Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

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BAC Sermons

Numbers Themes: Getting Egypt out of Israel



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2 14 5 17  90

1:46  all who were numbered were 603550    26:51  These are those who were numbered of the children of Israel: 601730

God’s has a promised purpose and plan to bless us. We miss it and wander in the wilderness when we disbelieve and disobey.

Divinely directed difficulties are the doorway to the blessings of victory when we face them in faithful obedience to God’s will.

We can fulfill our responsibilities, believing that God’s way is best, and win, or we can blame God/others/circumstances for trials and lose.

God requires precise obedience; those who rebel against His authority and provision will suffer irreversible consequences.

God trains those He’ll bless by teaching them the discipline of daily dependence leading to contentment, eventual conquest, and joy.


1. Do it God’s way or the wrong way

(A rightly ordered relationship with God results in rightly ordered relationships with others)

5:6 When a man or woman commits any sin that men commit in unfaithfulness against the LORD, and that person is guilty, 7  when he shall confess the sin which he has committed. He shall make restitution for his trespass in full, plus one-fifth of it, and give it to the one he has wronged. (no profit in sin) 29 This is the law of jealousy, when a wife, while under her husband’s authority, goes astray and defiles herself             


2. God intends to Bless us

6:23 Speak to Aaron and his sons ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them 24 "The LORD bless you and keep you; 25  The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26  The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace."’ 27  "So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them." 2Cor 13:14


3. Daily dependent obedience decreases willfulness

9:17  Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, after that the children of Israel would journey; and in the place where the cloud settled, there the children of Israel would pitch their tents.


4. Carnal cravings result in doubting God’s goodness, and inevitable discipline

11:1 Now the people complained; it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed 2 cried out…Moses prayed. 4  Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: "Who will give us meat to eat?  20 ‘for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the LORD who is among you, and have wept before Him: "Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?" 23 LORD said to Moses, "Has the LORD’S arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not." 33  while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was aroused against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very great plague.  34…yielded to craving Ps 106:15 leanness


5. Fear folly

12:1 Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2  So they said, "Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?" And the LORD heard. 3…most humble…8  I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?" 9 So the anger of the LORD was aroused against them, and He departed. 10 And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper. 11 done foolishly…sinned 13  So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, "Please heal her, O God, I pray!"


6. Focus determines faith or fear

13:33 "There we saw the giants and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight." 14:2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 "Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4  So they said to one another, "Let us select a leader and return to Egypt." 8  "If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9  "Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them." (Isa 41:10) 10 All the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel. 11 Then the LORD said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them  14:20 Then the LORD said: "I have pardoned, according to your word; 21 but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD--22  "because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, 23  "they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it 24  "But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.

14:34  ‘According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, forty years, and you shall know My rejection.


7. Presumption results in punishment

15:30 ‘But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the LORD, and he shall be cut off from among his people. 31  ‘Because he has despised the word of the LORD, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him.’ 15:32  Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 36 as the LORD commanded, stoned him with stones, and he died.


8. A watchful and wise mind corals and corrects a wayward heart so we can be holy and have the relationship with God that He intended

15:39…tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, 40 and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God. 41  "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God."

9. Rejecting authority is a symptom of rejecting the Lord

16:1 Now Korah…2 rose up before Moses with 250 leaders of the congregation, 3…You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?" 4 So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face; 5 "Tomorrow morning the LORD will show who is His and who is holy  30 But if the LORD creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the LORD. 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.  35 And a fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250  men who were offering incense.  16:41 On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying, "You have killed the people of the LORD. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. 49 Now those who died in the plague were 14700 besides those who died in the Korah incident.   

17:5 And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel,


10. Lying perspective

20:1…Kadesh; Miriam died and was buried there. 2  Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. 3 people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: "If only we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 4  "Why have you brought up the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? 5  Why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink."


11. Believe God’s way is best

20:8  "Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock…9  So Moses took the rod from before the LORD as He commanded him. 10  And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, "Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?" 11  Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. 12  Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."

13  This was the water of Meribah, because the children of Israel contended with the LORD, and He was hallowed among them.

27:12 Now the LORD said to Moses: "Go up into this Mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel.13  "And when you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered.


12. Up

21:1 The king of Arad, the Canaanite…fought against Israel and took some of them prisoners. 2  So Israel made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities." 3  And the LORD listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. So the name of that place was called Hormah.


13. Down

21:4  Then they journeyed…and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. 5  And the people spoke against God and against Moses: "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread."  6  So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.  7  the people came to Moses, and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD that He take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent


14. God’s promise to bless cannot be overridden by the schemes of Satan, but only by our carnal stupidity

22:28  Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?"

23:19  "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? 20  Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it. 31:16


15. Zeal pays

25:1…the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. 2  They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. 7  Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, … zeal. 12  ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; 13 because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’" 24k


16. Sacrificial worship keeps true perspective and dependence

28:4  ‘The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, the other lamb you shall offer in the evening, 25  ‘And on the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.


17. Winners


32:12  ‘except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the LORD.’

Losers 23  "But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out.


18. We either completely trust and obey or completely lose because God’s purpose will be completed

33:51 ‘When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52  ‘then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places 55  ‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. 56  ‘Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.’


Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. Is God evil when He orders the Israelites to wipe out the inhabitants of the land so He can give it to them?

2. How can people experience God’s deliverance and provision, yet still rebel against Him by being discontent and disobedient?

3. Why do we tend to blame and grumble against others when the problem is really our own carnal cravings? What’s the solution?

4. Do you think God treated Moses fairly by not allowing him to go into the promised land after all he had been through?

5. What can you do to be sure that you keep a wholehearted spirit and don’t miss out on the blessings and delights God has planned for you?