Numbers 33 … Consider His Vantage Point

Vantage Point: “a position or place that affords a wide or advantageous perspective; viewpoint.”

It’s been forty years since the LORD brought His people out of Egypt, Then Aaron the priest went up to Mount Hor at the command of the Lord, and died there in the fortieth year after the sons of Israel had come from the land of Egypt” [33:38]; and now, finally, they are on the verge of entering the Promised Land.

But before they enter, the LORD commands Moses to record the route of their forty-year wanderings, provides clear instructions for their present situation and blunt warnings for their future. In His sovereignty and kindness, the LORD provides what His children need, His Vantage Point to assist them for all their days to come.

Consider His Vantage Point

  • His Vantage Point into the Past: A recording of the forty-year journey would remind His children of the LORD’s miraculous provisions, the times they had failed and rebelled, and most astounding of all, His unfathomable holiness and faithfulness.
    • Moses recorded their starting places according to their journeys by the command of the Lord, and these are their journeys according to their starting places, (33:2).
  • His Vantage Point into the Present: Finally they have arrived, and the LORD explicitly establishes His unalterable expectations. Allow nothing to remain that distracts from true worship and surrender to their LORD, God.
    • They camped by the Jordan, from Beth-jeshimoth as far as Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab. 50 Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho, saying, 51 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places; 53 and you shall take possession of the land and live in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it, (33:49-53).
  • His Vantage Point into the Future: There would be no wondering about the consequences of failing to follow through with the LORD’s commands. In His mercy, He paints a vivid picture of the snare and repercussions awaiting those who share their allegiance with another.
    • “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live. 56 And as I plan to do to them, so I will do to you,” (33:55-56).

How do we respond to His Vantage Point?

When we place our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, we receive His Holy Spirit; He freely imparts His Vantage Point that we would have wisdom, understanding and power to live victorious in this life.

Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, (1 Corinthians 2: 9-12).

  • As we consider His Vantage Point into the past and intentionally remind ourselves of His faithfulness, in spite of our failures, let our lives be consumed with ceaseless gratitude.
    • Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
      Make known His deeds among the peoples.
      Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
      Speak of all His wonders.
      Glory in His holy name;
      Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.
      Seek the Lord and His strength;
      Seek His face continually.
      Remember His wonders which He has done,
      His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth,
      (Psalm 105:1-5).
  • As we consider His Vantage Point into the present and trust His Holy Spirit and His Word to instruct and empower us, let us respond in obedience.
    • Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy,” (1 Peter 1:13-16).
  • As we consider His Vantage Point into the future, may we commit to put away anything leading us away from walking in His Light. Sadly we know there will be times of failing; let us be quick to repent and confess our sins to receive His forgiveness and cleansing to continue on in His plans for our future.
    • …but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:7-9).
    • “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Let’s Grow Together!

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