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Sunday School - August 16, 2009

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by illinijag, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Sunday School - August 16, 2009

    Holiness embodies truth, justice and righteousness; the veracity of such attributes is made perfect only in a single being, the almighty God.

    Deuteronomy 32:4. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

    Truth, justice and righteousness are practiced and pursued by those who wish to live a life that gives honor to the almighty God; for only that which gives honor to God can truly be reconciled as being holy. Given the imperfect will and sinful nature of man, our temporal walk in holiness is a continuous pursuit, with hope as our destiny and grace as our guide. Our hope and destiny is to be glorified (Romans 8:30) with the Lord, for when this hope is realized, holiness will no longer be our pursuit, but our attribute; however, until such come to past we must heed our lord and follow:

    • Matthew 5:48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:7. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
    • 1 Peter 1:16. Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
    As Christians, we are set apart to live life under sanctification to the reveal will of God. However, our salvation results not from, nor is it attributed to our failures or successes in pursuit of holiness; for in all our efforts and attempts, our righteousness is unacceptable to a Holy God.

    Isaiah 64:6. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

    Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

    Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

    Therefore, we rest our salvation (our hope) in the perfect redeemer and substitution, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thus, we see our enduring temporal pursuit in holiness only as the fruitful evidence of our hope; for only in our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) are we truly and forever made Holy.

    This week's lesson is again from the book of Numbers. For those who follow the International Sunday School Lesson Plan (aka: The Standard Sunday School Lesson), this Sunday's lesson (August 16, 2009) comes from Numbers 20:1-13.

    What are probably the final years of the forty-year trek in the wilderness, Moses is again presented with the cyclical bickering of the Israelites. Although past lessons in judgment seem fruitless in changing the attitude of the congregation, an act of judgment always prove successful in bringing about an immediate secession of complaints and disobediences.

    This lesson begins with the announcement of the death of Miriam. Miriam was the faithful sister of Moses and Aaron, a prophetess (Exodus 15:20) and honorable servant of God. She completed the family leadership, which God had established to redeem the Israelites out of Egypt (Micah 6:4). The death of Miriam must have been a terrible lost to Moses and Aaron, and such was probably not a time suitable for hearing complaints. However, time of testing seeks not the convenience of man, yet it demands a response; a response better given through wisdom and obedience to God’s will.

    The Children of Israel complain of no water and gathered themselves against Moses and Aaron. Again, they made false wishes that they had better died (in a more honorable manner), as did their brethrens, than to die with their cattle in the desert. They continued to pad their bickering by blaming Moses and Aaron for bringing them out of Egypt to an evil place in the wilderness; unlike the fruitful land of Egypt, Kadesh offered no seed, figs, vines, or pomegranates; neither was there any water to drink. The Israelites unrestricted negative outburst indicated that they had no measure of faith in a God, a God who had proven again and again that He would provide all that they needed. Their repetitive complaining reflects a covetous disposition void of contentment, a fate that finds no satisfaction in that which God has provided; unfortunately, such a fate is not restricted to the Israelites.

    Proverbs 27:20. Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

    1 Timothy 6:6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.

    Moses and Aaron again addressed the Israelites complaints with the only sure means of response, they petition God for a solution. Bountiful in grace and mercy, God responded by telling Moses “Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink (Numbers 20:8)”. This response seems to be void of God’s judgment, given the relentless murmuring among the congregation, and such was a simple task to bring forth the miraculous flow of much desired water. Thus, in response to the despicable act of grumbling, God would counter with grace; for He has said, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy (Exodus 33:19)". Grace is a gift of God decided only in the counsel of His own sovereign will.

    Moses took the rod from before the Lord, and he and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock as God had commanded. However, Moses railed at the congregation “Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? (Numbers 20:10)” and “lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice (Numbers 20:11)”. This act was not the request of God, nor did such honor the will and holiness of God. This defiant act of Moses mitigated the miraculous act of God and gave not the proper glory to Him. Although Moses was displeased with the murmuring of the congregation, when God instructs him, he should have yield only to the will of God and not impose a portion of his own.

    In response to Moses disobedience, God spoke in rebuke to both Moses and Aaron “Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them (Exodus 20:12)”. One can easily see Moses disobedience as he spoke in anger to the Israelites and as he falsely implied that he and Aaron would bring water from the rock, either was more than enough to anger a holy God. However, God’s statement “Because ye believed me not” has left many to ponder a deeper meaning of their sins. Absence of a clear explanation from God, I will conclude that Moses and Aaron disobeyed God by not believing that God’s will was the correct will to apply. Although Moses and Aaron knew to do God’s will, they failed in their duty to do so as instructed by God. Their actions may seem to be a minor discretion, given their long and faithful life as God’s representative. However, their proximity to God’s Holiness demanded a greater adherence to His will; for when we fail in matters of greatness, greater are the consequences that follow.

    Luke 12:48. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

    Aaron was not punished for the sins of Moses; Aaron was complicit in the same, in that he knew the wrong that was being committed; yet he did nothing to stop it (Amos 3:3). This should be a reminder to all who take joy in living vicariously through the sins of others, as with Moses and Aaron, we all shall reap our just rewards.

    The children of Israel strove with the Lord and God’s chosen leaders failed in disobedience, yet God gave them water according to His will. Thus, “he was sanctified in them (Numbers 20:13)” through his distinctive separation of holiness; manifested in the Truth of His promise and in His Righteous nature, which demands and renders Justice for all acts of disobedience.

    If you are not a typical Sunday School attendee, Go and surprise the teacher. If your Church does not follow the Standard Sunday School Lesson and you are not aware of the topic of discussion, take on the attitude of "positive anticipation". I am sure you will like it; there is nothing like reading and discussing God's Word.

    FYI: Sunday School is not just for Kids, it is also for the Humble (those who wish to pursue holiness) at heart.

    Good Day and God Bless
  2. Thank you illinijag for your faithfulness in putting these lessons up every week .

    Yes , we can talk about the Israelites and their murmering but I think under the circumstances of their wandering in the desert for forty years , I don't know if I would have been any better. Yes they received everything for their needs , their clothes never wore out nor did their shoes . God provided their food and was with them day and night . But due to their disobedience they also had to pay the consequences , just as we do today when we don't follow Jesus and think we can do things our way . We ultimately have to suffer after even if we have been forgiven .

    God told the Isrealites to love Him and obey His commandments just the same as He does for us today through Jesus Christ . If we love Jesus we will want to obey Him . Now because of the Holy Spirit our love to follow Christ is imprinted in our hearts. Praise be to Him
  3. Dusty, in part I think that is the message God wants all of us to conclude. There really is no good in us, apart from seeking His Grace. It is only when we realize who we really are, do we see the need for Christ. I think all Christians must come to the realization of this passage:

    Jeremiah 17:9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Excellent point Dusty.

    Ponder this:

    1. How reliable/stable is our love?
    2. If love is synonymous with obedience are we all at some point committing adultery with our savior?

    Yet this too is a fact:

    1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

    And this solves the puzzle:

    1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

    Good Day and God Bless
  4. OUr love is only as reliable as we chose to make it . In other words if we are reading His Word and praying and waiting on Him our love will grow as we walk and talk with Him . But if we choose to think by just going to church on Sunday is enough in our relationship then that is exactly what we will receive from a distant relationship .

    Of course , but obedience and love , I think are joined together becasue as I said if we love the Lord with all our heart we will want to obey Him . Not to say that we don't slip up .... I do anyways . We are not perfect.
  5. I agree with you %100.

    I believe the answer lies in this passage and it is the theme God continues to drill to us.

    1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

    Jesus stated that we must take up our cross. The cross is the death of self, the killing of the sinful flesh. When we do this we leave only on Holy Spirit within us "His Seed". Our flesh is the nature that loves sin, as we grow in Christ we allow ourselves to be lead by "His Seed". "His Seed" (The Holy Spirit) never sin, that is why John's statement is correct:

    1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

    Given that The Holy Spirit is in us (Those saved by the Blood), it/we can not die (be eternally separated from God). The price of sin is death and such will be the price our flesh must pay; however the sinless Holy Spirit is cleared of judgment. Thus, it will quicken us as we die in Christ.

    Now that is a Comforter I am happy to live with....a peice of Christ ("His Seed"/The Holy Spirit) in me.

    Ephesians 1:13-14. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

    Good Day and God Bless
  6. A great big amen to all that you said .

    That is so beautifully said . Thanks for that and God richly bless you . Dying to self is what we all need to do in order to live.

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