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8. Internal and External Reentry Resistance

August 14, 2009

Text:      Numbers 20:1-21:35

Outline:      I. Another Water Shortage           Numbers 20:1-13

                         II. Edom Refuses Passage              Numbers 20:14-29

                        III. Arad is Defeated and Destroyed      Numbers 21:1-3

                        IV. More Desert and More Grumbling      Numbers 21:4-9

                        V. Amorites Defeated and Destroyed      Numbers 21:10-35

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     There is an excellent map in The Macmillan Bible Atlas, # 52, detailing the route Israel traveled and the location of the cities mentioned. It is of great help in understanding this passage of Scripture.

     Israel has returned to Kadesh after wandering in the desert for 38+ years. Miriam, Moses older sister, dies here. There is no water for them so the people gather again to oppose Moses’ and Aaron’s leadership. They would rather be back in Egypt. Moses and Aaron humble themselves before God who tells them to assemble the people in front of the “rock”, speak to it, and water will pour out. Moses and Aaron do that but Moses strikes the rock instead. Water comes out but God punishes his disobedience by not letting him enter the Promised Land.

     Next Moses composes a letter to Edom seeking safe passage. Edom denies them passage and even sends out their army to oppose Israel. Before they leave, the king of Arad comes from the north and attacks Israel, capturing some of the Israelites. Israel asks the Lord’s favor and He granted them victory over Arad, completely destroying them and their cities.

     Israel turns south to go around Edom and Moab. Israel grumbles against Moses again because they have no water and they are tired of manna. God sends snakes among the people and many died. Moses intercedes for the people and the Lord tells him to make a bronze snake and place it on a pole so when bitten, the Israelites can look at it and live. [See John 3:14]

     The Israelites turn north and pass on the east side of Edom and Moab, settling in the plains between Moab and Ammon at the NE corner of the Dead Sea. Israel asks to pass through the land belonging to the Amorites [not to be confused with the Ammonites] but are denied. The Amorites come out to fight Israel but are soundly defeated, destroyed, and chased into Ammon. Israel occupies their cities and their land in preparation for entering into the Promised Land.

Lesson/Applications:

1. Water shortages are analogous to shortages in our being filled with the Holy Spirit. When in such a position, humble yourself before the Lord and asked to be filled with His Holy Spirit. Your genuine request will be honored with abundance.

2. God is Holy. His Word is Holy. God disciplines even His most humble and obedient servants to make His holiness known. Daily strive to be obedient and holy according to His Word. Don’t become rattled by those who challenge who you are and whose you are. Be steadfast and faithful to His Word.

3. Seek the Lord so you know when to fight and when to flee. A pastor of mine often said we fight when we should flee [temptation] and we flee when we should stand and fight [against sinful behavior].

4. God shows us victory in the small battles before placing us in large battles.

5. Watch what you say. Don’t repeat past shortcomings. Never stop trusting and depending on God. He is your salvation and life. Look to Him and worship Him. Remember, your sins were forgiven when He died on the cross for you and for me.

6. The trials of your life prepare you for the battles in your life. Train and pray. Train, pray, and then trust Him. Then victory is ours through Him.

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