Numbers Survey

Chapters 20 –25


Intro Ch.20 of the book of Numbers takes us to almost the end of the 40 yrs of wandering in the wilderness Rd Chapter 20:1

A) Chapter 20 begins w/ the death of Miriam – Moses older sister & ends w/ the death of Aaron Moses older Brother


B) The death of these two people signals an important – point in the Exodus

1) Their death’s are an important demonstration of the fulfillment of what God promised:


C) That the generation which refused to enter Canaan would die in the wilderness, and the new generation would enter instead


D) Their death’s show us that there are no exceptions for the family of Moses / Miriam dies / Aaron dies – even Moses will die – not seeing ….


In this there is an interesting Picture Moses, who represents the law, could not lead them into the Promised Land,

A) nor could Miriam, who represents the prophets, nor could Aaron, who represents the priests.


B) Only Joshua, that is, Jesus, could lead them into the land of God’s promise.

1)   Cannan represents the spirit filled life we don’t enter into that life of blessing by keeping the Law or by being Religious


C) But only by Following JESUS


Now it is also worth noting that there is little written about the last 381/2 yrs of their wandering experience –

A)From the time of their sin of unbelief at Kadesh – only 5 ½ Chapters – while the single yr. They spent at Sinai – comprises almost 50 chapters{Why


B) I think one reason is to demonstrate these years accomplished nothing, except the death of the generation of unbelief.

1) These were just years of surviving in the desert, wasted years, waiting for the "old man" the man of unbelief to die.


C) Interesting to note that during those 38 years, there was much movement - but no progress! Our walk with God can be the same way.

1)When we as individuals or even as a Church are operating in the energy & inspiration of the flesh – Lots of action / activity / movement/ NO PROGRESS


D) Listen the Flesh needs to die { the old man in us who wants to do things his own way and not trust in God – listen to God needs to go!!!!

1)   If he doesn’t we will simply wander from one Dry thing to another!!!


Now we looked at the first part of Ch.20 last Wed night the smiting of the Rock – awesome picture or Jesus – Smitten once – now speak to

A)Seen some great pictures of Jesus in Numbers – Aaron standing between living & the dead / Red Heifer – this is another /     Pick up in v.22-29


B) The passing of Aaron is a huge landmark in the history of Israel; he was the first high priest of the nation –

1) and yet, not exempt from the decree that his generation would perish in the wilderness!


C) So Aaron went to the top of the mountain and went up and Eleazar was went down to serve

1)   Whenever one of God's servants is removed, another will be brought in

   I Love to see how the Lord orchestrates these things –


D) I used to cringe every time someone on staff came to me & said I think the Lord is leading me such & such { I hate Change/  I love steadiness

1)but now I get excited to see who the Lord is going to raise up 


E) Mark O looking forward to aaron & AMY …..– Evan so blessed Jesus said: "I will build my My Church"  Neat to see how HE does that

Note VERSE 24   Aaron shall be gathered to his people:

A)What a beautiful description of death that is / That's what death is

A change of address / Going home to your people & to be with your God


B) It is NOT being put in the ground

Ps. 116:15   Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.


2Cor. 5:8   We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.


Ch.21 VERSES 1-3

A)As the new generation of the children of Israel begin their approach to the Promised Land, the new generation encounters their first hostile army –


B) Arad the Canaanite, in the South.-After having some men lost to Arad, Israel vows to God that the cities of Arad they will utterly destroy

1)  that is, devote unto God by completely destroying them, and God grants the victory.   Rd v.4-5


C) They had to go far out of their way because the Edomites refused them passage (Numbers 20:14-21).

1)In fact, to go around the Edomites, they had to turn back towards the wilderness and away from Canaan - how discouraging!


D) They have a reason to be discouraged; but they have no excuse for their Complaining .

1) They are facing a real challenge, something that is no fun at all. Yet, they have no excuse for not trusting in God, looking for His victory thru it all.


v6 So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.

A)How were the serpents fiery? Some think they were a red color, like the color of fire; others believe their bite caused an intense burning sensation, so they were called "fiery serpents."     

                                                         VERSE 7

7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD that He take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people.

A)Notice here we see the progression concerning the way of Salvation


B) Sin followed by suffering Suffering is then followed by sorrow & confession "We blew it"


C) Sin, Suffering, Sorrow, and then comes then comes SUPPLICATION

They asked Moses to pray for them

1) He could have said: "Hey guys, for 40 years you have chewed on me and complained against God..... Take a hike"


D) "You have been biting and devouring one another... Now you're bitten...... BURN"   But Moses was a bigger man than that

 1) Sin, Suffering, Sorrow, Supplication and then SALVATION V 8-9


God says: "I'm going to supply a way of salvation

 A) a BRONZE serpent  Bronze = Brass which  is symbolic of JUDGEMENT  - Those who look at the pole are healed !!!


B) Interesting: The brass pole and brass serpent are still used today as the symbol of the medical sciences

 1) WHY would God have Moses do such a thing? PICTURE


John 3:14-15   And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That           whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 


C) In His dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus pointed out that NUM 21:8-9  was a PICTURE of Himself -Jesus...... A serpent? Yes

2Cor. 5:21   For he has  made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


D) And now - Anyone who will look to Jesus for salvation will be saved

NOTE: The ONLY thing that had to be done was to recognize you were bitten and LOOK at the brass serpent

A)Everyone was capable of simply LOOKING to that pole

 So If you died of that fiery bite, you had no one to blame but yourself


B)BUT - There might have been those who upon being told of the remedy would scoff at it !!!

1) Get Serious "Do you mean to tell me that this deadly bite will be cured just by LOOKING to that brass pole with the brass serpent"


 You don't expect me to actually believe that do you?" "That is too simplistic too STUPID”


C) What a tragedy- The remedy was there the whole time and yet many perished -  Today the same is true

1) All have been bitten by the lies of Satan and been stung by sin


D) And there are those who perish for those same reasons/ NOT for lack of remedy/  BUT for a proud rejection of the truth

I have to do something much more cosmic OR intellectual than JUST LOOK


E) And they get weaker and weaker until they keel over dead

    1) Trying anything and everything but Look to Jesus


Now VERSES 10-15  tell of their various journeyings & in v.14 mentions the book of wars

A)What is the book of the wars of the Lord?-  We do NOT know


B) The Lord has not seen fit to preserve it for us Pick up the story in v.16 -18


C) Once again they are out of water- They come to Beer / where  they changed their attitude entirely

1) Instead of reacting with murmuring they are making melody

      Instead of sighing they are singing


As they SANG OUT they found a well springing up

A)APPLICATION: When we hit the dry times and the trials, we        have a choice to make




C) IF you are in a trial, the Word of God says to SING OUT loudly and DIG DEEPLY

1) Even if the Word seems dry, DIG and you will strike water


D) The Lord ALLOWS us to become spiritually dehydrated in order to prepare us for DEEPER REVELATION

1) You find truths and insights that you would NOT find unless you were FORCED to DIG DEEP { My Story – Wrestle w/ God


VER 21-24 


Sihon who was REFUSING to let Israel pass through on the way to the land of promise was DEFEATED HOW?

A) By the edge of the sword  - Spiritual armor – sword of the Spirit the word of God


Hebr. 4:12   For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword


B) How will the Sihons in your life who want to drive you back into the wilderness be defeated? With THIS Sword

1) Every time that Jesus was tempted He responded with the Word


VERSE 25-35

C) Note v.33 King  Og means earth cake

He was LITERALLY one of the heavy-weights of the Bible

1) In the Book of Deuteronomy we will learn that when they defeated him the Israelites kept his bed as a souvenir/     13 ft. long and 6 ft. wide

                               CH 22:1-6

Now we looked at the story of Balaam on Sunday am – we saw how Balak the King sent for Balaam to curse Israel

A)At first God said No you can’t go  - Balaam persisted – then God said go ahead & go – but say only what I tell you


B) So Balaam goes trying to figure out how he can bring a curse on Israel – The Angel  of the Lord – Donkey talks – Pick up v.36-38 

1)   well finally Balaam got the point – Here’s the deal Balak I can only say what God tells me to say – But lets give it a whirl v. 39- ch.23:6


C) Now What happens in Ch.23 & 24 is that Balak takes Balaam up to 3 different Mt Peaks to get a view of the Children of Israel

1)   They offer sacrifices – add a little Sorcery -  Balaam goes to Curse – but when he opens his mouth Blessing


D) Note – Picture of the Cross – Awesome example of God’s heart –

1)   Satan wants to curse you – Accuser of the Brethren – But God has blessings in store


E) God sees us in light of the Work of the Cross – The Curse is lifted – Jesus became a curse for us – Cursed is everyone who Hangs on tree

1) Check out What the Lord has Balaam say  Rd v.7-10


This first prophecy is short and to the point. This is a nation that stands apart from all other nations (verse 9), ALONE but not ALONE 

A)and they will become even greater in number and strength (verse 10a).


B) Balaam says I can’t curse them if God has said they are blessed

1) Instead, God will bless Israel - making them a singular nation, and blessing them with great size.


Round 2  V.11-24




In this message, God rebukes Balak, and teaches Balak about His character:

A)That God is not a man, that He does not lie or change His mind, that He always performs His word, that He has all strength.


B) God also teaches Balak about His people, Israel: That they are blessed, God’s view of them 

(He has not observed iniquity in Jacob nor has He seen wickedness in Israel),


C) That is God’s view of us in Christ


D) The final verse, Numbers 23:24, concludes with a powerful word of promise and warning.

1)   . He will cause Israel to rise up like a lion. Like a lion, Israel will not rest until it has destroyed and consumed its prey—


E) The point of all this is quite clear—no nation ought to become the enemy of Israel. This is precisely what Balak is doing.


Round 3 Ch.23v.25-24:9

A)This beautiful prophecy speaks of Israel’s blessed abundance, and the dominance over neighbor nations God will give Israel;


B)They are like gardens, planted by the river. God will faithfully water them, and as He does, they will grow stronger,

1)   so that they will utterly defeat their enemies (verses 5-9).


C) The imagery of a lion devouring its prey introduced in the last oracle (23:24) is once again employed (24:9).

1) most of all, it speaks of the abiding blessing of God on Israel, and directly rebukes Balak for trying to curse Israel (cursed is he who curses you).


D) Well needless to say Balak is not too happy – v. 10-14 { My note Key on Latter days

1)     Well In spite of his anger, Balaam gives Balak a final, unsolicited word from the Lord in his fourth and final Prophesy v. 15-25 

He speaks about a King who is going to rise up from the ranks of Israel who is going to Rule over the surrounding nations

A)(Moab, Edom, Amalek, and the Kenites)


B)This is a Prophecy of Jesus the coming Messiah – what he will do in his 

1)   2nd coming – He is referred to as a Star coming out of Jacob  - Briefly

     consider how Jesus is like a Star – Note 4 things


1st Jesus is a star in the sense: He shines in the Darkness – Jn.8:12  Light of the world


2nd He is the pattern of Constancy – Always there { Never leave …..


3rd A source of Guidance – He is the word – Thy word is a lamp  unto our feet light unto our path


4th – Object of wonder  Those who take out telescope & take a deep look are amazed – those who will take the time


C) So Balaam gives this awesome Prophecy concerning – the Coming Messiah - v.24 He went on his way – empty handed


Now what happens next we are not told here in our text – but we are told else where in Numbers 31:16

16 Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the LORD in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.


Rev 2:14

14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.


Apparently Balaam came up w/ an idea – goes back to Balak – I can’t curse them – but you can get them to curse themselves ………..

A)The Plan is set into motion – Ch.25 is the result of that – v.1-5


B) So Moses gathers the leaders & says – we need to take care of this

1)   Each one of you is responsible for those men in your tribe who sinned in this way { Wasn’t all on Moses –


C) The Leaders were responsible for their area of oversight - - that is the way it is to be – Areas of oversight –

1)   Ron / Steve / Doug / Eddie / Howard


D) What happens next is Radical v.6-9 { Great Defiance


Phinehas was one of the leaders & He wasn’t about to stand by and let this happen – { implication is they were in the Act

A)This is a great example of how to deal w/ sin – Aggressively & Swiftly

Samuel w/ AGAG


B) Note It was after Phinehas reaction  that the plague stopped

1)   For a brief period of time, it looked as though Balaam had succeeded.


C) The nation had been seduced and had fallen into spiritual harlotry. God’s wrath had been provoked, and thus He had sent a plague upon Israel.

1)But Thanks to the zealous action of one man—Phinehas—the nation was spared


D) Undoubtedly, Phinehas was not the only LEADER  to make such a stand for righteousness; but his was the singular act that stopped the plague.


APP We may think our particular stand for righteousness makes no difference in the awesome tide of sin around us;

1) but God can honor just one righteous act and cause it to make the difference.


In Closing tonight note This text gives us some lessons about leadership

1st Leaders must not only be men of character, they must also be men who truly lead, men who take action when it is required.


A)Phinehas teaches us that leadership is not just a matter of holding an office, although he did serve in a leadership role as a priest.

1) Leadership is not just instructing or commanding others to act as they should. Leaders are men of Action – who lead by Example


2nd We should also note that the zealous and courageous action of Phinehas in our text did enhance his leadership role. Read v.10-13

A)The divine response was the “covenant of peace” God made with Phinehas and his descendants.


B) But There was also a human response.{ Phinehas was recognized by the others as a man who cared for the people

1)   And as a man who could be counted on !!


C) When Moses sent the Israelites to war against the Midianites, he sent Phinehas with them, along with the holy instruments and signal trumpets.

1)   It was in this battle that the five Midianite kings were slain, along with Balaam (Numbers 31:6-8).


D)In Joshua 22, we find that when a report reached the Israelites that the Reubenites, Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh / had built an altar at the entrance to the land of Canaan (22:11),


E)  They assumed their brothers had turned from worshipping God to worshipping the gods of the Canaanites.

1)   They sent a leader from each tribe of Israel and Phinehas.


F) If their brothers had turned away from worshipping God in truth, the Israelites knew that Phinehas was the man to deal with it.

1)When a serious moral problem arose in the tribe of Benjamin, Judges 20, Phinehas was very much a part of Israel’s dealing with it No wonder we read 1 Chronicles 9:20 that “the Lord was with him.” Here is a leader who truly stood before his people. { We need more men & women like Phinehas



Thank you Lord that you see us in light of the Cross



Lord you are Our STAR – Shine brightly in us

We are filled w/ wonder at You