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Dr. Fred | Georgia
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Numbers 15 – Sabbath Breaker Stoned
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2018
Posted by: Study-Grow-Know Ministries | more..
850+ views | 100+ clicks
Reading through the book of Numbers, it is difficult to come away and not realize just how much God demanded of the Israelites. The list of responsibilities, both ceremonial and religious, were astounding. Again, we need to be clear that these requirements were not issued in order for Israelites to “work” for salvation. Salvation in the Bible has always been granted based on one thing and one thing only: faith. Salvation in the Bible has never been something that a person could earn or work toward.

The reasons all of these things were given to Israel were threefold. First, it was representative of the fact that sin is thoroughly sinful. It is anathema to God. It breaks our fellowship and it destroys life. There is no other way to understand sin and those who attempt to whitewash it clearly fail to realize the full ramifications of sin’s effect on all of God’s Creation. God hates it.

Second, the many requirements given to Israel were to point out that it was literally impossible to maintain fellowship with God because eventually something would occur in the life of the believer that would preempt that fellowship. Third, all of the regulations, requirements, and laws were given to Israel to point to the One who would eventually come and fulfill all of it and He would do so on our behalf. This speaks of God’s tremendous love for those whom He created in His image.

God differentiates between willful sinning and sinning that is done by accident, often without fully understanding what was done. In the case of either, depending upon the nature of the sin, forgiveness and reinstatement to fellowship with God could be achieved, in most cases. However, there were some sins that required the death penalty. We read about one such situation in Numbers 15:32-36.

32 While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. 34 They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. 35 And the LORD said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the LORD commanded Moses. (ESV)

Previously, the Israelites had been warned that the Sabbath was to be kept holy. It would be a time when all Israel would simply rest, as God had rested on the seventh day following His creative efforts. Honoring the Sabbath would be for Israel a time to simply rest, reflect, enjoy family, and take a day off from work. It would be a time of renewal for people.

The Sabbath was also extended to the Land in that every seven years, the Land was to lie fallow (unused) for one year. This would give the Land an opportunity to replenish itself. Constant use of Land agriculturally without a break would eventually ruin the soil, as it would have no time to regain its nutritive value. It would become good for nothing. Unfortunately, we learn that Israel ignored this for 70 years. This is why God brought in a foreign invader (Babylon), captured or destroyed the people and took them from the Land. During those 70 years, the Land had a chance to replenish itself. However, as we learn in Daniel 9, even after the 70 years were over, God would require 70 x 7 years or 490 years in total because of their disobedience, wherein the nation of Israel would be controlled by foreign Gentile powers until the times of the Gentiles had been fulfilled.

Regarding the Sabbath day of the week, it would begin on Friday evening and extend to Saturday evening. This was to be a statute for Israel into perpetuity. Please note that this was given to the nation of Israel. It was not given to the Church, which is why in the New Testament, the “Lord’s Day” was often celebrated on Sunday, the first day of the week, and the very day that Jesus rose from the dead.

When I hear Christians today speak of observing the “Sabbath,” I cringe, because they are talking about worshiping on Saturday as the Israelites did. The Church is not Israel. The Church has not...

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