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“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, ‘AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST’ [Psalm 95:11], although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:2–3 NASB)
We all have “pivot points” in life, times when a decision or circumstance dramatically changes our lives, sometimes irreversibly. A pivot toward lifestyle and character in step with the Kingdom of God leads to a fulfilling life, regardless of good times or bad times. A pivot away from the Creator can be “sin that leads to death,” unless we respond to Heaven’s warning “today” and “enter His rest” via the Passover Lamb, Yeshua (Jesus).
Such a huge pivot in the history of our ancestors in faith is recounted in the Torah reading שְׁלַח Shelakh (“send,” Numbers 13–15), when a “bad report” about Israel’s prospects for settling in a land of giant warriors, walls and grapes persuaded many of the generation of the first Passover, Red Sea crossing, etc. to abandon the LORD’s leadership.
Continue reading Numbers 13–15: Overcoming fear in doing the right thing
Rebelliousness, laziness and fear lead us to fight against, avoid and run from what we know — or should know — we should do. This week’s reading, שְׁלַח Shelakh (“send,” Numbers 13–15), takes a deep dive into a pivotal moment where all three killers of Israel’s faith in the LORD and His messengers.
Continue reading Parashat Shelach (שלח): Numbers 13–15
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“And He said, ‘My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.'” (Exodus 33:14 NASB)
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NASB)
We can read about how our forefathers in faith in the LORD kept grumbling and rebelling, even as Heaven was blessing them with freedom, purpose and global mission. “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
In the Torah reading (parashah) שְׁלַח Shelakh (“send,” Numbers 13–15), we read about 12 spies from Israel into the Promised land, and 10 one-star reviews of the LORD’s capability to make it happen.
Continue reading Numbers 13–15: Don’t give God’s rest a one-star review
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The shockwave of Israel’s shrinking back from entering Canaan under the LORD’s protection reverberated for the next 40 years of wandering and throughout time. It’s all about trusting God when the task seems too big and the means so meager.
This faith in God’s apostles — shelakhim, or “sent ones” — is crucial to entering God’s rest. At the helm of that mission recorded in Numbers 13–14 was Yehoshua, whose name and role foreshadowed the greatest of all God will ever send, Yeshua (Jesus) the Mashiakh (Messiah).
- What is an “evil report”?
- Why did the 10 spies give this “evil report”?
- Why did they exaggerate the potential perils of the Promised Land?
- Why do we often presume the LORD’s blessing when we’re doing things that are divergent from His will?
- What is the significance of the 40 days of the spies’ mission?
- What is causing the people to continue to want to go back to Egypt?
- Who wanted to send spies into Canaan, Moshe or the people?
- Who are the spies, and why weren’t they the previously mentioned leaders of the tribes?
- What time of year was this spying?
- How were the people of Canaan similar to manna, the “daily bread” God gave Israel each morning?
- How were the reports of Caleb and Yoshua like “pearls before swine”?
- What kind of spirit did Caleb have, and how was it different from the spirit in the rest of the people?
- Why did Moshe change Yehoshua’s name?
- How was Yehoshua’s role similar to Messiah Yeshua’s?
- What’s the difference between the rebellious of Israel receiving punishment “to the third and fourth generation” and the teaching in Ezekiel that each will die for his own sin?
Reader: Jeff. Teacher: Richard Agee.