"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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Wednesday, October 26, 2022


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

NUMBERS 34: “DOES GOD HAVE MORE FOR ME?” by Sonny Islas, check out the complete audio teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: As we draw near to the end of the Book of Numbers, in chapter 34 we find God giving the command to appoint the borders of Canaan (a.k.a. Israel) and to appoint the leaders that will be in charge of dividing the land by lot to each tribe.

NUMBERS 34:1-15
1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Command the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land of Canaan, this is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance-the land of Canaan to its boundaries. 3 'Your southern border shall be from the Wilderness of Zin along the border of Edom; then your southern border shall extend eastward to the end of the Salt Sea; 4 'your border shall turn from the southern side of the Ascent of Akrabbim, continue to Zin, and be on the south of Kadesh Barnea; then it shall go on to Hazar Addar, and continue to Azmon; 5 'the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and it shall end at the Sea. 6 'As for the western border, you shall have the Great Sea for a border; this shall be your western border. 7 'And this shall be your northern border: From the Great Sea you shall mark out your border line to Mount Hor; 8 'from Mount Hor you shall mark out your border to the entrance of Hamath; then the direction of the border shall be toward Zedad; 9 'the border shall proceed to Ziphron, and it shall end at Hazar Enan. This shall be your northern border. 10 'You shall mark out your eastern border from Hazar Enan to Shepham; 11 'the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain; the border shall go down and reach to the eastern side of the Sea of Chinnereth; 12 'the border shall go down along the Jordan, and it shall end at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land with its surrounding boundaries.'" 13 Then Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying: "This is the land which you shall inherit by lot, which the LORD has commanded to give to the nine tribes and to the half-tribe. 14 "For the tribe of the children of Reuben according to the house of their fathers, and the tribe of the children of Gad according to the house of their fathers, have received their inheritance; and the half-tribe of Manasseh has received its inheritance. 15 "The two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance on this side of the Jordan, across from Jericho eastward, toward the sunrise."

I’d like to turn your attention to the map on the screen. The map on the left shows the boundaries we read on NUM 34 and the map on the right shows the boundaries spoken of in GEN 15:18 (From Egypt's Nile River to Iraq’s Euphrates River). So, the LORD gave Israel much more land to possess than we find here in Numbers. Just thought I’d let you know that.

Let me give you Two brief thoughts about national boundaries or borders, especially those of Israel.

1. ACTS 17:26 says,
And He [GOD] has made from one blood (ADAM) every nation of men [EVERY ETHNICITY]  to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times [EVERY NATION HAS A START DATE AND AN END DATE] and the boundaries of their dwellings [NATIONAL BORDERS AND THE EXTENT OF THEIR CONQUEST],

So, the God of Israel is also the God of all 195 countries and is in charge of allotting every nation their portion of land. Our God is the Landlord of the entire Earth.

2. Matthew Poole (a bible commentator) gives three reasons why God noted the boundaries of Canaan for Israel:
a. To direct and bound them in their wars and conquests, that they might not seek the enlargement of their empire, after the manner of other nations, but be content with their own portion. (God: “This is what you get and no more – be happy with My gift) – IT WAS ALL BY LOT WHICH MEANS THAT EVERYONE GOD WHAT GOD HIMSELF CHOSE FOR THEM)

b. To encourage them in their attempt upon Canaan and assure them of their success.

c. To guide them in the approaching distribution of the land.”
Here’s the sad reality: God gave Israel all of Canaan, under one condition – that they fight for it. That they possess it and inhabit it. And all with God’s gracious hand on their side.

Let’s back up a bit and review read:

NUMBERS 33:50-56
50 Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho, saying, 51 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 'then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places; 53 'you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess. 54 'And you shall divide the land by lot as an inheritance among your families; to the larger you shall give a larger inheritance, and to the smaller you shall give a smaller inheritance; there everyone's inheritance shall be whatever falls to him by lot. You shall inherit according to the tribes of your fathers. 55 'But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. 56 'Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.'"

Notice how much responsibility God gave to Israel? In those 6 verses God says,

Vs. 51 “YOU cross the Jordan river.” 52 “YOU drive out all the inhabitants of the land” 52 “YOU destroy all their idols and false god temples.” 53 “YOU shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land.” 55 “BUT IF YOU DO NOT, they will harass you and I will come against you.”

There are a lot of “you’s” here! A lot of doing/action in order to get ahead and be more than conquerors.

The main reasons why Israel never conquered the entire land was because they became just as godless as the Canaanites were at times (that would be like a modern-day Christina being more like the world than like Christ). Israel was sidetracked with idol worship, drunkenness, spiritual coldness and lovelessness towards God, disobedience, adulteries and fornications with pagans, prayerlessness, false worship towards Yahweh, complacency, and unbelief etc.

Israel backslid many times and for many reasons. i.e. in the Book of Judges: We find a cycle of God’s people sinning then God allowing their enemies to oppress them militarily (just like He promised in NUM 33:55). Then they would cry out for help and repent, then God would raise up a Judge (which is basically a deliverer or a human hero) to rescue them. Then spurts of revival would come – and then go. Then all this would be repeated.

One commentator says that Israel only enjoyed - 1/10th of the land. They were given 300,000 sq miles, but they only possessed 30,000 of it. Just 10% of what was promised to them by GOD!

Listen, as Christians we can miss what the LORD has for us or even has planned for us if we act like Israel towards God. As you can see, God had more for Israel to conquer and enjoy and it’s the same for all of us today.

2 JOHN 1:8
“Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.”

This may have a connection with the Bema Seat of Christ – the judgment of rewards and how it may be possible that because of our slackness, we may not get our “full rewards.” i.e. Israel was given 300,000 square miles of land but only conquered 30,000 square miles of land.

Let’s do our best to get, do, appropriate, and enjoy ALL that God has for each and every one of us!

On that day the LORD very well may show us missed opportunities, missed blessings, missed potential - due to our lack of trust, lack of striving, lack of self-denial, lack of interest, lack of involvement, distractions, failures etc. I say let’s minimize these losses by taking the LORD and His will super serious.

TOZER said,
“We can have as much of God as we want.”

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”

Let’s ask ourselves, how much of this Christian life have we conquered and how much of it are we enjoying today? What more can God do with us and in us? Listen, there is always still more to be and do for Christ!

More enemies to overcome. More ministry work to be done. More Bible to be read, believed, memorized, love, apply, enjoy, and share. More prayers to pray. More people to love. More souls to win. More of being like Christ. More of the fruit of the Spirit to bear. More wisdom and knowledge to gain. More idols to crush. More of God’s will to do and enjoy. More of Jesus’ affection and love for us to display towards His Church and the lost. GOD HAS MUCH MORE FOR ALL OF US!

At the same time, we’re all a work in progress. And we should rejoice over the ground that we have covered and conquered by God’s grace.

NUMBERS 34:16-29
16 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 17 "These are the names of the men who shall divide the land among you as an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun. 18 "And you shall take one leader of every tribe to divide the land for the inheritance. 19 "These are the names of the men: from the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh; 20 "from the tribe of the children of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud; 21 "from the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon; 22 "a leader from the tribe of the children of Dan, Bukki the son of Jogli; 23 "from the sons of Joseph: a leader from the tribe of the children of Manasseh, Hanniel the son of Ephod, 24 "and a leader from the tribe of the children of Ephraim, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan; 25 "a leader from the tribe of the children of Zebulun, Elizaphan the son of Parnach; 26 "a leader from the tribe of the children of Issachar, Paltiel the son of Azzan; 27 "a leader from the tribe of the children of Asher, Ahihud the son of Shelomi; 28 "and a leader from the tribe of the children of Naphtali, Pedahel the son of Ammihud." 29 These are the ones the LORD commanded to divide the inheritance among the children of Israel in the land of Canaan

For more on this, check out David Guzik's Enduring Word Commentary on NUMBERS 34!!

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