Life-Study of Numbers

Life-Study of Numbersby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0040-6
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

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LIFE-STUDY OF NUMBERS

MESSAGE FORTY

FIGHTING

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Scripture Reading: Num. 28:1-31

VIII. THE STATUTES

Numbers 28:1—30:16 deals with the statutes concerning the offerings (28:1—29:40) and concerning vows (30:1-16). In this message we will begin to consider the statutes concerning the offerings.

A. Concerning the Offerings

1. The Offerings by Fire,
God's Satisfying Fragrance—God's Food

Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, "Command the sons of Israel, and say to them, My offering, My food for My offerings by fire, My satisfying fragrance, you shall observe to offer to Me at its appointed time" (28:2). In this verse God speaks of His food. It seems that He is asking His people not to forget His food. He wants them to remember to give Him something to eat. Here God seems to be saying to His people, "I have done a great deal for you. I have prepared food and drink. Now I ask you to take care of My food. My food is the offerings you present to Me. These offerings are My satisfying fragrance." God wanted Moses, before he was gathered to his fathers, to charge the people to take care of God's food, to offer food to Him at the appointed time. Have you ever heard that God wants something to eat? As we are eating our food, we need to remember that God also desires food and that we need to prepare something for Him to eat.

Hebrews 10:5-9 indicates that Christ is the reality of and the replacement for the Old Testament offerings. Verses 8 and 9 say, "Sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You did not desire nor take pleasure in (which are offered according to the law); then He said, Behold, I come to do Your will. He takes away the first that He may establish the second." The will of God here is to take away the first, the animal sacrifices of the old covenant, that the second, the sacrifice of Christ of the new testament, may be established. The new testament offerings are Christ Himself. Today God's desire and pleasure are not in animal sacrifices; God's desire and pleasure are altogether in one person—Christ.

Before we consider further the matter of God's food in Numbers 28, let us consider the sequence of chapters twenty-five through twenty-eight. In chapter twenty-five the children of Israel had a great failure, falling into fornication, a damage to their humanity, and into idolatry, an insult to God's person. As a result of this failure, twenty-four thousand Israelites died by the plague. If we had been there, we might have thought that, due to this pitiful situation, God was finished with His people, upon whom He had been working for so long and for whom He had done so much.

God, however, was not finished with the children of Israel. This is proved by the renumbering in chapter twenty-six. God still had His number, and the total of those numbered in chapter twenty-six was nearly the same as the total in chapter one (26:51; 1:46). At the time of the first numbering, there had not been any trouble or reduction in number through God's punishment. The renumbering took place after much trouble and reduction through judgment. Nevertheless, in spite of all the trials, turmoils, temptations, failures, and reductions, God still had almost the same number for Himself as He had had in the beginning. Regardless of what the enemy had done and regardless of the people's failures, God, by His sovereign grace and acts, still had a number greater than six hundred thousand.

After the renumbering in chapter twenty-six, we have in 27:1-11 the statute of judgment for the women's inheriting of the land. The five daughters of Zelophehad came to Moses with the request that, since there were no male heirs, they be allowed to possess their father's inheritance. Their request, which was actually related to gaining more of Christ, was granted, for they had a high and pure motive—regard for the inheritance (grace) given by God.


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