The book of Leviticus provides the rest of the details of the ceremonial law, including the various sacrifices. The sacrifices symbolize the giving of one’s life to God and serve to highlight fallen mankind’s inability to walk in purity and holiness. The offerings provide a temporary fix or covering until the Seed comes forth.
The ceremonial law also includes the commemorative feast days. Each feast corresponds to the seasonal harvests across the year. The spring feasts include Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost. The fall feasts include Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles. Each prophetically points to Jesus’ work in the life of a believer. The spring feasts were realized at Jesus’ first coming, through the crucifixion and resurrection, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit fifty days later. The fall feasts shall be realized at Jesus’ second coming.
The book of Numbers chronicles the rest of the journey to the border of the Promised Land. It is pretty much business as usual, including several rebellions accompanied by their inevitable consequences. The book takes its name from the census that was taken to determine the number of men of fighting age available for taking the land.
As the Israelites near the Promise Land, God instructs Moses to send spies into the land to scope it out. One person is sent from each of the twelve tribes. Moses gives them the assignment: “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land” (Num. 13).
To make a long story short, the land is indeed prosperous. The spies return with wonderful fruit.
Yet ten of the spies return convinced that they cannot take the land because it is also filled with giants, mighty men, and fortified cities. The hybrid contamination of the human race still lingers generations later.
The ten men have not learned the lesson of the wilderness—God is with them and always provides when we walk in union with Him. The two remaining spies, Joshua and Caleb, rebuke their companions for their lack of faith. “Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.’ ”
We next hear the familiar lament. “So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!’ ” Test failed.
Joshua tries to turn the tide, but when the people decide to stone the leaders, “the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.” God calls out the people for their rebellious unbelief. Moses intercedes on their behalf. He doesn’t point to the people’s sins; he points to God’s faithfulness and His name among the nations. The surrounding nations have watched the Exodus and have seen the miracles. For His name’s sake, God does not rescind His call upon the people. However, the generation of doubters, including the ten unbelieving spies, is not allowed to enter the Promise Land. They all die off first. Except for Joshua and Caleb.
The next book of the saga, Deuteronomy, is Moses’ final sermon to the people. He offers the Reader’s Digest Condensed version of the Exodus, reviewing their history and the Law. In fact, the book’s name means the second law, for it is the second reading of the laws to the people. It concludes with a simple choice.
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deut. 30:19-20).
The Chronos Lesson: The consequence of choosing to follow God the Father is that we experience the blessings of life according to Heaven’s ways. The consequence of choosing to reject God is that we experience the curses of life apart from the Giver of life. It’s the two trees in the Garden all over again—to know life or to know evil.
The choice couldn’t get any clearer. It’s not that God goes around cursing people. It’s that people choose to reject the way of life that God established in order to experience the best life. John 10:10 states this choice in terms of the New Covenant. “The thief [Satan] does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I [Jesus Christ] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. That is, to know life in Christ or to know evil.
It’s worth noting that the 10 spies who came back with a bad report said they saw the giants and “we were grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (Num. 13:33). How on earth did they know the giants saw them like grasshoppers? Did these scouts go up to the giants and task hem what the big guys thought of these spies? No! They didn’t get that report from the giants. They got it from themselves. It’s how they thought about themselves and then presented it as fact.
How do you see yourselves in relation to the “giants” of our own time? How you think determines what you experience (Prov. 23:7). And for the record, Joshua 2:9-11 tells us the whole truth: the giants actually were terrified of the Israelites because they had heart about the power of their God!
When Christ comes again at the last Day to gather His Body at the rapture, we will experience the fullness of that life literally in our bodies. At the Feast of Trumpets, we shall be changed in an instant with glorified, immortal bodies. We shall be seated as the heavenly court to execute God’s vengeance against evil.
Sadly, even in the face of the earth-shacking trumpet and bowl judgments, those who choose to follow evil still do not relent. They refuse to repent. They continue their evil ways. It’s the epitome of lawlessness. It cannot be allowed to continue. Those who would destroy the earth must be destroyed first (Rev. 11:18).