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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Numbers 5

Verses 1-31

  1. INTRO:
    1. Not everyone was a priest or a soldier, but each individual was responsible to please the Lord & keep from defilement. Israel was to be holy to the Lord, otherwise how could he bless the nation with victory?
      1. You may not think you are important to the spiritual battles going on in today’s world, but you are; & you must keep clean.
      2. Q: What if everyone in our church constantly lived for the pleasure of self… Would that effect God’s blessings/victory’s on our church?
      3. Q: What if everyone in our church constantly lived to delight ourselves in the Lord?(Ps.37:4) … Would that effect God’s blessings/victory’s on our church?
    2. The lesson taught here is for the necessity for the purity of the people, as they were to enter into possession of the land.
      1. Each step reminded Israel of their calling as a holy people serving a holy God.
      2. Each step demonstrated their commitment to being different than the people they were sent to displace.
  2. SANCTIFICATION THROUGH SEPARATION!
    1. CONTAMINATION! (1-4)
    2. Things that contaminate & defile. Not only Leprosy, but all infectious diseases.
      1. You may say “duh”, but for most the world there still isn’t an understanding of these “invisible bugs” that spread disease (i.e. Microscopic germs, bacteria, virus’)
      2. Example: Haiti Story this week. Woman hit by motorcycle, many touching her blood, dangerous with high % HIV infections in Haiti. (2009)
    3. So: infectious disease; all bodily fluids; contamination from touching a dead body.
      1. Don’t bring that into the camp to infect others AND…Why else?
    4. Excluded from the camp why? because Jehovah was there! (3)
      1. Such was the righteous function of the Law.
      2. When in grace, Jesus came/returned to the camp and [1] cleansed the leper (Lk.5:13) [2] stopped the issue of blood(Lk.7:15) [3] & raised the dead(Lk.8:44)
    5. Not “kicked out of the family” but for a time they were camp followers only; excluded until their purification was ensured according to the provision of the laws already given.
    6. Q: Have you put out all that contaminates in your life? {stuff, certain friends, all that distracts}
      1. In Haiti we’re constantly aware of contaminates: our water system/process; antibacterial bottles come out before meals; closing your mouth in the shower; brush teeth w/water bottle; not rub your eyes.
        1. Oh that we’d be as concerned with moral contaminates!
    7. CONFESS & CONSEQUENCE! (5-10)
    8. Stealing could easily be committed in this long March since everyone lives in open tents.
    9. Can’t just confess but restitution is in order as well… + 20%.
      1. Teach your children that it is not only confession before God, but consequence toward man. {not greasy grace! David Jeremiah}
      2. Illustration: A pig ate his fill of acorns under an oak tree and then started to root around the tree. A crow remarked, “You should not do this. If you lay bare the roots, the tree will wither and die.” “Let it die,” said the pig. “Who cares as long as there are acorns?” [no pig...there are consequences!!!]
    10. Story: The year is 1887. The man...a thief named Emmanuel Nenger. The scene is a small neighborhood grocery store. Mr. Nenger is buying some turnip greens. He gives the clerk a $20 bill. As the clerk begins to put the money in the cash drawer to give Mr. Nenger his change, she notices some of the ink from the $20 bill is coming off on her fingers which are damp from the turnip greens. She looks at Mr. Nenger, a man she has known for years. She looks at the smudged bill. This man is a trusted friend; she has known him all her life; he can’t be a counterfeiter. She gives Mr. Nenger his change, and he leaves the store. But $20 is a lot of money in 1887, and eventually the clerk calls the police. They verify the bill as counterfeit and get a search warrant to look through Mr. Nenger’s home. In the attic they find where he is reproducing money. He is a master artist and is painting $20 bills with brushes and paint! But also in the attic they find three portraits Nenger had painted. They seized these and eventually sold them at auction for $16,000 (in 1887 currency, remember) or a little more than $5,000 per painting.
      The irony is that it took Nenger almost as long to paint a $20 bill as it did for him to paint a $5,000 portrait! It’s true that Emanuel Nenger was a thief, but the person from whom he stole the most was himself!!!
    11. UNFAITHFUL WIVES! (11-31)
    12. This was to expose adultery & false accusations of adultery.
    13. The water of jealousy was a loving provision made by God for the protection of helpless women as well as sanctified the marriage relationship.
      1. Woman were not always treated fairly in ancient cultures.
      2. God’s laws protected them from false accusations, unjust divorces, & financial destitution.
    14. Jealousy is difficult to get past/through. Is your jealousy valid? For how long?
      1. Remember if it is dealt with, its over! (woman caught in adultery)
      2. Are you really mad at God for given them Jonah?
        1. “Is it right for you to be angry” (Jonah 4:4)
    15. (16,17) The cleansing water came from the laver & the sacrificial dust from the foot of the brazen altar.
    16. This test was to reveal in her body the corruption that was in her heart.
      1. It was to bring evil to the surface.
      2. Israel was the unfaithful wife here also. How about the bride of Christ?
    17. (19) The drinking of the water was perfectly harmless in itself. It was a challenge to God on the part of the woman to demonstrate her purity as against an unjust charge!
      1. Like, “May God strike me dead if…”. Except there was actually the fear of it happening for them.
      2. So it wasn’t any action of the water, but by the direct intervention of Jehovah!
    18. (21) Thigh rot & body swell - [thigh = loins(the seat of procreative power)]
      1. Your tummy would swell up & your ability to have children would be effected.
    19. (23) The record of Israel’s shame & sin was blotted out in the bitter waters of Calvary.
      1. As was ours! - having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Col.2:14
    20. (30) Put your spouse before the Lord - What do you do if you have suspicions your spouse has been unfaithful these days?
      1. 1st step is to look in their eyes & ask/confront them.
      2. 2nd step set/bring them before the Lord (16,30) - i.e. pray “God, please expose them!”
        1. We may not have this law today, but we have an all-seeing God to whom we will answer one day!
      3. Remember even hidden unfaithfulness can create a spirit of jealousy/doubt.
        1. Even when infidelity isn’t discovered, it changes who you are.
        2. A person goes from being a candid, open human being to a secretive, hidden one.
    21. Marriages can and do survive affairs, and many become stronger having weathered the crisis but not without pain and a genuine desire to recommit. - 4 P’s for Prevention:
      1. Be protective of your marriage. Avoid risky situations(alone w/opposite sex). Most people do not plan to be unfaithful!
      2. Be positive. Look for what is right in your spouse and tell him or her daily. People who commit adultery are often looking for appreciation & affirmation.
      3. Be polite. Always talk to your spouse with respect. Be careful what you say to each other and how you say it. Show courtesy and caring in the way you treat one another.
      4. Be playful, and make fun, sex, and humor a mainstay in your marriage. Schedule time to play with one another, and have a date nights.
    22. Sanctification falls into 3 divisions:
      1. Positional Sanctification is accomplished by the operation of God through the body & shed blood of Jesus. {its as complete for the weakest saint as for the strongest}
        1. We are now accepted in the beloved.
      2. Experiential Sanctification depends on:
        1. Some degree of yieldedness to God [present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,...]
        2. Some degree of separation from sin [consider yourselves to be dead indeed to sin]
        3. Some degree of Christian growth [grow in grace, & knowledge of our Lord J.C.]
      3. Ultimate Sanctification related to our final perfection that will be ours in glory.
        1. His bride will be free from every spot & wrinkle.
    23. Prayer: Moral contaminates; Confession & Consequence; Faithfulness to spouse.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Numbers 5". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/numbers-5.html. 2017.