The feast of Trumpets was one of 3 great holidays celebrated in the seventh month (The Feast of Tabernacles and Day of Atonement were the other two).
Verses 1, 2 – The Feast of Trumpets demonstrated three important principles; (1) The benefit of all the people coming together to worship the one true God; (2) The daily routine of life was stopped in order to readjust their attitudes; (3) The people gave something of value to God. We too give ourselves in time of worship.
Verse 40 – Moses faithfully accomplished the task assigned to him by God as he instructed the Israelite priest on the proper procedure.
Verses 1, 2 – Following these rituals under the priest’s supervision took time. This was an opportunity to give the people time also to prepare their hearts for worship
Verses 11-15 – At the beginning of each month additional burnt offerings of consecration were made, paying honor and tribute to God the creator and sustainer.
Verse 3, 4 – “Died for his own sin” means that he died a natural death. His death fell under the judgment of the entire nation for believing the faithless spies. Up to this point, the Hebrew law gave sons alone the right to inherit. God told Moses that if a man died with no sons then his inheritance could go to his daughters but the daughters could keep it only if they married into their own tribe.
Verses 12-15 – This must have been very hard for Moses, to look at the land that he would not enter. He also had to pass leadership on to someone else because his time was over. God told him he would die as Aaron died. This may seem really harsh and unfair to us, but God explains a little later. Why couldn’t Moses enter the promise land? Moses had disrespected God in front of the people at Meribah. He was angry and had drawn attention to himself instead of God.
Verses 15-23 – The Lord chose Joshua. Moses took Joshua to Eleazar, the priest. By laying his hands on Joshua, it confirmed authority. The Israelites would understand that Joshua was now leader and they were to obey him.
Although our experiences today come on a much smaller scale, we too experience changes in leadership. There are 3 timeless truths to this change; (1) when God removes, God replaces. The Lord doesn’t run out of faithful servants. God’s purpose is bigger than any one person is. (2) When God appoints, God approves. We need to remain open-minded and flexible to the new leader. (4) When God sustains He gives success and supply. As long as God’s leaders submit to His spirit, their work for Him will bear fruit for Him. We help by praying for them and giving them full cooperation.
Verses 1, 2 – This incident would remind the people in the future that they were not to inter marry from other pagan nations. God would not allow any other god to replace Him in the hearts and minds of His people.
Verses 3, 4 – This is the second census taken on the side of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho. More than 38 years had passed since the first census.
Verse 51 – There was a decrease of 1,820 in the second census due to some being swallowed up, burned up, and plagues.
Verse 55 – The casting of lots was a common means of determining the will of God. It was used to choose between the two goats on the Day of Atonement, to divide the spoils of war, and to settle political issues.
Verse 59 – The name of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam’s mother, who was born in Egypt was Jochebed-she was the daughter of Levi.
Verse 64 – During the 38 years that had passed, every man and woman over 20 years of age had died –except Caleb, Joshua, and Moses. God often works in quiet ways to bring about his long-range purpose.
Verses 1-3 – This is the first reference in the Old Testament to the god Baal (Baal of Peor), who would become the primary competitor with Yahweh for the devotion of the people of Israel. Israel started going to the Canaanites pagan celebrations. Before long, they were involved in their rituals of sexual perversion of their god Baal. They forgot the God of Israel sees all.
Verse 6 – This Israelite disregarded the Law of Moses so much that he brought a Midianite woman right into the Israel camp and into his tent in front of Moses.
Verse 7 – Phinehas was Aaron’s grandson.
Verse 8 – Phinehas takes a javelin, goes into this man’s tent, and stabs them both through. Phinehas stood in the gap between the living and the dying.
Verses 10, 11 – It is clear that Phinehas anger is proper and justified. How can we know our anger is justified? We can ask ourselves these questions; why am I angry, who’s rights are being violated, is the truth being violated and is it only my rights at stake? Violence and retaliation is the wrong way to handle anger.
Verses 12, 13 – Phinehas act made atonement for Israel. Because of this act, his descendants would become the high priest of Israel throughout history of the tabernacle and the temple.
Verses 16-18 – God tells Moses to harass the Midianites and attack them. There were consequences for them enticing the Israelites
Verse 1 – Because Balaam was a sorcerer, he would use omens or sign to help him tell the future. Not in this situation, it was clear to all that God was speaking through Balaam. God can use whomever He chooses.
Verse 11 – Although Balaam’s motives were not correct, he acted with integrity. Staying true to God’s word may cost us promotions or even friends, but the rewards from God are beyond measure.
Verses 15-19 – By God using Balaam to prophecy of the coming Messiah, He proved that He is sovereign over good and evil. Our God can and does use whatever and whomever He chooses to accomplish His will. Balaam received no reward from Balak, so they parted ways.
Verse 1 – The preference for performing seven rituals was widespread in the ancient Near East, though multiple altars are not mentioned elsewhere in the Old Testament.
Verse 3 – Balaam functioned as a priest and diviner on behalf of Balak, who stood by the offering made on behalf of the Moabite people. Balaam was called to curse Israel.
Verses 11, 12 – The prophet-diviner Balaam had become the mouth of God.
Verses 13, 14 – Balak doesn’t sound too intelligent to me. Because Balaam didn’t curse Israel from the spot they were, he told Balaam to move to another place and curse Israel from there. So they moved to Pisgah. They repeated the 7 altars and sacrificed again. Nothing Balaam could do would curse Israel. Several scholars interpret this location as a known place for observing heavily omens and making astrological observations. God would later give Moses an overview of the promise land from this spot (Deuteronomy 34:1-12).
Verses 19, 20 – God used Balaam’s mouth again to bless Israel and not curse it. He made sure he told Balak that what God had said He would do.
Verse 27 – Balak took Balaam to several places thinking it would change what came out of Balaam’s mouth. A change of place is not going to change God’s will. Problems that arise in our own lives are not going to change either just because we switch locations.