Believing God Will Bring Victory
Our text: Book of Numbers 21-36
Our Focus: Numbers 21:3-9, 21-24, 32-35
If we cling to our faith with a death grip and rely on Our Lord and Our God as we should, though we fail Him, we will still have victory!
Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you [that ye should earnestly contend for the faith] which was once delivered unto the saints.
To “earnestly contend” would be to fight for our faith, to defend our faith, to fight for the prize that our faith brings and “That Prize Is Victory”!
Jude also says our salvation is only delivered once. One dip in the blood of Jesus is all it takes!
That being said, we can never know what victory feels like until we have felt failure.
1.) Abraham was strong in faith, yet he still failed in his faith.
2.) King David was strong in his integrity, yet he still failed in his integrity.
3.) Peter was strong in his courage, yet he failed miserably in his courage, when he was asked of that maiden if he had been with Jesus.
Satan knows how to turn strength into weakness but The Lord Jesus turns weakness into strength!
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
That word strengtheneth means that Christ “empowers” us in all things that are done in His will.
Since our last lesson almost 38 years have come and gone.
At this time most of that old generation had died off just as God had said. They had been replaced by another generation that was born and raised in the wilderness. This generation had seen life where the old generation saw death.
These years of wandering had not been wasted. Many valuable lessons had been learned from this time in the wilderness.
If we cannot learn from our failures then we can never have victory!
This Nation of Israel was now headed toward Canaan land. At this time the land of Canaan was the most wicked place on all the earth by the standards of God and it is His standards that realty matter!
Canaan land “in type” represents the world we live in, especially now in the latter days that we live.
We must remember as the “Body of Christ”, God blesses those that walk by “faith”.
Heb 11:6 [But without faith it is impossible to please him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
God blesses those that rely on Him for their strength!
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: [for without me ye can do nothing].
Even after we have failed, if we confess our sin, repent of that sin, and trust in God, we will have “victory” in the end.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
We will face daily battles as long as we are still on this earth but the Captain of our Salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ is also a mighty Man of War.
When we wear the Armor of God, we cannot be defeated!
Num 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.
Num 21:4 And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
Num 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.
Num 21:6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Num 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.
Num 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.
Num 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.
By this time Aaron and Miriam had died and had been buried. Moses was still the leader of Israel and it was time for God to give His new army some military training.
Israel had made a vow to utterly destroy these cities in Canaan but we must not by confused by this. The Hebrew word for “destroy” that was translated here means “to devote something completely to the Lord”.
To compare, we are to devote our selves to the Lord! We are to destroy the Old Man and become the New Man in the Lord!
Once saved, we become the Temple for the Lord in the person of the Holy Ghost.
God will not allow evil in His house!
The Bible says:
Lev 27:28 Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD.
Lev 27:29 None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.
Deu 7:2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
These people of Canaan were so caught up in their religious practices, that they could not be changed.
God gave Israel the victory and the people kept their promise.
But, Sometimes when we have a great victory we will begin to think that we did this ourselves, when it was God all along that brought that victory. As we see of Israel, this victory was soon followed by defeat.
*****What we should see is that while Israel was growing in the Lord and progress was being made, they still had a long way to go.
We know that the day we are saved, we are only one step from what we were. The process of sanctification will take time and effort.
Israel may have felt that God’s blessing was just not enough. They began to base there actions on works and they bring up that same old issue of food again.
*****This first battle was only one battle in the long war Israel was about to face and are still facing. It was not time to complain to God but it was time to thank God for what He had done.
Edom had refused to allow Israel to pass through their land and it was a long journey around this nation. When you have journeyed for near 40 years and had just tasted victory, this journey seemed ridiculous to them. They felt like they could take on the world.
When God gives a victory, we must not think that we can immediately go out and take on the devil alone. Every battle we face must be faced with the Lord at our side!
God would not allow Israel to do battle with Edom. God had reserved this vengeance for Himself:
Deu 2:5 Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.
We know that Edom is a desolate place today and the Bible tells us why:
Joe 3:19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
God has reserved the Battle with Satan for Himself and Satan will also be cast into a place of desolation known as the “burning lake of fire”!
But, Israel sinned again.
Their anger and impatience became harsh words against the Lord and against God’s man Moses.
Again they began tempting the Lord.
The Apostle Paul reminded the church of this later:
1Co 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
1Co 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Paul said that these are some things we need to learn!
We must reverence the Word of God and be obedient to it!
Israel again had forgotten God’s Promise! God had said that they would enter into the land of Canaan and it would be their home and God keeps all His promises.
There journey was nearing it’s end but God had not forgot to feed them, He had not forgotten to provide them water to drink. God had kept clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet.
*****We know that it can be said that there is no greater food than the food that comes down from Heaven.
We do not hear of starvation not even major diseases during this time except for a time of chastisement.
Who is to say that we will not eat some Manna when we get to Heaven?
Psa 78:24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.
Psa 78:25 Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.
The Apostle John said there is a much greater reason for the Manna:
Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
1.) This manna came only to Israel and fed Israel for 40 years but Jesus Christ came to be the Savior of the entire world forever.
2.) All this manna could do was sustain life, but Jesus came to give life.
3.) To reject the manna from Heaven was in type to reject the Son of God.
4.) AND, Once more God had tested His people and again they had failed.
We cannot count our victory day by day, the victory we seek is eternal and we must stay in the battle to get that victory. We cannot quit on God!
We need our daily feeding of manna (the Word of God) if we are going to succeed in our pilgrim journey!
What was the punishment?
This time, God gave no warning. His judgment came immediately!
***God sent the poisonous snakes:
That word “fiery” does not necessarily describe the appearance of these snakes but it surely describes the inflammation and the pain caused by their bite.
Those that were bitten died quickly!
By God’s command, Moses made a serpent of brass and set in upon a pole.
**It is not hard to see here that “The Serpent” is a symbol of sin that is judged.
**The “Brass” speaks of Divine judgment.
**This brass serpent then becomes a “type” of Christ, who was made sin for us:
Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Israel had sinned and had repented many times but this time they seemed to be sincere. Again the prayer of Moses changes things.
God answered their pleas and this prayer in a different way this time.
God provided a way for escape but every individual had to make a move toward God’s remedy!
Each individual had to personally make a decision for themselves.
Joh 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
Joh 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
Jesus also said:
Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
These children of Israel had to confront their sin face to face and know that relief could only come from the things of God!
There is no relief from the pain of this world except through Jesus Christ Our Lord!
Notice this thing Moses had made was not to be worshipped!
2Ki 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
This brazen serpent was only a symbol of God’s Mercy and His Grace!
True “Grace” can only come through a relationship with Jesus Christ!
Every individual on this earth has been infected with the fiery serpent of sin and will one day die and face judgment!
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
But if they look “By Faith” on Jesus Christ, He will save them and give them eternal life!
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
When Israel looked upon this thing of Brass they were saved from a physical death but those that look upon Jesus will be saved from a “Spiritual Death”.
Moses displayed this bronze serpent on a pole so everyone could see it:
**Jesus was crucified publicly, out side the city, to be looked upon by the world:
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
**Moses did not stick this pole inside the Tabernacle:
Jesus Christ is the only Savior to the sinners of all this world not just the Jew:
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
**No one could look on this bronze serpent for another person.
The salvation Jesus brings is personal and individual!
Sin came into this world because of the “look” of Eve in disobedience:
Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw.
Deliverance from sin can only come to those that have a “look of faith”!
Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
There had to be great joy in the children of Israel when they found this cure that was available to everyone!
The only ones that died were the ones that refused “to look”!
This is the same as it is in the New Testament “Gospel” of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
This is the “Good News” of the Bible.
1Ti 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Num 21:21 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying,
Num 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.
Num 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.
Num 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.
Before we go further let’s look at where we have seen Jesus in these Old Testament passages.
1.) We’ve seen Him in the Manna:
We know Jesus Christ is the true bread sent down from Heaven.
Jesus is the “bread of life”.
2.) This lesson did not cover it but in verse 16 we can see Jesus as the water:
Num 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.
We know Jesus Christ Our Lord is the “Giver of Living Water”
Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
**We know that “living water” for drinking, is a picture of the Spirit of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
**We know that “living water” for washing, is a picture of washing in the Word of God.
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
3.) But before Jesus could send His Spirit, He had to die on that cross:
Joh 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
This in type was the “uplifted serpent”, The Brazen Serpent.
*****It is not hard to see the the Gospel here:
A.) The “manna” emphasizes the act of Jesus in the taking of a human body, as the incarnation of the Son of God.
B.) The “serpent” emphasizes the crucifixion of Our Lord.
C.) The “water” emphasizes His Resurrection, His Ascension, and the out pouring of the Holy Spirit.
1Jn 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
1Jn 5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
1Jn 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
**Before Israel had reached this point in their journey they had fought two battles and The Lord had delivered them both times.
The title Amorite is seen 72 times and only in the Old Testament. This group of people are in “type” the “Lost” of this world.
They represent mankind’s sinful state:
Deu 20:18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God.
Eze 16:3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.
They are the enemies of God’s people!
We know that God is a God of timing and it was time for God’s people to battle this enemy:
Gen 15:16 says But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
****We should know that when the world we live in today reaches a point where it’s iniquity is full, God will return to destroy His enemy.
This will happen after the “Rapture” of the Church and at Armageddon!
But, Before this battle began, God would show His mercy by sending Moses in an act of peace.
We know that God will show His mercy right up till the end!
And since we know that God is a God of timing, we should realize that God has chosen for us to live at this time for a reason.
We do not have to have some great plan for our lives!
God has already made all the plans, we just need to get involved and He will show us where He wants us to serve.
Num 21:32 And Moses sent to spy out Jaazer, and they took the villages thereof, and drove out the Amorites that were there.
Num 21:33 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.
Num 21:34 And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him 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.
Num 21:35 So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.
This reborn nation of Israel now had victory three times in this chapter.
How had victory come?
What can we learn from this experience?
1.) We can still have victory in our lives even though we have had many failures! Our Lord cannot fail.
2.) We can still have victory in our lives if we remain faithful to God! Our Lord will always be faithful.
3.) We can still have victory in our lives if we show courage with that faith! Our God is a Mighty God of war who has never lost a battle.
We can also learn that we will be discouraged at times in our long journey but this will also be because of sin in our lives.
The truth of the Gospel is that the look of faith is simple, searching, saving, and satisfying as long as that look is on The Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible says:
Psa 89:31 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments;
Psa 89:32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
Psa 89:33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.