It doesn’t matter what anyone says or what tragedy a person might point to in order to try and say otherwise, but God is faithful! God makes promises and He keeps them no matter what. Whether God’s promises seem favorable to His people or not, God does exactly as He says He will. God does not change, and He is unable to lie, so when God makes a promise, IT WILL COME TO PASS! Additionally, God is all knowing and almighty. This means that there is no influence in this life or in the spirit realm that can affect God’s ability to make good on His promises. Though it is true that mankind is foolish by nature and rebellious in heart, the flawed condition of people does not affect God’s promises that deal with people. In other words, it doesn’t matter how bad people mess up, God has all things accounted for so that He is STILL able to do exactly as He promises regardless of what current conditions or circumstances might look like.
The Lord sought to give the children of Israel a lesson in this reality in Numbers 21:1-3. In this portion of scripture the Bible explains that the children of Israel got attacked by the king of Arad, which was one of the Canaanite kings that dwelt in the southern part of Canaan. The children of Israel were forced to deal with this king since the people of Edom would not let them pass through their land. Thus, Moses led the people on the western-most side of Edom and came in contact with these wicked men in Canaan.
The scriptures explain that as the children of Israel came in contact with the Canaanites, the people fought against Israel and took some of them captive. The children of Israel were slaves in Egypt and the sons of slaves. They were not trained warriors. They were not well equipped to deal with skirmishes in the wilderness. Knowing this, when they experienced this defeat, the children of Israel did the appropriate thing and called out to the Lord. They pleaded with God and asked the Lord for victory. They swore to God that if they were able to achieve victory, they would bring total destruction to those people in response for the people opposing God by opposing His people.
The Bible explains that God heard the cries and prayers of the people and agreed to help. Numbers 21:1-3 explains that God delivered the Canaanites into the hands of the children of Israel. Despite the inexperience and ill-trained nature of the Israelites, they were able to defeat the people of Arad. While this testimony might not seem like a huge deal, it is important to consider the presentation of these details while remembering the events that were last described in scripture. The Bible previously explained that Aaron had died. God instructed Aaron – the high priest and God’s worship representative to the people – to go up to Mount Hor to give over his office and die on the mountain. God specifically stated that Aaron was not permitted to enter into the Promised Land because he rebelled against God’s Word. Thus, the death of Aaron was not a glorious death. It was a sad affair as Aaron had his life, his office, and his opportunity taken away on account of disobedience.
Despite these events, Numbers 21:1-3 documents that God provided victory to the children of Israel. The death of Aaron and his rebellion was representative of the rebellion of all of Israel. Nonetheless, God gave victory. Considering this truth, it is important to consider the manner in which God brought victory to recognize His faithfulness. The people desired to set free their people who had been taken prisoner and utterly destroy all of the people of Arad. When God sends the next generation of Israel into the Promised Land led by Joshua, He instructed Israel to do this very work. God wanted ALL of the inhabitants of Canaan destroyed on account of their sin. This was reflective of the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12, 15, and 17.
In essence, the victory that God brought to the children of Israel in Numbers 21:1-3 was a preview of the quality of victory God would bring to Israel through Joshua. The Bible explains that the Israelites went to battle and destroyed the people of Arad. They eventually changed the name of the city to Hormah, which is translated into the English word “devotion.” Though God had to respond in judgment of sorts against Israel and Aaron for the rebellion of the people at Meribah, God soon brought victory to the people in the Promised Land to show that He would still honor the promises He made to Abraham and ratified in Himself. The victory at Arad was a sign that the rebellion of Israel would not affect God’s ability OR willingness to fulfill His eternally unconditional promises. Though people may fail, people cannot affect the will of God nor the outcomes that He desires. It might take time for God to work around the foolishness of mankind, but God’s will is always done exactly as He desires, and His promises are always fulfilled. God brought this small victory to the children of Israel to encourage them to know that, while they had failed, and one particular generation had proven themselves unfaithful to suffer tragic consequences, God would not write off the nation as a whole to wipe them out of history. God proves His power and greatness by transforming their condition rather than destroying them altogether, and thereby proves that He is faithful indeed!
Those who teach and deliver the Word of God should be extremely careful in how the Word is received and handled. The Bible is intended to define the essence of God, reveal His nature and the manner by which He offers eternal life according to His will and purposes. Knowing this, one must be sure to communicate the Word clearly. One must be sure to handle the Word of God responsibly. To misrepresent or miscommunicate the Word of God is to deliver a skewed presentation of God, His nature, His promises, His will, and His purposes. This can be dangerous since the essence of God’s Word is the method by which faith is built in a person and the manner by which God offers salvation through Jesus. To misrepresent the Word and cause confusion regarding its contents can have devastating affects as can be seen in today’s spiritual climate. It is for this reason that God is sharp to protect the integrity of His Word by dealing fairly with those who abuse it.
In Numbers 20:22-29 the Bible documents the death of Aaron the high priest. It is a sad affair, not just because of the fact that Aaron died, but also because of the manner in which it happens. The scriptures begin by God telling Moses to take Aaron and Aaron’s son up to the top of Mount Hor so that God could orchestrate a change. God was going to remove Aaron from the priesthood and give his office over to his son Eleazar. God told Moses that Aaron would go up Mount Hor and would die there “to be gathered to his people.” God said that Aaron was not to enter the Promised Land because he rebelled against the Word of God at Meribah – the place where the people complained against God for water and where Moses struck the rock twice.
The language that is used to describe the events of Numbers 20:22-29 is humbling. The Bible states that Moses, Aaron, and Eleazar went up Mount Hor together in front of the entire congregation of Israel. This would have been the ultimate walk of shame! The people would watch Aaron go up the mountain as the high priest, and would see his son come down as the new high priest knowing that Aaron had died. It was not just that God was making a change in office, but that He was also humbling Aaron in the process. God put Aaron’s shame on display to teach the people that there is severe consequence associated with rebelling against God’s Word! The language of the Bible also says that Moses “stripped” Aaron of his garments. The garments that Aaron wore were intended for the high priest – the chief representative of God to the people. Aaron was not able to give the garments over. Rather, Moses stripped them from Aaron. The office was taken away. Aaron did not have the opportunity to forfeit his service. God took Aaron’s opportunity to serve away because he rebelled against God’s Word.
Though the scriptures describe a sad affair, the language also suggests that Aaron’s salvation remained intact. Though Aaron was not allowed into the Promised Land, God did tell Aaron that he would be “gathered to his people.” This phrase refers to the fact that Aaron would have been gathered to his ancestors, including Abraham, who was considered righteous and was ministering to Old Testament believers in the righteous side of Hades. Thus, Aaron was not stripped of His salvation for rebelling against God’s Word. Rather, Aaron was stripped of His opportunity to serve God for rebelling against God’s Word.
This is not to suggest that one can rebel against God’s Word and still be saved. One must consider the full testimony of Aaron to know that his rebellion against God at Meribah was an isolated incident. It is true that Aaron complained against God and even rebelled against Moses, but there are many portions of scripture that reveal Aaron receiving God’s approval – especially when God validated Aaron through the budding of his staff. Those who continually make a practice of rebelling against God’s Word will suffer eternal consequences as the Bible emphatically teaches. However, for those who are saved and considered to be God’s people as Aaron, there is still a requirement to be mindful of the manner in which one receives and handles the Word. Aaron rebelled against God’s Word in unfaithfulness; and while his total salvation likely remained intact, he was stripped of glorious opportunities to serve God. Aaron’s handling of the Word caused God to give opportunities intended for Aaron to someone else.
This truth teaches two important lessons. First, as has been previously stated, one must be careful about how one receives and deals with God’s Word. Those who continually reject God’s Word and rebel against it in practice will suffer eternal death. Those who are saved, but handle the Word irresponsibly and rebel against God through unbelief will have opportunities stripped away. Secondly, the scriptures show that God does not need any one particular person. Thus, failure of one person does not resemble failure of God’s plans and purposes. Though Aaron rebelled against God’s Word, the role of high priest was not a failure. God had someone else in mind and prepared to slide right in. God is not dependent on any person. In other words, God doesn’t need people to do the things He needs. Since it is His Spirit that produces the results that the Father desires, God can use anyone He wants interchangeably. Knowing this, those that do serve the Lord should consider it a TREMENDOUS privilege and opportunity. God could have selected anyone, but has for some reason selected us to serve Him!
The testimony of Aaron’s death is sobering. The legacy of Aaron was heavily seasoned with shame. Aaron’s unfaithfulness was the last thing that the people recognized about him. The last impression the people saw of Aaron was the humbling walk up Mount Hor so that he could be replaced in office and then die. That’s a tough way to go. The Bible explains the people mourned Aaron for 30 days. This truth explains that God’s Word is not to be taken lightly. God’s Word must be received carefully and handled in the same manner. Rebelling against God’s Word by expressing unbelief in His promises and doubting His faithfulness will have consequences to some degree that God determines on a case-by-case basis. One cannot hear the Word of God and treat it as if it were just some words from any old person. The Word of God is living and powerful. The Word of God reveals the character and nature of God so to doubt and reject His Word is to doubt and reject God. Whether a believer or non-believer, there is consequence for mishandling God’s Word, so it should be handled with great fear, respect, and care.
Harboring anger, bitterness, and jealousy against another person can have devastating consequences. Grudges that are kept over time can transform the heart of the grudge holder so that it becomes hardened and callous. The Bible actually teaches that such hostility can become anger that is passed on from generation to generation in such a way that it’s almost genetic in nature. In other words, the anger and hate that one person has for another can be taught to future generations so that a particular people group become naturally acclimated to anger, bitterness, jealousy, and hatred. Unfortunately none of these things are in line with the character and nature of God. Therefore, those who live in such a manner will find they are living contrary to God without repentance. These issues can be even more troubling when such opposition is towards the people of God. When one opposes the people of God in this way, one opposes God, in which the Bible shows that circumstances become extremely difficult.
The Bible talks about this kind of relationship and documents the evolution of it. In fact, one can look to the Middle East today and see the evidence of an “ancient hatred” (Ezekiel 35:5) between the people of Edom and Israel that has its origins in the Book of Genesis. In Genesis Chapter 25 the Bible explains that there were two twin brothers that became very discontented with one another – Jacob and Esau. The Bible explains that while God had determined for the younger of the twins (Jacob) to be the heir of his father Isaac – against common tradition – Jacob exercised dishonest means to assume his position. First, Jacob leveraged the improper desires of Esau’s flesh to get Esau to give up his birthright for a bowl of soup. Second, Jacob disguised himself as Esau to his father when his father was giving out the blessings of each birthright so that Jacob received that which Esau was supposed to receive, even though Esau had given his birthright up.
The Bible explains that Esau was furious about the situation to the extent that their mother had to send Jacob away out of fear that Esau might kill his own brother over the matter. Though the Bible explains that Esau and Jacob met up together later in scripture in a relatively peaceful manner, the Bible also explains that Esau harbored bitterness towards his twin brother. Since this bitterness was not dealt with properly unto the Lord in humility, his bitterness grew and was passed down from generation to generation against the relatives of Jacob, which were the children of Israel. The scriptures document the conduct of the people of Esau to show that their bitterness had become anger and hatred. Feeling that they deserved the birthright that Jacob received, the people of Esau despised their relatives deeply so that they were often turning their backs to their brothers, rejoicing over the suffering of Israel.
This is the case in Numbers 20:14-21. In this portion of scripture, the Bible explains that as Moses was leading the children of Israel through the wilderness, they got to the place of Kadesh, which was on the southern boarder of Edom – Edom being another name for Esau. The land of Edom was the land that the descendants of Esau claimed and lived in. Knowing this, Moses sent messengers to the leaders of Edom and asked permission to cross through the land. Understanding the shaky relationship between the two people groups, Moses pleaded with Edom in a humble and reasonable way. Moses stated the pitiful position of Israel and reminded Edom that the children of Israel – their brothers – had been captive in Egypt for 400 years. Moses reminded Edom about the intense hardships that had fallen on them, and though Edom knew, the Bible never documents any sort of response from Edom to help their brothers. Moses didn’t charge them for such, but instead explained that their hardships had taken a toll on the people so that Moses was seeking mercy by way of a shortcut through their land. Moses was heading north towards the Promised Land, and wanted to simplify the journey by going through Edom.
Moses was wise to ask permission. Though God had promised the land of Canaan to Israel and assured the land going back to Abraham, Moses did not act presumptuously and assume that Edom would be permissive and in harmony with God’s will and promises. In fact, it was the promises that were made to Abraham that was the basis of hate between Esau and Jacob. God communicated that He would make Abraham a great nation, give them a great land inheritance, and bless them through a “blessing.” God clearly communicated that the heirs to those promises would be Isaac, and not Ishmael, then Jacob, and not Esau. Esau was bitter about this reality and despised Jacob for it, so that his descendants despised the children of Israel as a result. Though Moses assured the people of Edom that they would move through the land quickly, peacefully, refrain from touching crops, and pay for any water that was consumed, the people of Edom responded spitefully against Moses. Moses was cordial and humble in his reasonable request, but Edom responded to the messengers of Moses by saying that if the Israelites passed through their land, they would be attacked.
Numbers 20:14-21 then explains that Moses sought to be reasonable with the Edomites. Moses did not want conflict between those that were supposed to be seen as brothers. Though Edom turned their backs on Israel during their captivity in Egypt, Moses did not hold any resentment but sought to be peaceful and reasonable. Edom on the other hand held onto the anger, bitterness, jealousy, and hate so that upon receiving Moses’ second request to pass through the land, the bible explains that Edom went out against Israel with many men. The Bible plainly states that Edom refused to give Israel passage and turned away from helping their brothers. The people of Edom responded in their flesh against the people of God so that they denied the people of God, and by extension, God’s will, by opposing them with violence. The anger, bitterness, jealousy, and hate of the Edomites caused them to respond against God and His purposes.
The problem with the response of the Edomites is that God promised to respond against those who opposed His people. In fact, the very promises that Edom was jealous about having not received assured that God would respond against them for opposing Israel. When God promised Abraham the nation, land, and blessing, He premised His promises by stating that He would bless those who bless Israel and also curse those who curse Israel. It was not so much that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were better than others, but they were the cornerstones of work that God was doing to reveal Himself to the world as Savior. Thus, those that despised God’s tools were ultimately guilty of opposing the work of God to reveal Himself to the world. Esau was guilty of this and because he did not repent and relent in his anger, his descendants were taught to hate by tradition, thereby becoming enemies of Israel and God for many generations – even to today in some regards.
Hence, the Bible shows how dangerous it can be to harbor bitterness and jealous over anybody, let alone God’s own people. History shows that God has responded against Edom for their betrayal of Israel and scripture shows that God has made other promises against Edom for future betrayal that Edom will commit. God doesn’t let these things slide. The history of this people group confirms that these sorts of feelings can be cancerous to the individual as well as those that are influenced to feel the same way. The people of God should be quick to get rid of these feelings lest they suffer consequences intended for the enemies of God and teach future generations how to haters when God’s people are supposed to be mercifully patient and humble lovers.
The public nature of one’s walk with the Lord is CRITICAL! Those who profess to have received salvation through faith and are led by the Spirit of God must walk by the Spirit of God. Those who claim to be Christians should resemble those who are being transformed into the image of Christ. The scriptures show that, while God is patient and merciful, He has His threshold in terms of how people represent Him before others. God will not be mocked. The scriptures show that God will not allow His name to be profaned without response.
In Numbers 20:7-13 the Bible explains that God responded to the sins of Israel. The people complained against God and displayed high levels of discontentment with the methods of God’s work. They longed to go back into bondage in Egypt rather than endure the difficulty on the way to God’s promises. The people grumbled and rebelled and God responded. However, the Bible shows that God responded with mercy and grace. Though the children of Israel doubted God and His willingness and ability to meet the needs of the people, God commanded Moses to perform a work to meet the people’s needs. God commanded Moses to take Aaron’s rod, stand before a particular rock, speak to the rock before the people, then strike it once, at which time God would cause water to pour forth from the rock. Though the people grumbled against God, the Lord resolved to use Moses as an instrument to meet the needs of the people in a miraculous way while teaching them a lesson about His big-picture plans concerning His eternally unconditional promises.
Though God intended good things for the people, Moses expressed frustration. Numbers 20:7-13 states that Moses made efforts to obey the commands of the Lord but did so in the flesh. The narrative of scripture reveals that Moses addressed the people rather than the rock. God commanded Moses to speak to the rock, but Moses took it upon himself to speak to the congregation and vent his frustration with their unfaithfulness. He spoke out against them calling the people rebels; and while Moses was accurate in his address, he was incorrect in his timing. Moses explained to the people that water would be brought from the rock, but as he addressed the people, he made it seem as if he and Aaron would bring water from the rock. Ignoring the command of God to speak to the rock got Moses in trouble as he stated things out of place under the influence of his flesh due to his frustration with the people. Though Moses had good intentions, he went about his business the wrong way outside of God’s commands, which resulted in trouble.
The Bible explains that after addressing the people, Moses took Aaron’s rod and struck the rock twice. This was a huge mistake! Moses was told to speak to the rock publically. He did not. Moses was told to inform the people that God would bring water from the rock. Instead, Moses told the people that he and Aaron would bring water from the rock. Moses was told to strike the rock once before the people. Moses hit the rock twice. God gave three simple commands and emphasized the need of Moses to execute those commands in a public manner. Moses missed on all three counts and did so in a public manner.
While God is gracious, the Lord sought to perform a particular work to reveal Himself as Messiah. God had intended on showing the people that He is able to bring life-giving water from the rock in the manner He would ultimately perform as the Messiah. God intended to show the people that the source of life-giving water would be “the Rock” and the water would come from the rock upon being struck. This was “supposed” to be a picture of Jesus bringing everlasting waters as the Messiah as a result of the crucifixion. The only problem was that God’s plan was for Jesus to die once, but Moses hit the rock twice. The Messianic picture was ruined by the fleshly impulsive response of Moses, and it was done in a public manner. Nevertheless, God displayed greater grace as water indeed poured out of the rock meeting the physical needs of the people and their animals.
God quickly responded against Moses. Numbers 20:7-13 shows that God was extremely displeased with Moses. The essence of God’s anger was that Moses did not honor Him before the people. Moses was the leader. Moses possessed the glory of God. Moses was the Lawgiver. Moses was the man that God had validated several times throughout the journey and yet Moses displayed a high level of disbelief in God. The Lord explained to Moses that his actions were reflective of disbelief. This means that the second strike that Moses delivered was reflective of Moses’ lack of trust that God would meet the needs of the people because of their sin. Though God promised to bring water from the rock, Moses hit the rock twice as if it would be his own force that would cause the rock to gush forth. Moses assumed the responsibility of God upon himself, not trusting that God would fulfill His promises on account of the disobedience of Israel. Moses ignored the commands of God trying to read the mind of God and missed badly!
God was misrepresented in two major ways. His anointed leader did not hallow God before the people so that Moses’ witness of God was tainted in public. God was not happy about that. Additionally, the testimony of God was corrupted as Moses hit the rock twice. Since the rock was to be a picture of Messiah and the crucifixion, the actions of Moses painted a picture that was inaccurate of God’s Messianic plans. The second strike of Moses painted a picture that inaccurately portrayed the Messiah, as if God would strike His Son twice. This is not good! To communicate a message that the Messiah would have to perform any more than the crucifixion is to suggest that His death as the Son of God was insufficient to please God. Moses’ presentation of the Gospel was severely flawed as a result of his impulse to respond according to the flesh.
Unfortunately, one cannot miscommunicate the Gospel in such ways and escape some form of consequence. Numbers 20:7-13 explains that God imposed a severe form of consequence upon Moses. God stated that Moses would be disqualified from leading the children of Israel into the Promised Land. He would not be disqualified as leader, but would not get to enter the Promised Land as a result. This does not mean that Moses was not saved. This means that there are severe consequences for those who misrepresent God! While God is patient, He will not be profaned and have His name corrupted. Moses made one major mistake and so his privileges were restricted while his salvation remained intact. The punishment administrated against Moses shows that God will respond against those who misrepresent Him – even if its only once. God will take away rewards and opportunities. The Bible explains that those who continually misrepresent God and profane His name by corrupting the testimony of the Gospel will suffer more severe consequences. Knowing this, people that claim to be of the Lord should be careful to ensure that one’s witness is in line with the testimony of scripture lest one be kept from certain rewards, opportunities, or worse.
The Bible teaches that the people of God should walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). However, this does not mean that the people of God live by “blind faith.” The faith of God’s people should be very sturdy founded on solid evidence that can be seen in the Word as supported through verified historical narratives. In that the people of God walk by faith and not by sight, the people of God should be trusting in promises that can’t be seen, though God’s people are able to see the evidences of God that prove He is able to fulfill His promises. The promise of eternal life cannot be fully realized at this moment in time while alive. Yet one can humbly examine the Word of God and learn of His nature in tangible ways, thereby giving one confidence that God can and will make good on His promises. Therefore, the people of God should seek to know God in order to strengthen faith in His promises. Since God produces sufficient information of His character and plenty of support to show His narrative to be true, the people of God should have confidence in His ability and willingness to make good on every single one of His promises. Knowing this, God is not pleased when His people doubt His nature, especially concerning His faithfulness to His promises.
In Numbers 20:1-6 the Bible explains that Israel had failed again in the realms of faith. They simply did not trust God. This portion of scripture begins by stating that Miriam had died in the wilderness and was not able to enter into the Promised Land. Miriam’s sin had caught up with her, and even though God was merciful to remove the leprosy that infected her for unfaithfulness, her sin eventually found her out and like the rest of the unbelieving generation of Israelites, she died outside of the Promised Land.
The Bible says that the rest of the congregation of Israel had a hard time trusting in God’s ways as well. As the children of Israel wandered through the area of Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin, the people began to grumble. The people grew discontent with God’s provision and did not trust that He would sustain them through their journey. Though God verbalized His promises to take Israel into the Land several times, the people doubted and grumbled. Though God performed many powerful miracles to protect Israel and promote their journey, the people doubted and grumbled. The Bible explains that the people grumbled specifically to Aaron and Moses – the servants that God selected to lead the people. Though the Book of Numbers, the scriptures indicate that when the people complained to Aaron and Moses, God considered it as if the people were grumbling against Him. Therefore, the testimony of Numbers 20:1-6 was no exception; the people complained against God.
This portion of scripture provides details to the types of complaints that the people offered up. First, the people were dissatisfied with where they were living. They didn’t like the wilderness, and again mentioned Egypt in a manner that suggested they would have preferred to be there, even in bondage if necessary. Since the journey was hard, the people grew discontent and impatient with God’s promise of the Land and instead yearned for the perception of comfort in the bondage of Egypt. The people preferred to be in bondage rather than experience difficulty on the way to God’s awesome promises founded on grace.
The Bible also states that the people were unsatisfied with God’s provision. God provided the basics on the way to the Promised Land. God promised that the Land He was giving them was a land flowing with milk and honey. God promised that the Land He was giving them was abundantly rich with the best quality of food and the resources to have intense prosperity. However, the people grew impatient. The people were discontent with the idea that they had to endure difficulty and wait for the benefits of God’s promises. So the people began to make demands and express their desire for luxuries rather than God’s essentials. The people wanted the things that were found in Egypt though the people didn’t have those foods available to them while in bondage in Egypt. The people began to speak as if they were entitled to specific things that they desired to satisfy the appetites of their flesh at the expense of their relationship with God. In essence, the people were rejecting the provision God was giving, grew impatient with God’s promises, and were making demands to Moses and Aaron to satisfy their carnal appetites immediately.
The details of this portion of scripture also explain the basis of the people’s sin. The people were afraid. As they wandered through the wilderness, one of the first details that is mentioned is that the people recognized that there was no water to be seen. Walking in the middle of the desert, the people feared tragic and fatal consequences because they could not see any water to drink. Since the people could not see water, they figured they would die and that God was unfaithful to fulfill His promises. The people did not trust in the ability of God to give water. The people did not trust in the faithfulness of God to provide. All of this was simply because the water could not be seen. The Bible shows that God provided water and that the water was in the midst of the people all along. However, since it could not be seen, the people panicked in fear, doubted God, considered their circumstances greater than God’s power and faithfulness, and complained against Him as a result. While scripture shows that this is a common human tendency, the scriptures are also clear to show that God is not pleased with this tendency.
One must recognize that, though Numbers 20:1-6 reveals that the people could not see the water that God would ultimately provide, God expected the people to remain calm and trust Him anyway. The past work of God should have been an indication that God would remain faithful and able. The children of Israel never did anything to warrant God’s favorable responses. Nevertheless, God produced incredible miracles like parting the Red Sea, providing manna from heaven, and bringing water from the rock previously. Though the people didn’t deserve provision then, God proved Himself patient, merciful, gracious, and able to deliver as Provider and Protector. Thus, the historically documented works of God should have provided confidence for the people concerning the future work of God. Since God made promises and proved that His promises were predicated on mercy and grace rather than merit, and God proved His willingness and ability to sustain His people on account of His own integrity, there was never a reason to doubt that God would provide for His people – even if the provision could not be immediately seen. Just because one cannot see all of the details of God’s work does not mean that God has failed to work. One’s knowledge of God as faithful and almighty should provide the people of God with confidence that He will ALWAYS perform the necessary work to fulfill His eternally unconditional promises. Hence, the people of God don’t have anything to fear, should cease from doubt and complaints, and confidently walk by faith rather than sight.
There is a false perception in much of the church today that the Old Testament is no longer valuable or valid because of God’s New Covenant promises. This is untrue! In fact, those that dismiss the Old Testament teachings because they are “old” likely don’t have an understanding of the Living God and His identity as Savior. The Old Testament is where God’s promises can be found. The Old Testament is where God reveals His character in relationship to His promises and His people to show how He is willing and able to fulfill those promises. In fact, even the New Covenant is stated in the Old Testament! Knowing this, one must examine the Old Testament and the history of God’s work through God’s people (Israel) in a particular way. One must examine the scriptures searching for the lessons that God sought to teach the people He spoke to at the time to learn about how God reveals Himself and how He accomplishes His work. Upon examining the scriptures this way, one will gain a far better understanding of God’s New Testament work, and have a better understanding of God overall, strengthening faith, bringing joy, and peace in the process.
The instructions that God gave to Moses and Aaron in Numbers 19:1-22 is a perfect example of this reality. In this portion of scripture the Bible documents God’s instruction to Israel in how they were to ritually cleanse people that were defiled from dead bodies and other extreme situations that required ritual purification. The concept seems irrelevant to God’s people of today. The ritual involves animal sacrifice, which is no longer required from the people of God to be purified. Today God’s people should understand that one is cleansed and purified by the blood of Jesus through faith, not works, lest anyone should boast. However, the instructions that God gave in Numbers 19:1-22 explains that purification through Jesus was ALWAYS the plan.
The purification ritual that God commanded deals with the purification by the ashes of a red heifer, which is simply a kind of red cow. The author of Hebrews compared this ritual to the purification work of Jesus through the crucifixion so that when one examines Numbers 19:1-22 one can see a prophetic picture of Jesus’ work on the cross as Messiah with incredible details! God’s command begins by stating the quality and condition of the animal that needed to be offered. The red heifer was supposed to be one that was without blemish and without any defect of any kind. The red heifer could not have ever been put in a yoke as a worker. The scriptures testify that Jesus was tempted in every way, yet remained without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus never bore the yoke of sin (Matthew 11:30). In this way, the red heifer was a picture of Jesus in that both were without blemish. For this reason, Jesus is able to be a suitable sacrifice and is also able to impart the righteousness of God, having been proved righteous.
The scriptures demanded that the red heifer was to be offered as a sacrifice, but taken outside of the camp of Israel first. Likewise, the Bible explains that Jesus was offered as a sacrifice (Ephesians 5:2) and taken outside of the camp before He was killed (Hebrews 13:12).
The red heifer was to be offered as a burnt offering. The red heifer was to be slaughtered and then completely consumed with no portion left over. In the same way, Jesus was first slaughtered by scourging (Mark 15:15) and then His life was completely consumed through the crucifixion, at which point His death was confirmed through blood and water (John 19:34). The burning of the red heifer was supposed to take place before the priest so that its destruction could be visibly witnessed. The Gospels state that Jesus’ death was made public so that people looked on to confirm His death and the manner in which it happened (Matthew 27:36).
Though some of these things might simply seem coincidental, God gave other commands concerning the red heifer in Numbers 19:1-22 that clearly served to classify the purification instructions as prophetic concerning Messiah. The scriptures explain that the priest was supposed to burn other specific substances with the animal while it was burning. The Lord called for cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet to be cast into the fire while the animal was burning. All three of these substances are tied to the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus was crucified on a tree and bore a wooden cross (Luke 23:26). Jesus was given hyssop moments before His death when He requested the vinegar mixed with gal to signify the completion of His work saying, “I thirst” (John 19:29). The scriptures frequently mention scarlet as a reference to the blood of Jesus, but Jesus was also clothed with a scarlet robe when He was mocked before His crucifixion (Matthew 27:28).
The commands of God make it clear that God had specific intentions when He told the people to be purified by the red heifer. Numbers 19:1-22 explains that the priest was supposed to take the ashes of the animal that were burned with the wood, hyssop, and scarlet, and mix them with water to make “purification water.” Those who were defiled were to be cleansed with that water – the water that contained the ashes of the animal that represented Jesus! More specifically, Numbers 19:1-22 explains that this water was to be used to purify those who had become defiled by coming in contact with dead people. In other words, the “purification water” was to removed defilement that dealt with death in the same way that the blood of Jesus cleanses sin to pay the wages of sin, which is death!
Though the commands for purification by the red heifer were part of the Law, it is almost painfully clear that God had bigger intentions for purification. The plan was never to fully purify His people by the blood of animals. This is why the author of Hebrews rebuked his audience regarding these things – they should have known. Had the people been seeking to know God through His commands, they would have recognized the work of Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises to fully deal with sin through the Messiah, and would have had better understanding of Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. Yet they did not. The audience of the Book of Hebrews was rebuked because they were indifferent to the things of God – going through the motions of His commands without seeking to know God through them.
The commands of God to His people scream out the identity of the Messiah and provide great insights into the plans God has always had regarding His eternally unconditional promises to deal with sin. Those who desire to live with peace, joy, contentment, and maturing faith would be wise to seek God through all facets of scripture, seeing how He proclaimed His work, fulfilled it, and continues to do so today. Knowing these things provides the people of God great confidence to know that God’s promises are true, His power is real, and His Son is exactly who the Bible – from Genesis to Revelation – says He is!
The Bible teaches that Jesus is the “Son” of God. While this is not a New Testament principle, it is mainly a New Testament term that identifies Jesus’ relationship and position as God in flesh. The Greek word for “Son” is the word “huios,” which is where the English word “heir” comes from. The term denotes one that has received an inheritance. When examining the contextual usage of the word “son” in the New Testament as it relates to Jesus, one can confirm that Jesus is the “Heir” of God. This means that Jesus is not a younger version of God, or offspring of God that might possess differences, but instead is God in a fleshly form that has “inherited” all of the attributes and characteristics of God while in flesh. This is an important term to understand since the Bible also explains that those who believe in Jesus as the “Son of God” will also be made “sons,” and if “sons,” will also be “heirs” of God (Romans 8:17, Galatians 3:39, Ephesians 3:6). For this reason, the people of God should be pleased to know that while God possesses ownership of all things as Creator, His will and purpose is to share that which is His with His children, making them “heirs” with Jesus as the prototype.
An example of this truth can be seen in the Old Testament scriptures. In Numbers 18:8-32 the Bible explains the manner in which God promised to take care of Aaron, his sons, and the Levites that served him in assistance. The scriptures explain that God gave Aaron the position of high priest as a gift. The opportunity to minister, interceding on behalf of the people to address their spiritual needs was a gift from God. Though the job was difficult and never ending, God also provided help from the entire tribe of Levi – also as a gift. Since Aaron and his family and the tribe of Levi were to be completely dedicated to the service of the tabernacle and assisting the spiritual needs of the congregation of Israel, God promised to take care of them in very special and particular ways.
Numbers 18:8-32 explains that God desired to meet the needs of His servants by sharing His own possession with them. The Law required the people to give tithes, offerings, and sacrifices. All of these were supposed to be God’s. The offerings and sacrifices were to be given over to the Lord. The tithes were to be methods by which the people demonstrated faith and affection for God to give back to Him on account of first receiving from Him. God explained to Aaron that He would share of these things in order to meet his needs, the needs of his family, and the needs of all the Levites. Though the sacrifices, offerings, and tithes were intended to be God’s possession, the Lord allowed Aaron, his family, and the Levites to share in God’s possession. The servants of the Lord would be fed and taken care of by receiving of God’s own portion as if it were their own!
The Bible is also specific to state that God was not interested in sharing the leftovers. The scriptures candidly explain that God desired to share “the best” of the oil, grain, and new wine that was given over to the Lord as sacrifices and offerings. The Bible shows that God’s intentions are not to share meager and pitiful portions with His people to horde all things to Himself. Instead, God displays great grace as He explains His desire to share the best of His own possession to meet the needs of those who served Him in the tabernacle. The congregation was to give their best as offerings – the first fruits of their produce. However, once given over, the Bible shows that God wanted the priests to take those first fruit offerings for themselves to meet their own physical needs and the needs of their families.
God did this work because God was being fair. Numbers 18:8-32 reminded Aaron and the Levites that they were not entitled to a land inheritance like the rest of the children of Israel. The entire congregation was entitled to receive a land inheritance. The land was God’s land, and He desired to share it with His people according to His eternally unconditional promises. However, since God desired the Levites to tend to the spiritual needs of the people on a full-time basis, He did not want them anchored down by the basic chores of land ownership. God did not want their affection for their land inheritance to compete with their duties as priests and their affection to serve. God did not want the priests tied down and consumed by worldly things when their focus was to be spiritual. Yet to be fair, God stated that He would share other parts of His own possession to meet the needs of His servants. While Aaron and the Levites were not given a land inheritance, they were given provision through the sacrifices, offerings, and tithes that were intended to go to God.
The Lord did not excuse Aaron and the Levites from participating in tithes and offerings. Though the Levites were to receive provision from the offerings, sacrifices, and tithes of the people, God expected the Levites to tithe just the same. Since the congregation of Israel was to demonstrate their trust and affection for God through tithes, the Lord commanded the Levites to participate in the same practice, for the same reasons, providing them the same opportunity to obey the Lord. The Levites were to show their appreciation to God and trust in Him by tithing to Aaron, who would then offer sacrifices and offerings on their behalf. The Levites were to tithe to acknowledge that God was the source of their provision, and that they trusted God to continue to meet their needs, being joyful to give back to the Lord that which was originally His.
Lastly, the Lord commanded Aaron and the Levites to be careful in how they treated their inheritance. God warned them that the provision they were to receive was considered holy and was not to be profaned – treated as common. The provision of Aaron and the Levites was of God’s own possession. The provision that the priests received from God was intended for special use: the priests were to be nourished by the people so that they wouldn’t need to consume time with those affairs, and instead could focus on fulfilling their duties to spiritually nourish the people. God expected the priests to be obedient to His commands and cherish the gifts that He had given. Seeing that the rest of the congregation had to strive and labor for their food, God had made it so that the priests had their food brought to them in exchange for the service they performed in the tabernacle. God didn’t have to share His own possession, but He desired to. Hence, Numbers 18:8-32 reveals an illustration that God is willing and has a strong desire to reward His people by meeting their needs in exceptional ways! While God’s focus is not primarily on the physical needs of His people, the Bible shows that God is willing to share His own physical possessions with His people to take care of them – and possessions that are of the best and highest quality! Moreover, seeing that God is willing to do so to meet the physical needs of His servants, the people of God should have great confidence in the promises of God, anticipating great things since He swore to share His heavenly inheritance to those that desire to be His children. It is good to be a servant of the Living God!
The gifts of the Lord are the greatest kind! Those who believe in the Lord would certainly admit to such a truth. Even people that don’t believe in God or read His Word desire gifts from God. The only issue is that as recipients of God’s gifts, the people of God need to recognize the types of gifts that God gives. Since God is not like human beings, His gifts are different. Since God is good and perfect, so too are His gifts. The gifts that God gives are of Himself so that they will possess the qualities of His own eternal, holy, righteous, and good nature. More simply put, if God is Creator and everything belongs to Him, all that God’s people receive from God as a gift is of Himself and should be received and cared for accordingly.
In Numbers 1:1-7 the Bible explains that God addressed Aaron directly. After confirming and validating Aaron as the high priest by causing Aaron's rod (a dead stick) to sprout and produce ripe almonds, God took it upon Himself to address Aaron directly rather than speak to Aaron through Moses as He had in the past. When God spoke to Moses, He continued to confirm Aaron’s office as high priest. God told Aaron that his position as high priest was a gift. The opportunity to serve according to the commands of God was a gift. The opportunity to administrate the tabernacle and offer sacrifices on behalf of the people was a gift. The opportunity to carry the title “high priest” was a gift in of itself. Since the position of Aaron and his duties were a gift from God, the Lord expected to receive the gift with the greatest of gratitude and honor.
Numbers 1:1-7 explains that the duties of Aaron required him to bear the iniquities of the people and the tabernacle. In other words, Aaron was responsible for taking the sins of the people to the Lord through his service. Aaron was responsible for enduring the regiments and laborious efforts of inspecting the people, their offerings and committing the sacrifices in the appropriate manner as the Law had commanded. This was hard work. This work was never ceasing. This work was supposed to be done on behalf of millions that made up the children of Israel. This work was a gift. As such, Aaron was supposed to cherish this opportunity and no other person was to come near him when performing his duty. No foreigner could approach Aaron lest the position and gift of God be tainted. The gift that God gave in the work of the high priest was holy and God wanted to ensure that the integrity of His gift remained intact.
The scriptures also show that God gave Aaron another gift – the Levites. The Bible explains that the Levites were given to Aaron as helpers to provide assistance in the tabernacle duties. The Levites were to help in transporting the tabernacle, in setting up the tabernacles, and in keep the tabernacle in order according to God’s commands. This work was continuous and laborious. It would have been a ridiculous expectation for Aaron to tend to his duties as high priest AND transport the tabernacle, its furnishings, and keep up the sanctuary and outer courts at the same time. Knowing this, God provided help. God expected His tabernacle to be kept clean and holy and knew that Aaron would need help in doing so. Therefore, God provided the entire tribe of Levi to serve Aaron in assistance to this work.
Seeing these things in scripture, it is important to recognize the gifts that God gives. The role of high priest was a symbolic position that represented the work that Jesus would do as the Messiah – the Savior of the world. The work that Aaron was supposed to do as high priest, bearing the iniquity and burdens of the people and sanctification upon himself was supposed to serve as a picture that Jesus would accomplish as the Great High Priest from the order of Melchizedek. Jesus bore the iniquity and burdens of all people upon Himself as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus offers sanctification by imparting His own righteousness as the Son of God unto those who believe. Since Jesus is God in flesh, then the work of Messiah is the work of God Himself as He communicated clearly throughout the writings of the prophets.
The position that Aaron accepted as high priest is representative of God’s own possession. God took it upon Himself to fulfill the role of Messiah as Jesus since He alone is qualified to do so. Yet God gave Aaron the opportunity to participate in the work that God would do to fulfill His eternally unconditional promises as Messiah. The gift that God gave was centered in the fact that Aaron was able to serve God as an assistant and extension of God’s own hand to perform work that had eternal implications! The second gift that God gave Aaron is like the first. God gave Aaron the tribe of Levi to serve him in assistance. The gift that God gave was the people that would be united with him in function and purpose. The Bible teaches that His people are His own inheritance. God cherishes people and considers them as a gift. When the people of God are of one accord and focused on Him in function and purpose, God is glorified.
The gifts of God are centered on bringing glory to God. Thus, one should examine one’s opportunities that God gives in such a manner. It is a privilege to serve the eternally holy, righteous and almighty God. The opportunity that God provides to do so is a gift. Regardless of the difficulty involved, the people of God should cherish such an opportunity, always remembering that the work one endures as a servant of God is reflective of God using such a person as an extension of His own hand to fulfill His eternally unconditional promises! However, God does not call people to serve alone. God provides help. God provides people to connect as a unified body, focused on performing the will of God as leaders in offerings and worship unto the Lord in response for the gift of salvation that He gives. God’s gifts might not resemble the things that many people in the world desire, but they are the greatest kind of gifts since they come from God. Knowing the types of gifts that God gives, the people of God should desire these gifts. Understanding the nature and purpose of God’s gifts, is there a greater kind of gift available in this world?
It might seem like a wild claim for a person to state that they hear from God. In fact, there have been many people throughout history that have proclaimed to receive divine revelations and messages from God. Many of those people were confirmed to have been crazy. On the contrary, some of those men and women were confirmed to be truthful. Thankfully, the Lord is helpful to take efforts to verify, confirm, and validate His people. Since there are so many that claim to be speaking on the behalf of the Living God, the scriptures show that God will often take steps to reveal those who are His true messengers and perform works to display His approval and the credibility of His prophets and appointed servants.
In Numbers 17:1-13 the Bible explains that God did just such a thing for Aaron and Moses. The scriptures had previously explained that the children of Israel was defiant against God, rejected God’s promises, and thus rejected God’s appointed servants and messengers – mainly Moses, but also Aaron. The people complained time after time against Moses and Aaron and sought to try and rebel against God’s appointed servants to raise up different leaders they selected amongst themselves. God was not pleased with those efforts. Numbers 17:1-13 explains that God sought to rid of the complaints of the children of Israel by taking even more efforts to validate the credibility and authority of Moses and Aaron – mainly Aaron.
The Bible explains that God told Moses to instruct the people to gather together twelve rods. The people were to gather a rod from each tribe of the children of Israel. Each tribe was to have a rod that represented the father of the tribe and each rod was to have the eldest father’s name on it. God instructed the rod representing the tribe of Levi to be different. Rather than having the eldest father’s name written on the rod representing Levi, Moses instructed the people to put Aaron’s name on the rod. God was not necessarily interested in validating the tribe of Levi, but validating the authority of Aaron as high priest. God wanted the people to know that Moses did not appoint himself as leader and did not seek to exalt his own family (Aaron) in order to govern over the people according to the desire of his flesh. God wanted the people to know that His authority made Aaron the high priest so that any authority that Aaron possessed was by the will of God.
God told the people that He would show His approval of His anointed by doing something special with the rods. God explained that each of the 12 rods should be put in the Tabernacle of meeting over night. At the start of the next day, God said that He would cause the rod of His anointed to blossom. Therefore, Moses instructed the people according to God’s commands and the people complied. The next day when the rods were taken out, the Bible testifies that the rod of Aaron had blossomed and had yielded ripe almonds! Though the rods were basically sticks that were not planted live trees, God caused Aaron’s rod to bear fruit and bring life nonetheless. Though Aaron’s rod was essentially a dead stick, the rod of Aaron brought forth green blossoms and fruit in the form of almonds. God exercised His authority and power as Creator to bring life from that which was dead in order to validate the authority of Aaron as high priest! When the people saw this, they responded in fear and sought to distance themselves from God since they could not understand how He had done His work. Rather than repent, the people were afraid and did not seek forgiveness.
The testimony of Numbers 17:1-13 provides an incredible prophetic picture of the work that God does to validate His anointed. While it is true that God will provide proof of His servants to let the public know who is His and who is not, the testimony of Numbers 17:1-13 speaks more to the validation the Father gave of Jesus as the Christ. In the Book of Hebrews, the Bible explains that Jesus fulfilled the role of high priest by interceding on behalf of the people to atone for their sins. Rather than presenting an animal sacrifice to offer forgiveness to the people, Jesus offered Himself as the Son of God to atone for the sins of the world. God validated this work in the same way that God validated the anointed position of Aaron as high priest. As the Father brought life from the dead stick of Aaron so that it blossomed and bore ripe almonds, the Father brought life from the dead flesh of Jesus so that He rose from the dead, bearing the fruit of the Son of God!
When one is diligent to seek God by His Word, one should be able to recognize the people of God, seeing that God confirms the authority of His people. Christians place 100% trust in the claims of Jesus, but not out of blind faith. The identity and work of Jesus was confirmed throughout the life AND death of Jesus – especially by the resurrection! God does not call His people to follow His servants without providing adequate proof that such a person is indeed a servant of God. God validated the authority of the apostles of the early church through wonders and signs. God confirmed the authority of the apostle Paul in the same way. Today the authority of God’s servants is confirmed in sanctification and by the instruction of the Word. Numbers 17:1-13 shows that God will work supernaturally when necessary to offer His people the necessary proof to establish His anointed thereby requiring the people of God to respect His selections and submit to His choices by following those He has placed in leadership according to the Word. In a time that the Bible says would be riddled with false teachers, the people of God should look to the Word in order to recognize the work God does today to validate His people.
The Bible shows that though God is patient and merciful, His patience and mercy only goes so far. His patience and mercy goes far beyond human nature, but the Bible clearly expresses that God has His threshold. When people are persistent in denying and rejecting God, there will come a point in time when God unleashes severe punishment against those people. The Bible teaches that God will not be mocked. The Bible teaches that God is righteous and just, and while He is slow to anger, will respond to anger in the appropriate time in a manner that is severe. Though God desires to bless His people, when His people continuously reject His blessings, God will administrate punishment.
In Numbers 16:41-50 the Bible explains that Israel sought to rebel against Moses and Aaron out of distaste of the judgment that God pronounced against Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. As those three men sought to strike up a rebellion against Moses, God struck up judgment against them. The Lord pronounced judgment against Korah, Dathan, Abiram and 250 other supporters of theirs by causing the earth to open up and swallow them. When this happened, Numbers 16:41-50 explains that the congregation of Israel were angry and responded against God by responding against Moses and Aaron. The people accused Moses and Aaron of being responsible for the judgment of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and the 250 rebels. Though those people were judged by the earth opening up to swallow a target group, the congregation went after Moses and Aaron as if they were responsible. Seeking to rebel against God, they targeted God’s people in despise of God’s judgment.
The Bible explains that the congregation accused Moses and Aaron of being responsible for the deaths of the rebels. They said that Moses and Aaron killed the people though God had clearly judged in a way that was definitively God. As God heard the continued complaints of the people and the insistent rebellion against God’s will and God’s work, He pronounced additional judgment against the people. Earlier in scripture, God told Moses that He would destroy all of the people for their rebellion. Moses pleaded with God to be merciful and relent in His judgment, hoping that the people would change as a response to receiving God’s mercy. God told Moses that the people would be judged later as He understood the wicked nature of the people’s hearts. Numbers 16:41-50 reveals that God was true in His assessment of the people. Their nature was indeed wicked. They were intent and persistent in rejecting God’s work and rebelling against His decisions and purposes as if they knew better than God.
Scripture shows that as God saw the people pursue Moses and Aaron to try and cast blame unto them God relented on His mercy. God had spared the people long enough to give them time to show their true hearts of wickedness. Thus, God pronounced more judgment against the entire congregation. The scriptures document that God sent a severe plague upon the people and it took immediate effect. The scriptures explain that Moses and Aaron immediately recognized that the people had been judged with a plague and that the people were immediately becoming sick and dying. However, in an effort to facilitate the eternally unconditional promises that God made to Abraham, Moses and Aaron sought to intercede for the people. Moses desired for God’s promises to be fulfilled so that they could inherit the land. Therefore, Moses wanted the people to live so that God could be proved faithful. Wanting God to be exalted through the fulfillment of His promises, Moses instructed Aaron to take a censer and provide an offering of atonement amongst the people. Moses hoped that giving an offering on behalf of the people would cause God to relent. Moses hoped that if they sought forgiveness on behalf of the people and interceded for them, that God would honor their offerings and let the remainder of the congregation live so that they could be forgiven and receive the land as God promised.
Numbers 16:41-50 shows that Aaron quickly did as Moses commanded. He took the censer, and the scriptures state that Aaron stood between the dead people that did not survive the plague, and the living people in order to plead for atonement on behalf of the people. The Bible shows that God honored the efforts and desires of Aaron and Moses and He stopped the plague. It is important to recognize that Aaron and Moses were not able to change God’s mind. Rather, God honored the offering of Aaron and Moses because it resembled the offering of Jesus as the Messiah. As the scriptures show that Aaron stood between the living and the dead to provide an offering of atonement on behalf of God’s people as intercession as the high priest, Aaron provided a prophetic picture of Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus is He who offers intercession on behalf of God’s people. Jesus poured out His own self as a drink offering and burnt offering of atonement as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Though the world deserved the wrath of God for offense against God and for rebelling against His will and works, Jesus humbled Himself, stood between the living and the dead, and provided Himself as a perfect sacrifice in the form of propitiation to satisfy the wrath of God. The Bible explains that the offering of Moses and Aaron served as a prophetic picture of this same work, thereby pleasing God so that He relented in His punishment.
Though the scriptures provide a symbolic preview of the work Jesus would later accomplish, the scriptures also show that God will deliver wrath when necessary. God is righteous and just. When His threshold of patience is exceeded, He will respond. Numbers 16:41-50 explains that, although Aaron and Moses interceded on behalf of the people, 14,700 were killed in the plague that God brought against the people! One cannot sin against God and expect that there will not be consequence at some point. In fact, even though who have been saved and received the grace of God in salvation must understand that God’s wrath was still poured out against ALL guilty sinners. The only difference for the believer is that the punishment one deserves is accounted to Christ instead. God promised to judge sin and did so in the most violent and terrible of ways. However, as Christ, God took such punishment upon Himself as Jesus Christ. Though God forgives sins, He does not excuse it as Numbers 16:41-50 shows. Thus, those who believe in the identity and work of Jesus Christ should be all the more grateful for the work Jesus did seeing that the wrath of the Father was accounted to Him rather than us. The documented history of Israel in the Book of Numbers shows that God will deliver in anger when necessary. Praise God that those who believe upon Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God do not have to experience the severity of God’s wrath!