Instead of seeking deliverance from God; the people complained and rebelled; today’s spiritual Ekklesia does the very same thing! Oh, we would deny that, but in fact we attempt to water down the commandments of God rather than run to Christ for deliverance and the strength to obey the Word of God!
Yes, We are NO different from those complainers when we call the Sabbath holy and then refuse to keep it holy! We make the Word of God of no effect by our watering down of his Word and our rejection of any zeal to live by every Word of God. We would rather judge the Word of God by the words of men than the other way around, because we exalt and idolize men above the Word of God.
Like physical Israel in the wilderness, we complain about God’s Word and seek to turn back into the bondage of the spiritual Egypt of our idols of men.
Numbers 20:1 Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. 20:2 And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. 20:3 And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 20:4 And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? 20:5 And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.
While the people complained against God for their problem; faithful Moses and Aaron went to God and asked him for his help. Moses and Aaron did not water down teachings to bring in more numbers or money! NO absolutely not, they ran to their God for deliverance, instead of trying to deliver themselves by turning away from and compromising with the Word of God!
Brethren, this was recorded for OUR example!
20:6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.
This is the second time in their journeys where this matter of water became a problem. Do you not think that God knew where the water was and could have led them to water. These things happened and were recorded for OUR instruction.
Spiritually this water represented the Holy Spirit and these events were instructional examples for us, teaching us that it is through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Rock of Our Salvation, that the water of the Holy Spirit and an understanding of and willingness to live by the Word of God comes.
The analogy being that first the Rock must be struck, meaning that Christ would die to cover our sins as the sacrificial Lamb of God; and that after that the water of the Holy Spirit would be given to those who seek to live by every Word of God and ask for God’s Spirit. See the article on “The Living Waters of Salvation”.
1 Corinthians 10 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat [the Word of God]; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
These two times were an allegory for us; at the first time Moses was commanded to strike the rock and the water would come out. That was an allegory that the death of Christ would bring forth the living waters of salvation. And today we have the Ekklesia rejecting the living water of salvation; the water of the Holy Spirit and the whole Word of God!
Exodus 17:5 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
The second time Moses was commanded to SPEAK to the rock and the living waters of salvation would flow out. This is in reference to the fact that Christ would only die [be struck] ONCE and that at the appointed time all who call on the name of the Lord would be saved.
Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
Numbers 20:7 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
Moses lost his temper and did not obey God by speaking to the rock, instead striking it twice and breaking the intended allegory. For this sin Moses was corrected, for God is NOT a respecter of persons; therefore you elders and leaders take heed that Jesus Christ will indeed correct you for departing from him to lead the people to idolize men.
20:9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
The water came out to continue the allegory and to give drink to the people; but God corrected Moses. Indeed Jesus used this sin of Moses to teach us that no sinner who is not totally faithful to EVERY WORD of God may enter the spiritual Promised Land of eternal life.
Jesus Christ forbade Moses to enter the physical promised land as an instruction to us that He will NOT wink at any self justified sin; and will NOT let any sinner into his Promised Land of eternity.
It’s time that WE WOKE UP and understood that Jesus Christ will not tolerate any sin or false teachings and that he will NOT wink at any compromise or sin.
20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
20:13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.
Israel makes preparations to travel up the east side of Jordan and Moses sends a letter to the ruler of Edom.
20:14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us: 20:15 How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers: 20:16 And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border: 20:17 Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king’s high way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders.
Edom refuses free passage and threatens to fight Israel if they enter his land
20:18 And Edom [Esau] said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword.
The dialogue continues with Moses offering to pay for anything that Israel might use
20:19 And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing anything else, go through on my feet.
The king of Edom rejected Israel and mobilized his armies to defend his borders
20:20 And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand.
Israel turned back and stayed in the area but outside the border of Canaan and Edom
20:21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him. 20:22 And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh, and came unto mount Hor.
Aaron was also forbidden to enter the promised land.
20:23 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying, 20:24 Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah.
Aaron is stripped of the garments of the high priest, and that sign of office was given to his son Eleazar as the indication that God had chosen him as the new high priest.
20:25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor: 20:26 And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.
The congregation was gathered to witness the change of men in the office of high priest.
20:27 And Moses did as the LORD commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 20:28 And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount.
20:29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.
A Canaanite king comes forth to battle, attacking in the area south west of Edom. The people then turned to God for deliverance.
They were slowly learning their lesson, the wanderings in Sinai for 40 years is an allegory of a spiritually called out person’s journey to learn zeal for the Word and promises of God.
Numbers 21:1 And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners.
21:2 And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities. 21:3 And the LORD hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities: and he called the name of the place Hormah.
21:4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass [go around] the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
How quickly we forget, the people were again complaining over the hardships of the journey; just as many in today’s spiritual Israel of the called out complain about the hardship of keeping the commandments of God.
21:5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
Jesus Christ then sent fiery serpents to torment and kill them. This was a lesson that “the way of the serpent” [Satan, and rebellion against zeal to keep the Word of God] is pain and death; the word “fiery” referring to an intense burning pain upon being bitten.
21:6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
The people repent again and beg for relief
21:7 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.
The likeness of the serpent [an allegory of sin] which brings burning pain and death, is hanged on a pole. This being an instruction that Jesus Christ would be hanged on a pole and would bear the sins of the world: And that his sacrificial death was a complete and total victory over sin and the serpent in the garden which brought sin into the world.
21:8 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. 21:9 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.
Some of the journeys of Israel to go around Edom and reach the Jordan River
21:10 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in Oboth.
21:11 And they journeyed from Oboth, and pitched at Ijeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrising.
21:12 From thence they removed, and pitched in the valley of Zared.
21:13 From thence they removed, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, which is in the wilderness that cometh out of the coasts of the Amorites: for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.
21:14 Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the LORD, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, 21:15 And at the stream of the brooks that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab.
21:16 And from thence they went to Beer: that is the well whereof the LORD spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.
21:17 Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it: 21:18 The princes digged the well, the nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver [Jesus Christ], with their staves. And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah: 21:19 And from Mattanah to Nahaliel: and from Nahaliel to Bamoth: 21:20 And from Bamoth in the valley, that is in the country of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looketh toward Jeshimon.
Israel appeals for passage through the Amorites
21:21 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 21:22 Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink of the waters of the well: but we will go along by the king’s high way, until we be past thy borders.
Sihon would fight and not allow safe passage
21:23 And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel.
The Amorites were defeated by the God who later gave up his Godhood to be made flesh as Jesus Christ, and Israel came to the border of Ammon
21:24 And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon: for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.
The Amorites also included the land of Moab which Sihon had subjugated. So Israel defeated the Amorites and took the land of the Amorites and the land of Moab which was occupied by the Amorites.
21:25 And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof. 21:26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon.
21:27 Wherefore they that speak in proverbs say, Come into Heshbon, let the city of Sihon be built and prepared: 21:28 For there is a fire gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon: it hath consumed Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon. 21:29 Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites. 21:30 We have shot at them; Heshbon is perished even unto Dibon, and we have laid them waste even unto Nophah, which reacheth unto Medeba.
Sihon ruled from the border of Edom south of the Dead Sea including Moab at the east side of the Dead Sea, right up to the border of Ammon. After conquering Sihon Israel went around Ammon and moved up into Bashan [modern Syria’s side of the Golan]. Nevertheless the Amorites were a large nation of the Canaanites and other kings of the Amorites lived west of Jordan which were later destroyed by Joshua.
21:31 Thus Israel dwelt [occupied] in the land of the Amorites. 21:32 And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there.
After destroying the Amorites they continued north to fight against Og king of the Golan region.
21:33 And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan [the Golan region] went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at Edrei.
God tells Moses to go forward fearlessly into the Golan region. Is this the wimpy, tolerate anything in the name of a false emotional love, false Christ in today’s spiritual Ekklesia?
These Canaanites were to be destroyed as an instructional allegory for us, teaching us that all unrepentant sinners will ultimately be destroyed!
Jesus Christ will deliver a great victory over all sin; if we would only follow him to live by every Word of God and seek God’s deliverance against the sin and temptation that besets us.
21:34 And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him [Og] not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon.
21:35 So they smote him [Og of (Bashan) Golan], and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.