"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Thursday, March 17, 2022

NUMBERS FROM SINIAI To The PROMISED LAND - Chapter 10

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Numbers 1-10 by pastor Chuck Smith

NUMBERS 10: “TIME TO MARCH FORWARD or GOD GOES BEFORE US”

– by Sonny Islas,

For the full message, watch it on SHINE BRIGHT Church YouTube channel!
INTRODUCTION: At this point in the story, it’s been two years since the miraculous Red Sea crossing, and they’ve been encamped near Mt. Sinai but now it’s time to march forward to the wilderness of Paran (aka Kadesh).

This is a high point in the narrative because this will be the first time that Yahweh in the form of the glory cloud from above the Mercy Seat will lift up and move forward – to lead the way to Canaan - here – God goes before them, and they are to follow.
BUT as we’ll soon see, the journey that could have taken Israel days, took years, 40 years, due to their hardheads and hard hearts.

NUMBERS 10:1-10
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work; you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps. 3 "When they blow both of them, all the congregation shall gather before you at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 4 "But if they blow only one, then the leaders, the heads of the divisions of Israel, shall gather to you. 5 "When you sound the advance, the camps that lie on the east side shall then begin their journey. 6 "When you sound the advance the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall begin their journey; they shall sound the call for them to begin their journeys. 7 "And when the assembly is to be gathered together, you shall blow, but not sound the advance. 8 "The sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow the trumpets; and these shall be to you as an ordinance forever throughout your generations. 9 "When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the LORD your God, and you will be saved from your enemies. 10 "Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the LORD your God
.

From verse 2: TWO SILVER TRUMPETS:
These silver trumpets were different from the shofar which was a ram’s horn that was used to herald the Day of Atonement (Lev. 25:9) and was used at Jericho (Joshua 6:4). These silver trumpets were about 20inches long made up of a long narrow tube with an open flare at the end – like an open flower when kissed by the sun.
These trumpets were used for different reasons and for different occasions. [verse 2] YOU SHALL USE THEM FOR CALLING THE CONGREGATION AND FOR DIRECTING THE MOVEMENTS OF THE CAMP.

Before we can obey God, we must first give Him our attention. The trumpets were used to get the attention of the people of Israel.” – D. Guzik

They were used to call the peoples to draw near to the LORD in worship and they were used for marching orders. So they were used for summoning the people and for breaking up camp.
This reminds me of high school where instead of a trumpet a school bell was used to communicate when school starts, every passing period, lunch time and the last class – dismissal.

Some Catholic churches use large bells to inform the neighborhood that the mass is about to start.

These twin silver trumpets were to be used in a specific way and depending on how many times the trumpets were blown brought about a different outcome i.e. Verses 3 & 4 tells us that if both trumpets all the congregation was to meet with God at the door of the Tabernacle BUT if only one trumpet is blown then only the leaders or heads of Tribes were to come to Moses.
The LORD seems to communicate with the trumpets blast i.e. there is another very special trumpet in the NT called “The Trumpet of God.” Just as these silver trumpets were used to call Israel to draw near to God, this “Trumpet of God” will be sued to call the Church home to heaven to forever be with the LORD!
1 THESSALONIANS 4:15-18
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words
.
From verse 5: WHEN YOU SOUND THE ADVANCE (or when you blow the trumpet to start marching): One commentator says, “If we follow Jewish tradition, long blasts, were used to assemble the people to Moses, to the tent of meeting and for worship. Short staccato blasts…were used in battle and to order the camps to move off.” (Wenham)

We see here that there is order and sequence in this march – the Tribes located on the east side starting with the Armies of Judah break camp first (NUM 2:9) then, then those on the south side, starting with the armies of the Tribe of Reuben, then the Tabernacle and the Levites, then the armies on the west side led by the Tribe of Ephraim, then the armies on the north side, led by the Tribe of Dan.

In my mind's eye, I can’t help but picture this powerful and beautifully ordered and majestic procession – with Yahweh in the form of a fire pillar leading the march. Imagine the sound of millions of feet marching and the sound of millions of voices praising God and singing with hearts of joy! They rejoiced as they moved forward.

No wonder the King of Moab in NUMBERS 22 feared this great crowd and army of Yahweh! The sight and sound of this massive group marching and settling must have been extremely intimidating.

From verse 8: THE SONS OF AARON, THE PRIEST, SHALL BLOW THE TRUMPETS:
The silver trumpets held to the priests lips, reminds me of the job and responsibility of the pastor or preacher - as he uses his lungs and breath to blow forth or trumpet forth the truth of God’s Word. With every sermon, he calls God’s people to draw close to God, to follow Jesus, to march forward in the direction of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s leading, to go to war with their sin and spiritual enemies – reminding them always that there is a devil that doesn’t sleep.

From verse 9: WHEN YOU GO TO WAR… YOU SHALL SOUND THE ALARM WITH THE TRUMPETS:
So these trumpets were also used to alert the people of the coming enemy – for war (EZEK 33:11).

In the Book of Revelation we find that God uses seven trumpets as signals for judgments upon the unrepentant world.
In the following chapters of REVELATION 8,9 and 11:
With the 1st trumpet, the vegetation is struck (REV 8:7)
And the 2nd trumpet, he seas are struck (REV 8:8)
The 3rd trumpet, the waters are struck. (REV 8:9)
4th Trumpet, outer space is struck (REV 8:12); 5th trumpet, the Locust/demons come out of the bottomless pit (REV 9:1); 6th trumpet, four mighty fallen angels are released to do destruction (REV 9:13); and with the 7th Trumpet, the Kingdom of Jesus is proclaimed, which causes storms and earthquakes (REV 11:15).

NUMBERS 10:10
Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the LORD your God
.

This tells us that the trumpets were also used to proclaim, Jewish celebrations and feasts. So again, these two silver trumpets were used to call God’s people to: Worship, walk and war.

NUMBERS 10:11-36
11 Now it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle of the Testimony. 12 And the children of Israel set out from the Wilderness of Sinai on their journeys; then the cloud settled down in the Wilderness of Paran. 13 So they started out for the first time according to the command of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 14 The standard of the camp of the children of Judah set out first according to their armies; over their army was Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 15 Over the army of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethanel the son of Zuar. 16 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon. 17 Then the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set out, carrying the tabernacle. 18 And the standard of the camp of Reuben set out according to their armies; over their army was Elizur the son of Shedeur. 19 Over the army of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 20 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel. 21 Then the Kohathites set out, carrying the holy things. (The tabernacle would be prepared for their arrival.) 22 And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set out according to their armies; over their army was Elishama the son of Ammihud.

23 Over the army of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 24 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni. 25 Then the standard of the camp of the children of Dan (the rear guard of all the camps) set out according to their armies; over their army was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 26 Over the army of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran. 27 And over the army of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan. 28 Thus was the order of march of the children of Israel, according to their armies, when they began their journey. 29 ¶ Now Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place of which the LORD said, 'I will give it to you.' Come with us, and we will treat you well; for the LORD has promised good things to Israel." 30 And he said to him, "I will not go, but I will depart to my own land and to my relatives." 31 So Moses said, "Please do not leave, inasmuch as you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. 32 "And it shall be, if you go with us-indeed it shall be-that whatever good the LORD will do to us, the same we will do to you." 33 So they departed from the mountain of the LORD on a journey of three days; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them for the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them. 34 And the cloud of the LORD was above them by day when they went out from the camp. 35 So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said: "Rise up, O LORD! Let Your enemies be scattered and let those who hate You flee before You." 36 And when it rested, he said: "Return, O LORD, To the many thousands of Israel
.

Here the march forward or departure from Sinai begins – [verse 11] THE CLOUD WAS TAKEN UP FROM THE TABERNACLE OF TESTIMONY: God leads the march and goes before His people!

From verse 14: JUDAH SET OUT FIRST ACCORDING TO THE ARMIES: Judah means praise – and this is what the people did. Also, Judah is the kingly Tribe where Jesus comes from – so – this is a spiritual picture of Jesus as the King of Kings and the Lion of Judah leading the march, the pack.

From verse 29: MOSES SAID TO HOBAB…COME WITH US AND WILL TREAT YOU WELL; FOR THE LORD HAS PROMISED GOOD THIGNS TO ISRAEL: Hobab was Moses’ brother-in-law. Moses loved his bro and wanted him to take part in the blessing of Israel – even though Hobab wasn’t an Israelite.

I have two brothers-in-law and three ex-brothers-in-law, and I wish the best for all of them. I pray that they “COME WITH US” to heaven by following Yahweh Jesus. At first, Hobab said no (v.30) then Moses pressed him some more and promised him that the LORD will do good to him (v. 31, 32) and JUDGES 1:16 implies that Hobab went with Israel to Canaan and enjoined the region of Judah.

Do like Moses and tell your relatives to “COME WITH YOU – not to Canaan but to glory, to the heavenly promised land, the New Jerusalem, the new Heaven and the New Earth.
Lastly, I love the prayer that Moses prayed, every time the LORD moved and they followed:
From verses 35-36: So it was, whenever the ark set out, that Moses said: “Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered and let those who hate You flee before You.” And when it rested, he said: “Return, O Lord, to the many thousands of Israel.”

Moses’ awesome prayer was basically calling on God to lead the way, to go before them and trample their enemies but to always come back and to stay near and never leave them. Moses always prayed for Israel’s protection and for Yahweh’s nearness.
I desire and pray the same thing for Shine bright Church – that the LORD would give us all victory over all our enemies and that he would go before us and never leave us. It’s His promise!

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