“Balaam – The Praying Mantis” (Part #-1) Num. 22:8-9


“Balaam – The Praying Mantis” (Part #-1) Num. 22:8-9

“And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the LORD shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam. And God came unto Balaam and said, “What men are these with thee?” Num. 22:8-9 KJV.

 

Balaam is a prophet for hire, or a “Prophet for Profit!” However, God can still use him for His perfect will, plans, pleasure and profit. Amen? “Man proposes, but God disposes; Man devises, but God designs; Man imagines, but God creates; Man plans, but God completes!” God wants Balaam to go to Balak for His glory but Balaam is going for his own personal gain, he is a ‘Prophet for Profit!’ Doesn’t the Bible say, “The LOVE of money is the ROOT of all evil.” Not money in and of itself, money is amoral, it is neither good nor evil, it is the ‘love of it’ that gets men into trouble. Balak the ‘Son of Zippor or Zipper’ is the king of Moab. That name should have thrown up a flag, ‘The son of the sparrow’ a small bird, known for its twittering, and fluttering about.

 

“Behold there is a people come out of Egypt who cover the face of the earth, come now and curse them for me, perhaps I shall be able to overthrow them and drive them out.” Perhaps, he says in, v. 11; God tells Balaam in v.12, “Don’t Go, and Don’t Curse Them! Because, “They Are Blessed!” v.20; They are My people and I love them, Dt. 7:8. How do you curse something or someone that God has already blessed? You don’t, you can’t, and Balaam is learning that lesson; Why can’t our leaders learn that principle? This dialogue continues between Balaam and God for four chapters, Num. 22-25.

 

Balaam was a typical hireling prophet much like the ones we have today on T.V. only seeking to market their wares. This is referred to as “The Way of Balaam,” in II Peter 2:15 and characterizes false teachers, “Who loved the wages of unrighteousness, but was rebuked for his iniquity…” The error of Balaam is seen in Jude v.11, where he could see only the natural morality of humanity because he himself was unspiritual, unsaved, and unregenerated. Therefore a holy God seeing evil in Israel, Balaam felt God must curse such a people as the Israelites. Like all false teachers he was blind and ignorant of the higher morality of God’s vicarious atonement, whereby God could be ‘Just and Justifier’ of a believer at the same time, Romans 3:26. The reward Jude talks about in v.11 doesn’t have to be money, it can be popularity, fame, fortune, or just applause to feed your ego and pride. Then there is the “Doctrine of Balaam” seen in Rev. 2:14; He couldn’t curse Israel so he got Balak to corrupt them by getting them to inter-marry Moabite women, commit fornication, and defile their separation from the world, to God. That is what has happened to the church today. The church has united with the world in spiritual un-chastity and you can’t tell the difference anymore. Balaam, whose name means, “not of my people” (Bala-am) the son of Beor (burning);

Or the king of Edom, to Pethor (soothsayer) one who professes to foretell the future, or a mantis, (I hope you are getting the picture!) So, Balaam was a soothsayer, a medium, a fortune-teller, and not one of his people, one of Balak’s or Moses’. He was the son of Beor (burning) and could have been connected to Molech the fire god of the Ammorites or Chemosh the fire god of the Moabites who offered their children alive in the fire.

He is referred to as a “Mantis” in Greek or I guess we could call him “The Praying Mantis” for our blog today, because we are trying to focus on his prayer dialogue with God even though he is not a true believer. You mean unbelievers can pray to God and He will hear them and even answer them? Watch my lips, YES! Psalm 65:2 says, “O Thou Who hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.” All means all, and that’s all, all means! What about those pagan sailors on Jonah’s ship, did God hear their prayers? YES! Wait till we get to Balaam’s donkey, oi vey! So, we have, “The way of Balaam:” “The error of Balaam;” and “The doctrine of Balaam;” We can sure learn a lot from, ‘The Praying Mantis’ who is not of this people, then where is he from? Or should I spell it “The Preying Mantis?” Webster says a mantis is a diviner or a prophet, and it comes from the Greek.

 

So, the ‘LORD God in vv. 12-13 tells him, “Don’t Go and Don’t Curse these people because they are blessed;” and he sends Balak’s messengers home. So, Balak sends more messengers, more honorable, and with more treasures, v.15 than the first ones. Balaam answers correctly in v. 18 when he says, “If Balak gave me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the LORD my God (YeHoVaH my Elohim) to do less or more.” WOW! Powerful statement, wouldn’t you say? Forget chapters 22-25, don’t write them, just put these words on your ice-box and go home. (If he had ice in his box). It seems in v. 20 something strange happened, it says, “God or a god came to Balaam at night and told him to go; but speak only what I tell you.” Then in v. 22, YeHoVaH God is very angry, in fact He is wroth with Balaam because he went; the word wroth in Hebrew means His nostrils flared out like a stallion in anger pawing the ground! There is a lot of discussion here between God’s ‘Directive Will’ and His ‘Permissive Will.” In other words, ‘Don’t test God!’ Don’t keep asking Him after He has told you His will in a certain matter and revealed it to you. “Don’t keep asking after He has told you, NO!” (That’s one way of looking at this dilemma)

 

Forty-seven times in ninety-six verses Balaam uses the word YeHoVaH or JeHoVaH the (YHVH), the TETRAGRAMATON, the holiest name of God’s Oneness and Self Existence. He mentions El Shaddai twice, the All Sufficient One, who not only enriches but makes fruitful. Job uses this name 31 times and God introduces this name to Abraham in Gen. 17:1 when He changes his name from Abram to Abraham. He also uses Elyon the ‘Most High God’ possessor of heaven and earth. A name used by Melchizedek in Gen. 14, King of Salem when he met Abraham. He also used ‘Ruach ha Elohim’ the ‘Spirit of God’ referring to the ‘Holy Spirit of God’ the “Ruach ha Kodesh.” Then he talks about;

The ‘Angel of the YeHoVaH’ the messenger or theophany of the LORD which is a Christophany. So, we have the whole Tri-Unity of the God-Head appearing in these three chapters to this soothsayer who uses God’s name in every other verse. Thirteen times (13) we have YeHoVaH, The YHVH, a very special number to God and 11 of those are referring to the Christophany and then 18 times he uses ‘Elohim’ or ‘El.’ Elohim is a plural intensive form but it is singular in meaning and he uses it mainly in chapter 22, ten times. “El, which is singular can mean, god, god like, a mighty one, a false god, a demon, or ‘The One True God,’ so it has many meanings.

 

Forty-three times we have God or Elohim used in the Bible with a little ‘g’ 43 times! Over 220 times the word Elohim gods is used with a little ‘g’ and who decides this, the translators! Look at Exodus 20:2-3 in the ‘Ten Commandments,’ we have the exact same word ‘Elohim’ translated in v. 2 with a big ‘G’ and in v. 3 with a little ‘g’ and there it is plural in both verses, and the list continues for 260 plus instances. Then you have Exodus 7:1 in the KJV where you have the word Elohim translated with a little ‘god’ but in the NKJV it is translated with a big ‘God.’ Who made that choice, the translators. All I’m saying is it seems strange to me that God or a god shows up in the night and tells Balaam to go in Num. 22:20 after the ‘LORD YeHoVaH’ told him not to go, and we know who that is, no mistaking Him, and He is very angry, wroth in fact, His nostrils are flared out, His wrath was hot, He was really, really angry! Why? v. 12, He said, “Thou Shalt Not Go With Them!” That is pretty plain, pretty pointed! Wouldn’t you say?

 

So, who is this God, or a god in v. 20 who said, “go with them?” I may be Polish, and not have a doctorate and only have 40+ years of ministry experience, so don’t pay any attention to me, just read His Book, and you tell me who showed up in v. 20 and changed His mind and then did it again in v. 22? Permissive Will vs Directive Will – Go, Don’t Go, Go! I don’t know about you but I would begin to question God’s will period! There is something wrong here or something missing, or something someone isn’t telling us. But to throw the Calvinistic will of God at me to answer this dilemma doesn’t sit well with me or solve anything. Besides, God never gives a direct command that He contradicts! This is either a fickle God who throws Balaam in a pickle barrel about to be slaughtered or it’s a demon disguised as God coming in the night as an angel of light – anyway!… The angel of the YeHoVaH stood in Balaam’s way with His sword drawn in His hand ready to kill him in v. 23. Does that sound like His permissive will? He is finally going to go in v. 35, Balak is not going to be very happy, Israel is going to be blessed to high heaven, Balaam will make some profound prophecies about Jesus Christ, and he will come back home broke where he will eventually be killed in, Num. 31:8.

 

So, what you do with this dilemma in Num. 22:20, with the word God or a god who came to Balaam at night and told him to go, is entirely up to you, Permissive Will vs. Directive Will or a demon, I don’t know if it can be solved, so let’s move on and see what the context has for us. However the key to remember is this when praying; When you get an answer from YeHoVaH, anchor it in His word with a verse and don’t listen to any other voice or advice, from angels, demons or man. If God says Go! Then Go! If He says, Don’t Go! Then Don’t Go! When He speaks to you in prayer find a verse, put your name in it and throw your anchor overboard and wait on Him and His Word, Period! Till next time, I’ll see you,”…Between The Lines…”

Posted in Ancient Judaism, Balaam's Prayer for Profit, Christianity, Communion With God, Devotional, Family Altars, Gateway To God, Groaning In Prayer, Holy Ground, Judaism, Portraits of Prayer, Practicing The Presence of God, Prayer, Prayer Closet, Prayer Dialogue, Prayer In The Book of Numbers, Prayer Journey, Prayerology, Prayers In The Desert, Scarlet Worm, the praying mantis, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“The Prayer For (mayim) Water” Num. 21:16


 

 

“The Prayer For (mayim) Water”   Num. 21:16

“And from there they went to Beer that is the well whereof the LORD spoke to Moses; “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” Num. 21:16

 

Remember, back in v.5 they were complaining against Moses and God, because their soul loathed the light bread (manna) and because there was NO water, NO (mayim). So God said, “Gather the people and I will give them water.” Now, where are they? Somewhere in the desert wilderness below the Dead Sea, below the borders of Moab and the Arnon River, wandering, fighting serpents, which are nocturnal by the way and picking up (manna) on their knees in the dark before the sun comes up so they can eat, one quart for every member of their families. They complained to God, so He decided to send some poisonous snakes along to make the journey and (manna) picking a little more meaningful for them!

So, now He gives them some water, a lot of water, enough for 2.5 – 3 million people so they decided to sing Him a song instead of complaining, v.17 & 18: Then Israel sang this song- “Spring up, O well! All of you sing to it- the well the leaders sank; Dug by the nation’s nobles; By the lawgiver, with their slaves.” Wow! What a different attitude a few snake bites will give you, Amen? That was weak! From a bunch of grumbling grump-bumps to a praising choir of angels, singing the Hallelujah chorus for a glass of (mayim) water.

Now, where was this well, “whereof the LORD spoke unto Moses?” The word ‘Beer’ only appears twice in the scriptures by itself, here in Numbers 21:16 and also in Judges 9:21 where Jotham fled and hid himself from his brother Abimelech. Both of them are referred to as places or towns, and are capitalized, ‘Beer.’ In my humble but accurate opinion (tongue in cheek) I believe Moses may be referring to the well where he met Reuel’s daughters and protected them from the shepherds. He had run away from Pharaoh after killing an Egyptian for smiting a Hebrew one of his brethren in Exodus 2:11-13. In Exodus 2:15 he is in the land of Midian, Northern Saudi Arabia, “And he sat down by a well.” When the seven daughters of Reuel the priest of Midian came to water their sheep. It sounds very much like Rebekah in Gen. 24 with Eliezer. If this isn’t the occasion or the ‘well’ where the LORD spoke to Moses and they had prayer, then you will be hard pressed to find me another. This well is also west of Hebron just like Judges 9:21 tells us.

Some think it is “Beer-sheba” (The well of the seven fold oath) in Gen. 21:31. Here Abraham and Abimelech made a covenant for a well and Abraham gives him ‘seven ewe lambs,’ seven young female lambs, to seal the covenant, v.30. So, from then on ‘Beer-Sheba’ was known as, “The Well of The Oath.” Then Abraham planted a Tamarisk Tree and called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God, El Olam, the God who watches over everlasting things; So a covenant with God is everlasting! That is why in our marriage covenant we say, “Till death do us part!” At least we used to say it, now they are marriage contracts.

When Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away in Gen. 21:14 they wandered in the wilderness of Bath-Sheba, it was the area. Isaac was three years old when he was weaned and a party was thrown for him, and Ishmael was 17/18 and he was mocking (tsa-khak) laughing, jesting, making sport, v.9, so they were run off. They ran out of food and water in the wilderness and Hagar put Ishmael far away from her, a bow shot away as not to see him die and lifted up her voice and wept or wailed. However, God heard the voice of the lad, who was praying to YeHoVaH. Abraham taught Ishmael how to worship, sacrifice and pray; he taught him about the one true God for 18 years before sending him away and God heard his voice and sent “the angel of God” to Hagar “saying, “what aileth thee Hagar?” “For God has heard the voice of the lad!” And Notice v.19, “And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.” The well of water was there the whole time, but prayer opened her eyes so she could see it and benefit from it. Just like the ram on Mt. Moriah in Gen. 22, it was already there waiting for Abraham and Isaac, but prayer opens our eyes so we can see God’s provision right in front of us and drink from His cup. Hagar gets Ishmael a wife from Egypt and Ismael becomes a ‘Great Archer’ v.20 (rabah– to grow great; kash-shath, bowman, archer) In fact he became the greatest archer in the Bible as far as I know

The spiritual order here in Numbers 21 is beautiful: You see the atonement in v.8-9 as it is fulfilled in John 3:14-15 in Jesus Christ; Then you see the water as a symbol of the Holy Spirit bestowed on the children of Israel in v.16, fulfilled in John 7:37-39 on ‘Hoshanah Rabbah’ the last day, the great day of the Feast of Tabernacles; a day of Joy in v.17-18, with Israel singing to the LORD, this is seen in Rom. 14:7, “For the kingdom of god is not food and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” And last of all we see power in v.21-24 with Sihon king of the Amorites who refused to let them pass through his land and was wiped out and became a meaningless proverb! After that they took on Og King of Bashan, the remnant of the giants, Dt. 3:11, 2:10-11, 20-21; 3:4: The ‘Bulls of Bashan’ show up in Ps.22 at the Cross on Calvary, huge, demonically possessed spirits. No, I am not going to try and figure all of this out along with Isa. 14:9 and the Rephaim in the Netherland, Prov. 9:18; Job 26:5-6, This is the ‘Nether World’ and its not where Peter Pan lives but its where I prefer not to let my mind wander. I asked a Rabbi friend one day in a Synagogue, “what happens to you when you die?” He said, “we go to the Netherland, the under world with the Rephaim.” That sent chills up my spine. But here is Moses fighting Og the king of Bashan, and the bulls of Bashan the last of these half man, half demon beings.. or are they the last? Till next time, I’ll see you, “…Between The Lines…” 

“The Prayer for (mayim) Water” Num. 21:16    –   8/3/16

Posted in Christianity, Communion With God, Devotional, Gateway To God, Groaning In Prayer, Olivet Ministries International, OMI, Portraits of Prayer, Prayer, Prayer Dialogue, Prayer for mayim, Prayer for Water, Prayer Journey, Prayerology, Scarlet Worm, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Prayer Against Fiery Serpents” Num. 21:4-9


“Prayer Against Fiery Serpents” Num. 21:4-9

“And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and many people of Israel died.” Num. 21:6

They just saw God do a wonderful miracle for them and destroy king Arad and his people and Hormah and now they are discouraged because the road is a little rough, it wasn’t paved! How is the road God has given you to travel, a little rough today, some pot holes in the way, maybe a few ruts, maybe some roadblocks or construction or even a detour. Why do we feel that when God sends us on a journey it has to be a smooth ride? I am reading a book by Nik Ripkin entitled, “The Insanity of Obedience” it’s a follow-up to his book “The Insanity of God.” Those two books will change your life or your outlook on life, I guarantee it! God tells us to ‘GO!’ He doesn’t necessarily tell us to come back. The Jewish people were tired of the ‘Manna’ they said, “Our soul loathes (kuts – abhors, a sickening dread, to the point of vomiting and gaging) this light (kel-o-kal, contemptible, worthless, despicable) bread (lech-em) bread, food, grain.” I can’t even imagine uttering those words to a spiritual leader, let alone to God for His provision!

Now look at Num. 21:5, “And the people spoke against (Elohim, the God of creation) and against Moses (their prophet, lawgiver, and leader) (God first, then Moses) Why have you brought us up out of Egypt (Mits-rah-im)to die (muth – to be executed) in this wilderness (mid-bar, uninhabited land) for there is no bread, nor water and our soul (neh-fesh, life, the inner-man, life’s blood) loathes this light bread (manna).” Talk about being ungrateful, and how did the LORD respond? Did He tell Moses, “You better talk with your people!” NO! The LORD sent fiery serpents, v.6 and they bit the people and many died. How many, (rav – much, many, numerous) exceedingly abundant, a great many. So, how many serpents did God send to the 2.5 to 3 million Jewish people, 100, 200 or 500,000? We don’t know, but we do know that a great many people died and many more were bitten.

“Therefore,” v.7 – “The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against thee! Pray unto the LORD, that He take away the serpents from us, and Moses prayed for the people.” Why couldn’t they pray for themselves, maybe that’s why the LORD didn’t take away the serpents. In fact there are many poisonous vipers in Israel and the Sinai desert today. The ‘Burrowing Asp‘ whose venom ranks as the 3rd most toxic in the world and has a side stabbing fang to hit you, so it doesn’t even have to open its mouth; The ‘Palestinian Viper‘ is nocturnal and rather placid during the daytime and strikes very quickly; The ‘Horned Desert Viper‘ is nocturnal and burrows in the dirt and usually strikes when it is stepped on; The ‘Puff Adder‘ is nocturnal, hiding from the sun and heat, is not shy when approached and will strike quickly; The ‘Saw-Caled Viper‘ is small but extremely dangerous and attacks any intruders, many deaths are attributed to this viper; The ‘Desert Cobra‘ is entirely black, and very aggressive, its venom is highly toxic, it will raise its head to strike but has no hood; The ‘Field Horned Viper‘ its venom is more like a cobra than a viper, and no anti- venom exists, so if you get bit you will die and it’s not pleasant. That’s seven the number of perfection, want to go for a hike in the Sinai peninsula next time we go to Israel? I don’t think this is all of them either, then you have the scorpions, spiders and lizards and most of them are nocturnal, meaning they come out at night while you are sleeping.

So, the LORD tells Moses to make a fiery serpent (sa-raf) poisonous serpent, fiery from the burning effects of the venom, and set it or mount it on a pole (nas) an ensign, standard, signal pole, something lifted up, a rallying point, or token to be seen far off. Then when someone is bitten, when they look at it or behold it with faith believing, they will be healed. There is the key, with faith believing or saving faith! You could look at that serpent all day but if you didn’t believe, the venom would kill you. It is the same with Jesus on the cross, you can look all you want, but unless you look with faith believing, the venom of sin will kill you. It’s one thing to look at a bridge, it’s quite another thing to believe the bridge will hold you up, so you must step on it to prove it! You see without faith it is impossible to please God, but without risk, faith is impossible, so you have to step out!

The serpent here is a symbol of sin judged, bronze speaks of the divine manifestation in judgement as in the brazen altar. Now it must be noted that brass is an alloy of ‘copper and zinc’ and was not introduced until the 13th century. So what is referred to in the KJV Bible is bronze an alloy of ‘copper and tin’ but don’t get hung up on semantics. It’s still a sign of God’s divine judgement whether it is bronze or brass. So, let the knit pickers pick nits and let’s pick some fruit, O.K.? It also speaks of self-judgement as in the laver or basin of bronze or brass. The bronze serpent is a type of Christ, “Made sin for us” in bearing our judgement on Calvary; John 3:14-15, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; That whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” The key is found in II Cor. 5:17-21 and the word ‘Reconciliation’ (ka-tal-la-gay) the exchanged life, translated ‘atonement’ in Rom. 5:11. “He took our hell so that we might have His heaven!” “He took our sin and gave us His righteous standing before His Father.” “He took our rags, our (shamatahs), and gave us His robes of righteousness.” Can you fathom all of this? I can’t! Historically, this moment of time is recorded in His cry, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani – My God, My God, why have you forsaken (abandoned) Me?” Matt. 27:46. Because at that moment the ‘Son of Man’ became the ‘Sin of man’ and God had to look away because, “He is of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look at sin.” Hab. 1:13.

The serpent, Satan’s tool in Gen. 3 is cursed in v.14 and becomes God’s graphic warning in nature of the effects of sin, from the most beautiful and subtle creature to a loathsome reptile striking at your heels. The deepest mysteries of the cross of Christ are strikingly pictured by the serpent of bronze ‘Nehushtan‘ a type of Christ, “Made sin for us” in bearing the judgement we deserved. God never took away the serpents in Num. 21, He gave them a cure. Interesting, today doctors use the same symbol to identify their profession, a serpent on a pole, and sometimes two on one pole. The ‘W.H.O.’ and the ‘A.M.A.’ logos and even the ‘Star of Life’ on the ambulances have one snake wrapped around a pole. The pole is an (asklepian) or the rod of Asclepius, the son of Apollo, the god of medicine. The snake symbolizes rejuvenation, getting a new skin, or healing from snake bites, a very common ailment, or anti-venom, or the medicinal properties of snake venom. The ‘Caduceus’ with two snakes and wings is often used in the USA since 1900. However, the oldest symbol we have is Num. 21:8 with Moses and the nation of Israel.

Over 700 years later under the reign of King Hezekiah who reigned over Judah, a revival broke out and he destroyed the ‘Brazen Serpent’ Moses made which the children of Israel worshipped and burned incense to. He called it “Nehushtan – A thing of brass or bronze.” II Kings 18:4. By then they actually had a serpent cult in Israel and Hezekiah had to destroy it. So, we have to be careful with tradition, symbols and order that they are not worshipped as ritual. We need to search our lives and churches to see if there are any bronze things,  ‘Nehushtans’ that need to be broken in pieces. Till next time, I’ll see you, “…Between The Lines…”

“Prayer Against Fiery Serpents” Num. 21:4-9

Posted in Ancient Judaism, Christianity, Communion With God, Devotional, Family Altars, Gateway To God, Groaning In Prayer, Heart After God, Holy Ground, Incense For Intercession, Judaism, Nehushtan, Portraits of Prayer, Practicing The Presence of God, Prayer, Prayer Against Fiery Serpents, Prayer and Thanksgiving, Prayer Closet, Prayer Dialogue, Prayer In The Book of Numbers, Prayer Journey, Prayerology, Prayers In The Desert, Scarlet Worm, Shekinah Glory, Spirituality, The Altar of Prayer, The Brazen Serpent, The Incense Altar, The Prayer For Mercy, Uncategorized, Wilderness Prayers | Leave a comment

“The Vow Of Prayer To The LORD” Num. 21:2


“The Vow Of Prayer” Num. 21:2

“And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.” Num. 21:2

Why? Because King Arad the Canaanite fought against Israel and took some of their men prisoners. So, he had some ‘P.O.W.’s’ and Israel had a policy like the Marines today, “Leave no man behind!” However, our country left over 2,500 M.I.A.’s and P.O.W.’s in Vietnam and I have a list of everyone of their names and where they are from. But Israel made a vow to God for those “P.O.W.’s” and God honored it in v.3, “And the LORD hearkened (shema – listened intently) to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities, (kha-ram, to mutilate, exterminate, completely destroy) and He called the name of the place Hormah (destruction or waste).” WOW! God doesn’t look to kindly on those who take His people captive whether they are principalities, powers, things present or things to come; things human, or things demonic; things in heaven, things on earth, or things below the earth. Those that belong to God are God’s so I wouldn’t mess with Israel if you know what’s good for you or His church! Amen? So, listen up, “B.D.S.” Movement!

Now concerning this ‘Vow’ (na-dar) for a ‘Vow’ (neh-der) or votive offering. You see, they made a “Vow for a Vow!” Did you catch that? If you read over this to fast without your concordance or lexicon you will miss the difference in spelling of the two different words for ‘Vow.’ So, don’t miss the forest for the trees. Who are they talking to, GOD! So, they are ‘Vowing’ a ‘Vow‘ to God in prayer saying, “God if you will do this for us, we will do this for You!” Have you ever made a ‘Vow’ to God in prayer like this before, of course you have! We all have! Well if you made a vow to God it was in prayer. Now a promise is not a ‘Vow’ it’s just a promise, “I promise you I’ll be there on Friday.” A pledge is not a ‘Vow,’ “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…” people say that to become citizens and then we see them burning them in our streets. Swearing is not a ‘Vow,’ “I swear I never cheated on my taxes,” really Joe! The word “VOW” comes from the Latin word, “Votum – to vote” to caste your ballot; it’s a solemn affirmation or assertion to God or to your marriage partner; to declare emphatically, earnestly and solemnly, like your marriage vows. “I declare before God and these witnesses to love and to cherish, till death do us part!” They have taken the words, “I covenant before God and these witnesses” out of the marriage vows today, why? They are too binding, too permanent, too committed, too permanent and too restrictive, really. I think God meant, ‘One wife for life’ sorry, if that offends you but He said He hates the putting away, Mal. 2:16, but it happens.

The wisest man that ever lived, other than Jesus once told us we need to be careful with our vows, with and before God; Solomon said, “Better is it that thou should not vow, than that thou should vow and not pay.” Ecc. 5:5. Why? There again as I said in Num.20:16, God’s angels are listening to our prayers and either they carry them to God or carry the answers back to us or are involved in answering them in some way; but either way we need to guard our lips, “Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin neither say thou before the angel that it was an error. Wherefore, should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? ” Ecc. 5:6.  The context is our vows to God.  Now I know that, “there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. 2:5; and I know that Christ ever lives to make intercession for us, Heb. 7:25, but I also know that the angels are involved in our prayer life to God in some way.  Now, are they carrying our prayers up to God, or carrying the answers down to us or are they involved in the answers? I don’t know, but I do know one is standing right next to me right now and he is here to minister to me for God because I am an heir of salvation. Heb. 1:14; And I do know their were angels in our Church Sunday watching the service, and you and me and the pastor; 1 Cor. 11; Rev. 2&3.

The first time we find the word vow or the phrase “vowed a vow” (na-dar, neh-der) is in Gen. 28:20 with Jacob fleeing from Esau for his life and he stops in Bethel (the house of God) and the stone he used for a pillow, he made a pillar out of it and “vowed a vow” to God and promised to give Him a tithe of all he received if God would protect him and bring him back to his father’s house in peace.  Tithing 700 years before the Law, and where did he learn it from?  Abraham his grandfather, and where did Abraham learn it from, Melchizedek in Gen. 14:20 and from Noah who was still alive while Abraham was alive and Shem outlived Abraham, check out the genealogies.

However, here we have the “law of first mention” or the ‘Science of Etymology;’ which ever you prefer.  The word vow, vowed, vowedst, vowest, and voweth is used over 90 times in the Bible.  It is only found twice in the Newer Testament, Acts 18:18; and 21:28.  So, Jacob has a dream in the night of a ladder going from earth to heaven, with the angels of God ascending and descending on it, and the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD God of Abraham, thy Father, and the God of Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (singular).” Gen. 28:12-13.  Then Jacob set up a pillar, poured oil on it and “vowed a vow” (na-dar, neh-der) to the LORD God of Abraham his grandfather and Isaac, his father, but He really won’t become Jacob’s personal God until the river of “The Face of God” in Gen.32:30 when he wrestles with “the angel of the LORD” and He dislocates his hip and Jacob the supplanter becomes Israel the ‘Prince with God.’  Both names are applied to the nation characteristically, Jacob is the name for the natural descendants; Israel is the name for the Spiritual descendants.  “The LORD sent a word into Jacob and it hath lighted/fallen (na-fal) upon Israel.”  (see Rom. 11:26) “For they are not all Israel, who are Israel.” Rom. 9:6.

So, Jacob ‘vows a vow‘ to God and we have to carry this concept out, throughout the Scriptures and always remember to Whom we are making this vow.  In John 1:43-51 when Jesus calls Phillip and he goes to get Nathanael, Nathanael questions if any good thing can come out of Nazareth, and Phillip says, ‘Come and see.’  Then Jesus told him, He saw him sitting under a fig tree meditating and Nathanael was impressed but that wasn’t enough.  Jesus goes on in v.51 to tell him what he was meditating on under that fig tree, Gen. 28:12, “Jacob’s Ladder” and the angels ascending and descending upon the Son of God.  How did Jesus know that, because He is Omniscient, (All-Knowing) John 2:24-25,”He not only knows all men….He knows what is in men.”  That means He knows what you are thinking right now, as you read this!  It’s time to think about any vows you have made to man and to God and to rectify them in light of Ecc. 5:1-6. Amen?  Till next time, I’ll see you “…Between The Lines…”

“The Vow Of Prayer To The LORD” Num. 21:2

 

Posted in Ancient Judaism, Christianity, Communion With God, Devotional, Family Altars, Gateway To God, Groaning In Prayer, Heart After God, Holy Ground, Incense For Intercession, Judaism, Portraits of Prayer, Practicing The Presence of God, Prayer, Prayer Closet, Prayer Dialogue, Prayer Garden, Prayer In The Book of Numbers, Prayer Journey, Prayers In The Desert, Scarlet Worm, The Altar of Prayer, The Incense Altar, Unbroken Fellowship, Uncategorized, Vow of Prayer, Vow of Vow, Vow Wow!, Wilderness Prayers | Leave a comment

“Ministering Angels In The Desert” Num. 20:16


“Ministering Angels In The Desert”

“And when we cried unto the LORD, He heard our voice, and sent an angel, and has brought us forth out of Egypt; and behold we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border.” Num. 20:16

When we cry unto God, He sends His angels to minister unto us. The Hebrew word for cry in this verse is (tsa-ak) to cry out for help, because you are in distress or need; and who are they crying out to? The LORD, YeHoVaH, the Self-Existent One, The Great I AM, The One True GOD, and He heard (shema) to hear with attention and interest. Not just hear, but listen to, to pay attention too! He heard the (kole) sound of their voice, the noise it makes, not just the image it represents, but the very words themselves, everyone of them! That is incredible, but we are speaking of an incredible GOD are we not? He not only hears our cries but gives His undivided attention to every word and syllable we utter to Him in prayer, every word! Incredible! And He sent (sha-lach) to send off, to shoot off, to impel or dismiss and angel (malak) messenger, representative, theophanic angel; a messenger from God, that is an angel!

Now this particular angel is distinguished in the Bible from all the other angels and is referred to in Gen. 16:9; 22:11; 48:16; Ex. 3:2; 14:19; Num. 22:22; Jud. 2:4; 6:11; 13:3;  2 Kings 19:35; Isa. 63:9; Zech. 1:2; 12:8; He is named, “The angel of God,” in Gen. 21:17; “The angel of God’s presence,” in Isa. 63:9; and is probably, “The messenger (angel)of the covenant” in Mal. 3:1. He is clearly identified with the LORD in His Self-Manifestation to man-kind. In Ex. 3:2-6 this same angel said to Moses, “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham.” Divine attributes are ascribed to this angel, in fact He told Hagar, “I will multiply thy seed exceedingly,” in Gen. 16:10; and Hagar spoke of Him as the all-seeing God in v.13. Jacob referred to Him as, “An angel who redeemed me from all evil,” Gen. 48:16. The place where the angel appeared was holy ground and He was to be worshipped; Ex. 3:5-6. Whereas, worship is sternly forbidden in the case of ordinary angels, Rev. 22:8-9. “The angel of the Lord was the keeper of Israel, and His voice had to be obeyed, for the name of God was in him.” Ex. 23:20-23.

However, in light of the Newer Testament, this Older Testament angel may properly be identified with the pre-incarnate ‘Son of God.’ In Jud. 13:18, the angel referred to his name as ‘Secret’ or literally, “Wonderful” (Pele) in Hebrew. Isaiah 9:6 gives this name to the predicted Messiah of Israel. The Jewish Midrash states that the Son in Isaiah 7:14 is the same Son in Isaiah 9:6 with eight names and that Christians do a terrible injustice by combining them into four names. In fact it is the only verse I know of in their Bible that they don’t translate but only transliterate. Malachi affirmed that “the LORD” who would “Suddenly come to His temple” would also be, “The messenger of the covenant.” Mal. 3:1. The identification of this angel with our Lord harmonizes with His distinctive function in relation to the Godhead for He is the eternal Word through whom the invisible God speaks and manifests Himself, John 1:1; 18. It is significant however, that in the Newer Testament there are no further references to the ‘angel of the Lord.’ Christ is conceived, crucified, crowned and sitting next to His Father; He is not walking on earth any longer, not until His second coming. He is seen standing to receive Stephen’s spirit, He is seen in the clouds talking to Paul in the Hebrew language, but He is not appearing as an angel, but He does send His angelic messengers to minister to us the heirs of His kingdom, Heb. 1:14.

Daniel prayed for 21 days, Dan. 10:2 waiting for an answer to his prayers. Gabriel was dispatched on the very first day but the prince of Persia stopped him and Michael the archangel, had to come and help Gabriel do battle and Gabriel finally got to Daniel with the message from God, and a very important message it was, too! So, Daniel prayed and Satan fought; does that tell you anything about your prayer life? Twenty one days fasting and praying and never letting up, never quitting, never giving in, NEVER!! How long would you go without food and water for a prayer request? How long? The problem with prayer today is the lack of importunity, Luke 11:8.  We need to ask with a beggars craving, seek with a servant’s carefulness and knock with a friends confidence and keep on knocking until He opens the door!

Jesus prayed in the garden of the ‘Olive Press’ and His Father sent angels to minister unto Him and strengthen Him, Lk. 22:43.  This was when He suffered (hematohidrosis) a bloody sweat, a medical term only used by Dr. Luke.  His Father also sent angels to minister unto Him after His temptation in the wilderness by Satan, Matt. 4:11; Mark 1:13.  As Zacharias was offering incense, a type of prayer (Rev. 5:8 & 8:3-5) the angel Gabriel appeared to  him and made him deaf and dumb, because he doubted God’s Word and power.  The disciples of Christ are scattered abroad preaching the Word, and Phillip goes to Samaria and back to Jerusalem when an angel tells him to go to Gaza and take the Gospel to the Ethiopians!

In Acts 10 Cornelius is on his roof praying at the ninth hour, 3;00 P.M. ‘The Hour of Prayer’ the same time Zacharias was offering incense, David killed Goliath, Christ gave up His Spirit, the evening offering was made in the Temple, Elijah called down fire from heaven, etc., etc:  And an angel came to Cornelius saying, v.4b “Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”  A memory of a person or thing preserved before God in remembrance.  Your prayers and gifts to God are not a passing thought or momento to God, they are engraved in His memory forever!  Meditate on that for a while, it will impact your giving and your praying, if it doesn’t something is wrong!  Cornelius is told to send for Simon-Peter who is upon his roof praying in Joppa at noon and he came and gave them the Gospel and they were all saved and baptized.

Herod goes on a rampage against the church and kills John’s brother James and arrests Peter but prayer was made for him without ceasing, Acts 12:5.  He is bound with chains to two soldiers and an angel awoke him, touched his side and the chains fell off and the prison doors opened and he walked out to John Mark’s mother’s home where the believer’s were praying for him and Rhoda answered the  door, Acts 12:13.  Paul and Barnabas are there – Mary is Barney’s sister, Col. 4:10, and when they leave they take John Mark with them on a mission’s trip.  In v.17 Peter tells them to tell James he is released, so he doesn’t know James is dead.  In v. 19, 16 Roman soldiers were put to death for Peter’s escape.  So this was no light matter or miracle.  In Acts 23:8-9 Paul used his belief in angels as his defense against the Sadducees.  There are many references to angels ministering to mankind in the Scriptures in fact the book of Revelation has over 75 references to angels and every church in Rev. 2 & 3 has an angel assigned to it.  Rev. 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1,7,14.

Heb. 13:2 warns us, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  Gen. 18:1-22, Abraham and his three guests.  I wonder how many times we have had the chance to help an angel on the side of the road with a sign “Homeless, Please Help” and we did nothing.🙂  I have even turned my car around and gone back to help on occasion.  Just ask God, is this one of Your Messengers, do You want me to help?  Their power is inconceivable, 2 Kings 19:35; 185,000 Assyrians slain by one angel in one night.  They are exceedingly numerous Ps. 68:17; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11; Their place is about the throne of God, Rev 5:11; &:11; Their relation to believers in Christ is one of, “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” This ministry has reference largely to the physical safety and well-being of the children of God.  Heb. 1:14.

When you compare Heb. 1:14, Matt. 18:10 and Ps. 91:11, it appears that this care for ‘the heirs of salvation’ begins in infancy and continues through life.  This is where the concept of ‘Guardian Angels’ comes from.  The angels observe us Ecc. 5:6, 1 Cor. 4:9, Eph. 3:10, a fact which should influence our conduct, they are watching us “all the time.”  In my family we had a ‘Family Devotional Element’ where we took our first names and reversed the spelling to get a name for our guardian angels; for instance my name is Roger, so reversed it would be Regor; Becky would be ykceb etc.  It just gave a Personal touch to our personal angel.  There are books on angels and it would do us all good to read a couple.  However, my point is they cried unto the LORD, He heard their voice, and He sent an angel and delivered them.  Has He ever rescued you, delivered you, saved you, protected you?  I put a lot of His angels in the E.R. before I came to Christ, and since then! I should have died 6 or 7 times before 8/27/72.  Vietnam, car wrecks, robberies gone bad, as a cop. People even prayed for me to die before that date but God sent His angels because He knew on that day I would cry out for His Son to save me, and I’m sure there were many in your life too.  So, when you bow your head and say, “Father, I come to You in Jesus Name…” there are an innumerable company of angels anxiously waiting to be dispatched on an errand from God; watching, waiting, listening.  You have the attention of the entire spiritual world, then why in heaven aren’t you availing yourself of it’s power? Till next time, I’ll see you,…”Between The Lines…”

“Ministering Angels In The Desert” 6/12/16

Posted in Ancient Judaism, Christianity, Communion With God, Devotional, Family Altars, Gateway To God, Heart After God, Holy Ground, Judaism, ministering angels in prayer, Portraits of Prayer, Practicing The Presence of God, Prayer, Prayer Closet, Prayer Dialogue, Prayer In The Book of Numbers, Prayer Journey, Prayerology, Prayers In The Desert, Scarlet Worm, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Speak To The Rock” Num. 20:8


“Speak To The Rock”  Num. 20:8

In Numbers 17 God tried to put the children of Israel’s murmurings against Him and Moses to rest with a dead stick that budded, blossomed, and bore almonds in one night. It wasn’t grafted, planted, watered or nurtured it was just a dried up, old piece of wood, but it came to life! In Numbers 18 He told them He gave them the priest’s office as a ‘gift of service’ and they were not to meddle with it.  We also see the “Tithe of the Tithes” in chapter eighteen, along  with the ‘Salt covenant,’ one of the three covenants spoken of in the Torah.  The other two are, the “Shoe covenant” and the “Blood covenant.”  Then we come to Numbers 19 and the (Parah Adumah) or the “Red Heifer,” or as some have referred to her as, ‘The Holy Cow.’  Her purpose was cleansing of defilement contacted on the pilgrim walk through the wilderness, primarily from being near a dead person, or burying a dead person, touching a dead person on their property or killing a person in battle.  You see for the next 38+ years everyone over 20 years old out of 2.5 to 3 million people were going to die.  So how many funerals a month would that be? 6,000/month or 200/day plus!  There is no indication in Num. 19 that the high priest had to be sprinkled with the ashes of the (Parah Adumah) to enter the ‘Holy of Holies,’ that came much later through ‘Rabbinic Tradition.’

Then there is an ‘Interlude’ between Num. 19-20, because when you get to Num. 20 the wandering in the wilderness is over.  Starting in Num. 20 they either stop or march but they don’t wander any more, and in Num. 20:1 Miriam dies, and is buried in Kadesh, she is about 132 years old.  Ever since her rebellion over the Ethiopian wife of Moses, Num. 12:1, she is not mentioned again until here where she dies.  Immediately after her funeral the people have no water and they chode, strove, quarreled, contended physically with Moses, Num. 20:3: The root of this word is the same root for the word ‘Meribah’ where they were. Then they said, “Would to God we had died when our brethren died before the LORD!”  So, obviously 1.5+ million Israelites were already dead and buried at this point, that’s a lot of funerals and a lot of ashes from the ‘Red Heifer.’.

So, Moses and Aaron went to the door of the tabernacle and ‘fell on their faces’ back in the dirt again, humble before YeHoVaH! (they spent a lot of time in a mud-puddle)  Then the glory (ka-vode) the splendor, the glorious abundance, the “Shekinah Glory” of YeHoVaH appeared unto them. (Very Imp!)  And “He, YHVH, spoke unto Moses,” Num. 20:7; When was the last time the Lord appeared to you, or spoke to you in an audible or distinguishable way? Maybe in your heart, or mind, through a verse, testimony, sermon, sign, song, DMI, creation, etc.  You say, ‘God doesn’t speak to people,’ really Peter?  Have you read John 10:27; 1 Kings 18:12; 1 Sam. 3:1-10 lately? Or so many other passages where God spoke to people.  The LORD told Moses to, “Take the rod,” I believe the one that budded, “and gather the assembly and Aaron,” and, “speak to the rock before their eyes, and it shall give forth water…”  Num.20:8.  Now you can pick Moses’ own rod if you want, it does not matter a wit to me but I believe it was Aron’s rod which the LORD used to silence their murmurings.

So, Moses took the rod out of the ark, gathered the people and Aaron and his anger got the best of him and he said in v.10, “Hear now, you rebels (Marah – Ex. 15:22-26, he reminds them of the waters of Marah 38 years earlier when their parents rebelled) must we (not the LORD) fetch you water out of this rock?”  And Moses lifted up his hand, with the rod and he smote the rock twice, not once but twice and water came out abundantly and the congregation drank and their beasts also.” He struck the ‘Rock’ at Meribah in Ex. 17:1-7 once at the start of their journey and now he strikes the ‘Rock’ again in Meribah in Num. 20: 7-13 twice at the end of their journey.

Moses struck a rock in Horeb in Exodus 17:6 right after the ‘Manna’ experience with his rod and they got water at “Massah in Meribah” because they tested the LORD and said, “Is the LORD among us or not?”  Here, Moses struck the rock twice with the LORD’s rod in anger; He spent 40 years in Egypt; 40 years in Midian; 40 years in the wilderness; and with one act of rebellion, he was not allowed to enter the promised land – ‘Almost’ but not quite:  Webster says, ‘almost is very nearly, but not completely.’  Ps. 106:32-33 says, “They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes; Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spoke inadvisably  with his lips.”  Be careful my friend, don’t let them anger you to this point!  And because of this, “Because you believed Me not, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the (Promised Land) which I have given them.”  He was speaking to Moses and Aaron.

In fact Aaron also dies in Num. 20:23-29 on Mt. Hor and is stripped of his priestly garments and Eleazar his son takes his place because he rebelled with Moses at the waters of Meribah and his death really marked the end of the ‘Wilderness Wanderings.’  No plea for mercy here from Moses; no crying out for another chance; no offering for forgiveness; no ashes of the ‘Red Heifer;’  You rebelled against God, you are going to die; but there is more;  you took My glory, “Must we,  Moses and Aaron fetch you water out of this rock?” So, in essence they took God’s glory from Him for a moment, be careful my friend, God shares His glory with No One!  Not with me, not with  you, not with Moses, not with anyone!  They ‘fell on their faces’ in Num. 20:6 before the LORD’s tabernacle and the ‘Shekinah Glory‘ appeared unto them and told them what to do, and they took matters into their own hands and were angry at His congregation, and hit the ‘Rock!” Whose congregation? God’s!  “Moreover, brethren I would not that you should be ignorant, that all our fathers were under the cloud and all passed through the sea;….  And did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”  1 Cor. 10:1-6. When you ask God for something, you need to do exactly what He tells you to do, not what you ‘THINK’ He wants you to do!  Especially not what you want to do to please Him.

So, what “P.F.P.” or “Principle For Prayer” do we take away from this event with Moses and Aaron, in the mud, on their faces before God? Do exactly what God tells you to do and not read into it, or try to interpret it, in your own paraphrase, or liberal translation, or try to allegorize it.  To often we hear God’s instruction through His Word or His messengers and we say, “I know what He said, but that can’t be what He really meant!”  He can’t want me to go to Africa or Asia, He can’t want me to marry that person, He surely doesn’t want me to quit my job and go to Bible School, right?  Maybe that wasn’t God talking to me, let me read another chapter, let me pray some more, let me strike that ‘Rock’ again! Let me bury my father first, let me care for my aged mother, or grandmother, let me, let me, let me… Listen, if He told you to speak to that ‘Rock’ then put down your rod and do what he told you to do and do it, NOW!  Till next time, I’ll see you in my prayer closet or, “…..Between The Lines…..”

“Speak To The Rock”  Num. 20:8

Posted in Christianity, Communion With God, Devotional, Groaning In Prayer, Olivet Ministries International, Portraits of Prayer, Prayer, Prayer Closet, Prayer Dialogue, Prayer Journey, Prayerology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Prayer For The Sons of Korah”


“Prayer For The Sons of Korah’ (Num. 14-16) 3/9/16

Things seem to be moving along well in the Numbers 15 other than the man gathering sticks on the Sabbath in Num. 15:32, and they stoned him. Then they had to put a blue cord in their (tzitzit) to remind them of their obligation to follow God’s commandments, all 1,521 of them. That’s right, there were not 10, nor 613, but 1,521 of them, at least that’s what the Rabbi’s list included. Then we come to Numbers 16, just one more chapter and we find the “Rebellion of Korah,” and here we go again. They rose up before Moses and Aaron, 250 princes, famous men, men of renown and they declared, “You take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation is holy!” Moses, oi gevault!

Moses falls on his face in the mud again and cries out to God! For a humble, old man of about 100 years old, he spends a lot of time on his face in the dirt. So, Moses tells them all to go get a censer, put some incense in it and stand before the LORD, YeHoVaH tomorrow and then put some fire in it and we will see who the LORD has chosen to be holy because, “You take too much upon you; you sons of Levi.” Then Moses goes on rebuking them in v. 9 saying, “Does it seem like a small thing to you, that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the service of the Tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them?” v.10, “And seek ye the priesthood also?” How much more do you want?

Who is Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi anyway? Well you have to go back to Num. 3:17-20 where you have the descendants of of Levi and then onto Num. 3:27-32 for what for what the Kohathites were in charge of in the Tabernacle. They had charge of the ark, the tables, the lamp-stand, the altars, the vessels, the hangings and all the holy implements. They covered some of them, carried all of them, cared for them, and set them up. They were in charge of ‘all the service of them’ and they were the closest to YeHoVaH of any family or clan of Israel or the Levites except for Moses and Aaron, but they wanted more, they wanted the priesthood too. They were to bear the ‘holy things’ but not to touch them lest they die, Num. 4:15. They also had to be 30 years old to serve and they had to retire from service at the age of 50, Num. 4:3.

In Jude v. 11 in the Newer Testament, Jude talks about the “gainsaying of Korah” which was intrusion into the priest’s office and Heb. 5:4 says, “No man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” It was a rebellion against the divine order in the theocratic kingdom. The sin of Korah was the denial of the authority of Moses as God’s chosen spokesman and intrusion into the priest’s office. Why else would Moses have them all bring censers and incense which was a priest’s duty? Moses then sends for Dathan, Abiram, and Eliab who refuse to come up from their camp, but they reply in v. 13, “It is a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of the land that flows with milk and honey…” A play on Moses’ words in v. 9 and on God’s promise, mocking them both. Moses then responds, not to them but to the LORD in v. 15, “Respect not their offering, I have not taken one donkey from them, neither have I hurt one of them.”

Moses tells the sons of Korah to get their 250 censers ready with incense and fire and to stand before the door of the Tabernacle and they gathered the congregation together to rebell and the LORD wanted to kill them all and consume them in a moment, v. 21. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces again in prayer and God pardoned them, but He is going to punish the rebellion of Dathan, Abiram and Eliab and their families. Then the earth opened up and swallowed them alive down into (sheol) v. 30, “And there came out fire from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.” Then the LORD told Eleazar, the son of Aaron to make a plate out of the censers to cover the altar, and it shall be for a sign to all who enter the Tabernacle never to offer incense before the LORD. Num. 16:40. There it sat, leaning against the wall for hundreds of years as a sign of, ‘the gainsaying of Korah.’

“But the very next day (good night!) all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron saying, “You have killed the people of the LORD!” No they didn’t, the LORD killed them! But the LORD spoke unto Moses saying, “Get up from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment!” And they fell on their faces again, WOW!! How Moses and Aaron must have like the dirt! I wonder how many times your pastor would fall on his face in the dirt for you? However, Moses tells Aaron to take a censer, put some incense on it, take some fire from off the altar and ‘RUN’ into the midst of the congregation and make an atonement for them, for there is wrath already gone out from the LORD, because the plague, the slaughter has already begun, Num. 16:48, “And he stood between the dead and the living and the plague was stayed.” 14,700 died in that plague, besides the 250 holding censers and the families of Dathan, Abiram and Eliab, probably about 20,000 in all. However, without a gap man, an intercessor to stand in the gap and make up the breech all 2.5 to 3 million would have died. Does prayer work? Ask Miriam when you see her or Aaron or Eleazar!

Things seem to calm down for a little while, in chapter 17 of Numbers we have Aaron’s rod that buds, a sign against the rebels, Num. 17:10, “The children of Israel spoke unto Moses saying, Behold we die, we perish, we all perish. Whosoever cometh anywhere near unto the Tabernacle of the LORD shall die, shall be consumed with dying!” It’s about time they got it! Aaron’s rod that budded was a type of Christ in the resurrection, acknowledged by God as high priest. Aaron’s priesthood had been questioned in the rebellion of Korah, so God Himself would confirm it, listen to Num. 17:5, “And it shall come to pass that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom; and I will make to cease from Me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.” Aaron’s rod not only budded over night, but it also bloomed blossoms and yielded almonds. The head of each tribe brought a dead stick, but God breathed life into Aaron’s stick only for a sign to Israel.

However, the bigger sign to me anyway was God’s intercessor who never gave up, never quit, never got weary, never got tired of wiping the dirt off his face, never grew tired of picking himself up, was always ready to step into their mud-puddle again, always ready to step in the gap, to repair the breech, to restore the path, to make up the hedge; a real gate-keeper, a watchman on the wall, a prayer warrior, an intercessor, a mediator, etc, etc, Where are you on that list for your church, your pastor, your country, your missionaries? Better yet where am I on that list? Well till next time with the ‘Red Heifer’ I’ll see you in my closet on my knees or, “…Between The Lines…”

“Prayer For The Sons of Korah” (Num. 14-16) 3/9/16

Posted in Portraits of Prayer, Prayer, Prayer Dialogue, Prayerology, Scarlet Worm, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment