The Bible says in Numbers 15:13-16, “All that are born of the country shall do these things after this manner, in offering an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever be among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; as ye do, so he shall do. One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.” This is a passage about equality. God treats all the people the same. Once someone came from another country (a “stranger”) to live in the land of Israel, they were to live under the same rules and requirements. In other words they were to assimilate into the culture and religion of the Jews. When in Rome, do as the Romans. A modern application of this would be as follows: the people who are coming from other countries to Western Europe and America would be blessed if they learned to assimilate into the cultures of their new places of abode.
The Bible says in Numbers 15:17-21, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land whither I bring you, Then it shall be, that, when ye eat of the bread of the land, ye shall offer up an heave offering unto the LORD. Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for an heave offering: as ye do the heave offering of the threshingfloor, so shall ye heave it. Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto the LORD an heave offering in your generations.” The purpose of these offerings was to remind the children of Israel how much God had blessed them. If God is taking good care of you and giving you everything that you have, then you want to be mindful and thankful for all that He has done and is doing for you. No better way to show Him that you appreciate it by giving back part of what He has given you, and making it first on your list.
The Bible says in Numbers 15:22-29, “And if ye have erred, and not observed all these commandments, which the LORD hath spoken unto Moses, Even all that the LORD hath commanded you by the hand of Moses, from the day that the LORD commanded Moses, and henceforward among your generations; Then it shall be, if ought be committed by ignorance without the knowledge of the congregation, that all the congregation shall offer one young bullock for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour unto the LORD, with his meat offering, and his drink offering, according to the manner, and one kid of the goats for a sin offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their ignorance: And it shall be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were in ignorance. And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.” Of course, this passage is about sins of “ignorance.” We are such great sinners that we even sin when we do not know that we have sinned. People are weak, people are selfish, and thus people sin. Someone told me once, “I lived a good life. I did the best that I could, and I do not have any regrets.” That may be true, but she still sinned. And sins must be forgiven, even sins done in “ignorance.” We are really dependent upon the death of Christ for us. We owe Him everything.
The Bible says in Numbers 15:30-31, “But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.” What did people get who broke the law knowingly? They got the death penalty. As we read through the books of the law, we see that the death penalty was often given for breaking the law. It sure is good to be under grace through faith in Christ instead of under law. This difference between law and grace is explained very well in Romans 6:33 that says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The Bible says in Numbers 15:32-36, “And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.” This is an example of the death penalty being handed out for someone who did not keep the Sabbath Day. What did this person do on the Sabbath Day? They picked up some sticks. That is all. And so we see that the law had no mercy and no forgiveness built into it. You either kept the law, or you broke it; and if you broke the law, the penalty was death. Thank God that we live in the age of grace because of Jesus.
The Bible says in Numbers 15:37-41, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.” The key phrase to these verses is found in verse thirty-nine that says, “remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them.” God wants us to “remember.” But God wants us to remember something specific. Some people remember the wrong things. For your life to be what it is supposed to be, there are things that you should forget and things that you should remember. Forget negative things. Forget how people have wronged you. If you are saved through faith in Jesus, forget your sins. But remember God’s Word. In order to remember His Word, you must learn it and read it and memorize it. The more Bible verses that you know, the better is the chance that you will apply them to your life in the situations that arise from day to day. God did say to remember “and do them.” One of the dangers of reading and studying the Bible is that it might become an intellectual pursuit only. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
One of the reasons that we should want to keep His commandments and thus be a follower of Christ is that God said in verse forty-one, “I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.” Being delivered from Egypt symbolized what happened when we were saved through faith in Christ. Egypt was a type of the world. We were enslaved. We were part of the world and in darkness. We owe Jesus everything. Do not forget.
The Bible says in Numbers 16:1-7, “Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face: And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.” Korah was in the lineage of Levi. God called them to serve in the tabernacle. That fact probably influenced Korah into thinking that he was more important than he really was. Moses was God’s chosen servant to be the leader of the children of Israel. Once God has given us leaders, we should be respectful and submissive to those leaders. Korah was not. He was in rebellion. Notice verse three about Korah and the men that followed him that they were “against Moses and against Aaron.” At the end of verse three Korah accused Moses of taking power and basically denied that God put Moses in the position of leadership. Korah said to Moses, “wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?” Like all those who are in rebellion against God or against any truth, Korah justified himself. Korah found some human logic to hold to. Korah stated in verse three that all the Israelites were “holy” and just as qualified as Moses to lead or to be in charge. But Moses knew that God decides who is to be a leader and who is not. God chooses, and not man. Moses knew that great truth, and Moses knew that he was called of God to do what he was doing. That is why Moses said in verse seven, “it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose.” Not everyone is called to be a preacher. When you choose a new preacher, you want to choose the one that God has called. And then you want to support that man. Do not be like Korah. Do not oppose God’s choice.
The Bible says in Numbers 16:8-11, “And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also? For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?” God had given Korah something to do: to serve in the tabernacle. But according to verse nine, Korah thought God’s calling for him was “a small thing.” Korah thought that he knew better than God. There is no such thing as “a small thing” in God’s service. Whatever God wants you to do is important because it is part of God’s great eternal plan. What seems “small” to man is important to God. Because Korah did not appreciate what God called him to do, it says in verse eleven that Korah was actually “against the LORD.” The will of man will result in sin. Find the will of God for you: not your own will. Your own will is selfish and prideful and will oppose God’s will.
Copyright; 2019 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved