalf of another; lighting upon or meeting with a King or with God for another person or persons because you have the right, the position or the privilege and it is offered in earnestness.  In Heb. 5:7 – Christ offered up “prayers and supplications for us with strong crying and tears.”  Strong (ischuros) – mighty, powerful, forceful, valiant crying (kra-gay) outcry, clamor, scream, shriek, tumult, grief and tears (daku).  I know Christ died for us on Calvary but did you know He cried for you on Golgatha?  This is interceding in earnestness,.  “Father, remove this cup from Me, nevertheless, not my will but thine be done!”  And He suffered hematohidrosis and the capillaries in His flesh burst from stress and grief and blood poured out of His pours; that’s what I call intense intercession.

Prayer is addressed to God the Father Matt 6:6; Through God the Son,  Jn. 16:23;’ By God the Holy Spirit, Ro. 8:26.  In no instance ever in the New Testament are believer’s ever instructed to pray to God the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit lives in and with believers Jn. 14:16-17; we are exhorted to pray at all seasons in the Spirit Eph. 6:18; Jude v. 20; James 5:16, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!”  This could be better translated, “the inwrought supplication, by the Holy Spirit, of a righteous man, greatly prevails (ischuo) W.E. Vine.  There’s that same word that we  have in Heb. 5:7 – supplication with strong crying and tears. Have you ever experienced that kind of praying?

So Moses steps forth to intercede for his people and tells them to, ‘Stand Still’ or “Present Themselves” before JeHoVaH, the (YHVH) the great “I AM” and He will give a command concerning them.  Are you willing to carry the olive branch before YeHoVaH for His people and be a GAP man or woman.  To stand in the breach, to carry the censer, to stay the hand of the judgement of the Almighty?  The nation of Israel only had one intercessor, but praise God we have many, many; and by God’s grace you my friend are one! So, till next time, I’ll see you on our knees or,  “…Between The Lines…”

“Intercession For Little Passover.” Num. 9:8 – 11/11/15


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“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:89” (Part #3)

“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:89”

It is heart-warming and somewhat moving to observe that although the offerings of the twelve princes were identical, everyone of them is separately recorded by Divine Inspiration. God could have recorded one and said, “It was repeated twelve times for His glory.” Instead He chose to repeat each identical offering, showing  He is interested not only in detail but more importantly in people. Think of our Lord observing the widow in Mark 14:41-44 putting in her “two cents” or “two mites”which make a half a farthing or an 1/8 of a cent. Yet He noticed, observed, commented, remembered and recorded it for all eternity, an 1/8 of a penny, why? Because she gave all she had, “even all her living.” That’s sacrificial giving talked about in Phil. 4:18, giving from your very survival.

The giving in Num. 8 was giving from their abundance. In Ex. 12:35-36, the LORD gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians and they gave them gold, silver, jewels and raiment and they despoiled (na-stal) stripped and plundered Egypt as they departed. When asked to bring an offering to build the Tabernacle in Ex. 36, they brought too much and the people had to be constrained from bringing anymore. WOW! When you give to the LORD, do you give from your abundance or from your very survival? All this was done to dedicate the altar after it was anointed.

Interesting in Num. 8:1 the LORD gives Moses instructions to tell Aaron to light the Menorah, the Candlestick, or the Seven Branch Candelabrum, to light up the holy place on that day. The ancient Rabbis believe this happened on the 25th of Kislev. Why? Because the word ‘Dedication’ in v. 88 is the Hebrew word (Hanukkah) for ‘Dedication.’ This is the first time, in the Torah this word appears. However, in chapter seven of Numbers it appears four times, vv. 10, 11, 84, & 88, in the dedication of the altar. The same thing that is going to happen in 164 B.C. with Judah Maccabee on the same day. Whether tradition c0-ordinated this later or providence beforehand it remains to be revealed.

Moses enters the (ohel) the tent, the dwelling place, or tabernacle of the congregation to speak with the ‘LORD’ the “YHVH” the great “I AM!” The One who causes to be, or to come into existence; The uncaused cause, if there is such a thing or Being; The One who was, and is and is to come! When He told Moses in Ex. 3:14 at the burning bush His name He said, “I AM THAT I AM” (Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh). That name contains every tense of the verb ‘To Be.’ So, he is the ‘ISing One!’ That is the One Moses came to speak to or better yet to listen to! It seems to me, Moses did more listening than talking, Num. 8:1 says, “And the LORD spoke unto Moses saying…” v.5, “And the LORD spoke unto Moses saying…” How much of our prayer time is spent in listening to the LORD in stead of talking and telling Him what we want? Prayer is a two-way street and involves as much listening as speaking!

Moses heard the voice of the LORD speaking to him from off the (kap-poreh) the mercy seat, the place of atonement, the place of propitiation, sprinkled with blood and never cleansed, never! Propitiation is a $10.00 word that means ‘satisfying sacrifice.’ So, ‘YeHoVaH’ is upon the ‘Mercy Seat’ upon the ‘Ark of Testimony’ which contained the tablets of the law and He was between the two cherubim. These were beings of sublime, celestial nature; a compound of man, ox, lion, and eagle which symbolized wisdom and power. (See Ezk. 1 & 10) Cherubim are symbolic of God’s holy presence and unapproachability. They are celestial beings who guard and vindicate the righteousness of God, like the garden of Eden, Gen. 3:24; the mercy of God, Ex. 37:9; and the government of God, Ps. 80:1; 99:1; In the holy of holies God’s glory dwelt between the cherubim, Ex. 25:10-22.

Yet Moses had gone into the tabernacle to speak (da-var) to put his words in order. It is like meeting with the president. Do you just want to speak off the cuff, whatever comes to mind or do you want to put your words in order first? Do you want to have something to say before you open your mouth? Too often we come before God in prayer with loose verbiage and we really don’t have anything to say of significance, that is. So, we need to put our brain in gear before we let our clutch out and engage our mouths. That’s what Moses was doing, going into the tabernacle to speak (da-var) to put his words or speech in order before God for the congregation. I think watching the “Parade of the Princes”caused him to put his thoughts and words in order. We need to pick up a “Principle For Prayer” from this scene. Before we go into our prayer closet, our war room we need a battle plan, a prayer list, a prayer journal, we need to ‘put our words in order.’ What is it we are going to ask God to do for us and what is it we are going to do for Him or with Him! You see this is a two-way street, Moses! God is more then willing to do His part but what about you? Are you willing to do your part? Are you willing to ask God what He wants you to do in bringing uncle Frank or aunt Suzzie or Grandma to Christ as well as Him? Moses go tell Aaron to light the candles, God could have done that! Moses cleanse the Levites and I will sanctify them. Moses do this, Moses do that, Moses, Moses, Moses…..

God is more than willing to do His part, but are we willing to do our part? Prayer is a two-way street, remember that and listening is a major part of prayer and (da-var) put your words in order before you step into that closet, know what you are going to say or ask for and be ready to do your part. Till next time, I’ll see you “…Between The Lines…”

“Incense For Intercession – Num. 7:89”  10/31/15 

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