Leadership Empowerment School of Ministry
Empowering Those who Empower Others with a Knowledge of God and His Ways
Introduction: The Pentateuch
1. The word "Pentateuch" means "Five Books."
It is the name given to the first five books of the Old Testament. These books (called "TORAH" by the Jews) were given by God and written down primarily by Moses. Their purpose was to give the background for God's redemptive work among mankind, as well as show how God worked to establish Israel as His covenant people.
2. These books are also important for you as a Christian.
They foreshadow God's work in sending Jesus, the Messiah, and provide great insight into God's will, God's ways, and God's nature.
3. In this course, you will study each of the 5 books of Moses.
You will try to gain an understanding of these books and see how they apply today.
4. Aids to Application
The questions listed here will help you discover applications for your life as you ponder these books.
A. Truths to believe
1. What are the basic truths in this portion of Scripture?
2. What does this passage teach about God, yourself, the world,…?
B. Prayers to voice
*What are some items for personal prayer in regard to these truths?
C. Areas of your life
*How do these truths apply to your situation at work, in your neighborhood, in your nation, in your church, in your home, in your personal life?
D. Life changes
1. In view of these truths, what specific changes should you make in your life?
2. Attitudes to acquire, delete or change?
3. Actions to avoid, follow, modify?
4. Sins to confess (1 John 1:9) and forsake?
5. Examples to follow, to avoid?
6. Commands to obey and promises to claim?
E. Verses to memorize
*What verse would you like to memorize which best summarizes the truths of this passage?
Not all of the above suggestions will apply to every passage, nor are they meant to be followed in a strict way. These are tools you can use to apply God's message to your life!
1. Four Beginnings
A. Creation: Beginning of the world (1-2)
B. The Fall: Beginning of sin (3-5)
Read Gen 3:1-19. What do you learn about sin from this passage?
C. The Flood: A new Beginning (6-9)
D. The Tower of Babel: Beginning of nations (10-11)
2. Four Leaders -- Patriarchs
A. Abraham (12-23)
B. Isaac (24-26)
C. Jacob – Israel (27-36)
D. Joseph (37-50)
1. Salvation from Egypt
A. Preparation and calling of Moses (1-4)
Read Exodus 3:1 – 4:14. Write down what you learn about God's calling.
B. "Let my people go!" (5-15)
2. In the Wilderness
A. God providing (15-18)
B. Mt Sinai – giving of the law (19-40)
1. How to worship God
A. Five sacrifices (1-7)
B. Concerning the priests (8-10)
2. Walking before God in Holiness
A. Clean and unclean (11-15)
B. Day of atonement (16)
C. Various laws concerning how to live (17-27)
Read Lev 22:17-25. What do you learn about God and worshipping Him from this passage?
1. Organizing the Nation
A. Arranging the people in the camp (1-4)
B. Purity (5)
C. The Nazirite (6)
D. The tabernacle (7-9)
E. Leaving Sinai (10)
Read Numbers 11:1-9; 18-20. What do you learn about our relationship with God from this passage?
A. The people complaining (11-12)
B. Not entering the land (13-14)
C. Forty years in the wilderness (15-25)
3. Preparing to Enter the Land (26-36)
1. History in the wilderness (1-11)
Read Deut 8:1-20. What do you learn from this passage?
2. Additional Laws (12-26)
3. The Covenant
A. Blessings and curses (27-28)
B. Renewing the covenant (29)
C. Choose Life! (30)
D. Joshua the new leader (31)
E. Moses' farewell (32-34)
Part Two: Home Assignment
In this section you will find more information on the topics discussed in class. Be sure to answer all the questions within each assignment box. This will be part of your grade for this course. Also, as you study, write down any questions you would like to discuss in class.
1. The Author: Moses.
2. The Date of Writing: 1450 - 1410 B.C.
3. The Historical Background:
A. Genesis covers the period lasting from creation, "in the beginning," until the death of Joseph, about 1750 - 1650 B.C.
B. The actual date of writing is several hundred years after the last event recorded in Genesis.
4. The Content of Genesis
1. The book begins with the account of creation. Here God simply wants to remind the reader that He created all things.
2. Moses centers on God's ultimate creation — man, and gives details about man's creation in Chapter 2. Verse 13 shows God's pleasure with His creation, and especially with man.
3. God's provision for man is shown in 2:8-14.
4. God also gave man a purpose (2:15-17). What is that purpose?
B. The Fall
1. Chapter 3 explains how things came to be so bad in the world.
2. The first result of this tragic choice by Adam and Eve was broken fellowship with God (3:8).
3. Then, because of their choice, God's curse (3:14-19) determined the environment in which sinful man would live.
Sin is the cause of man's problems (3:22-24).
4. Despite sin, there is a hope for man (3:15).
God took it upon Himself to provide man with a provision for sin (3:21).
5. The evil situation of the world is the result of sin; but God provides a solution (by faith).
6. After Cain murders Abel, showing his continued rebellion against God and illustrating the fruit of sin, his descendants are listed.
C. The Flood
1. At the time of Noah, the state of the world is very bad. Sin reigns, and men everywhere are in submission to Satan (6:5-13). Since only one family finds favor in God's sight (6:9), God decides to save that family (6:14) from the judgment He is about to send.
2. Noah's response showed his submission to and faith in God (6:22).
God must and will judge sin. At the same time, He will provide for those who submit to Him and believe His word.
3. Chapter 7 gives the details of the fulfillment of God's promised judgment.
The floods came (7:6). Verses 11-16 show the absolute and complete obedience of Noah to the revelation God had given.
4. Although man had a new start, the result was the same.
Man sinned (9:21-22). Because of this, a curse was placed on Canaan (9:25). This would have great significance to the children of Israel, for they were to go into the land of the Canaanites.
D. The tower of Babel
Just as wickedness abounded after Adam's first sin, such was the case after the first sin of Noah's family. Chapter 11 details this wickedness at the tower of Babel. As judgment for their sin, God scattered these people and introduced a diversity of languages.
1. God gave Abram promises that were more specific than any recorded so far (12:13).
Abram's response to the command of God was immediate obedience (12:4). His obedience and submission to the will of God resulted in further revelation from God (12:7) and worship of God (12:8).
2. Nevertheless, the man whom God had chosen was not a perfect man.
a. If being used of God demanded perfection, no mere man would qualify. Thus Abram's deceit and lack of faith when he went to Egypt only demonstrated God's graciousness and mercy in choosing Abram.
b. Despite the fact that God would use Abram, the results of Abram's deed brought discredit to the God he served (12:17-20). Pharaoh dismissed Abram (12:19), and Abram lost his chance to reveal the one true God to Pharaoh .
3. Part of God's initial command to Abram (12:1) had been to leave "your kindred," and now God was ordering events to see that this would happen (13:5 ff).
Lot made his choice according to what looked best to him, and thus Abram enjoyed the land of promise (13:11-12). Since Abram had acted in faith, God once again promised to give Abram the land (13:14-15) and raise up a seed for him. And once again Abram responded with worship (13:18).
4. Chapter 15 shows the results of faith.
God promised to do the impossible, and Abram believed God. On the basis of this faith, Abram was reckoned to be righteous in the sight of God (15:6). Until this time, God had simply promised Abram the land (12:13); now God made His oath more sure by giving Abram an unconditional covenant promise regarding the land (15:18).
5. To this point, God has given Abram great promises, but Abram is impatient to see those promises fulfilled.
a. Since Sarai has not given him the promised son, Abram takes it upon himself to get a son. He goes in to Sarai's maid Hagar, and the result is the birth of Ishmael.
b. In Chapter 16, Moses records the birth of Ishmael. Ishmael became the father of Israel's enemies. This chapter shows the importance of allowing God to fulfill His promises in His way. When you go out in your own power to make the promises of God come true, you often end up in trouble.
6. Sarai and Abram's failure would not cancel the promises of God.
a. God again appeared to Abram and promised him a son (17:1-2)
b. God changed Abram's name to Abraham, declaring he would be the father of a multitude (17:5).
c. The land promise was mentioned again (17:8).
d. As an evidence of faith in the promises of God, the covenant of circumcision was instituted (17:11). By circumcision, those that believed the promises of God were to be identified (17:14). Abraham obeyed God (17:23).
7. God's promise of the seed, after twenty-five years, is fulfilled (21:2). God fulfilled His promises according to His timing.
8. Almost immediately, there were problems in the family because of Ishmael.
These problems came to a head during a feast to celebrate the weaning of Isaac (21:8). Sarah wanted Ishmael and Hagar sent away, and through God's intervention, Abram allowed it. Hagar and Ishmael were sent into the wilderness (21:14). When their supplies were used up, Hagar believed that death was soon coming (21:16). But the angel of the Lord led them to water and promised to make Ishmael the father of a great nation (God had responded to Abraham's prayer of 17:20).
9. Even though the promise of a son was fulfilled, God again tested Abraham to see if he would completely trust Him.
Abraham did trust God completely, for he would have offered up Isaac had God not provided another sacrifice. In response to Abraham's complete faith, God again gave His promises to Abraham (22:17-18).
10. After the death of Sarah, Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac.
When the servant arrived in Nahor, he asked for God's guidance. God's answer was quick (24:15). When the servant of Abraham entered the house and told the reason for his coming, Laban and Bethuel realized that God's hand was at work (24:50). Rebekah also saw the Lord's working in all that happened (24:58).
1. Chapter 25 details the birth of Esau and Jacob, with God's sovereign choice of Jacob (25:23).
2. Isaac used the very same deception as his father did, with the same king (26:7-11).
3. In Chapter 27, it is obvious that it was Isaac's plan was to violate God's intention and give his blessing to Esau (27:4).
Rebekah was determined that Jacob would have the blessing. She devised a scheme to deceive Isaac (27:23), and Jacob received the blessing (27:27). Esau and Isaac discovered they had been tricked (27:35). Isaac accepted it as the hand of God; Esau's response was anger (27:41).
1. Although Jacob had achieved what God desired for him, he did not do it in God's way.
He received the blessing as the result of human effort and deceit, not by faith. The result was that Jacob would reap unpleasant consequences. He was forced to leave home and never see his mother and father again. He also would suffer much at the hand of Laban. How much better it would have been if he had been willing to wait for God's solution!
2. Even though Jacob had deceived his father, God did not reject him (28:10-17).
3. In the next two chapters, the hand of God changed the character of Jacob. Jacob is forced to trust God.
4. Laban deceived Jacob (29:25), just as Jacob had deceived Isaac.
Jacob did not rebel and demand his rights (29:18). During the seven years with Laban, God had been at work in Jacob's life. Somehow Jacob saw the hand of God in Leah's being made his wife. Later revelation disclosed that Messiah was to be born of the tribe of Judah (Gen 49:10), the fourth son of Jacob and Leah.
5. The first 24 verses of Chapter 30 deal with the rivalries between the two sisters for the love of Jacob.
Despite their selfishness, God chose their sons to father the twelve tribes of Israel.
6. Jacob eventually desired to return home (30:25).
Laban's greed, however, tempted him to take advantage once again of Jacob, the one God had chosen to bless. Laban pitted himself against God (30:35). God then miraculously worked to provide for Jacob (30:37-43) and brought to nothing all that Laban sought to achieve.
7. Now it was time for Jacob once again to meet his brother Esau, from whom he had fled years before (32-33).
8. Unfortunately, Jacob did not wait for the guidance of the Lord concerning where to settle.
He bought a field in Shechem (33:19). Chapter 34 records the dark details that resulted from this land purchase. Jacob's daughter, Dinah, was seduced by Shechem (34:2). Instead of turning to God, Jacob waited for his sons (34:5) who acted deceitfully (34:13) and destroyed those who had mistreated their sister.
9. These chapters reveal the great spiritual decline since the time of Abram.
Abram truly loved God. He built altars and worshipped God everywhere he went. The sons of Jacob seemed to care little for God. There is no record of their building altars or worshipping. Instead, they mingled with the sinful Canaanites and freely engaged in their sinful ways. In another few generations, the children of Israel would have been absorbed into the wicked Canaanite culture.
10. God's solution was to remove Jacob's sons from the land of promise, to separate them in Egypt until they could grow into a mighty nation. The Egyptians despised the Israelites and kept them separate. The pain of their slavery would cause them to turn back to God.
1. The account of Joseph is a beautiful testimony of the way God can bless and protect His faithful ones in the midst of difficult situations.
No matter Joseph's situation, whether a slave or a prisoner, the blessing of God was upon him because of his faith and integrity. The final result was the complete victory of Joseph and the fulfilling of God's promises. Because of Joseph's faithfulness, the family of Jacob is saved from starvation and brought down to the land of Egypt.
2. Joseph's life also demonstrates that God truly does cause "all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Rom 8:28). See Gen 50:15-20.
3. Chapter 48 is important in detailing the origin of the twelve tribes that were to constitute the nation Israel.
Jacob adopted Joseph's two sons (48:5). The gifts given to Joseph indicated that he was given the birthright (48:22).
4. Jacob called his sons together and prophesied concerning each one (chapter 49).
Read the following passages several times, taking notes on what they say. Find at least three personal applications from each. Refer to the section in the Introduction called Aids to Application to help.
The book of Exodus is the account of God's rescuing His people from bondage and setting them free. This book provides a good picture of God's redemption of the Christian today.
1. The Author: Moses
2. The Date of Writing: 1450-1410 B.C.
3. The Historical Background:
Exodus opens with Israel in Egypt and ends with Israel in the wilderness. Exodus details God's redemptive work for the nation of Israel.
The children of Israel were in Egypt and had been able to multiply and become strong (1:7). However, a new Pharaoh came to power who owed nothing to Joseph. Therefore, the children of Israel, because of their number and strength, were feared (1:10). The Egyptians' fear of the Israelites resulted in their enslaving them, and attempting to prevent any increases in their number.
B. God's leading His people out
1. The preparation of Moses (2:1 – 4:17)
Moses was a Levite who was brought up in the home of Pharaoh (2:10). He was forced to flee from Egypt because he had killed an Egyptian. He fled to Midian where he married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro and remained in Midian for 40 years (Acts 7:30).
2. God called Moses to be the leader of the people in their journey out of Egypt (3:10).
3. Despite the appearance of the angel of the Lord, Moses had his doubts (3:13-4:17).
a. When Moses heard God's promises, he felt that the people would never believe him when he repeated what God had told him (4:1). Because of this, Moses was given the ability to perform miracles to prove that God was with him.
b. Next, Moses admitted that he felt weak and not fitted for what God had called him to do (4:10). He argued with God, but in the end he obeyed.
4. After Moses and Aaron told the children of Israel what God had said, the two men went to Pharaoh, requesting that God's people be allowed to celebrate a feast in the wilderness (5:1).
Pharaoh's response was just what God had said it would be. Pharaoh said he did not even know the Lord and he placed the children of Israel under greater burdens. Because of this, the children of Israel turned against Moses as well.
5. Moses relates how God sent him before Pharaoh as God's spokesman.
a. To demonstrate to Pharaoh who God was, Moses was forced to bring about the ten plagues (7:14-12:36).
b. Moses went to Pharaoh and declared the coming death of the firstborn. God instructed Moses and Aaron to stop the hand of the death angel by the blood of the sacrificed lamb (12:13). At the same time, the requirements for the celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were given (12:14-20). The keeping of this feast was to be a sign of faith in the blood of the Passover, much as the rite of circumcision was an evidence of faith in the promises God made to Abraham.
c. On the proper night, the Lord killed all the firstborn who were not under the blood covering. This was all the Egyptians could take. They thrust Moses and the children of Israel out of the land (12:32), sending them away with great wealth.
6. God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and Pharaoh pursued the children of Israel.
When the Israelites cried out in fear, God told Moses what to do. The presence of God moved from the front of the Israelite column to the rear to be between the Israelites and the Egyptians. The next morning the Israelites passed between two walls of water and crossed the Red Sea. When the Egyptians followed, the water swallowed Pharaoh's army. Because of this mighty work, the people "believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses" (14:31).
7. Within three days, at Marah, the people started murmuring. Nevertheless, the people were told that none of the Egyptian diseases would befall them if they would obey God.
8. From Marah, the people went to Elim and then to the wilderness of Sin (16:1).
At Sin, the congregation became hungry and turned on Moses and Aaron. God provided food (16:4). The glory of the Lord was actually present to tell the people about the sustenance He was to provide (16:10).
9. God was deliberately leading His people into situations where their needs were not met.
a. He was doing this to build their faith, to prepare them to take the promised land. In each situation, they faced a choice. Would they choose to trust God, or would they despair?
b. In each case, they chose to respond in unbelief. The result was that their faith did not grow, and they were not prepared to enter the promised land. When God leads you into situations like this, choose to trust God and see your needs as an opportunity to grow in faith!
C. God's leading His people while in the world
1. God said that the children of Israel would be His own possession if they would keep His covenant (19:5). The people agreed (19:8), and God descended upon Mount Sinai.
2. God spoke to Moses, giving him the Ten Commandments.
The people became terrified at God's presence and asked Moses to speak to them, not God (20:19). Moses drew near to God and received instruction for the people. God then gave Moses the laws that were to guide the daily lives of the people (21:1-24:11).
D. God's leading His people to Himself
1. God called Moses into His presence (24:12).
a. Moses went up on the mountain and stayed there forty days. God gave Moses directions for building the tabernacle. It was to be a copy of God's heavenly tabernacle (Heb 9:24).
b. Moses was next told about the requirements for the priests who would minister in the presence of God. All these details shout out with great clarity and force that there is only one way to God. (31:1-11).
c. God instructed Moses about the Sabbath (31:12-18).
2. The people made an image of a golden calf and proclaimed it to be "the god that brought you out of the land of Egypt" (32:4).
The result was God's wrath and judgment on the people. Moses was careful to point out that God had to be obeyed.
3. Moses interceded for the people, and God forgave them (32:11-14, 31-32)
4. Moses begs for God's presence, and sees part of His glory. God also gives new tablets with the ten commandments (33:1 -- 34:35).
5. The next step in leading the people into God's presence was the actual making of the tabernacle and the priests' garments.
Moses thus showed God leading His people out of Egypt, leading them through the world, and leading them to Himself so that He might be in fellowship with them and be their God.
Read the following passages several times, carefully taking notes. Find at least three personal applications from each. Use the Aids to Application in the Introduction to help.
Exodus 14:10-14, 26-31
Exodus 17:17 (Compare with Psalm 95)
The New Testament teaches about atonement, baptism, sacrifices, the priesthood of the believer, and Christ, the great high priest. All of these are concepts that are rooted in the book of Leviticus. In the New Testament, there are over 40 references to Leviticus.
1. The Author: Moses
2. The Date of Writing: 1450-1410 B.C.
3. The Historical Background:
A. After writing about the flight from Egypt and the giving of the Ten Commandments, Moses was instructed how to build the Tabernacle. Exodus 40 closes with the Shekinah glory filling the tabernacle.
B. The tabernacle had been constructed, and the people were anticipating leaving Sinai. The instruction given in this book was given to a redeemed people anticipating the fulfillment of God's promises. Since it is clear that the book is addressed to a redeemed people, the content speaks not of salvation, but of how a redeemed people is to maintain fellowship with a holy God who dwells in their midst.
C. The book was most likely written before the people departed from Mount Sinai (Num 10:11-12).
1. God first revealed the way He could be approached for fellowship and worship (1:1-6:7). The first three offerings listed by God were for those who were in fellowship with Him.
2. But God realized that man, despite his highest ambitions, would sin against perfect holiness. So He next turned to provide the way of approach to Himself for one who had sinned.
The two offerings that God provided were the sin offering and the guilt offering.
3. God gave the regulations regarding the offerings (6:8-7:38).
It is obvious that the priest was very important in the offerings that the children of Israel could give to the Lord. The priests received portions of the offerings and carried out the offerings to the Lord, serving on behalf of the offerer.
4. God next listed the regulations for the priests (8:1-10:20).
5. As soon as God's people established themselves in fellowship with God, Nadab and Abihu ignored the regulations (10:1-3).
To show the seriousness of this sin, God struck them dead. God's desire for fellowship with His people could not overlook His demand for holiness, obedience, purity, and dependence.
B. Walking before God
1. In Chapter 18-22, God described the walk of the redeemed before God.
All that God asked was designed to protect His people from the problems He knew they would encounter. God was not seeking to restrict His people; he was merely helping them avoid the problems He knew they would face.
2. The appointed feasts were listed by God in Chapter 23.
Some of the feasts were memorials while others were prophetic, holding the promise of what the Israelites would yet receive from the hand of God.
3. God gave the people regulations designed to protect the fertility of the land (Chapter 25).
a. The regulations required faith that God would provide for the people during the Sabbath year and the year following. The land and the people would be protected from the ravages of self-interest.
b. The Year of Jubilee (8-17; 23-34) would demonstrate that all belonged to God and that He had entrusted the people for a time with what was ultimately His.
4. In Chapter 26, God told the people that obedience would bring blessing and disobedience would bring judgment.
He was careful to point out that if the judgment that followed disobedience brought the people to a place of repentance, He would restore them to a place of blessing (26:40-45).
5. In Leviticus, God showed that the privilege of worshipping Him was only for the "clean," but He made a provision that the unclean might be judged to be clean. Then, to protect His people from sin, God gave them regulations for their benefit. This was followed by what God had done and would do for His people and His divine method of healing. The book closes with God's provisions and regulations for total dedication. Total dedication was the natural result of one whom God had redeemed, blessed, and promised an eternal future.
C. The Sacrifices of Leviticus
In the first seven chapters, God stipulates five acts of worship in the form of sacrifices or offerings. These five sacrifices form the central core of all worship in the Old Testament. There are several things to note:
· These were to be offered by a believer (someone already redeemed). They were not a means of salvation.
· The purpose was a "drawing near" to God. The offering was designed to bring a believer into a closer relationship with God.
· Each of these five has an application to believers today.
1. The Burnt Offering
a. The burnt offering is presented in Leviticus 1.
b. It is the only offering in which the whole animal is offered and burnt upon the altar.
The symbolism of the sacrifice is that the believer is giving a whole life to God. It is an act of personal dedication.
c. This was not a required sacrifice but a voluntary one, an act of worship out of gratitude.
d. You can very clearly understand the significance of the burnt offering if you put yourself in the place of the one who offered it. Imagine that you are an Israelite grateful to God. You go out to the field and pick the best of the flock, the best you have. Then you bring it to the tabernacle. You place hands on the head of the animal and press firmly. This a symbol of your saying, "Lord, I identify my life with this beast." You take your knife, kill, skin, and dismember the animal, and watch as the priests take the pieces of that animal and arrange them on the altar. The fire is lit and you watch the smoke ascend to heaven. As you leave the tabernacle with the blood on your hands and go about your daily tasks, you go as a living sacrifice. It is as though you were offered up on that altar.
e. That is precisely the attitude that God desires for believers today as shown in Rom 12:1:
"I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship." This is the first step to true worship: the total dedication of your life to God.
2. The Grain Offering
a. The second offering is found in Leviticus 2.
b. This is also a sacrifice of dedication, but without an animal.
c. There are three kinds of grain offering.
Described in verses 1-3 is fine flour, in verses 4-11 is unleavened loaves and in verses 14-16 is roasted ears of grain. The significance is that they are all prepared food. When an Israelite brought a grain offering, it was the fruit of his hand -- the worship of his labor. Three times we are told that sacrifice was a soothing aroma to the Lord. He was well pleased with that kind of sacrifice.
d. One of the most beautiful acts of worship you can perform is dedicating your work to God.
It may be working at your job. It may be the exercise of your spiritual gifts or natural abilities. When these are dedicated and used to glorify God, it is worship!
3. The Peace Offering
a. The peace offering is the sacrifice of communion.
b. This unique sacrifice is described in Leviticus 3.
c. It was divided in three ways:
1). part was given to God and burnt on the altar
2). part was given to the priest
3). part was eaten by the offerer.
The picture here is clear. This was a communal meal. The offerer sits down and eats a meal with God. Verse 16 says that this was a soothing aroma to God. God liked it!
d. As the Israelite sat there in the presence of God and ate the meat of the sacrifice, he was fellowshipping with God. The same Holy God who spoke from the mountain in smoke and thunder, desired to sit in fellowship and eat a communal meal with his people.
e. This is significant for you as well.
1). The most obvious application is the Lord's Supper. When you meet at the Lord's table, in a sense it is a communal meal.
2). Eating together symbolizes fellowship. Rev 3:20 uses the word dine to symbolize fellowship. God desires your fellowship. It is a fantastic truth. He wants you to spend time with Him in the Word and in prayer. It is a great mistake to speak of your time with the Lord only in terms of what it does for you. It is also something that is very pleasing to the Lord. He desires your fellowship.
4. The Sin and Trespass Offerings
a. In Leviticus 4-6, there are two more sacrifices: the sin offering and the trespass offering.
b. These offerings answer the question, "What do you do when fellowship with God is broken?" Of course, the only thing that will break that fellowship is sin.
c. With these two sacrifices, God provided a way to cover these sins so that fellowship can continue.
d. These two sacrifices are very similar. The sin offering is a way to draw near to God when no restitution is necessary. The trespass or debt offering is offered when restitution is necessary.
For example, if an Israelite breaks the law of the Sabbath, forgets what day it is and goes out to do some work, that breaks God's command to Israel. Since there is no debt incurred, he offers a sin offering. If an Israelite fails to give his neighbor something he owes, a debt is incurred. He must first (6:45) make restitution plus 20% interest, then offer a trespass offering. When that believer offered the trespass offering, the sin was covered, and fellowship with God was restored.
e. Fellowship with God is still destroyed by sin.
1). The whole point of Leviticus is that God is holy.
2). A sin offering is still necessary today and God has provided one for us. Jesus is our sin offering. Today, this offering is comparable to confessing your sins. 1 Jn 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
f. When you confess your sins, the blood of Christ cleanses you and fellowship with God is restored. (The best time to confess is as soon as you realize you have sinned). Sometimes full restoration also involves making restitution to your brother.
Read the following passages several times, carefully taking notes. Find at least three personal applications from each. Use the Aids to Application in the Introduction to help you.
1. The Author: Moses
2. The Date of Writing: 1410 -1406 B.C.
3. The Historical Background:
A. Numbers covers a period of about 38 years, from the first month of the second year of the exodus until the death of Moses.
B. The nation faced few enemies during its stay in the wilderness. When the Israelites sought to enter the land, however, they had no friends.
A. Organizing the nation
1. Leaders were chosen, and the people were counted so that they could all be organized in groups.
Instead of chaos, there was to be order. The twelve tribes were arranged, three on each side, around the Tabernacle. This allowed God to be in the midst of His people. Thus the nation was organized to move quickly through the wilderness and into the promised land in a well-ordered fashion (2:34).
2. Having dealt with the organizational and spiritual necessities of the people, Moses records in chapters 9 and 10 God's provision to guide the people to the promised land.
The cloud and fire were God's means of telling the children of Israel when and where they were to move. In addition to this, Moses was told to make two silver trumpets to be used in signaling the people.
In spite of God's grace, the people rebelled and turned against Him and His appointed leaders (11:1-19:22). However, in His grace God provided a solution to met their needs.
1. The first thing the people did was complain (11:1).
They said everything that had gone wrong was God's fault. Through Moses' intervention, the punishment of God was avoided.
2. Next, the people complained that they had no meat (11:4).
They were not satisfied with the manna God was providing. The people's response was such that even Moses was discouraged. God responded by giving Moses the help he needed and by sending meat for them to eat. In addition, God sent a plague among the people as a sign of His anger with their rebellion.
3. Even the leaders rebelled against God (12:1-15).
Miriam and Aaron spoke out against Moses for marrying the Cushite woman. This could have referred to Zipporah (Ex 2:21). However, this was not the true issue in their rebellion (12:2), and God did not mention it in His defense of Moses. God vindicated Moses in both word and deed. Rebellion brought judgment (12:10).
4. The people's rebellion was a sign of their failure to trust God.
a. This failure of faith found its clearest demonstration with the report of the spies (13:1-14:38). God instructed Moses to send spies into the promised land. The spies went out and returned with a report about the land. The land was good, they said, but the people dwelling in it were too strong for the nation Israel. This lack of faith showed itself when the people turned against Moses and Aaron. In turn, God decreed that this rebellious generation would not enter the promised land.
b. Moses again interceded for the people, and God did not wipe them out (14:11-24).
5. Despite the goodness and the severity of the Lord, the people did not learn. They presumed upon the Lord and fought the Amalekites and Canaanites. They were defeated (14:39-45).
C. Preservation of God's people
1. When the land proved to be barren, God provided food and water. (20:2-11)
2. When the Edomites refused permission for the Israelites to pass through the land, God was not defeated. (20:14-21)
3. When Aaron's days ended, God provided Eleazer to take his place. (20:22-29)
4. When the children of Israel faced the Canaanite king, God gave them the victory. (21:1-3)
5. When the people spoke against God, He did not utterly destroy them but gave them a chance to exercise faith. (21:4-9)
6. God saved the people from the plan of the Amorites. (21:21 -- 24:25)
7. The response to harlotry that resulted from the advice of Balaam showed that God was at work among His people preserving a remnant for Himself. (25:1-18)
D. Appointments and census
Since the children of Israel were nearing the promised land, God turned to Moses and Eleazer, the priest, to make certain appointments (26:1-27:23). It was obvious that the land would have to be divided. Also, a new leader would have to be appointed since Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because of his sin at Meribah. (God expects a higher standard from his leaders, and will punish them if they fail!)
1. When the people were about to enter the land, God revised the regulations for worship in the land and His other requirements (28:1-31:54).
2. Despite the promises of God, Reuben, Gad, and half of the tribe of Manasseh decided that the land outside of the promised land was more desirable than what God had chosen for them. Because of their unbelief and insistence on the land east of the Jordan, Moses granted their request for this land.
Numbers concludes with the nation ready to cross the Jordan, preparing to do battle at Jericho.
Read the following passages several times, carefully taking notes on what they say. Find at least three personal applications from each.
Numbers 11:16-17, 24-30
1. The Introduction: Moses
2. Date of Writing: 1406 B.C.
3. The Historical Background:
A. The name Deuteronomy means "second law." This book is a restating of the law found in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers.
B. The book was composed as Israel stood poised to enter into the promised land. The forty years of wandering had drawn to a close. The former generation had died off, and the new generation was ready to enter the land. God wanted His law and His work to be fresh in the minds of this new generation, so they would not fail, as their parents had.
A. History of God's people
1. The first chapter shows that the main characteristic of the nation so far was failure.
God had promised them the land and instructed them to go up and occupy it. When they came close to the land, their faith began to waver. Despite the goodness of the land, the nation failed in faith and refused to go up and occupy the land. Because of this, God said that except for Joshua and Caleb, that generation was doomed to wander in the wilderness.
2. The new generation exercised faith, as seen in their response to the Edomites, the Moabites, the Ammonites, and Bashan. In each case they showed complete obedience to God.
B. Teaching: the Covenant
1. The next 6 chapters (5:1-11:32) recount the covenant treaty God made with Israel
2. All the people must know the covenant. God's laws were to be taught to everyone, from the time they were young – 6:1-25
3. God promised that if they obeyed He would bless them both physically and emotionally – 8:1-20
4. In chapters 12-26 Moses records additional laws.
C. Promises and curses
1. Moses then dealt with the specific promises for the covenant (27:1-30:20).
The foundation for all the promises Moses records in this section is the law. The law was central. Any violation of the law would bring curses, but obedience would bring great blessings.
2. Moses renews the covenant in chapters 29-30.
1. Moses told the people that Joshua was appointed by God to be their next leader (31:18).
2. Joshua was commissioned
Moses was then told to write a song that would be a lasting witness to the nation, a song the nation would not forget (32:1-43). Moses' summarized what he had been trying to teach the nation up to this point. Moses exhorted the people to obey (32:44-47).
3. On the day of Moses' death, he blessed the twelve tribes.
Read the following passages several times, carefully taking notes on what they say. Find at least three personal applications from each.
Revise the material in this course together. Ask one another the following questions (and more if you want to come up with your own). Try to answer as many as possible without looking in your notes.
1. What are the four beginnings recorded in Genesis 1-11?
2. What is the cause of evil and trouble in the world?
3. Who are the four leaders (patriarchs) written about in Gen 12-50?
4. How did Jacob get what God had promised him by using human effort instead of trusting God?
5. How does Joseph's story show that "all things work together for good"?
6. List the ten commandments
7. What are the five sacrifices mentioned in Leviticus? What is the purpose of each one?
8. Who was appointed to serve as the leader after Moses died?
9. Give a basic description of the content and meaning of Genesis.
10. Give a basic description of the content and meaning of Exodus.
11. Give a basic description of the content and meaning of Leviticus.
12. Give a basic description of the content and meaning of Numbers.
13. Give a basic description of the content and meaning of Deuteronomy.
Ask questions that you wrote down during the month as you studied the material, or any other question you may have.