AT THE LORD’S COMMAND…For the past several weeks, the Almighty has gathered together a heavenly picture collage of lessons for His chosen people. Perfectly scheduled and executed for the benefit of all mankind, they are out-of-this-world lessons that only He could have divinely appointed! And He began these lessons very simply with these awesome words, “At the LORD’s command…”
God’s first day of His appointed 5th month began on our 2019 Gregorian calendar on the evening of August 1, with the recording of the death of Aaron, one of the leaders during the Exodus of the Israelites. “At the LORD’s command Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor, where he died on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. Aaron was a hundred and twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor.” Numbers 33:38-39
While this verse serves to pinpoint God’s timeline and display His omniscience, we find the setting for this lesson in the first two verses at the beginning of the chapter. “Here are the stages in the journey of the Israelites when they came out of Egypt by divisions under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. At the Lord’s command Moses recorded the stages in their journey. This is their journey by stages.” Numbers 33:1-2
From the very beginning, at the Lord's command, the journey of God's chosen people has been recorded. And it is recorded in stages, more closely interpreted from the Hebrew word "motsa" (mo-tsaw') as "goings out". And we can certainly attest to the fact that they Israelites had plenty of those in their 40 years of wandering!
And why should all this be important to us today? 1 Corinthians 10:1-6 summarizes the Israelite journey, ending with an important lesson many of us have yet to learn. “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things occurred as examples and were written down as warnings for us....”
Today, as we continue our journey in life as God's chosen people, our "goings out" are still being recorded. And like the Israelites, we are still wandering, and making plenty of mistakes along the way. And, just like He did for our ancient ancestors, Jesus, the Manifestation of God, is still parting the waters, enabling 21st century mankind to escape our avenging enemy. Our "goings out" along our journey are providing the opportunity of choosing the way appointed by God Almighty. Link to this lesson: https://www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/2367967809950061
Our second lesson led us to identify with Israel during their time of national lamentations on the 9th day of the fifth month of Av, beginning at sunset, August 9. We learned that this day in history was chosen by God to bring memorable judgment against a nation who entered into covenant with the Almighty, and then decided to do things their own way. A 21 day period of national mourning in Israel known as “Three Weeks of Sorrow”, from Tammuz 17 to Av 9, mourns tragedies that happened because of their idolatry including the fall of Jerusalem twice on the 9th of Av. Over thousands of years, at least 12 disastrous events occurred on the very same date. The odds of that actually happening is 1 chance in 15,318,685,820,000,000,000,000,000,000! (15 Octillion, 318 septillion, 685 sextillion, 820 quintillion)
The Almighty's timing is so perfect, just recently on August 11, Av 9 on the Jewish calendar, researchers digging at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s ongoing archaeological excavation on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, announced clear evidence of the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem. What are the odds that clear evidence of the 9th day of Av destruction of Jerusalem 587/586 BC would be announced on the 9th day of Av 2019?!!? https://www.facebook.com/394745103939018/posts/2404398322973676/
Even over recent years we can observe the precise timing of Israel's vulnerable position in the world during the 3 Three Weeks of Sorrow. In 2014 during this exact time, Israel defended itself against almost 2000 rockets launched from Gaza, capable of reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The United States has already attached itself to this three week time of mourning with our appointment of Independence Day on July 4, 1776,which was the 17th of Tammuz, the infamous date which triggered the beginning of the Three Weeks of Sorrow. Over the years, the date will repeatedly fall on the 4th of July, as it did recently in 2015. Reflecting back on US events during this same time period, CNN reported that fears that al Qaeda could attack, closed 22 U.S. embassies and consulates in 2013.
We closed this lesson with the Words of Jesus in Mark 1:15. "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" Link to this 2nd lesson: https://www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/2385511844862324/
Last week’s lesson on the 10th day of God's fifth month, which began on the evening of August 10 on our Gregorian calendar, revealed that, contrary to popular Christian thought, God does not listen to all prayer petitions.
. “… On the tenth day of the fifth month of the seventh year… ‘This is what the Lord God says: Have you come to ask me what you should do? I, the Lord God, tell you that, as surely as I live, I will not listen to you.’ ” Ezekiel 20:1-3.
God has plenty more to say in Ezekiel 20:30-31. “...You people have made yourselves filthy by doing the things your ancestors did. You have acted like a prostitute…Do you really think that I should let you come to me and ask me for advice? I am the Lord God. By my life, I swear that I will not answer your questions or give you advice.”
So, God expresses Himself very plainly here. Listening to God means He will listen to you. Not listening to God can cause Him to not listen to you.
We should all pay attention to the fact that He says He will not listen, not that He doesn’t hear. “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2.
Yes, we certainly have a lot to learn when it comes to our relationship with the Almighty. Consider Psalm 66:18: “If I had known of any sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened to me.” John 9:31: “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.” In Mark 11:25, Jesus Himself says, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive your transgressions.” And 1 Peter 3:7 definitely surprises many with its warning that lack of respect for a wife by her husband will hinder his prayers. Link to the 3rd lesson: www.facebook.com/fontanacommunitychurch/posts/2392466637500178
While we're pondering these lessons from the Almighty, here’s a 2015 news headline for you to consider. “As the sun sets over the Mediterranean Sea, Muslims across Northern Africa are converting to faith in Jesus Christ in record numbers. What God is doing in North Africa, all the way from actually Mauritanian to Libya, is unprecedented in the history of missions.”
This statement was followed by a question sure to provoke today's Christian community. "How come Jesus is visiting the Muslim world at this time and age and we don't hear that happening in the traditional Christian community?"
Maybe we have more lessons to learn than we think, and more appointed "goings out" than we could ever imagine!
“At the LORDS command…”