(Numbers 12-13, Psalm 49; Optional Romans 15:20-33, Proverbs 22:1-5)
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NUMBERS 12-13 – I call Num 11 “Discontent with God’s PROVISION,” Num 12 “Discontent with God’s PERSON,” and Num 13-14 “Discontent with God’s PLAN”.
Num 12:1 – There MIGHT be a racial component. Cushites were known for darker skin, and compare the punishment on Miriam in v 10. Some think this was God saying, “You like lighter skin?…”
Num 12:2 – What’s CLEAR is that the MAIN problem was Moses’ leadership / unique calling. There’s lots of pride here, with an attempt to SOUND spiritual.
Helpful summary from ESV Gospel Transformation Bible: [“The New Testament both upholds Moses’ distinctive place within the old covenant and attests to the superiority of Christ’s within the new covenant (Heb. 3:2–6).
No other prophet of earthly origin had been as intimate with God as Moses. But the Son, who came from the Father’s side as our ultimate Prophet, has most fully made him known (Luke 7:16; John 1:17–18; Acts 3:22). We therefore look happily to Christ alone for grace and truth.”]
Num 13:1-3 – Moses sends out 12 spies into the Promised Land, one leader from each tribe.
Num 13:25-29 – The MAJORITY REPORT (10 of 12 spies) said that yes the land was pretty great, BUT… the focus was on what made them FEARFUL.
Num 13:30 – Caleb (one of only two faithful spies – see Num 14:6-10) senses the fear being stirred up, and encourages the people to take God at His Word and immediately go into the Promised Land.
Num 13:33 – The fearful spies reported THEIR perspective and the perspective of the ENEMY, but left out GOD’S perspective!
PSALM 49 – No matter your background, ethnicity, or wealth ALL DIE and we must be ready for that. In times of trouble when the wicked SEEM to be winning (see Ps 49:5-6) we should remember the END of the story (see Rev 21-22 for more details)! Compare Ps 90:12 – “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”
Optional Rom 15:20-33 – Paul’s focus on FRONTIER missions (v 20-24), appeal for missions giving (v 24-29) including rationale for Gentiles giving for Jewish ministry (compare Rom 15:27 to Rom 11:11-24). And then gives specific missions prayer requests in Rom 15:30-33.
Optional Proverbs 22:1-5 – Prov 22:3 – balance with v 13. Seeing real danger and taking precautions is prudent, but it can get ridiculous and turn into excuses for laziness.