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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Numbers 33:50-56

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"A CLEAN SWEEP."
I. COMMANDMENTS FOR WHEN THEY CAME INTO THE LAND. GOD TOLD MOSES TO TELL THE PEOPLE: SPEAK UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, AND SAY UNTO THEM, WHEN YE ARE PASSED OVER JORDAN INTO THE LAND OF CANAAN...
A. I love this positive assertion.
1. It is not if you pass over Jordan into the land.
2. It is when you pass over Jordan into the land
3. There is a certainty to the promises of God.
4. This can bring comfort or terror; it all depends on where you are in your relationship with Him.
a. John 3:16.
b. Psa. 9:17: "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all..."
B. These are the things they were to do.
1. They were to drive out all of the inhabitants.
a. This seems very severe, until you understand the practices of the people.
b. These people had no morals, they lived like animals.
c. Their major gods were the pleasure god of Molech, and the goddess of sex, Ashtoreth.
d. Their worship involved all types of orgies.
e. Naturally, there were many unwanted babies born in a culture that was given over to unbridled sexual passions.
f. These babies would be tossed alive into the bonfires that were ignited for the god Molech.
2. They were to destroy all of the pictures.
a. The pictures were pornographic and designed to arouse the sexual passions. Thus, God ordered them destroyed.
b. When the archeologists were uncovering the ruins of Pompeii, it was necessary to cover the art on the walls of the common homes to keep the workers from being totally debased.
3. Destroy all of the molten images.
a. These too were made to be sexually arousing.
b. If you have ever seen pictures of Ashtarte, or Aphrodite, you know what I mean.
c. When the archeologists were excavating the city of David that was destroyed by Babylon, in the homes they discovered hundreds of these little pornographic idols. They were a mute confirmation to the book of Jeremiah who continually warned them to turn from their idolatry.
4. Completely destroy their high places. These were their places of worship.
a. They would build their temples at the tops of the hills, or at the prominent end of the city.
b. A tell usually looks like a mesa with one end higher than the other.
c. The reason why the one end is higher, that is where the temple to their god was built.
5. You shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land.
C. Some question how God, who is love, could command such an utter destruction of nations and people.
1. Often you will find people using these commands as an argument against God and the Bible.
2. It was God's love for his children that prompted such rash actions.
3. No culture or sub-culture could survive very long living as they lived. It was only a matter of time until they would have destroyed themselves.
4. Living in a society where sex is considered as only a sport to be engaged in for pleasure. Where the taboos have been removed. Where you go out into the streets or bars at night just for the purpose of finding someone to spend the night with, is to live in a society that is on a free fall to destruction.
5. Think it through. God created this powerfully strong sex drive in us. What was His purpose?
a. To cause us to be attracted to someone of the opposite sex.
b. To cause us to desire them so much that we are willing to leave our fathers and mothers that we might be united as one with them.
c. That through our love for each other we might provide a loving, supportive atmosphere for the raising of our children than shall be created by our union.
d. God is interested in the perpetuating of the human race. He told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply.
6. What happens when people begin to have sex, just for sex' sake?
a. There is no real commitment to each other.
b. No interest in creating a loving home environment.
c. If you are having sex for the sake of a thrill, you might as well have sex with another man if you are a man, if that is what gives you the excitement you seek.
d. However you can never prove that that is normal, until you can produce a baby by that relationship.
7. The people that God was calling to dispossess were just in that condition. They were in the final stages of destroying themselves.
8. Often when a nation sinks that low, God intervenes and hastens the destruction of that nation. A quick death is more merciful than a slow, tortuous death.
D. What we need to realize is that God is setting forth principles here. They are in the context, national principles, but they also apply on an individual level.
1. Pornography is a destructive element in a nation, but also in an individual life.
2. It creates heightened sexual arousal. You begin to fantasize, then you seek to actualize your fantasy.
3. The problem is that reality can never measure up to fantasy.
4. Thus, reality is always in the end disappointing.
5. At the end of a big meal, when you have eaten a few more mouth's full than you knew you should, have you ever said, "I'm so full, I'll never eat again as long as I live."
a. Did you get to eat again?
b. Jesus made a remarkable statement to the Samaritan woman at the well, He said, "Drink of this water and you will thirst again."
c. Put that over your dream today, over every ambition, over every goal.
6. When fantasies are realized, they are often so disappointing that you have a complete reversal of emotions, you go from lusting to hating. The story of Amnon the son of David:
2SA 13:1 And it came to pass that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, named Tamar; and Amnon the son of David desired her.
2SA 13:2 And Amnon was consumed with lust for his sister Tamar; for she [was] a virgin; and Amnon thought it impossible for him to have her.
2SA 13:3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name [was] Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab [was] a very crafty man.
2SA 13:4 And he said unto him, Tell me, why are you the king's son, so mournful day after day? And Amnon said unto him, I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.
2SA 13:5 And Jonadab said unto him, Go to bed and pretend to be sick, and when your father comes to see you ask him if your sister Tamar might come to your bedside and fix you some food in your sight and feed it to you. So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be sick: and when the king came to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.
2SA 13:7 Then David sent for Tamar, to come saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon's house, and fix him some food.
2SA 13:8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was lying down. And she took flour, and kneaded [it], and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes.
2SA 13:9 And she took a pan, and poured [them] out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon ordered all of the men out of the room. And they all left.
2SA 13:10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the food into the chamber, and feed it to me. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought [them] into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
2SA 13:11 And when she had brought [them] unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.
2SA 13:12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing should be done in Israel: don't do this folly.
2SA 13:13 What about me, how could I get rid of my disgrace? and what about you, you will be like a fool in Israel. Speak to the King, he will surely let you marry me. However he would not listen to her pleas and being stronger, he raped her.
2SA 13:15 Then Amnon hated her intensely the hatred that he had toward her was greater than the love that he once had for her and he ordered her to leave.
II. GOD'S WARNING: BUT 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. MOREOVER IT SHALL COME TO PASS, [THAT] I SHALL DO UNTO YOU, AS I THOUGHT TO DO UNTO THEM.
A. Sin is destructive. Everything that destroys, God classified as sin.
1. Everything that is beneficial to you and others, God encourages.
2. It is only the destructive things that God has forbidden.
B. Ultimately sin will blind you (Pricks in your eyes).
C. It will bring pain (Thorns in your side).
D. It will torment you (Vex you).
E. It will destroy you (I will do to you as I have planned to do to them).
F. What is the sad testimony of history?
1. They did not do what God said for them to do.
2. God did for them what He said He would do. They were cast out of the land.
G. The Greeks had a saying, "The dice of the gods are loaded." If you try to go against God, you cannot possibly win, but will ultimately be destroyed.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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