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Bandar Baru Methodist Centre, Evening worship,
25 March 2001
Have you ever wondered ...
In other words, should we still read the OT?
2 reasons why we should do so:
Here in verse 1
"I do not want you to be ignorant..." Paul spoke of the things that happened in Exodus and Numbers in OT.
Numbers 11: 4 - 6 - multitude fell a lusting, children of Israel wept, "Who shall give us flesh to eat?", remembered in Egypt - fish, cucumber, melons, leks, onions and garlics, but now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, besides this manna.
11: 19, 20 - the LORD told Moses that He would give them flesh to eat, not 1, 2, 5, 10 or 20 days. But one whole month, until it comes out of their nostrils...
11: 31 - 33 the next day the LORD sent many quails from the sea, before they could finish gathering and eating them, the wrath of God came in a plague. Those who lusted and complained were killed. So that place was called Kibroth-hat-taavah, meaning "Graves of Craving".
What was their mistake? V.20 "because you have despised the LORD which is among you and have wept before him, saying, "Why came we forth out of Egypt?"
Exodus 32: 1 - "We do not know what has happened to this man Moses, so make us a God to lead us ... "
Moses upon mountain for long time. Israelites pestered Aaron to cast golden calf, built altar before it, burnt sacrifice,
Exodus 32: 1, Deuteronomy 9:6ff : sat down to eat and drink, rose up to play - held an orgy.
Eventually, Exodus 32: 5 - the LORD sent a plague on the people again.
In the NT, idolatry takes on another form - covetousness. Ephesians 5: 5 - "covetousness is a form of idolatry". Similarly, in Colossians 3: 5 - "put to death earthly desires at work in you such as ... covetousness (greed) - for covetousness is a form of idolatry).
Numbers 25: 1 - 18 especially v 9 - Men committed fornication with Moabite women, worshipped Baal, plague killed 24 000.
In NT the word fornication comes from Greek word porneia meaning having sex outside marriage. This word is the root word for "pornography" today.
End times - we are surrounded by porneia - the internet, movies, vcds, magazines. Even children's novels and story books are not safe anymore. Recently, a survey carried out in the USA showed that many authors are putting adult stories into story books for younger children in the 11 - 13 years old age group. They did this because they found that parents are keen on encouraging their children to read more story books and are most likely to buy the latest titles in the book shop for them.
Yesterday - sister who works in PCO, whose superior, a person who leads in prayer, devotions and preaches often in the organisation - is committing adultery with a woman whom the organisation is helping. When this sister tried to question him about this, she was scolded and warned not to poke her nose into his personal life! Subsequently this sister brought the matter up with a superior higher up in the organisation - she was again simirlarly admonished - "Why are you so interested in the personal life of others!". Apparently, porneia has also began to infiltrate Christian organisations ...
Numbers 21: 5, 6 - after leaving Mount Hor, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this desert?" The LORD sent fiery snakes which bit and killed many people. Moses was commanded by God to make a bronze snake, and to lift it high up on a pole so that those who were bitten by the snakes could save themselves by looking up at the bronze snake.
Numbers 16: 1ff - Korah & 3 friends & 250 well-known leaders of Israel confronted Moses: "You have taken too much authority upon yourself. Everyone in the congregation of Israel is also holy. The Lord is also among them. Who made you higher than every body in Israel?"
Numbers 16: 30 - ground opened and swallowed Korah and his friends, followed by a fire which burnt to death his 250 followers. The next day, the whole camp of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, saying, "You have killed some of the LORD's people" (16: 41) - the LORD sent a swift plague, destroyed 14 700 (16: 49)
Take heed verse 12
Nothing unusual verse 13a
Always can escape verse13b
... that you may be able to bear it!