Tony Robinson helped me to see something in this week’s portion. In his commentary he begins by pointing out that Numbers 20-22 begin to speak about the next generation or their journey to the Promised Land. He continues by pointing out that the children of Yisrael were there at the banks of the Jordan.
And the children of Yisra’ĕl set out and camped in the desert plains of Mo’aḇ beyond the Yardĕn of Yeriḥo. Numbers 22:1
This was also the place where Moshe delivered the book of Debarim or Deuteronomy so Tony goes on to point out that this was in the fortieth year of wandering but that just in last week’s portion we studied that the folks in that chapter were the first generation and it had been a couple of years into the journey. So what happened to the thirty eight years? Why weren’t those years recorded? Are the questions Tony asks? Tony continues by presenting that it was the sin of the spies that possibly caused the Creator not to record what took place. Scripture doesn’t go into much detail but it gives us an idea as to what happened in those years.
‘According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days – a day for a year, a day for a year – you are to bear your crookednesses forty years, and you shall know My breaking off. ‘I am יהוה, I have spoken, I shall do this to all this evil congregation who are meeting against Me: In this wilderness they are consumed, and there they die.’ ” Numbers 14:34-35
When Tony mentioned that it might have been the sin of the spies because of the false report, it brought back some Brad Scott material. Before I go there I would like to plant something for you to think about. The Sages say the first half of the book of Numbers is about the tribulations and trials of the Exodus generation or the generation that left Egypt. While the second half of the book of Numbers is about the next generation and the warfare leading up to the Promised Land. We have all been taught lots of great information about the generation that left Egypt as well as the ‘next generation’, the generation that enters the Promised Land.
I was listening to a person share from their heart a few nights back about a situation and the question that was put forth, and I might add was a great one; was what can you and me as individuals learn from this situation? So that is the question that I would like you to keep fresh in your mind as we continue because it seems there are several parallels in this comparison between the two generations but mostly seem to be rooted in disobedience and obedience. Now back to Brad Scott.
It was said once the thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history. I don’t want to go back and repeat the rebellion of our Forefathers when it is written and right in front of us in black and white to learn from. The problem though is that we are human and we tend to learn from experience and it’s usually those negative experiences that teach us the most. A very sobering Scripture that started several months back to just pop into my head daily is in Ezekiel.
“And I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. “And I shall bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and shall enter into judgment with you face to face there. “As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Mitsrayim, so I shall enter into judgment with you,” declares the Master יהוה. “And I shall make you pass under the rod, and shall bring you into the bond of the covenant, and purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me. From the land where they sojourn I bring them out, but they shall not come into the land of Yisra’ĕl. And you shall know that I am יהוה. Ezekiel 20:34-38
Folks I believe we are near term where the price tag for disobedience or maybe better stated rebellion is going to be a pretty big one. So I guess asking another question wouldn’t hurt too much. If we were brought into the wilderness of the peoples that is talked about in Ezekiel today what would happen? Would we find ourselves with Korach, the generation who not only saw but experienced firsthand signs and wonders that only the Creator of the Universe could pull off, plagues, provision, salvation, grace, mercy, etc. or with Yehoshuah and Caleb, the next generation that had a different spirit. We all would say with Yehoshuah and Caleb but really let’s be honest today. Would we murmur against the Creator if we or our children had to miss a few meals? Would we murmur against the Creator if things weren’t happening in a timely manner? Would we murmur against the Creator when our ‘stuff’ is taken away or we have to give it up? The list could go on and on but how many of us have experienced being beaten for what we believe. We call it persecution when we get a flat tire on the way to ‘church’ or when we get toothpaste on our ties before service. I’m serious guys this is about the closest thing to persecution that western believers have experienced.
How many of us have experienced having hot water poured down our throats because we were sharing the Good News or our tongues cut out in order to keep us from sharing the good news? I’ve heard those stories personally from our brothers and sisters in Vietnam. I met some of them personally. So again what would happen if we were brought into what Ezekiel speaks of? The things that you and I think that we suffer or go through don’t even come close to what these brothers and sisters have gone through. What stuck a dagger in my heart in hearing these precious testimonies was the joy that these believers had that they were counted worthy to suffer for the Creator’s sake. This type of attitude sounds like a Yehoshuah and Caleb spirit. Who is ready to sign up for this type of witness? Volunteers anyone? Anyone??? In these situations as mentioned above, what is inside of us gets revealed. One example of what I’m referring to can be seen very clearly in the ten spies. Sure they brought back a false report but there is something that clues us in as to what was really going on. I would like to focus on one spy in particular.
From the tribe of Ashĕr: Shĕthur, son of Miḵa’ĕl. Numbers 13:13
This is what was brought back to memory from a Brad Scott teaching. The Hebrew root word for Shethur is satar, Samech, Tav, and a Resh. I’m sure most of us have probably skipped over the genealogy of the spies but right there in the genealogy we find the issue. This Hebrew word satar means hidden or concealed. When the report came back what was in the ten spies hearts was revealed. In other words that which was hidden or concealed was brought to light. Something else interesting about this word satar is that the gematria of it equals 666. Even giving us a clearer picture of how the enemy operates from within.
“See, You have driven me from the face of the ground today, and I am hidden from Your face. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and it shall be that anyone who finds me kills me.” Gen 4:14
One more interesting tid bit is we can find this root word STR (Samech, Tav, Resh) in some interesting places. One place is Barry Sotero aka Barack Hussein Obama. We don’t have to say much about this cat because I think it is very clear that the hope and change was hot air and what was really all along there hidden inside has been revealed in this man over the past few years. What about the word reSToRation. In the heart of the word we see the word Tora but as well right there with Torah is the Samech, Tav, and Resh, satar. Guys what is hidden in you and I is revealed in moments of emotion, frustration and moments where we have to choose between good and evil. The time of the revealing or manifesting of the sons of Yah is nigh as just as the sons are being revealed well the enemy will be revealing his sons as well. The picture is in the wheat and tares; both look the same starting out and grow up together but you begin to tell the difference when they begin to produce their fruit. So what fruit are we putting forth today? That which is hidden will be revealed and I don’t want to wait and have Ezekiel come crashing down on me and I be one of those rebels that gets purged in the wilderness of the peoples. This is the battle that we as believers struggle or battle against. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
My point is we can choose obedience which leads to life or disobedience which leads to death. We can allow history to repeat itself or we can be a Yehoshuah and Caleb and say I see those giants but the Father has given this to us and his Word doesn’t return void. I know their natural eyes saw the giants and I’m sure fear was an emotion that they felt but they walked by faith and not by sight. These guys redeemed a generational failure because of their faith and obedience.
The generation who came out of Egypt saw great things as well but because they weren’t willing to deal with the hidden things it turned out to be their demise. So when the Father allows that which is hidden to be brought to light, let’s not run away from it. It is so much easier to deal with the hidden now than to wait til the very end when we all may be placed in some real hairy and sticky situations. I always asked pre trib rapture folks. If we aren’t living for Yah now when it is easy; what makes us think that we will live for Him when the pressure is applied? It’s just a question to ponder. Folks I believe we are in training and when the Father allows what is hidden or concealed inside of us to manifest; we have a choice to make. Try to hide or conceal it more or allow the Father to do spiritual surgery and cut that hidden stuff out. He wins whichever route we take.
“For whatever is hidden shall be revealed, and whatever has been kept secret, shall come to light. Mark 4:22