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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Numbers Chapter 33

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: A Record of A New Generation (c 27-36)
Theme: A Second Approach to the Promised Land (c 22-36)
Message: Being Camped at the Plains of Moab  (v 1-56)

Numbers 33 Commentary

(33:1-2) Israel's Travel Route - Moses recorded the Israelites' journeys as God instructed him. This record of their geographic progress would remind them of their spiritual progress as well. Have you made spiritual progress lately? Recording your thoughts about God and lessons you have learned over a period of time can be a valuable aid to spiritual growth. A record of your spiritual pilgrimage will let you check up on your progress and avoid repeating past mistakes.

(33:4) Executed Judgments -  The Lord "executed judgments" against the gods of Egypt by sending the plagues. See Exodus 10:22 for a further explanation.

(33:50-56) Israel is Told to Destroy Canaan - Why were the Israelites told to destroy the people living in Canaan? God had several compelling reasons for giving this command: (1) God was stamping out the wickedness of an extremely sinful group of nations. The Canaanites brought on their own punishment. Idol worship expressed their deepest evil desires. It ultimately led to the worship of Satan and the total rejection of God. (2) God was using Moses and Israel to judge the people of Canaan for their sins in fulfillment of the prophecy in Genesis 9:25. (3) God wanted to remove every trace of pagan belief and practice from the land. He did not want his people to mix with those who opposed him in any way and knew that doing so would only lead to idolatry and compromise with his truth. The Israelites did not fully understand God's reasons, and they did not carry out his command. This eventually led them to compromise and corruption. In all areas of life, we should obey God's Word without question because we know he is just, even if we cannot fully understand his overall purposes.

(33:50-53) Israel is Told to Destroy the Idols - God told Moses that before the Israelites settled in the Promised Land they should drive out the wicked inhabitants and destroy their idols. In Colossians 3, Paul encourages us as Christians to live in the same manner: to throw away our old ways of living and move ahead into our new lives of obedience to God and faith in Jesus Christ. Like the Israelites moving into the Promised Land, we can either destroy the wickedness in our lives or settle down and live with it. To move in and possess the new life, we must drive out the sinful thoughts and practices to make room for the new.

(33:55-56) Israel Fails to Obey - God never goes back on his word, and this is one warning the Israelites should not have taken lightly. God made it perfectly clear: "If ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you. I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them." Yet for some reason the people did not obey. The Israelites did not drive all the wicked nations out, and soon they began to assimilate their evil religious beliefs and practices. After a while, many Israelites didn't appear to be any different from Canaanites. God fulfilled his warning in these verses during the period of the judges and, in a fuller sense, during the time of the kings when he sent the Assyrians (2 Kings 17) and the Babylonians (2 Kings 25) to destroy Israel and carry the people away as captives. The Israelites learned that God's words should be taken seriously.

(33:55) A Lesson to Obey the First Time - If you don't do the job right the first time, it often becomes much more difficult to accomplish. God warned that if the Israelites did not drive the wicked inhabitants out of the Promised Land, later these people would become a source of great trouble. And that is exactly what happened. Just as the Israelites were hesitant to clear out all the wicked people, we are sometimes hesitant to clear out all the sin in our lives, either because we are afraid of it (as the Israelites feared the giants) or because it seems harmless and attractive (such as sexual sin). But Hebrews 12; tells us to "lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us." We all have "idols" we don't want to let go of (a bad habit, an unhealthy relationship, or certain life choices). If we allow these idols to dominate us, they will cause serious problems

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Pass the Test

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue the book of Numbers with Chapter 33 and in today's text we see again the Israelites are instructed to drive out the enemies in the land of Canaan. You think with all they have been through they would have heeded the Word of God. It is almost like a broken record with Israel as they disobey the Lord over and over. Then the Lord has to discipline them again. In making application we see the principle of "taking the test". When we fail to obey the Lord then we have to face the same challenge again and again until we "pass the test" As a parent I do the same with my children. I keep showing them the way as to train them for growth and our Heavenly Father does the same. How about you? Do you see the Lord giving you repeat tests on areas of weakness in our lives? Let us learn this principal we find in today's text and a theme woven through out the Bible and  "pass the test" 


Numbers 33

Numbers 33

 1These are the journeys of the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt with their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron.

 2And Moses wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the commandment of the LORD: and these are their journeys according to their goings out.

 3And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

 4For the Egyptians buried all their firstborn, which the LORD had smitten among them: upon their gods also the LORD executed judgments.

 5And the children of Israel removed from Rameses, and pitched in Succoth.

 6And they departed from Succoth, and pitched in Etham, which is in the edge of the wilderness.

 7And they removed from Etham, and turned again unto Pihahiroth, which is before Baalzephon: and they pitched before Migdol.

 8And they departed from before Pihahiroth, and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, and went three days'journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah.

 9And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there.

 10And they removed from Elim, and encamped by the Red sea.

 11And they removed from the Red sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin.

 12And they took their journey out of the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah.

 13And they departed from Dophkah, and encamped in Alush.

 14And they removed from Alush, and encamped at Rephidim, where was no water for the people to drink.

 15And they departed from Rephidim, and pitched in the wilderness of Sinai.

 16And they removed from the desert of Sinai, and pitched at Kibrothhattaavah.

 17And they departed from Kibrothhattaavah, and encamped at Hazeroth.

 18And they departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah.

 19And they departed from Rithmah, and pitched at Rimmonparez.

 20And they departed from Rimmonparez, and pitched in Libnah.

 21And they removed from Libnah, and pitched at Rissah.

 22And they journeyed from Rissah, and pitched in Kehelathah.

 23And they went from Kehelathah, and pitched in mount Shapher.

 24And they removed from mount Shapher, and encamped in Haradah.

 25And they removed from Haradah, and pitched in Makheloth.

 26And they removed from Makheloth, and encamped at Tahath.

 27And they departed from Tahath, and pitched at Tarah.

 28And they removed from Tarah, and pitched in Mithcah.

 29And they went from Mithcah, and pitched in Hashmonah.

 30And they departed from Hashmonah, and encamped at Moseroth.

 31And they departed from Moseroth, and pitched in Benejaakan.

 32And they removed from Benejaakan, and encamped at Horhagidgad.

 33And they went from Horhagidgad, and pitched in Jotbathah.

 34And they removed from Jotbathah, and encamped at Ebronah.

 35And they departed from Ebronah, and encamped at Eziongaber.

 36And they removed from Eziongaber, and pitched in the wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh.

 37And they removed from Kadesh, and pitched in mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom.

 38And Aaron the priest went up into mount Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first day of the fifth month.

 39And Aaron was an hundred and twenty and three years old when he died in mount Hor.

 40And king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel.

 41And they departed from mount Hor, and pitched in Zalmonah.

 42And they departed from Zalmonah, and pitched in Punon.

 43And they departed from Punon, and pitched in Oboth.

 44And they departed from Oboth, and pitched in Ijeabarim, in the border of Moab.

 45And they departed from Iim, and pitched in Dibongad.

 46And they removed from Dibongad, and encamped in Almondiblathaim.

 47And they removed from Almondiblathaim, and pitched in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.

 48And they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

 49And they pitched by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth even unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab.

 50And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,

 51Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan;

 52Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:

 53And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.

 54And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.

 55But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

 56Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.