"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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Monday, March 7, 2022


Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire
Complete Study of Numbers 1 - 10 by pastor Chuck Smith

NUMBERS 9: “THE OBSERVANCE WITH THE HEART OF OBEDIENCE” – by Albert Lopez,  Facebook video or SHINE BRIGHT Church YouTube channel video not available.

INTRODUCTION: Many times, when we do things, we can do them halfway or even do them completely but even then, do them wrong. We have a poor attitude and are very careless with what is required of us. The problem is that sometimes we do these things with the wrong heart and the wrong motives.

Example: I tell Dominic to take out the trash. He says, “OK Dad” and he continues playing Xbox or continues on his phone. There is a second reminder, “I told you to take out the trash five minutes ago and it’s still there and if you don’t take out the trash; the trash will take us out”.
So, he goes to the kitchen grabs a snack, looks at the trash and goes back to his room. The 3rd reminder is now here, and it comes more as a consequence of not listening to the first two: “You are going to be grounded until you grow a beard. I want you to drop whatever you’re doing and take out the trash now!”

This could have been avoided if Dominic would have listened the 1st time he was told to do something. If only he would just have taken the two minutes or less to take out the trash and put a new bag on the trash-can and not put his needs above what was required of him. Knowing that taking out the trash is his job he should not have to be reminded each time to do it. Gladly doing it because he contributes to the team that is our little family would be the proper attitude and motive - and also contributes to filling up the trash.

This attitude would have avoided any type of bad consequences for disobedience on his part. Now this scenario can apply to you or to me and in different circumstances where we have an opportunity to show a right attitude with a good heart, but we fail miserably at times.

Sometimes however by the grace of God and the power of the Spirit we come through. We need to remember to have this heart:

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God. …even if it’s to take out the trash

1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying: 2 "Let the children of Israel keep the Passover at its appointed time. 3 "On the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, you shall keep it at its appointed time. According to all its rites and ceremonies you shall keep it." 4 So Moses told the children of Israel that they should keep the Passover. 5 And they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, at twilight, in the Wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did

Observe the Passover at its appointed time:
The example I just gave you guys in a very minor scale is what the Israelites needed to do which is to observe, that is. to obey and not only observe but do it at the right time. The right time is always God’s time as we will see by reading his Word with the intention of applying it.
The word “observe” is asah – “accomplish, achieve, perform, act”.

All of these words take action. We don’t observe by being casual or unintentional. It’s not like the kind of observing that you do only do with your eyes, but you get your heart and your feet involved.

If we are struggling to observe what the Lord has called us to do; we will find out that the cloud and pillar of fire will guide us. It is better to struggle and war against our rebellious flesh than to give in to disobedience.

The Israelites were observing Passover as outlined in EXODUS 12:12-40. The original Passover lasted only one evening as the Israelites departed from Egypt in haste or in a hurry. But later guidelines dictated that this celebration lasted for one week; beginning on 14th Abib (Later called Nissan)

Important note: In order to participate, participants were required to be in a state of ceremonial purity in order to join the celebration.
We are called to be cleansed by trusting in the blood that was shed by the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (JOHN 1:29). This way is the only way to be able to participate in what would be our Passover and be delivered from the world into God’s Kingdom. Jesus becomes our Passover and His Word cleanses us daily in the sanctification process.

So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word

That “He” is Jesus, that “her” is you and me. His church; and the way he washes us in order to cleanse us is His word. So, it’s by Him through us and for Him. It is always for our good and his Glory church!

Even more specifically we are told that the Lord told the Israelites to observe according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses. So, this is not a “Do what feels right”.
It’s a “Do according to all that the Lord had commanded”. They couldn’t say, “I like this part of the command, but I think I will leave out this little part over here”. For us today we need to hear the whole counsel of God and do according to what is written.

While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they celebrated the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho

We read in Joshua that, just like we are reading in NUMBERS, the Israelites continue to celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. Something to note here is that in this chapter God says something I think we would do well to observe and to remember in order to be more heavenly grounded and less earthly grounded; heavenly minded and not earthly minded. Setting our eyes on the things above as the Word tells us (COL 3:1-2)!

God tells the people that He had them walk in the wilderness forty years until the men who did not listen to His voice perished. Later he tells them, “Today I have rolled away the shame of Egypt from you.”

Now today God may not have us walk in a literal wilderness but we can be in a spiritual wilderness because we fail to circumcise our hearts (ROM 2:29). That is to yield to the Holy Spirit so that the new man lives with more power (being renewed day by day) to our sanctification process and to God’s glory.

Back in Moses’s and Joshua’s day they did not have the whole counsel of God. Today we do. We get as much of God as we want, and he is not stingy. What is our excuse for wandering in the wilderness when God has made a way to the promise land through Jesus Who said
“Come and drink freely” (JOHN 7:37-38) and be satisfied with righteousness; His righteousness (PSALM 17:15)! Blessed are you if you thirst for righteousness; for you will be filled.

NUMBERS 9:6-14
6 Now there were certain men who were defiled by a human corpse, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day; and they came before Moses and Aaron that day. 7 And those men said to him, "We became defiled by a human corpse. Why are we kept from presenting the offering of the LORD at its appointed time among the children of Israel?" 8 And Moses said to them, "Stand still, that I may hear what the LORD will command concerning you." 9 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If anyone of you or your posterity is unclean because of a corpse, or is far away on a journey, he may still keep the LORD'S Passover. 11 'On the fourteenth day of the second month, at twilight, they may keep it. They shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 'They shall leave none of it until morning, nor break one of its bones. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it. 13 'But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and ceases to keep the Passover, that same person shall be cut off from among his people, because he did not bring the offering of the LORD at its appointed time; that man shall bear his sin. 14 'And if a stranger dwells among you, and would keep the LORD'S Passover, he must do so according to the rite of the Passover and according to its ceremony; you shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger and the native of the land

Like we had read previously in NUMBERS 5, the subject of being unclean and therefore not able to participate in the Passover and making an offering to the Lord comes up again. The problem of being ceremonially unclean on the Passover and therefore not able to celebrate it on that exact date, is dealing with these Israelites who had been pronounced unclean because of contact with a dead body (could have been a funeral, or they were in battle, and they touched a dead body but regardless they are unclean).

Still, they wished to fulfill the Passover obligations at the same time as everyone else without having to wait a year until the next Passover. Can you imagine waiting a year for something when you knew that you could have been part of it on the day that it was to take place?
So, think about if you were the leader Moses. What do you do? “So sorry maybe next time?”
No, you have to remember that Moses cared deeply for these people but above all he loved the Lord. We have read in the Bible that King David was a man after God’s heart. I believe that before David; Moses was a man after God’s heart, and with good reason: he was counted as one of the humblest men.

(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any person who was on the face of the earth)

I point out this trait because with Moses’s position that God gave him, it would be so easy for him to just make a rash decision on the matter based on his own wisdom. After all, the Lord chose him for something that made him stand out, right? Not in Moses eyes!

As we read, when Miriam and Aaron were talking about him; he allowed God to defend him. On top of that he pleaded for Miriam when God struck her with leprosy and cried out God, “Please heal her!” He didn’t do as many of us might say or think. “Get her Lord, it serves her right talking about me!”

On the contrary Moses had a heart of mercy and he was after the will of the Father! Instead, we see in verse 8 that he acknowledges the people’s concern but also tells them to wait. Something that we rarely like to hear from anyone including God.

Moses, as we’ve read, and continue to read, is completely dependent on God. As it says there, “I will listen”; Moses is prepared to listen but not just to any voice; he is tuning in only to God and has his will aligned with God’s will.
We learned on Sunday that Jesus is God’s Son and God has told us to hear him; look at Him and follow him. By doing this we too can have the heart of David or the heart of Moses. A heart after God’s own heart.

The question to you and to me is, are we listening? And if we are; who are we listening to? Is it God’s voice and his guidance through His word or is it the noise and chaos of this world?
You can see that Moses has his will aligned with God’s because it says there, “I will listen to what the Lord will command concerning you.” We will do very well to be completely dependent on God concerning not only ourselves but everything and everyone around us. Remember what the Word tells us in:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight
The days are getting darker, and we need the Light of the world to light our path church!
We can see here that Moses asked for a ‘time out’ or a delay until he could find out what the Lord’s instructions were on this matter. Why? Because it is intentional; it’s a priority for Moses who was desperate to seek the Lord’s clear guidance.

Sometimes we say we will seek the Lord’s instructions but in reality, we don’t. Maybe because we want a quick solution or a fast response. I want us to remember that it may not be quick, but you can be sure God is never early or late; he is right on time. His time.

Moses shows his dependence on the Lord and his desire to give out God’s instructions and not his own wisdom. May we do the same thing and learn what God’s instructions are so we may be disciples who make disciples.
The result of God being honored by such dependence moves God and He gives Moses the instructions he sought. He will do the same for you Church!

NUMBERS 9:15-23
15 Now on the day that the tabernacle was raised up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the Testimony; from evening until morning it was above the tabernacle like the appearance of fire. 16 So it was always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. 17 Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents. 18 At the command of the LORD the children of Israel would journey, and at the command of the LORD they would camp; as long as the cloud stayed above the tabernacle they remained encamped. 19 Even when the cloud continued long, many days above the tabernacle, the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD and did not journey. 20 So it was, when the cloud was above the tabernacle a few days: according to the command of the LORD they would remain encamped, and according to the command of the LORD they would journey. 21 So it was, when the cloud remained only from evening until morning: when the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they would journey; whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud was taken up, they would journey. 22 Whether it was two days, a month, or a year that the cloud remained above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would remain encamped and not journey; but when it was taken up, they would journey. 23 At the command of the LORD they remained encamped, and at the command of the LORD they journeyed; they kept the charge of the LORD, at the command of the LORD by the hand of Moses

Verses 15-16: Cloud by day… Fire by Night: This miraculous pillar appeared at the Exodus.
In EXODUS 13:21-22
And the LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from the presence of the people.
This pillar remained with them throughout their Journey into the Promise Land:
But You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in mercy; and You did not abandon them
Their God abode with them (dwelt or tabernacled) – This word is the Hebrew word shekinah and would guide them a day at a time, a step at a time.

In a similar way God guides and remains with his Church throughout their journey. God guides us day and night through his Holy Word through His Holy Spirit which guides us to His Holy Son. Speaking of guiding; seven times in this paragraph you find the phrase command of the Lord (or we can say the mouth of God) The movements of the pillar were ordered by the Lord. Note: He didn’t ask for the counsel of the leaders of the people (This required trust on the people’s part).

Observe that the people were not able to predict what God would do next. The pillar might linger overnight and then move in the morning, or it might stay for two days, a month, or even a year.
No matter when the pillar moved, by day or by night, the Jews had to be ready to pack up and follow.

Jesus has said that His sheep hear his voice and that they follow him (JOHN 10:3-4). The Great Shepherd’s voice can be found in the pages of this Book. He has promised that those who walk in the light will not walk in darkness.

Because He will have the light of life. In this sense Jesus is with us and for us! The question is are you willing to move when He moves and stay still and wait on Him when he tells you to? Is He your cloud by day and pillar by night? He calls as to be as children of light because He is the great light. The light of the World!

On the other hand, it’s interesting to note that this miraculous pillar brought light to the people of Israel but darkness to their enemies. Just like we read about in Exodus as the Israelites were crossing the Red sea with their enemies in pursuit God protected them leaving the enemy in darkness and giving light to his people in the darkness. This can symbolize the Word of God because those who don’t know Christ by faith simply can’t understand what the Word is saying. In order to know the mind of God, we must submit to the will of God. The first step is to put saving faith in Jesus Christ.
ACTS 4:12
And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.
Then you move out of darkness in which we were all in at one time. You then move into God’s wonderful light.

Verse 20: The cloud remained, they remained; the cloud lifted, they lifted and moved out
The priest and the Levites, who lived near the tabernacle, probably assigned people to keep watch day and night so they would know when the pillar was moving.
If we sincerely want to do the will of God, we must keep our eyes open and alert at all times. The New Testament word for this attitude of alertness and expectancy is “watch”. You can see that the alertness of the Israelites would not catch them by surprise when God moved, and the expectancy kept them being alert knowing God was going to move.

Jesus called himself The Light of the World (JOHN 8:12) and He promised those who followed that involves trust; they would not walk in darkness.
It’s a great privilege to walk in the light and enjoy fellowship with God and God’s people. I have a pretty strong flashlight; I use it for work but that light’s power and strength does not compare with the all-penetrating light of the Son of God who can make your light so shine that they will see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (MATT 5:16).

The Passover was pointing to God’s mercy when he was bringing judgment. The instructions were given to take some of the blood and put it on the door post. Blood that was shed by a sacrificial lamb to cover everyone from physical death that was going to pass by them or spare them but only if they were covered according to how God instructed.

We have been given God’s Lamb who takes away the sin of the world and his precious blood shed at Calvary who saves and covers everyone who trusts in Jesus and not only saves from spiritual death but in return will grant everlasting life and everlasting fellowship with himself. Praise the Lord for He did not pay us according to what we deserve!

As we read the last verse: “At the command of the LORD they camped, and at the command of the LORD they set out; they did what the LORD required.”
May we have the same attitude and heart to do at the command of the Lord whatever that command might be. AMEN!

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