Numbers 21 Ė 24
In chapter 20
At Kadesh Miriam dies
Refused passage through
On to Mount Hor Aaron dies on the mountain
In Chapter 21
King of Arad heard they were
coming on the road to Atharim (unknown)† and took some of
the Jews prisoners but they pray to God and they completely destroy king
Numbers 21:1 The king of Arad, the Canaanite,
who dwelt in the South, heard that Israel was coming on the road to Atharim, then he fought against
Left Mount Hor and traveled the
way of the
From there they make there way to
Numbers 21:21 Then
Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites,
"Let me pass through your land. We will not turn aside into fields or
vineyards; we will not drink water from wells. We will go by the King's Highway
until we have passed through your territory."† 23 But Sihon
would not allow
After they defeat this king they go on to defeat the people of Jazer and the people of Bashen. This gives us a pretty good idea of the general path that the Children of Israel traveled at this time.†
But now we must back track and look at the events that happened in
Numbers 21: 4
Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the
Red Sea, to go around the
Once again we the
The Bronze Serpent
Jesus on the cross
1. Death without it (Num. 21:6)
2. Lifted up on a pole (Num. 21:8)
3. Available to all (Num. 21:8)
4. The ONLY cure
5. A SURE cure (Num. 21:8-9)
6. Required faith
7. Look and live! (Num. 21:8)
8. Must not become an idol (2Kg. 18:4)
1. Death without him (1 John )
2. Lifted up on the cross (John ;-33)
3. Available to all (John )
4. The ONLY savior Acts 4:12
5. A SURE cure
6. Requires faith (Heb. 11:6)
7. Look and live! (Heb. 12:1-2;Isa. 45:22)
8. Must not become an idol (1 Jn. )
1. Those who were bitten by the poisonous vipers could not live until God provided this Bronze Serpent. In a similar manner no one could escape separation of God until he provided us his son.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Without Jesus we would all be lost.
2. The bronze serpent had to be lifted up for the people to live. In similar manner Jesus had to be lifted up on the cross so that we could live.
John †"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
Here Jesus clearly shows us that the bronze serpent is type of Jesus being raised up on the cross. Jesus also says this in,
John "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself."† 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
So, you see Jesus had to be lifted up on the cross and suffer all things he went through to make it possible for us to live.
3. The bronze serpent was available for all those were bitten just a Jesus Christ was raised up for all people.
John "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
4. The bronze serpent was the only thing that would cure the bite of those vipers. In similar manner Jesus is the only savior that can save us from our sins. Peter talking about Jesus says this in,
Acts †"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
5. The bronze serpent was sure cure because God said it was and everything that God has ever said has always been true. The same is true about Jesus. He is the sure cure for our sins. Why? Because God said so and his words are always true.
6. The people had to have faith that God would cure them by following his plan of redemption. Without faith these people would have never even tried to look at the serpent. In similar manner if we are going to be free from our sin we must have faith in God.
Hebrews 11:6 ††But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
7. In order for the person to be healed from the viper bite they had to look at the bronze serpent. In the same way in a spiritual sense we have to look at Jesus.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,† 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
If we want to live we must look at Jesus. Even Isaiah speaks of this in,
Isaiah 45:22 "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
8. The OT teaches us that the bronze serpent should not be used an idol.
2 Kings 18:4 He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.
We learn from this
passage that the children of
1 John Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
From these 8 different things we have looked at you can clearly see that connection between the bronze serpent and Jesus death on the cross.
In chapter 22 we get a
really interesting story about how Balak sends Balaam
to curse the children of
Numbers 22:7 So the
elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with
the diviner's fee in their hand, and they came to
Balaam and spoke to him the words of Balak.† 8 And he said to them, "Lodge
here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the LORD speaks to
me." So the princes of
These men have brought money to pay for witchcraft that is what that word diviner means. No at first Balaam does the right thing he waits to hear from God and sure enough God speaks to him. Now you will notice that God ask the question Who are these men with you? Does this mean that God didnít know who they were. No, he knew who they were he was asking this question in the same manner that he asked Cain where his brother was. This question was used to get Balaam to start thinking about the situation he was putting himself in and since God knows every person heart he knew that Balaam was being tempted by situation.
Numbers 22: 10
So Balaam said to God, "Balak the son of Zippor, king of
God makes it clear, donít
go with them and do†
not curse the children of
Numbers 22:15 Then Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more honorable than they.† 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, "Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: 'Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me;† 17 'for I will certainly honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore please come, curse this people for me.' "† 18 Then Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, "Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more.†
There really putting the pressure on Balaam but again he says the right thing. He basically says that he cannot be bought because he cannot be go beyond the word of the Lord to do less or more. This is the same attitude that every Christian† should have because losing our soul is not worth any of the riches of this earth. Just a Balaam said we do not† need† to go beyond the word of the lord to do less or more. But right after Balaam makes this statement we begin to see his downfall.
"Now therefore, please, you also stay here tonight, that I may know what
more the LORD will say to me."† 20
And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, "If the men come to call
you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you --
that you shall do."† 21
So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of
The reason I say that
Balaam started his downfall here was because he once again wants the Lord to
give him answer in regards to weather he should go with these men or not? God
had already this by telling him not to go and not to curse the children of
Numbers 22: 23 Now the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road.† 24 Then the Angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side.† 25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall; so he struck her again.† 26 Then the Angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.† 27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam's anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.† 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?"† 29 And Balaam said to the donkey, "Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!"† 30 So the donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?" And he said, "No."
As your read this text you really donít get an idea of thoughts that must have been running through Balaamís head. I mean just think if you riding a donkey and it began to speak to you. You can just imaging the shock and awe that Balaam was going through right now having conversation with his donkey.
Numbers 22:31Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face.† 32 And the Angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me.† 33 "The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live."† 34 And Balaam said to the Angel of the LORD, "I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back."
This was a very unique way to teach a man a lesson and Balaam gets the point and admits that he has sinned in going and is ready to turn back. But now God has another plan for him.
Then the Angel of the LORD said to Balaam, "Go with the men, but only the
word that I speak to you, that you shall speak." So Balaam went with the
princes of Balak.†
36 Now when Balak heard that Balaam
was coming, he went out to meet him at the city of
So, now he is to continue on his journey and God is going to use Balaam to teach Balak a† lesson now. Balaam is only going to speak or do what God tells him to.
†39 So Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kirjath Huzoth.† 40 Then Balak offered oxen and sheep, and he sent some to Balaam and to the princes who were with him.† 41 So it was the next day, that Balak took Balaam and brought him up to the high places of Baal, that from there he might observe the extent of the people.
Balak wasnít to concerned with
what Balaam had said and Balak show Balaam the
Numbers 23:11 Then Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and look, you have blessed them bountifully!"† 12 So he answered and said, "Must I not take heed to speak what the LORD has put in my mouth?"
Balak tries to get Balaam to do it again and once again it doest happen this time Balak† says,
Numbers 23: 25 Then Balak said to Balaam, "Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all!"† 26 So Balaam answered and said to Balak, "Did I not tell you, saying, 'All that the LORD speaks, that I must do'?"
Now for a third time Balak tries to get Balaam to curse the children of
Numbers 24:10 Then Balak's anger was aroused against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, "I called you to curse my enemies, and look, you have bountifully blessed them these three times!† 11 "Now therefore, flee to your place. I said I would greatly honor you, but in fact, the LORD has kept you back from honor."† 12 So Balaam said to Balak, "Did I not also speak to your messengers whom you sent to me, saying,† 13 'If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the LORD, to do good or bad of my own will. What the LORD says, that I must speak'?
Finally Balak gives† us and realizes that God is not going
to allow† this curse to happen and Balaam
would not go against the word of God at this†
time. Finally Balaam make one more prophecy and tells Balak how the children of
We lean a great lesson from the story of Balaam and Balak. We learn that no matter how much someone may push or tempt you with money as a child of God you must do your very best not to allow a person or anything of this world to cause you to compromise the perfect will God.