The Bible is filled with fascinating characters. From Exodus to Deuteronomy, Moses and Aaron are prominent figures. They have interaction with many different personalities. Let us learn some lessons from these people. Let us examine these lessons.
1. Do not curse the people of God or cause them to stumble
In Numbers 22-25, we meet a very interesting character. His name is Balaam. Balaam was hired by Balak, king of the Moabites, who wanted him to curse the people of God. Remember Balaam had a relationship with God. People came to him because though he was not an Israelite, he was considered a man of God. Balaam was hired to curse the people of God but God would not allow him. Balaam tried this three times and failed. Since he could not curse them, he led the people into sin, so that God would curse them. Because of Balaam’s action, God allowed Balaam to die by the sword in Numbers 31:8. In Luke 17:1-2, Jesus teaches us that God does not want us as His children cursing people of God or doing things that will them to stumble into sin. Cursing someone means to speak evil of them. It is sad that so many Christians find it so easy to speak evil about other Christians.
2. Stay away from Impurity
The story of Balaam in Numbers 25 should be a solemn warning to everyone to avoid compromise with this world. We are told to not be conformed to this world in Romans 12:2 and then told in Romans 16:17 to mark it and avoid it. Doctrinal purity and moral purity are absolute essentials if we are going to know the blessings of God on our life. Balaam led the entire nation of Israel into judgment through leading them into moral and doctrinal impurity. Stay away from moral impurity that you may retain the blessings of God.
3. Separate from sin
From the story of Balaam, we also learn that the only way to get right with God when you have been trapped by Satan and get involved in sin, is to deal with it. The children of Israel, once they were chastened by God, confessed their sin and their relationship with God was restored. God told the children of Israel when they went into the land of Canaan that they were to drive out the inhabitants of the land that were involved in sin.
Sin that is allowed in our lives will cause us trouble. So how do we deal with it?
- Confess it – 1 John 1:9
- Forsake it – Proverbs 28:13
- Separate from it – 2 Corinthians 6:17
- Be accountable for it – James 5:16
We do not need let sin to control us. We can control sin.
4. To whom much is given much is required
Israel had seen the miracles of God. Moses saw the glory of God. Aaron was the first High Priest. Because they had seen so much of the work of God, God had great expectations for all of them. Israel saw the parting of the Red Sea and God’s provision in the wilderness. So when they sinned against the God they had seen, God chastened them severely. Moses saw the glory of God and the power of God resting in his life. Therefore, when he sinned by striking the rock, God chastened him by saying that he would not be allowed to go into the Promised Land. It is quite a severe judgment, but to whom much is given, much shall be required. Aaron is the first High Priest and had the privilege of serving God in the tabernacle, and yet because of his transgression, he was judged severely. He also died not even seeing the Promised Land. The principle is to whom much is given, much shall be required. We need to live up to the truth that God has given to us.
5. Protect the Innocent
One major lesson to be learned from Moses in the Book of Numbers and the Book of Deuteronomy, is that God wants us to protect the innocent. As the nation of Israel was preparing to enter into the Promised Land, God instructed them to set aside three cities. These cities are referred to as Cities of Refuge. These were cities that were prepared for people to run to when they were falsely accused of murder. If they were to get to these cities, they could not be touched by someone seeking revenge for their fallen friend or family member. How sad it is that in our culture today, those who are most innocent, unborn children, are not protected at all. The subject of abortion is highly volatile in our culture today. The Bible, however, clearly teaches that life begins at conception. It is sad that so many millions of innocent babies have been slaughtered in their mother’s womb. Christian’s should stand up for those that cannot speak up for themselves. That was true during the era of slavery, and it is true for our day as well. God wants us to protect those that are innocent. Beyond that, we should protect children from growing up around negative influences, which would cause them to lose their purity and their innocence.
6. Take care of the man of God
In Numbers 35:2 God tells Moses that Israel is to take care of the Levites who were to serve in the house of God. Since they were to wholly serve the Lord, they had no possessions of their own. So, God told Moses to make sure that the Levites had cities, lands, houses, and that they were provided for. I sincerely believe that God will bless anyone who takes care of His servants. It is absolutely essential that we be faithful to care for the men and women of God He brings into our life to teach us the Word of God.
7. Help your brothers succeed in their call
In Numbers 32, the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh decide that they do not want to go over into Jordan and possess the land. They were content with the land they had already taken. They asked Moses if they could maintain their flocks and their families on the west side of Jordan. When they first approached Moses, he rebuked them. He had the impression that they wanted to stay and not go with their brothers to defeat the giants that were in the land. Moses then tells them that they may stay where they are if there are willing to go and fight with their brothers for their land. In response, they declared they would go and help their brothers conquer the land. In fulfillment of their pledge, they went, helped get their brothers set up in the land, and God blessed them on the other side of Jordan. We can learn from this valuable lesson that we are our brother’s keeper. That God does want us to help our brothers and sisters in Christ. Not only are we to avoid saying the wrong thing but we are to do everything we can to help those who are faithfully serving Jesus Christ. It is my responsibility to encourage others to serve God and to trust in God.
8. Don’t fear giants
In Deuteronomy 2, Moses recounts the story of the Israelites that would not go into the land because they saw giants in the land. He then tells how the Israelites were caused by God to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Before they entered into the wilderness, the Israelites would travel by several other nations. All these lands were filled with giants. God then led them to fight two giant kings: Og, king of Bashan; and Sihon, king of the Amorites. These were both huge, renowned warriors. Yet, God allowed the Israelites to destroy them and their armies. God wanted them to know and God wants you and me to know that though there are giants all around us, we need not be distracted by them. We need to move forward and conquer the land that God has given to us.
With Christ, you can overcome any giant that comes into your life.
9. God keeps His promises
God promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses that God’s people would enter into the Promised Land. Though they went through great difficulty and because of their sin suffered many delays, they did enter into the Promised Land. What God says, He will do. That is true on a positive note as well as on a negative note. God told Moses because of his sin he would die in the wilderness. God kept that negative promise as well. Moses died in the wilderness but he got to see a glimpse of the Promise Land as well. God’s presence and God’s promises are real. We can believe them. We can take them at face value. Our God is a God you can trust.
10. God gives the land but you have to possess it
In Deuteronomy 1:20-21, Moses recalls how God gave a certain land to Israel. The fact is God gave the land of the Amorites to the children of Israel, but with the gift came a command – to go and take possession. There were giants in the land. God told them not to fear the giants but to go in. Anything that you receive from God must be received by faith. By faith, that takes action. God expects us to obey Him. God wants us to move forward in faith. If we move forward in faith, we will receive the gift of God. God will not force us to go in, but if we will go in, He will go with us. He gives us the land, but it is up to us to possess it. What has God given you that He wants you to, by faith, possess?
11. Obedience leads to Blessing
When we come to the end of the book of Deuteronomy, there is a list of curses and a list of blessings. God basically says to His people, “I have given you the land, I want to bless you, but I cannot bless you if you walk in disobedience.” Rebellion always brings the judgment of God, whether it is vocal rebellion or quiet rebellion. The principal is that obedience brings blessings but disobedience brings curses. The last lesson in the series is that if you obey God’s commandments, He will bless you. My encouragement to you is obey the voice of God, and live the blessings of God.
God bless you.