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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

February 20, 2021

Daily Reading: Numbers 21-22


Numbers 21:1

And when king Arad the Canaanite, which dwelt in the south, heard tell that Israel came by the way of the spies; then he fought against Israel, and took some of them prisoners.


Have you heard tell of the miracles of God in the Exodus? The phrase heard tell is used only once in Scripture, but it seems to have taken on a life of its own. "I heard tell..." is a phrase most of us have heard, and used, throughout life. In today's two chapters of our Daily Reading, there are two significant miracles that echo throughout the ages. They are the Brazen Serpent that Moses carried through the camp, which when the people just looked upon it they were healed of the deadly bite of the fiery serpent; and Balaam's donkey that talked.


When reading these remember this, they are both prominently referenced in the New Testament. In John 3:14 the Lord referenced the brass serpent being lifted up by Moses as a sign of the lifting up of the Savior on the Cross. In Numbers 21, if a person was bitten by the fiery serpent all they had to do was look upon the brass serpent that was lifted up on a pole to be saved from physical death. Today, if a person that has been bitten by the serpent through sin looks by faith upon Jesus, believing that He was lifted up on the cross as the sacrifice for their sin, they will be saved from spiritual death.


Concerning Balaam, the prophet who served the world for personal gain and taught Balak (King of the Moabites which were an enemy of Israel) to sin, Revelation 2:14 specifically warns against holding the doctrine of Balaam. Imagine, a donkey opening his mouth to speak like a human. This proves the old adage that you have probably heard tell of: "God can hit a mighty lick with a crooked stick!"


The Bible is full of things we have heard tell of. During the wilderness wanderings, generally called the Exodus, many miracles are recorded, yet the people over and over and over again rebelled in both word and deed. May we learn to be faithful from their unfaithfulness. After all, we have heard tell of their unbelief causing them to be prohibited from entering into the promise land, and Hebrews 3:8-12 warns us today not to fall into this same sin of unbelief. May we take heed and learn from their mistakes.


Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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