4. When Israel left Mount Hor, they traveled by way of the Red Sea, skirting Edom—
because the king of Edom refused to let them go through his land. Since the Edomites were also descendants of Abraham, God warned them not to be hostile toward them.
5. a. Following their recent victory over the Canaanites,
the difficult travel left the Israelites impatient and short-tempered. They lacked an understanding of God’s wisdom and timing. (Don’t we all?)
b. When the people complained about the manna and lack of water,
they challenged and spoke against God and Moses.
c. “As a divine response, the Eternal One sent venomous snakes among them and the people were bitten.
A number of Israelites were indeed killed by them.” Numbers 21:6 The Voice
6. a. In verse 7 the people confessed to Moses saying,
We are so sorry! We know that it was wrong to speak against the Eternal and against you. Please talk to Him, and get Him to take these awful snakes away. Numbers 21:7 The Voice
b. The question directs us to read several verses such as—
“…if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9 NLT
John paraphrased Psalm 32:5, an old covenant verse. The chapter is directed toward unsaved, self-righteous men who believed they had no sin. Therefore, they had not accepted the free gift of forgiveness provided by Jesus’ sacrifice. They lived in spiritual darkness. (1 John 1:6)
Mankind is no longer saved by the work of confession or by obeying the law, but by faith in the finished work of Christ—a free gift.
If you are self-righteous, then you won’t see your need for the gift of His righteousness. If you think you are without sin, then you won’t see your need for the gift of His forgiveness. John writes to say, “That’s dumb – stop calling God a liar, agree with Him about your sorry sinful state, and receive His gift of forgiveness. Only those in Christ are truly sinless. Only those who trust in His grace receive the already-given gift of forgiveness.” Escape to Reality
In fact, according to Hebrews 11:1-39, it’s always been about faith in God.
c. Another “how we must follow the old covenant so we aren’t struck-with-a-plague-bitten-by-a-venomous-snake-or-worse type question.”
The law demonstrates our need for a savior. The old covenant was replaced in its entirety by the new and better covenant.
I was forgiven of ALL sin about 2000 years ago when God sacrificed Jesus in my place.
I accepted God’s free gift at age five. Due to wrong teaching, I lived many years thinking God was still mad at me and disappointed in me —every day.
Now I know God loves me. All day. Every day. Not just when my behavior is acceptable. Not just when I remember to confess every single thought or action that falls short. How is that even possible?
When He looks at me, He sees the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Learning who I am in Christ changed everything. The Holy Spirit reminds me I am loved and forgiven—not what a dirty, rotten sinner I am. That latter is the work of the accuser. Revelation 12:10
Photo credit Aaron Burden