Just Looking for a Home, Part 11 (The Covenant & the Cross #92)


This podcast is designed to help you better understand the Word of God — both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is the story of the Covenant which God made with His chosen people Israel. And the New Testament is the story of the Cross which signifies the fulfillment of the Old Covenant with Israel and the formation of a New Covenant with redeemed people from many nations.

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is Deuteronomy 29:1-6 which reads: “These are the words of the covenant, which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb. And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the Lord your God.”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from John Flavel. He said: “The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most comfortable way of dying.”

Our topic for today is titled “Just Looking for a Home (Part 10)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. It is available on our website for just $20.

— TREATY RENEWAL

Earlier we observed that the relationship between the nation of Israel and God was that of a covenant, specifically a treaty between a suzerain and His vassal. This relationship is evident in the terminology used throughout Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. It is also evident within their literary structure, although that feature is most apparent in the case of the book of Deuteronomy.

Just Looking for a Home, Part 10 (Covenant and the Cross #91)

Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

We always like to start out with the Word of God, and today’s passage of Scripture is Numbers 31:1-5 which reads: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the Lord of Midian. Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war. So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.”

Regarding this passage, Dr. R.C. Sproul notes in the Reformation Study Bible:

Vengeance against the Midianites for their efforts to seduce the Israelites into idol worship and sexual immorality is undertaken. This narrative deals particularly with details concerning the plunder taken from the Midianites. Because the plunder of war had to be handled in a fashion that preserved the holiness of God and of the people, the principles stated here helped prepare the Israelites for the coming conquest of the land.

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from George Müller. He said: “I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God, and to meditation on it. The food of the inner man is the Word of God; and not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts.”

Our topic for today is titled “Just Looking for a Home (Part 10)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. And, I want to remind you to take advantage of our special offer. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of this book — “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin. It is available on our website for just $20.

— REDEDICATION BEFORE CONQUEST

Encamped on the eastern shores of the Jordan River, the people began to concentrate on preparing to go into the land. However, several matters had to be completed before they could do so.

First, Moses conducted a second census of the new generation. A quick glance at these figures shows that the overall size of the nation was about the same as it had been at the start of the Exodus. This detail reminded the original audience of God’s faithfulness through hard times. Interestingly, several tribes had drastically decreased in numbers (e.g., Simeon, which was now only about a third of its original size), while others had had significant growth (e.g., Manasseh, which was more than 60 percent larger).

Second, Joshua was commissioned to succeed Moses as the leader of the nation. His new position seems to have been mediator of the covenant. As such, he represented the people before God, and God before the people. Moses was told at this point that he would soon leave the people and go up to a mountain where he would die. Analysis shows that some of this material is arranged topically rather than in a strictly chronological order. That seems to be the case from here to the end of the Pentateuch. For example, it is after this appointment that we read of the revenge against the Midianites in Numbers 31, which chronologically would seem to fit better with Numbers 25:17.

Third, we learn that several of the tribes have been eyeing the land on the eastern side of the Jordan River (an event that seems to have occurred chronologically before the Balaam incident). This region was good grazing land, and the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh asked for permission to settle in this region. Initially, Moses was upset, comparing this request with the unbelief that had occurred a generation earlier at Kadesh Barnea. The tribes demurred, however, asserting that they were willing to participate in the conquest, but that this land seemed to fit their every desire. They argued that they would settle their families into the villages and cities, build sheepfolds, and then go with the rest of the nation through the conquest. Moses agreed, and this region became part of Israel but a part noted for its grazing (somewhat like the west Texas of ancient Israel).

Fourth, Moses described the land in the region west of the Jordan (modern Israel), which would become theirs. He laid out borders and told them to allocate the land by lots when they finished the conquest. He also set apart two groups of cities. The larger group was cities for the Levites, who would not receive a tribal inheritance but would be dispersed throughout the nation. As we have already observed, part of the reason for this decision seemed to be that they could represent God to the people in terms of teaching and offer certain sacrifices. Included in these Levitical towns were six that were called cities of refuge: three were on the west side of the Jordan and three on the east side. These were sanctuaries for people who had committed manslaughter.

The final act of Moses was to reiterate the covenant. This rededication is set forth in the book of Deuteronomy.

Let’s Pray —

Before we close, dear friend, I want to remind you that the most important thing you should know about the Bible is that it is the story of God working to save humanity from sin and the consequences of sin. He did this by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins and take the punishment that we deserve on Himself. Romans 5:8 says, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you want to get to know Him today, here’s how.

All you have to do is believe “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” and you will be saved. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will.

Until next time, remember the word of God is the foundation to a successful life. God bless.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

Just Looking for a Home, Part 8 (The Covenant & the Cross #89)

Numbers 21:6-9 which reads: “And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from Michael Horton. He said: “Once we truly grasp the message of the New Testament, it is impossible to read the Old Testament again without seeing Christ on every page, in every story, foreshadowed or anticipated in every event and narrative. The Bible must be read as a whole, beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelation, letting promise and fulfillment guide or expectations for what we will find there.”

Our topic for today is titled “Just Looking for a Home (Part 8)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

— The Bronze Serpent

Leaving Mount Hor, the people had to travel south along the coast of Yam Suph (the section known today as the Gulf of Aqaba) to circle Edom. As they continued down through the desert, the people began to grumble again. This time, God sent fiery (poisonous) serpents among them. Many were bitten and a number died. The people realized their failure and asked Moses to intercede with God on their behalf. At God’s direction, Moses made a bronze replica of the serpents, which was to be put up on a pole. When the people looked to the bronze serpent, they lived. This bronze serpent would later become a stumbling block for the people as they began to offer incense to it. Consequently, Hezekiah destroyed it approximately seven hundred years later. Interestingly, this incident in the wilderness was used by Jesus to illustrate how His death on the cross would provide life for all humankind: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

Just Looking for a Home, Part 5 (The Covenant & the Cross #86)

Numbers 16:1-3: “Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from John Newton. He said: “I know not a better rule of reading the Scripture, than to read it through from beginning to end and when we have finished it once, to begin it again. We shall meet with many passages which we can make little improvement of, but not so many in the second reading as in the first, and fewer in the third than in the second: provided we pray to him who has the keys to open our understandings, and to anoint our eyes with His spiritual ointment.”

Our topic for today is titled “Just Looking for a Home (Part 5)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb expressed sorrow at this state of affairs and tried to sway the people back to seeing God at work. But the people refused to listen and attempted to stone their leaders. At this point, God intervened, showing forth His glory from the tent of meeting. In front of the people, He told Moses to stand back so that He could destroy them, but Moses interceded on their behalf, pointing out that the issue was God’s honor. I am sure it was humiliating for the people to hear directly from God that the only reason He was not destroying them was that the leader they had just rejected had put in a good word for them. But the next words were even more sobering. Every adult in the camp who had observed God’s works and had refined to believe God’s words would indeed die in the desert. The only exceptions would be Joshua and Caleb.

Just Looking for a Home, Part 5 (The Covenant & the Cross #86)


Today’s passage of Scripture is Numbers 16:1-3 which reads: “Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from John Newton. He said: “I know not a better rule of reading the Scripture, than to read it through from beginning to end and when we have finished it once, to begin it again. We shall meet with many passages which we can make little improvement of, but not so many in the second reading as in the first, and fewer in the third than in the second: provided we pray to him who has the keys to open our understandings, and to anoint our eyes with His spiritual ointment.”

Our topic for today is titled “Just Looking for a Home (Part 5)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb expressed sorrow at this state of affairs and tried to sway the people back to seeing God at work. But the people refused to listen and attempted to stone their leaders. At this point, God intervened, showing forth His glory from the tent of meeting. In front of the people, He told Moses to stand back so that He could destroy them, but Moses interceded on their behalf, pointing out that the issue was God’s honor. I am sure it was humiliating for the people to hear directly from God that the only reason He was not destroying them was that the leader they had just rejected had put in a good word for them. But the next words were even more sobering. Every adult in the camp who had observed God’s works and had refined to believe God’s words would indeed die in the desert. The only exceptions would be Joshua and Caleb.

With this judgment, the nation was to turn south and begin wandering. The people had not yet understood the seriousness of their continued disobedience. The next morning they decided that they would go on up and begin the now forbidden conquest—without God. While Moses warned them not to disobey once more, they were resolved to try to rectify the situation. Instead, they ran into the Amalekites and the Canaanites and were beaten soundly, being driven back to Hormah. So they began their period of wandering.

Just Looking for a Home, Part 4 (The Covenant & the Cross #85)


Today’s passage of Scripture is Numbers 13:17-20 which reads: “And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is, and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land.”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He said: “The deceit, the lie of the devil consists of this that he wishes to make man believe that he can live without God’s Word. Thus he dangles before man’s fantasy a kingdom of faith, of power, and of peace, into which only he can enter who consents to the temptations; and conceals from men that he, as the devil, is the most unfortunate and unhappy of beings, since he is finally and eternally rejected by God.”

Our topic for today is titled “Just Looking for a Home (Part 4)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

God now directed Moses to begin the march to the land that had been promised. It had been more than four hundred years since the ancestors of the people had gone down to Egypt, and they were finally fulfilling the promise made to Abraham in Genesis 15.5 The direction of the march seems to have been almost due north—the most direct route into the land.

We might think that the people, after a year of sitting at Sinai, would have been excited to advance under the promises of God. Not everyone was enthusiastic, however. Very quickly many, if not most, of the people began to murmur and complain about the manna’ Moses became despondent about the whole situation and took his complaints to God. God provided help in leadership and quail for the people. But because of their greed, God also sent a plague on the people, killing an unknown number.

Just Looking for a Home, Part 3 (The Covenant & the Cross #84)


Today’s passage of Scripture is Numbers 12:1-3 which reads: “And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)”

Today’s Covenant & the Cross quote about the Bible is from John Adams in a letter to his son. He said: “I have myself for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year. I have always endeavored to read it with the same spirit and temper of mind which I now recommend to you; that is, with the intention and desire that it contribute to my advancement in wisdom and virtue… My custom is, to read four or five chapters every morning, immediately after rising from my bed. It employs about an hour of my time, and seems to me the most suitable manner of beginning the day.”

Our topic for today is titled “Just Looking for a Home (Part 3)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

Before we continue with the main narrative of the book of Numbers and this period in the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness, let’s deal with three “sidebar” issues that occur in the text.

1. THE NAZIRITE VOW

The term Nazirite comes from a Hebrew verb meaning “to consecrate” or “to separate.” The Nazirite normally made a vow or promise associated with a request from God. There is no reason given for the specific requirements on the part of the Nazirite. An example of this type of vow is the case of Hannah, mother of Samuel. While most vows lasted for a limited period of time, some Nazirites were under life-time vows, including Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist. A noted New Testament example of a person taking short-term vows is the apostle Paul.