Numbers 19 -- 20
The Red Heifer Sacrifice was instituted in the wilderness of Paran at a time when all Israel was under the sentence of death. The Law required that whosoever touches the dead body . . . and purifies not himself, defiles the Tabernacle of the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel (Numbers 19:13).
The people were defiled because of their contact with the 14,700 dead bodies needing burial that died in the plague . . . beside all who died in the rebellion against Moses led by Korah (16:49). The Lord said to Moses: Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which a yoke has never come: And you shall give her to Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her outside the camp, and one shall slay her before his face (19:2-3).
The blood of the red heifer was burned with the carcass, and its ashes were mixed with running water and sprinkled upon the defiled ones in order to restore them to a Holy God. The Hebrew word for "running" also means "living" -- implying not only cleansing from sin, but restoring to life. The water of purification was made from the ashes of just one heifer, which was sufficient for all the people.
Through the red heifer ordinance, God gave a new revelation of the importance of cleansing from defilement -- whether it be through our thoughts, our conversations, the books we read, our associations with unbelievers, or whatever we may do that defiles our minds or bodies. God has said: Be Holy, for I am Holy (I Peter 1:16). God abhors all sin which Adam brought upon mankind because it results in death, separating us from fellowship with Him, and He created us to live forever with Him.
The Red Heifer Sacrifice is symbolic of Christ, who not only offered Himself for our sins through His death on the cross, but said: As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13).
Jesus's death on the cross provides for our spiritual new birth into the family of God. We then become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (II Peter 1:4). The Christian life is nothing short of Christ in you, the Hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). It is the plan of God that Christs own life be reproduced in Christians. Of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30).
Since righteousness and sanctification are a means of overcoming pride, jealousy, greed, and envy, some assume we should pray for humility; but the real need is to let Christ be magnified in our lives. This removes even the thought of boasting about our humility and gives Christ all the glory. God does not give humility or patience or love as separate gifts of His grace. The indwelling Christ is the answer to every need. As we pray for Him to live out His life in us, we will express humility, patience, love, and everything else that reveals His character in us. As the Apostle Paul said: I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).
Through the rock that Moses struck (Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:8-11). Christ, our Rock, who was struck once through His death on the cross, does not need to be struck again (I Cor. 10:4; Rom. 6:10).
19:6 hyssop means a bushy plant used for cleansing; 20:3 chode means argued; 20:12 sanctify Me means hold Me in reverential honor; 20:13 strove means contended; 20:14 travel means hardships; 20:15 vexed means afflicted; dealt harshly.
Government Officials: Rep. John Lewis (GA), Rep. John Shimkus (IL), and Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WJRA-AM, Decatur, AL · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Bonnie Wilhite · Country: Uruguay (3 million) on the southeastern coast of South America · Major language: Spanish · Religious freedom · 60% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; 2% Jewish; .7% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will keep you from speaking evil (Psalms 34:13).
Memory Verse for the Week: