By his questions in verse 1, David implied that God saw the trouble but purposely stood afar off and did not intervene. In subsequent verses, David continued to pursue this theme, which troubled him for the moment. However, as the Psalms progressed, David developed and matured in understanding.
Posts Tagged ‘ children of Israel ’
What did this statement imply for Israel down the road? The implication was that because of Israel’s sins and disobedience, God would have to punish them and turn His back on them in a period of disfavor. No longer could He be patient and deal with them. It was essential for Israel to go into captivity because the nation had ignored the warnings about their sins.
God told Moses to make a copper serpent transfixed to a pole, the copper picturing perfect humanity. The serpent had to be reasonably large—larger than life-size—in order for the nation to view it. To hold the copper serpent, the pole required a crosspiece. Otherwise, the serpent would circle the pole all the way up, giving the appearance of a barber pole. With the crosspiece at the upper end of the pole and the serpent wrapped around the crosspiece, the result resembled the symbol for medicine, Aesculapius. How interesting, for if those who were bitten looked upon the serpent on the pole, they were cured!
It is a known fact in chemistry that poison is fought with poison. Sometimes medicinal cures even have a skull and crossbones on the outside. The “X” crossbones is a symbol of Christ, and the skull indicates death. Of course the average person does not understand the symbolism, but it has been overruled, just as many places and events have been overruled to teach spiritual lessons. Thus it took death to cure death. The fiery serpents were a curse to whomever they bit, but looking at the brazen serpent, pictured as a curse, had a negating or blocking effect that disannuled the death penalty. In the antitype, the serpent on the cross is Jesus, who said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14). The serpent on the pole is probably more representative of Jesus’ death than of his resurrection, for it pictures his crucifixion and his being made a curse upon a tree. God pronounced a malediction on Adam for his sin, and it takes a curse to nullify a curse. A tree brought the curse upon Father Adam, and subsequently the dying race was started in his loins.
There is a big jump in time from the events of earlier chapters through Chapter 19 and this chapter—in fact, more than 37 years. Now we are near the end of the 40 years in the wilderness. The focus of attention in the Book of Numbers is on the beginning and the end of the Israelites’ wilderness wanderings.
When Hosea purchased Gomer back, she had to be separated, for according to the ritual in the Law, she was unclean. Hosea was not “husband” to her, and neither was anybody else. In other words, in antitype, even though God purchased back Israel through the death of Jesus, He did not immediately show His love and affection for the nation in a “husbandly” way. He took Israel back, as it were, and put the nation in quarantine for many days—that is, for the Gospel Age and the period of the “double.” A great gulf has existed, as shown in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The Diaspora is also pictured in Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezek. 37:1,2). Israel was in a dry and forlorn condition until rather recently.
Elijah was to give a message to Ahab, condemning the seizing of Naboth’s vineyard and telling the king his destiny. “Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.” In regard to his posterity, it was prophesied, “Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.” And of Jezebel, it was said, “The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.” From a historical standpoint, these prophecies led up to a future judgment to show the guilt of Ahab and Jezebel personally and a pending judgment upon what they represent. When Jezebel was slain by Jehu, he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel” (2 Kings 9:36,37). The destiny of Jezebel, as pronounced by Elijah earlier, was then fulfilled.
The fourth chapter of Hosea is directed to the ten tribes. Proof that Judah is not included is verse 15: “Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend.” God had a controversy with the inhabitants of the land because there was “no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God.” This condition existed in Israel in Hosea’s day, and it is also true today.
“No truth” means no righteousness, no fair play, no justice. In other words, there is no standard of righteousness. Everyone is out for himself, and hypocrisy and ulterior motives are the norm. Demands along all lines are getting more and more unreasonable. The standard of truth is missing in politics and in everyday life—even in the home. This condition will get much worse as the trouble comes on the world.
Also, there was no mercy in the land. That was the prevalent condition in the prophet’s day. How dreadful! Of the last days, the Bible says that men shall be “without natural affection,” that is without tenderness and compassion (2 Tim. 3:3). Patience, reasonableness, and consideration are lacking. The women are getting hard today, like the men, and the men are losing their masculinity. Imagine a condition so bad that it could be said, “No truth, no mercy, and no knowledge of God”! Things are not that bad yet, but trouble is coming. Hosea was speaking doubly—to Israel in his day and, unwittingly, to the end of the present age.
Balaam did two things that were wrong. His words sounded very commendable on the surface: “Though Balak offers me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot do more or less than God says.” However, God had told Balaam the first time, “You shall not go. You cannot curse the Israelites because they are a blessed people.” Balaam should not have parleyed with the situation but should have nipped it in the bud. Because he did not do so, his words about a house full of silver and gold were really meaningless. What he was really saying was, “Stay overnight, for I have to think this over.” The first time Balaam sent the messengers back posthaste, but now he was saying, “Tarry overnight, for perhaps God has changed His mind.”
The second thing Balaam did wrong was to not listen carefully enough to what God had said to him. It is like the earlier lesson where God told Moses, “Speak unto the rock,” but Moses smote the rock. No doubt Moses felt righteous indignation, but he paid the penalty for disobedience by not being allowed to go into the Promised Land. Notice that the instruction to Balaam was, “If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them.”
1 Samuel Chapter 10: Saul Anointed by Samuel, Two Signs 1 Sam. 10:1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance? 1 Sam. 10:2 When thou art departed from me [...]
Here the Israelites were given instructions on what to do when they entered the Promised Land 38 years later. When they made an offering, it had to be done in a certain way. Several kinds of offerings were mentioned including a burnt offering, a vow, a freewill offering (a thanksgiving offering), and an offering that pertained to a solemn feast such as the Passover. All of these offerings, which were limited to an animal from the herd or the flock, were “sweet” offerings, “a sweet savour unto the LORD.”