Numbers 15 … Consider Him, Forthright in His Fidelity

Forthright: “proceeding in a straight course; direct; straightforward.”

Fidelity: “faithfulness to promises, duties, etc.; loyalty; adherence to fact or detail.”

Numbers 14 ends on a note of hopeless defeat; the people, attempting to conquer the land in their own strength apart from the LORD’s Presence accompanying them into battle, are overcome and beat down with no hope of taking hold of the Promised Land.

In the morning, however, they rose up early and went up to the ridge of the hill country, saying, “Here we are; we have indeed sinned, but we will go up to the place which the Lord has promised.” 41 But Moses said, “Why then are you transgressing the commandment of the Lord, when it will not succeed? 42 Do not go up, or you will be struck down before your enemies, for the Lord is not among you… 44 But they went up heedlessly to the ridge of the hill country; neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses left the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down, and struck them and beat them down as far as Hormah, (Numbers 14:40-45).

Despite their unfaithfulness and failure, despite their rebellion and rejection of His Word, we see Him, high and lifted up, the faithful LORD, Forthright in His promise, perfect in His Fidelity, loyal to His chosen people and adhering to every detail of His covenant.

Consider Him, Forthright in His Fidelity

First and foremost, His Fidelity is not contingent upon anything other than His faithful nature and character. His Fidelity is manifest in faultless harmony with His sovereign will, Forthright in the Greatness of His Lovingkindness.

  • His Fidelity, Forthright in His faithfulness to His covenant promise to Abraham:
    • Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land where you are to live, which I am giving you,’” (15:1-2).
    • The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15 for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. 16 I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. 17 Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you,” (Genesis 13:14-17).
  • His Fidelity, Forthright in His loyalty to bring His people into the land:
    • Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land where I bring you,’” (15:17-18).
    • “Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the Lord,” (Exodus 6:7-8).
  • His Fidelity, Forthright in His adherence to the fact of His redemption provided through atonement:
    • “Then the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and they will be forgiven; for it was an error, and they have brought their offering, an offering by fire to the Lord, and their sin offering before the Lord, for their error,” (15:25).
    • “Now you shall have this as a permanent statute, to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year,” And just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so he did, (Leviticus 16:34).
  • His Fidelity, Forthright in His directives towards obedience through visual reminders:
    • The Lord also spoke to Moses, saying, 38 “Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. 39 It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, 40 so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God. 41 I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord your God,” (15:37-41).
    • “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

How do we respond to Him, Forthright in His Fidelity?

As we spend these many days in the Old Testament, we see His unchanging Fidelity; He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). As we fix our gaze on His Fidelity as seen in the pages of Numbers, we see the same manifestations of Him, Forthright in His Fidelity toward us every day.

  • His Fidelity, Forthright in His faithfulness to His covenant promise:

    • It was His faithfulness alone fulfilling His promise to Abraham. Today, it is His Fidelity, never ours, that keeps us and enables us to stand before Him as blameless.
  • Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen, (Jude 1:24-25).
  • His Fidelity, Forthright in His loyalty to bring His people into the land:
    • His Fidelity will bring us into the land of promise; we do not have to live in fear for our security. When we place our faith in Jesus, He has pledged to return and bring us to Himself.
  • “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also,(John 14:1-3).
  • His Fidelity, Forthright in His adherence to the fact of His redemption provided through atonement:
    • Our atonement is provided through His death on the cross for our sins. He came to save the worst of the worst of sinners, not dependent on any work we can do, but only by His Fidelity in keeping with His provision through the blood of Jesus.
  • Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst, (1 Timothy 1:15 NIV).
  • His Fidelity, Forthright in His directives towards obedience through visual reminders:
    • Think of the visual reminders we use daily: calendars as reminders of scheduled appointments; newspapers keeping us abreast of current affairs; spreadsheets illustrating our budgets; photos of loved ones ushering in fond memories and seasons of prayer.
    • The greatest visual reminder we have, the LORD has provided in His Holy Word, that we would see His grace and holiness, see our need for the transforming work of His Holy Spirit and be moved to submit in obedience. May we commit to a “blue-tassel” way of life, looking intently at His Word, remembering His commands, seeing Him, Forthright in His Fidelity, and carefully walking in faithful obedience.
  •  But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does, (James 1:25).

Let’s Grow Together!

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