Numbers 32 –Walking as a Free People

The tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh liked the lands and cities they had just captured from the Amorites and Midianites. The leaders approached Moses with an offer–Hey Moses, this has been fun and all, but really we would just as soon not cross the Jordan for our lands, these Lands that have already been cleared seem plenty fine for us!  Moses almost went through the roof.  After languishing in the desert for 40 years, these people thought they would just skip clearing the promised land??!!

In truth, this was a different people.  They quickly made it clear to Moses–“We will build our cities here, but all the men who can fight–will cross over and clear the lands until all of Israel is placed in the lands for which they are promised.  What a different attitude, men would leave wives and family to help their people–not the thinking of a slave.  Moses was surprised and agreeable.  Israel had a track record, however, of promising one thing and then doing another–so Moses made it clear. If you fail to keep your word your sin will find you out!

The great news is that they did as they promised. In Joshua 22 it reads,”Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. For a long time now—to this very day—you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the Lord your God gave you. Now that the Lord your God has given them rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan. But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”


God only requires we walk as free people. Trust Him, honor Him and follow his leadership.  If one is willing to do that, He will bless us far beyond our expectations.  God gave the tribes the land they wanted and actually expanded Israel’s inheritance.  That is what God wants to do in our lives as well.  We simply need to trust Him, honor Him and follow the Lord. Then we can also walk as free people and claim the inheritance that awaits us!


God Bless You


The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon,Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon— the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.”…

Then Moses said to them, “If you will do this—if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for battle 21 and if all of you who are armed cross over the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies out before him— 22 then when the land is subdued before the Lord, you may return and be free from your obligation to the Lord and to Israel. And this land will be your possession before the Lord.

23 “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. 24 Build cities for your women and children, and pens for your flocks,but do what you have promised.”

25 The Gadites and Reubenites said to Moses, “We your servants will do as our lord commands.26 Our children and wives, our flocks and herds will remain here in the cities of Gilead. 27 But your servants, every man who is armed for battle, will cross over to fight before the Lord, just as our lord says.”

Numbers 28-30, Daily Living and Keeping Vows

As God was wrapping His time with Moses, He took the people through some basic life rules.  He told the Israelites about the various offerings and festivals they were to be apart of and that they were to present. God next turned His attention to the importance of keeping one’s vows to the Lord.  God was clear, If one makes a vow to the Lord, he must keep it. God takes vows seriously, and He would rather His people not make a vow; than He would have them make it lightly and then break it.

The people of Israel needed to hear that message.  They had not been faithful. From the moment of their deliverance from Egypt, they did nothing but complain and continuously dishonor their commitment to trust and follow God. Literally thousands lost their lives due to their sin and unbelief. They marched through the desert for years because they failed to trust God. Now, as they approached the promised land for the second time, God was preparing them to live a life as His chosen people.  Critical to that, was their integrity for keeping vows.

In our lives, we are similarly situated. God does not require that we make a plethora of vows. He only asks that we have a relationship with Him.  In that relationship, however, we need to take vows seriously. As with Israel, God would rather us not make a vow, than to make and then disregard it.  He loves us and has a incredible capacity for grace and mercy–but, as with any parent, He expects us to keep our word and honor our vows.  It is not too much to ask and we should be glad to honor him in it.God Bless You

Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: “This is what the Lord commands:When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.

“When a young woman still living in her father’s household makes a vow to the Lord or obligates herself by a pledge and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the Lord will release her because her father has forbidden her.

“If she marries after she makes a vow or after her lips utter a rash promise by which she obligates herself and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her, then her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her husband forbids her when he hears about it, he nullifies the vow that obligates her or the rash promise by which she obligates herself, and the Lord will release her.

Numbers 23-24–It’s Not About Location

As God’s chosen, today, we too live under His provision, preparation and protection. It often feels as though the world has the upper hand; but, truth be known, nothing happens without God’s permission.

The Moabite king was convinced that he could curse Israel.  So, he summoned a local mystic–Balaam, to come and do the job.  Balaam asked God if he could take the job, and God said no. The King’s men came back and got Balaam to come–Balaam told them he would not do it, they urged him to come anyway.  God said fine, go, but only say what I tell you to say.  So, for the next several days, Balak, King of Moab, ushered the mystic from place to place. In each place, alters would be built, sacrifices made, and then–Balaam would bless Israel.

The King became furious–but, the prophet  would simply respond, I can only say what God has told me to say–and again the prophet would bless Israel. In the end, the King knew he had been stupid, his nation, and the allies of his nation were put on notice–Israel is and will be blessed by God–do not expect to defeat them.  In addition, your peoples will be destroyed, Have a nice day.

The bottom line is that the natural man does not understand the things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14+ says it well, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 

People think that they control their destinies. They simply do not.  There is a God who created and controls everything. The world simply thinks that because God allows evil to exist; that He must not be in control. SO Wrong! God has a plan and He will execute it to the letter. Israel was marching through the desert–awaiting the day they could enter the Promised Land. While they waited, they still were being prepared by God, provided for by God and were living under God’s protection.

As God’s chosen, today, we too live under His provision, preparation and protection.  It often feels as though the world has the upper hand; but, truth be known, nothing happens without God’s permission. That is why the promises of Roman 8:18, 28 and 34 are so significant. No matter how difficult our struggles–they cannot compare to the blessings that lie ahead. Further, all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Finally, there is nothing in this world that can separate us from our God. Israel saw that daily. Paul wrote about it as a testimony to an amazing journey; and, we can live it–if we will simply trust and follow God!

God Bless You

Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not resort to divination as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness. When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him and he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
    the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,
    who sees a vision from the Almighty,[a]
    who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

“How beautiful are your tents, Jacob,
    your dwelling places, Israel!

“Like valleys they spread out,
    like gardens beside a river,
like aloes planted by the Lord,
    like cedars beside the waters.
Water will flow from their buckets;
    their seed will have abundant water.

“Their king will be greater than Agag;
    their kingdom will be exalted.

“God brought them out of Egypt;
    they have the strength of a wild ox.
They devour hostile nations
    and break their bones in pieces;
    with their arrows they pierce them.
Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
    like a lioness—who dares to rouse them?

“May those who bless you be blessed
    and those who curse you be cursed!”

God’s Amazing Presence–I Samuel 19 part 2

There is something inevitable about God’s presence.  When we are truly in his presence he remains Large and in Charge.  We so often try to control God’s plan only to find that such control is but an illusion. Saul had decided to take his kingdom into his own hands and Kill God’s anointed King. He sent troops to capture and Kill David and even chased him personally.  But, Both Saul and his men were stopped—Not by some band of Warrior angels, but, simply by God’s spirit. The spirit completely stripped and disarmed Saul—before Samuel…That had to be different than Saul planned.

God will not be mocked, controlled or usurped.  His plan will ultimately prevail and as we watch—we will see his hand at work. He will protect us in the presence of our enemies.  He will send the right provision for our lives and friend or foe—in his presence he will run the show.  Walk with him, follow him humbly and watch his presence rule the day—He is Lord!

God Bless You

18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.

23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”