Deuteronomy 3-4

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Deuteronomy 3-4:

III. A Review of Past Victories (Deuteronomy 3).

• As the Israelites remained in the wilderness they defeated King Og of
Bashan and destroyed its well fortified sixty cities (vv.1-7).
• King Og was an intimidating giant who slept in an iron bed that was
thirteen feet long and six feet wide (I guess this is where we get the
concept of a king-sized bed!).
• The Israelites conquered the Amorites (vv. 8-10).
• Moses distributed land to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of
• The tribe of Manasseh is divided into two because the other half settled
on the other side of the Jordan River. The transjordanic half-tribe agreed
to help the other tribes while they conquered their territories.
• Moses had pleaded with God to let him enter the Promised Land but the
Lord refused his request.
• Then God appointed Joshua to lead the people into the land.

IV. The Importance of Obedience (Numbers 4).

• As the Israelites prepare to enter the land, they are to hold fast to the
Lord and keep His commands for that will be their wisdom and understanding.
The Israelites are to be examples before the world.
• The Israelites are to diligently keep their souls and pass down this
legacy to their children. Moses warns the people not to worship idols.
• He reminded them when they were at Mt. Horeb, and heard the Lord’s voice,
and received His Ten Commandments.
• Because God has no physical form, the Israelites are prohibited from
making or worshiping images nor worship the sun, moon, or stars.
• For God is a consuming fire and a jealous God.
• If the Israelites turn away from God, He will scatter them among the
• When they are scattered in exile, they will call upon God and He will
hear them if they search Him with all of their heart and soul.
• Moses told the people to set apart three cities of refuge on the eastern
side of the Jordan. People who accidently kill someone may flee to those
• Moses gave these statutes and rules to the people while still in the land
of the Amorites.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• The Israelites were to follow God with all their heart and soul. Jesus
pressed His followers also to love the Lord our God with all our heart,
soul, mind, and strength.

Deuteronomy 1-2

?#?OTin52? Today we start reading the Book of Deuteronomy, beginning with
chapters 1-2:

The Book of Deuteronomy

According to Hebrew tradition the book of Deuteronomy is called “Words.” It
is a record of the words Moses spoke, repeating much that was recorded in
the previous books. The word Deuteronomy literally means, “second law.” As
the nation of Israel prepares to enter the Promised Land, Moses gives the
law a second time. The book records the last three messages of Moses and
two prophetic poems about their future. Jesus quoted from the book of
Deuteronomy more than any other book. He also answered all three of Satan’s
temptations hurled at Him in the wilderness with quotations from this book.

I. A Review of Leaders Appointed and Rebellion Punished (Deuteronomy 1).

• Moses’ first message starts in 1:6 and continues until 4:43.
• He begins with a review of Israelite history from their time at Mt.
Horeb, another name for Mt. Sinai, till now.
• The Israelites stand at the edge of the Promised Land. They are about to
inherit God’s promise to them through the Patriarchs.
• While at Horeb Moses realized that he was unable to judge all of the
disputes among the people by himself.
• He appointed leaders over various sections of people to hear cases
without partiality.
• Moses reminded them that while on the border of the land of Promise he
sent out twelve spies to survey the land. Joshua and Caleb believed they
could take the land, but the other ten incited fear in the people.
• The Israelites failed to trust God and wished they had stayed in Egypt
where they’d been slaves.
• God judged them for their unbelief so that the first generation was not
allowed to enter the Promised Land.
• The Israelites wandered the wilderness for approximately the next 38
years. Only Joshua and Caleb would enter the land with the next generation
of Israelites (vv. 34-40).
• Moses reminds this new generation that the first generation of Israelites
acknowledged their rebellion and were ready to fight for the land.
• The Lord told Moses to warn them not to fight for He would not be with
• But the Israelites presumptuously tried to take some of the land anyway
and were beaten badly.
• The Israelites returned from their defeat and pleaded with YHWH to change
His mind, but He refused (vv. 41-46).

II. A Review of the Wilderness Years (Deuteronomy 2).

• As a result of their rebellion, the Israelites had to head back toward
the Red Sea in the opposite direction of the Promised Land.
• The Israelites passed through the land around Mt. Seir avoiding any
conflict because God had given this land to the descendants of Esau.
• The Lord told the Israelites to buy food and water from their cousins but
not to fight.
• The Israelites then passed through the wilderness of Moab–the Moabites
are the descendants of Lot.
• The Israelites were not to fight them either because God had given this
land to the descendants of Lot.
• The Edomites and the Moabites have had both received their land, while
the Israelites continued to wander.
• The Emim, a tall and powerful people as tall as the Anakim, used to live
in the land of the Moabites.
• The Israelites turned toward the Promised Land, but again they’re told
not to attack the Ammonites because God had given them this land – also the
descendants of Lot.
• The Ammonites took the land from the Anakim for the Lord destroyed them
before the Ammonites.
• The Lord told the Israelites to attack King Sihon the Amorite. God used
this battle to cause the reputation of the Israelites to spread throughout
the land and cause their enemies to fear them.
• Before the attack, the Israelites offered Sihon a peace treaty.
• They assured him that they only wanted to pass through the land and buy
food and water.
• Sihon refused their offer because God hardened his heart.
• The Israelites destroyed Sihon so that there was not a single remaining
• The Lord gave more land to Israelites but they were to stay out of
Ammonite territory.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• “Words” fill the book of Deuteronomy. God has spoken His final Word to us
in Christ. The writer to the Hebrews says that we should pay closer
attention to this Word, so that we do not neglect our great salvation (cf.
Hebrews 2:1-3).
• Israel rebelled against the Lord when they failed to take possession of
the Land the first time. We are to follow Jesus today into our inheritance,
by embracing His word of grace and believing His promises.
• God reminds His people of His faithfulness to them in the wilderness. In
the same way, our own obedience to Christ is motivated by looking back at
what God has faithfully done for us in the past, especially through
Christ’s work on the cross, but also in our own personal experience.

Numbers 35-36

?#?OTin52? We finish the book of Numbers today reading chapters 35-36:

XXXV. Levitical Provision, Cities of Refuge, and Laws Concerning
Involuntary Manslaughter and Murder (Numbers 35).

• God tells Moses that forty-eight cities throughout the Promised Land will
be allotted to the Levites, along with pastureland for raising livestock.
• Among those forty-eight cities, six will be designated as cities of
refuge, three of these cities will be beyond the Jordan and three in the
land of Canaan.
• God makes a distinction between involuntary manslaughter and intentional
• Anyone who has accidentally killed someone can seek refuge in one of
these cities of refuge while awaiting trial.
• Anyone who is guilty of voluntary murder, will be put to death for their
• If someone accidentally kills another person, he is entitled to a trial
in front of the whole community.
• A fugitive must live in a city of refuge until the high priest dies.
• If a fugitive leaves a city prematurely, he will be in danger of the
• In capital crimes more than one witness to the murder is required for
• No murderer will be permitted to buy their freedom.
• God desires that the Land, where He dwells, be free from pollution

XXXVI. A Regulation Regarding Tribal Inheritance (Numbers 36).

• In chapter 27 God had determined that when a father died, without any
sons, his daughters would receive his inheritance.
• This provision did not solve the problem completely.
• The tribe of Manasseh was concerned that if any of the daughters of
Zelophehad, allowed to inherit their father’s land upon his death, their
married outside their tribe that their land could pass to another tribe.
The land would become their husband’s property when they marry.
• Moses confers with God and the Lord directed that the daughters of
Zelophehad, can only marry within her tribe.
• The inheritance of land within one tribe cannot be transferred to another
• Zelophehad’s five daughters all marry within their tribe.
• The book of Numbers ends with a reminder that God told Moses all these
things “in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.”

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Jesus is our city of refuge. When we run to Him by trusting in Him our
sins are forgiven and our judgment has passed. Our High Priest lives
forever so that we are safe forever.

Numbers 33-34

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Numbers 33-34:

XXXIII. A Summary of Israel’s Wilderness Wanderings (Numbers 33)

• Moses kept a travelogue of all the places Israel camped during their
forty-year trek through the wilderness. This log is a record of God’s
faithfulness to the covenant He established with His people. God parted the
Red Sea. He gave them victory over their enemies. He gave them food when
hungry and water when thirsty.
• Forty different places are listed beginning with the Israelites flight
from Egypt and it ending with them camping on the plains of Moab on the
west side of the Jordan River.
• Now God directs Moses to tell the Israelites that once they move into the
Promised Land they are to drive out the Canaanites and demolish their
places of idolatry.
• If the Canaanites remain in the Land they will be like barbs in their
eyes and thorns in their sides.
• When they take control of the land they are to divide it up between the
twelve tribes according to size. The larger tribes will get more land.

XXXIV. The Boundaries of the Promised Land (Numbers 34).

• God informs Moses about what will happen when they finally set foot in
the Promised Land.
• God lays out the impressive borders for the Promised Land. Unfortunately,
Israel, because of unbelief, did not take all the land that God had
provided for them.
• God appoints Eleazar and Joshua to help divide the land with one
Israelite from every tribe to assist.
• They are now ready to set foot in the Promised Land.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• The Promised Land was a place of great variety including coastline,
mountainous regions and desert. The people were to be content with the land
they were given. In the same way, in Christ God knows best and He gives us
exactly what He knows we need. Because of His gracious provision we should
be content.


Come join us for worship this Sunday.

Pastor Paul will begin our Holy Week series with “A Mission of Sorrow.”

His passages will be Isaiah 52:13-15;53:1-3.

Service times are 9 and 11 am.

Numbers 32

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Numbers 32.

XXXII. Two Tribes Settle East of the Jordan (Numbers 32).

• As the Israelites were passing through newly conquered lands of Jazer and
Gilead, the tribes of Reuben and Gad, who had a lot of livestock, noticed
the area was perfect for raising cattle.
• The two tribes approach Moses, Eleazar and ask for permission to settle
in the east without crossing the Jordan and entering the Promised Land,
• Moses’ first reaction considered that to be desertion from the cause. Why
would they expect everyone else to go to war to take the Promised Land
while they tend their cattle?
• Moses perceived their request to be selfish and would cause great
discouragement. Besides, hadn’t God caused the whole nation to wander in
the wilderness for forty years until everyone died off because they were
reluctant to enter the land after the report of the spies?
• Moses calls them a “brood of sinful men.”
• But the Reubenites, Gadites (and later half of the tribe of Manasseh)
promise that they will help Israel fight till all the tribes are settled.
• Meanwhile, while they arm themselves, their wives, children, and
livestock can stay on the other side of the Jordan.
• Since they’re willing to fight, Moses warns them that if they break their
promise they will be sinning against the Lord. The famous verse, “Be sure
your sin will find you out,” occurs here (v. 23).
• So Moses allowed them to settle the land that once belonged to the
kingdom of the Amorites.
• Footnote: The location of these Transjordanic tribes, separated as they
were from the rest of Israel, proved problematic on occasion.

Numbers 31

?#?OTin52? Numbers 31.

XXXI. Avenging the Midianites (Numbers 31).

• In Moses’ last battle God directs him to attack the Midianites in order
to avenge for the dangerous seduction at Baal-Peor (cf. Numbers 25).
• Moses gathers up 12,000 men (1,000 from each tribe) armed for battle.
• Phinehas also carried vessels from the sanctuary (most likely among them
was the Ark), along with trumpets to sound the alarm. It was Phinehas who
was commended in his action at Peor (cf. Numbers 25:7-15).
• In the battle every Midianite male was killed, as well as all five kings
of Midian, Zur (the father of Cozbi who sinned in 25:14-15) and Balaam.
(Balaam had been the chief organizer of the great seduction).
• They also took the women and children captive, including animals and
possessions, and burned their cities.
• Moses was angry that the officers of the army had let some of the women
responsible for seducing the Israelite men to worship Baal be spared, and
he orders their death.
• Regulations for post-battle purification were set down.
• God tells Moses exactly how the spoils of war should be divided.
• Half the spoils of war will go to the 12,000 soldiers.
• The other half will go to everyone else in the community and a small
portion will go to the priests.
• Moses and Eleazar organize the distribution which comes to:
• 675,000 sheep
• 72,000 oxen
• 61,000 donkeys
• 32,000 virgins
• The Israelites did not lose a single man in the battle and out of
gratitude to God the soldiers brought 16,750 shekels worth of gold and
silver to the Tabernacle to make atonement for themselves before the Lord.

Numbers 28-30

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Numbers 28-30:

XXVIII. Daily, Weekly, Monthly Offerings and Passover (Numbers 28).

• As the Israelites prepare to enter the land God reminds them that how
they worship Him is at the core of His covenant with them.
• God lays down the rules for a variety of offerings for honoring and
worshiping Him throughout the year (i.e. daily offerings, weekly or Sabbath
offerings; annual feats like Passover and Feast of Weeks).
• He gives guidelines for the different kinds of offerings with their
pleasing aroma – a phrase occurring seven times in chapters 28-29. God
takes pleasure in the worship of His people.
• There are also more details for offerings on the Sabbath and monthly or
New Moon offerings. The Israelites followed the lunar calendar.
• Five Feasts are mentioned in chapters 28-29 starting with Passover.
During Passover the Israelites are to eat unleavened bread for seven days
and avoid ordinary work on the first and last day.
• Feast of Weeks, Pentecost or Shavuot. Observed seven weeks after Passover.

XXIX. Important Jewish Festivals (Numbers 29).

• Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashanah (vv. 1-6). Occurs at the beginning of
the seventh month in the Jewish year signaling the beginning of the Jewish
civil year.
• Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur (vv. 7-11). On the tenth day of the
seventh month.
• Feast of Booths, Tabernacles, or Sukkot (vv. 12-38). Observed five days
after the Day of Atonement and it lasts for eight days.

XXX. Personal Vows (Numbers 30).

• A vow was a promise to do something for God.
• When a male Israelite makes a vow (like the vow to be a Nazirite) or
pledges to God to do something, he is bound to it (vv. 1-2).
• The same thing applies to Israelite women who make a promise to God with
a few exceptions.
• If a young Israelite woman still lives with her father and makes a vow
that he doesn’t like it, he can annul it (vv. 3-8).
• If a woman is married and her husband disagrees he can immediately repeal
her vow.
• But if the husband delays his repeal after the vow has already begun he
can’t force his wife to break the vow or he will pay a penalty.
• Widows and women who are divorced can make pledges whenever they want and
are bound to keep them.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• The Feasts of Israel point to Jesus in very specific and special ways:
• Passover: Jesus’ death on the cross as He bore our sins.
• Pentecost: Points to the day when Jesus would send the Holy Spirit.
• Trumpets: Jesus’ return will be announced by a trumpet.
• Day of Atonement: The Day of Atonement ritual points to Jesus’ death on
the cross.
• Booths: Points to the day when Christ will reign over all the earth and
His people will dwell in safety from the Enemy.

Numbers 26

XXVI. Numbering the People (Numbers 26).

• God directs Moses and Eleazar to take a census – it’s time to number the
people again. The time of their wandering is almost over.
• Moses tells everyone camping out on the plains of Moab to gather up all
the men over twenty according to their tribes.
• After a long list of names, the total number of men counted is 601,730 –
1,820 fewer than the previous census.
• God tells Moses to use this information to make sure that all the tribes
get a fair apportionment of the land between the larger and smaller tribes.
• Moses also counts the Levites and there were 1,000 more than forty years
• Aside from Moses, Eleazar, Caleb, and Joshua, no one who was counted in
this census that was counted in the first one. The first generation coming
out of Egypt has passed.
• A new generation is ready to move into the Promised Land.

XXVII. A Land Dispute is Resolved and Joshua is Appointed as Moses’
Successor (Numbers 27).

• Everyone has been counted and all the land has been parceled out.
• The daughters of Zelophehad are not pleased with the land arrangement.
When Zelophehad died he had no sons. But his daughters could not inherit
any land through their father’s name of their own.
• The daughters take this up with Moses , who consults with God, and God
agrees with the daughters.
• God then established a rule that anytime a man dies and has no son, his
property should pass to his daughter.
• God allows Moses the opportunity to survey the land before he passes.
• Moses then mentions that God should appoint a new leader for the people.
• And God commends Joshua as Moses’ successor.
• He tells Moses to have Joshua stand in front of the whole community and
Moses, with Eleazar by his side, can lay his hands on Joshua and commission
him, giving him some of his power and authority.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Joshua, Moses’ successor, is a type of Christ. His name means, “YHWH is

Numbers 23-24

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is Numbers 23-24:

XXIII. The First and Second Oracle of Balaam (Numbers 23).

• Balaam tells King Balak to build him seven altars. Balaam and Balak then
sacrifice seven bulls and seven rams – one of each on each altar.
• God meets Balaam and directs Balaam to tell King Balak that he cannot
curse whom God has not cursed.
• King Balak is annoyed and releases his frustration on Balaam since he
hired him to pronounce a curse, yet all he does is deliver blessings.
• His first oracle confirms the promise to Abraham of many descendants.
• Balaam explains that he has only said what God told him to say. Balaam is
actually condemning himself when he spoke.
• King Balak asks Balaam to move to a different location, where he can only
see a fraction of the people of Israel, and to build altars and offer
sacrifices in that place.
• God gives to Balaam His words and again, Balaam blesses the Israelites
instead of cursing them. What God blesses He blesses and it cannot be
revoked or reversed. There is no divination against Israel that will
succeed because God is with them.
• His second oracle confirms the promise to Israel of blessing and security.
• King Balak is even more annoyed now and tells Balaam to stop and neither
offer blessings or curses. But Balaam can only declare what God commands
him to say.
• For a third time they move to a different place and build seven more
altars and slaughter even more animals.

XXIV. The Third and Fourth Oracle of Balaam (Numbers 24).

• In this new location the Spirit of God comes upon Balaam and he blesses
Israel and curses King Balak.
• The third oracle of Balaam confirms to Israel the promise of land and
• King Balak is fuming that Balaam has blessed his enemies three times.
• Balaam defends his actions by telling him he couldn’t go against God.
• Balaam offers Balak one last prediction. He tells him that Israel is
going to utterly crush him and anyone else who opposes them for God is with
the Israelites. God doesn’t defend His people’s sins but He does defend
them for they are His people.
• In his fourth and final oracle Balaam sees a leader rising up out of
Israel in a most amazing prophecy: “I see him, but now now: I behold him,
but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob; and a scepter shall rise out
of Israel…”
• Balaam surely prophesied better than he knew.
• Balaam also predicts the dispossession of Edom and the
destruction of the Amorites.
• Balaam returns home and King Balak goes his way.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• God used a rascal like Balaam to give a beautiful picture of the coming
of Jesus, the Messiah. He is the star rising out of Jacob. King Jesus holds
the scepter that arose out of Israel.