|Numbers 21 |
1 And when king Arad the Canaanite, who dwelled in the south, heard from spies that Israel was passing by, he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners.
2 And Israel vowed a vow to the LORD, and said, "If you will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities."
3 And the LORD listened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. He called the name of the place Hormah.
4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to surround the land of Edom; and the people became very discouraged and impatient because of the way.
5 And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loathes this light [unsubstantial, without much taste, usatisfying] bread [manna].
6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many people of Israel died.1
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 takes away the serpents from us." And Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the LORD said to Moses, "Make yourself a fiery serpent image, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks upon it, shall live."
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 looked to the serpent of brass on the pole, he lived.
10 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched camp in Oboth.
11 And they journeyed from Oboth, and pitched at Ijeabarim, in the wilderness that is next to Moab, toward the sunrising.
12 From there they left, and pitched camp in the valley of Zared.
13 From there they left, and pitched on the other side of Arnon [river], which is in the wilderness that comes out of the coasts of the Amorites; Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.
14 Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the LORD, "What he did in the Red sea, and in the branches of the Arnon,
15 And at the stream of the brooks that slopes down to the dwelling of Ar, and lies upon the border of Moab."
16 And from there they went to Beer; that is the well where the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Gather the people together, and I will give them water."
17 Then Israel sang this song, "Spring up, O well; sing of it.
18 The princes dug the well, the nobles of the people dug it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with their staves." And from the wilderness they went to Mattanah.
19 And from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth:
20 And from Bamoth in the valley, that is in the country of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks toward Jeshimon.
21 And Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying,
22 "Let us pass through your land. We will not enter into the fields or into the vineyards; we will not drink of the waters of the well. Instead we will only go along by the king's high way, until we are past your borders."
23 And Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his border. Instead Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out into the wilderness against Israel; and he came to Jahaz and fought against Israel.
24 And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon to Jabbok, even to border of the children of Ammon; for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.
25 Israel took all their cities and dwelled in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages.
26 Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and had taken all his land from his control even to Arnon.
27 Therefore those who speak in proverbs say, "Come into Heshbon, let the city of Sihon be built and prepared.
28 For there is a fire gone that has gone out of Heshbon, and a flame from the city of Sihon; it has consumed Ar of Moab, and the lords of the high places of Arnon.
29 Woe to you, Moab! you are undone, O people of Chemosh; he has given his sons, who escaped, and his daughters into captivity to Sihon, king of the Amorites.
30 We have shot at them; Heshbon has perished even to Dibon, and we have laid them waste even to Nophah, which reaches to Medeba."
31 Thus Israel dwelled in the land of the Amorites.
32 And Moses sent men to spy out Jaazer, and they took its villages and drove out the Amorites that were there.
33 And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan; and Og the king of Bashan went out against them; he, and all his people, to the battle at Edrei.
34 And the LORD said to Moses, "Do not fear him for I have delivered him into your hand, and all his people, and his land; and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelled at Heshbon."
35 So they smote him, his sons, and all his people until there was none left alive; and they possessed his land.
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1 From the Book of John: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
While journeying to the promise land, they grumbled, they sinned. So the Lord sent fiery serpents among them. The people asked Moses to pray for the Lord to take them away. But that is not what the Lord did. He told Moses to prepare a fiery serpent and put it on a pole, so that everyone who was bitten could look at it, but not die. Understand, the serpents were not taken away; they were still being bitten as they walked through the wilderness, seeking the promised land, their physical salvation. They were bitten, but they didn't die; as long as they continued to look at the bronze serpent on the pole.
So, as we are seeking the promised land, (the Kingdom of Heaven that is within us and around us, as our first priority in life), we will continue to sin, until pure. Part of this journey is supernatural suffering. We are afflicted with fiery darts, fiery trials, and tribulations. When these afflictions occur, our selfish sinful nature will even get angry and complain. Like the Israelites we will believe we have been unjustly punished with water of affliction and the bread of adversity, which we loathe; so we will sin against God. We will be tempted to quit; to give up our journey. But if we keep our spiritual eye on the example of suffering by Jesus on the cross, and his payment made for our sins, we will travel on and not spiritually die in the desert. And while seeking, our journey through this spiritual desert is not only dry and famishing, but it includes suffering, for we must participate in His sufferings to arrive at the Kingdom of Heaven, the end of our journey. This is the cross of Christ, at which we must keep looking, to be aware of in our sufferings and ameliorate them. So, while sinning and suffering in the desert, if we believe the words we hear spoken by Jesus, the Son of God, who died for us on the cross, we will not perish, but will go on to death of the fleshly self, union with God, and entrance in to the Kingdom of Heaven, with everlasting life as a Son of God.
Do not think it strange the fiery trial you are undergoing, but rejoice that you are participating in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13.
Paul was establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and that it is through many trials and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22-23.
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, so that you should follow His steps. 1 Pet 2:21
For if we are dead with him, we will also live with him. If we suffer, we will also reign with him. 2 Tim 2:11-12
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in the flesh is finished with sin.
As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather to the will of God. 1 Pet 4:1-2
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature, with its passions and desires. Gal 5:24.
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