THE KING’S BUSINESS
V. T h e D eath of A aron (20:23-29). 1. The Divine Appointment. (1) The time. He who announced Aaron’s death fixes but does not declare each man’s (Ps. 116:15). Therefore, like Aaron’s, it should be met fearlessly, submissively, hopefully. (2) The place. Mount Hor. A solitary, isolated mount, on the borders, not within them, of Canaan ; . a royal mausoleum, grander than Pharaoh’s pyramid. (3) Thé successor. Eleazâr was invested with the priesthood while his father lived, which was typical of “the continual priesthood” (Heb. 7:23, 24). There was no break. We may be without Aaron, never without a Priest. 2. The Event. The three men went up “in the sight” of the people, all knowing that but two would return. It was a strange and touching scene : the disrobing ijf the father; the investiture of the son; the parting of the glorious brotherhood. Aaron’s had .been an eventful life. He had sinned greatly in making the golden calf; in disputing the authority of Moses ; and at the rock in Kadesh. No man is perfect. Yet we have a High Priest, “holy, harm less, undefiled, and separate from sinners.” Aaron was but a type, and needed to be cleansed himself (Heb. 9:7). He was for bidden entrance into the land,—a chastise ment; an example; and a type of the fact that the Aaronic priesthood cannot give rest (Heb, 7:11). So Aaron “was gather ed unto his people,” a phrase signifying continuous existence ; hence he shall be gathered with his people and "see the land that is fiir off,1 and the Bing in Hjiis beauty.”
way, Heb. 3-4; Moses’ way, Heb. 4:16). Prayer taps the “flinty rock,” for it touches the tender heart of the Lord. III. T h e S in of M oses and A aron (20 : 7-13). 1. The Sinful Words. (1) “Ye rebels.” —Not so the Lord; why then Moses? Ministers are not sent to scold, with “rail ing accusations” (Jude 9; Num. 20:24; Rom. 2:1). “Must we fetch water?”— God’s servants should exalt Him, not them selves (Deut. 32:51). 2. The Sinful Act. He “smote the rock twice.”—He was told to “speak,’’ riot “smite.” Once it was “smite” (Exod. 17 : 6 ). Christ was smitten “once for all” (1 Cor. 10:4; Heb. 9:26, 28; 1 Peter 3:18). Now, it is “ask' and receive.” ..We must keep to the letter of our instructions. It has bearings we cannot see. God gave the blessing, for all the blunder (Heb. 4:15). He knew the bottom honesty of Moses’ heart, and mercy is not measured by the perfection of God’s ministers, IV. T h e C hurlishn ess of E dom (20:14- 22 ). The direct route lay through Edom (see map). Edom (Esau) was Jacob’s “.broth er.” . There is' a brotherhood of nations. Though Israel promised to do no damage and to pay for accommodations, Edom re fused passage through its territory, and came out to ' resist it. Christian nations talk of the brotherhood of humanity, but are, like Edom, jealous, suspicious, churl ish to each other and bristle with iron clad opposition.. It is a great obstacle to the progress of the kingdom.
LESSON V.—November 2.— B a l a k a n d B a l a a m . —Num. 22:1—23:10. G olden T ext . — A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. —James 1:8. I. A gain on th e W ay to C anaan (N um . 21 ). (1) Where wilful disobedience meets de feat, dependence on God gives victory. (2) Repulse threw them on the Lord; consequent victory taught that success is due to Him. 1. A Vow and d Victory (vs. 1-3). Where defeated 38 years before (Num. 13) Israel now won a victory; not until, attacked and repulsed, they vowed utterly to destroy the conquered cities. (3) The vow was to obedience (Deut. 12:2). God, after long delay (Gen. 15:16),
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