The story of Balaam is one of the most unusual in the Bible. Evidently, like Job of an earlier age, Balaam was not a part of the covenant people of Israel; nevertheless, he enjoyed a relationship with God. That relationship is reflected by the fact that he knew (yadah) God. This means that his relationship was based on a very real interactive experience with God that went far beyond just knowing aboutGod. Indeed, Balaam possessed a very unique God-given gift. [Read more…]
There are many “what might have been” incidents in the Bible. This section of the Bible records one such event. According to the record in Numbers, God commanded Moses to send spies into the land of Canaan to assess the difficulties that they would face as they entered the land. The result was a disaster resulting in the people revolting against the Lord and against Moses. However, when we consider the commentary on this event recorded in Deuteronomy 1:19-23, we find that it was the people who wanted to send spies into the land. God allowed them to do so. Upon their return, the majority reported that the land was indeed a land of “milk and honey” but that the inhabitants of the land were much too formidable for Israel to conquer. The minority report, given by Caleb and Joshua, expressed the faith that since God was with Israel they were well able to take the land and overcome the Canaanites who were living in the land. Caleb actually said that Israel was “able, able” to conquer the land. He used the superlative by repeating the term able, i.e., we are more than able to do it. The people obviously received the majority report. [Read more…]
Often, the account recorded in the TaNaCh (Torah, Prophets, Writings of the Hebrew Scriptures) provides valuable insights for us as believers today. This is true of Numbers 8-12. Here we gain insight for people who experience God directly through the Holy Spirit concerning a Holy Spirit-led life.
Number (9:15-23) speaks of how Israel followed the guidance of God manifested through the “Cloud by day” and the “Pillar of Fire by night”. Each morning, Israel’s attention was focused on the cloud. If the cloud moved, they moved. If the cloud remained in place, they remained also. The account emphasized the point that no matter how long the cloud remained; the people stayed in place. They did not set out on their own (even though human nature would want to move on). [Read more…]
This section includes the festivals or “times” of the Lord (Leviticus 23). I will concentrate on these times in this study. Often these times are referred to as “Jewish” festivals. This is incorrect. They are the times designated by the Lord and all believers should give careful attention to them.
Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, “The Lord’sappointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations – My appointed times are these… (Leviticus 23:2, my emphasis)
We are approaching a crisis point in the Middle-East. May 15, on the Christian Calendar, is the 70thanniversary of the modern State of Israel. This date corresponded to the Hebrew date of Iyar 5 of Iyar in 1948. This year, the Iyar 5 occurred on April 20. The United States has announced that its embassy will soon be opened in Jerusalem recognizing that city as the capital of Israel. I assume that this will occur on the anniversary of Israel’s independence. At about the same time, Israel will celebrate “Jerusalem Day” on the anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. This date marks a most significant milestone in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. [Read more…]