Numbers Survey

Chapter 34-36


Ch.34 v.1-2


A)Now v.3-15 describes the land that the Lord was giving to the people

Their Possession was Large

1)   In fact they never did possess it all – except possibly for a short time when during the Reign of King Solomon – only thru Treaties he made


B) The Land was Large – Encompassed much of what we would consider to be the Arab nations today – Israel is a small fraction of the Inheritance

1)   The Land was LARGE – But it was also LIMITED


C) Each tribe had specific BOUNDRIES  they were to dwell w/ in !!!


You as a Child of God also have Boundaries

A)You have been given a Land / a Place from the Lord – He has a plan & place for your life – Your place in the Body of Christ


B) But there are Limits / there are Boundaries for each of us

1)   Listen to what Paul wrote – 2 Cor 10:13-14


13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us--a sphere which especially includes you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ;


C) Paul is speaking here about having Limits or Boundaries in His ministry and not Overextending himself

1)   Another translation – renders it Stretched Beyond Measure


Now Listen God wants to stretch all of us – He wants to take us further in our walks w/ Him & in Ministry & Service

A)He will purposely put us in situations where we feel over our heads so that we trust in Him / rely upon Him – { Can’t do anything else

B) And He meets us in those moments & supplies what is needed to do the Work –

1) But we all have Limits & Boundaries that the Lord has set up for our lives – if we over step those – we will be stretched beyond measure


C) If we cross that Boundary we will be over extending ourselves { You will experience Defeat & Stress !!!!

1)   The Key is learning – what those Boundaries are !!!!


Me in Oregon – One of the things God did in sending me to Oregon – I think it had a lot to do w/ Him knowing I would be coming back here

A)In Oregon God showed me what my boundaries were


B) See when you first start a Church – You need to do everything – especially if you are working w/ People you don’t Know

1)   So in Oregon I over saw the worship team / I ran the Children’s ministry for a while / I oversaw the Ushers & the Parking Lot


C) I did it all – But I will tell you this I didn’t do it well !!!!

1) Now some guys can do that – I know Pastors who have their hands in every single aspect of their Church – Nothing happens w/ out their voice


D) God showed me very Clearly – I can’t be that way – He has not designed me to be the type of Guy to wear a lot of Hats

1)   So what I needed to do is find good godly men to oversee the different areas of Ministry - & let them do what God has called them to


So Steve oversees the Building & Maintenance – of CCV – Any new improvement that happens here – is largely due to his guidance

A)I don’t ever worry about the Building & Maintenance – I trust Steve


B) First on staff – we met once a week / then twice a month / then – he would give me memos – { Confession: I don’t really read them

1)   I trust His decisions – I trust his use of God’s resources


C) Now it would be wrong for me to try to do what Steve is doing I would be overstepping my boundaries { Men’s Ministry

1) Really the only time I ever get involved in the areas of oversight Like Children’s / Youth / Worship / Finances is if there is a Problem


D) I know those are my Boundaries & I am very content there – I am enjoying ministry like never before

1)   My Place is to give VISION & DIRECTION : Church/ Missions/ Future / Building etc


E)  To teach the Flock to Disciple men – to help train men for ministry !! Happy there


Now having said that – I do believe that your boundaries can change at times –{ Take Brian – today World traveler – Not always the case

A)Early on Brian was wise enough to Know what his boundaries were


B) Acts 8 Phillip leading a Revival in SamariaBut he was wise enough to realize that his calling was as an Evangelist

1)   So he sent word to the Church in Jerusalem to send Peter & John to come & build up – Especially concerning Baptism of the Spirit


C) So here is the thing – you need to seek the Lord concerning what your boundaries are & walk w/in them – not overstepping those Limits



D) So here we see their Boundaries were given & they were Large but they were also Limited


V. 16-18

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.


Now verses 19-28 gives the list of the names of the leaders of each tribe who were Chosen to divide the Inheritance { Did they do a good Job?

A)The Jews to this day have an interesting way of dividing inheritance


B) Set of brothers – dad dies – divide the inheritance – it is the Job of the oldest Brother to Divide up the inheritance – among brothers

1)   They pick which part they want – but here is the thing – The oldest Brother picks last !!!!  { Think he will divide fair


C) Try it with your kids – Oldest scoop Ice cream – last pick –

1)   Many of the Rabbis believe that Practice originated here


D) So Ch. 34 deals w/ the Boundaries & the Dividing of the inheritance


Ch.35 1-8

The tribe of Levi had no "state" or "province" within Israel. Their inheritance was to be the Lord alone:

A)The Lord said to Aaron: (Numbers 18:20)You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor shall you have any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.


B)Yet, the Levites had to live somewhere! Where would the Levites live if they had no state or province as the other tribes?

1) Well God commanded that each tribe give cities to the Levites, so that the Levites would be "sprinkled" throughout the whole nation.


C) The Levites were to be given more than just the cities; around each city, they were to be given common-land

1) land suitable for the grazing of their animals and for small-scale farming.


D) There were to be a total of forty-eight Levitical cities; six cities of refuge, and forty-two additional cities.

b. The cities were to be distributed proportionally through the nation, so that around every city there were a congregation of Levites to Serve

This reflects God’s desire to evenly distribute the Levites - who were to be, the "full-time" ministers, so to speak - evenly throughout Israel,

A)So their influence could be distributed throughout the whole nation.


B) In this we see the wisdom of God – He didn’t put the Levites all in one place so that the people would have to go to them

1) But He made them ACCESIBLE - God intended that these ministers go out among the people, to influence them for the Lord.


C) In the same way, God does not intend that there be a Christian "country" or "state"  Or even Community

1)   where all the Christians live together in spiritual bliss, and simply say to the world, "come and join us if you want."


D) Instead, God wants Christians to be sprinkled throughout the whole world, influencing people for Jesus Christ.

1)   It is dangerous for Christians to have a "circle-the-wagons" mentality that seeks to have its whole life lived among other Christians;


E) Dangerous if we only see inside our own four walls – Live in our little Christian Bubble – lose sight of the World &  our Chance to have an Impact 1)that would be like the Levites living in their own "state," being isolated from the opportunity to influence others for the Lord. Are you too isolated?


Now verses 9-28 deal w/ the 6 cities of refuge –set up in the case of Accidental Murder – Flee from the Avenger of Blood

A)Safety – stay there until the death of the High Priest


B) We talked about that on Sunday – and pointed out 5 ways – that these cities are a Picture of Jesus out City of refuge { Tape


v.29-34 Laws regarding Murder


Read v. 29-30


Two witnesses are required before the punishment for murder.

A)One witness was never enough; and the witnesses had to be so certain,


B) In fact according to (Deuteronomy 17:6-7) one of them had to be willing to initiate the actual execution - to "cast the first stone."


C) This puts the words of Jesus regarding the woman taken in adultery in John 8 in perspective: He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first


D) Jesus was asking for the official "witness" to step forward - now, who will go on record as having witnessed this act of adultery,

1)   See He saw the  hypocrisy of their claim – if they really caught her in the Act where was the Man ? 


Now We may comfort ourselves that we would never judge someone guilty of murder so quickly, without proper evidence;

A)But how often do we murder someone’s reputation or Character in our own minds or in the minds of others w/ our Words


B) God is concerned about the murder of reputation, as well as physical murder, and commands (1 Timothy 5:19) - Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses


C) Note 1 Timothy 5:19 does not say "except from two or three gossips"; it says except from two or three witnesses.

1) If a matter is false, it does not become true because many people hear it or many people repeat it.


Now in 31-32) A murderer’s life cannot be ransomed. Read verses

A)If someone is guilty of murder, they cannot make monetary restitution in the place of their life.


B) The principle of Genesis 9:6 stands: Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.

C) This reflects an important principle: Money cannot replace justice.


D) What must God think of our modern legal system, where the rich can buy the fanciest lawyers, and confuse juries, so the guilty can go free?

1)   Or just pay off the witnesses so that the case never even makes it to trial all the Charges are dropped


E) Sad state we are living in today !!!                  RD    v. 33-34


Here we see the  urgency to bring murderers to justice thru capital punishment because Unjudged murders defile a nation;

A)When murderers are not brought to justice, there is a blot on a nation that only the judgment of God can cleanse.


B) The way to avoid this type of defilement is to judge, & execute murderers Again the Lord said in (Genesis 9:6)- no atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.


C) The Justice system in the US spends billions of dollars every year in our Justice system – trying people for Murder

1)   Once convicted we spend – billions on locking them up


D) In a recent year in Los Angeles County, they averaged more than five murders a day over 1800 murders 

1) But less than 2% of those murderers are ever executed!


E) Watched the Williams trial – Santee – pleading for the maximum for each victim – 465 yrs

1)   Remorseful – judge granted him – 50 yrs –


F) Sad thing – is message sent to kids – Maybe I will get even less


Ch.36  Read v.1-12



This passage is a reference back to Numbers 27:1-11, where the daughters of Zelophehad were concerned that their father’s inheritance would vanish, because there were no sons in their family.

A)They Challenged the Custom & God, said to  Moses, they are right


B) So God declared that if a father has no sons, the inheritance can then go to the daughters.


C) But this presented a problem If the land was given to the daughters, then when the daughters married, the land would go their husband’s tribe –

1)   And if she married outside of her Fathers tribe [ Manasseh – the son of Joseph] then – that land would be lost forever  from that tribe


D) The Concern was this if that continued on & on the original tribe’s lands would become depleted.


So the Solution that Moses came up w/ was this – They could marry whoever they wanted as long as – He was in that tribe

A)There fore the inheritance would stay w/ in the tribe of Manasseh


B) This story presents a picture of what Paul talked about in 2 Cor 6



C) When a person does that – they lose a part of what God has for them!!!


D) Prodigal Son – lost his inheritance –


v. 13 These are the commandments and the judgments which the LORD commanded the children of Israel by the hand of Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho.


The book of Numbers began in the wilderness  it now finishes as close to the Promised Land as you can get without actually being there:

A)In the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.


B) What did it take to get them there?

1) From their encampment at Mount Sinai, God gave Israel the opportunity to grow from being a slave people to being a Promised Land people.


C) He taught them how to be ordered, organized, cleansed, separated, blessed, how to give, to be reminded of God’s deliverance,

1)   Then, as the nation actually set out from Mount Sinai to the Promised Land, they found themselves struggling with the flesh –


D) They murmured, complained, and rebelled; most of all, they failed to enter into what God had set before them by faith –

1) and a generation of unbelief was condemned to perish in the wilderness.


So for the next 38 yrs they wandering in the wilderness w/ much motion but no progress - waiting until the generation of unbelief had died

A) And a generation willing to trust God for big things had come to maturity.


B) Then they set out towards the Promised Land again, and faced the same challenges of the flesh - but dealt with them better this time,

1)   Now they have come to the door way to the Promised land


C) We will return to their story when we come back to the OT after 2 Cor  until they made their way to the threshold of the Promised Land.


Question  for us : Lesson of this book  How many of us are dying in the wilderness because we will not trust God, and enter into what He has set before us?

A)How many of us would say that our Christian experience is about a lot of Motion but little Progress because we continue in the Flesh


B) Phil 2 :12,13 Work out your own Salvation …… fear & trembling

God is working in you – both to will & to do – good pleasure

1)How are you responding to his working !!!!