There Is Nothing New Under the Sun: What Is Has Already Been

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Numbers which was written and recorded by Moses the servant of the Lord. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twenty-nine through thirty-one of this Old Testament book. REMINDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF THE STATUTES OF THE LIVING GOD! TEACHING A NEW GENERATION THAT WHICH THE LIVING GOD HAS COMMANDED! A NEW GENERATION NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT THE LIVING GOD REQUIRES! When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the living God speaking directly unto Moses concerning the new generation of the congregation of the children of Israel, and what was expected and required of them. As you read the Old Testament book of Numbers—specifically, that which is written and found in chapters fourteen and twenty-six—you will find and discover that the first generation which emerged and came forth from the land of Egypt and which passed through the waters of the Red Sea would and could not enter into the land of Canaan. Because that first generation tempted the living God ten times in the wilderness, and because they had within and among them an evil and unbelieving heart, the LORD swore that they would not enter into His rest. It is in the fourteenth chapter of this Old Testament book we find and encounter the tremendous reality of the congregation and children of Israel which emerged from the land of Egypt being prohibited and restricted from entering into the land of Canaan—this despite the fact that they were given the chance and opportunity to do so. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand when reading the words found within these chapters and within this book, it’s that that first generation which entered into the wilderness and passed through the waters of the Red Sea would not enter into the land of Canaan, as the living God would alter that which He promised and planned from the time of Abraham. It was the divine will, plan and purpose of the living God to make the descendants of Abraham a great nation, and would number them as many as the stars which were in the heavens, and that they would enter into the land which Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would sojourn as strangers and pilgrims. STRANGERS AND SPIES! It’s actually quite astounding to think about and consider the fact that before the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel would enter into the land of Canaan, they would first be within the land as strangers and pilgrims, as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would each dwell within the land—despite the fact that it would not at that be given unto them.

STRANGERS, SLAVES AND SPIES! If you read the Old Testament books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers you will quickly encounter the fact before the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel would dwell and inhabit the land which was promised by the living God, their ancestors would first live within the land as strangers and pilgrims. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and even Israel himself would live within the land which was promised on oath beginning with Abraham, yet they would do so as strangers and pilgrims, for the land would ultimately and inevitably belong to them, it would not yet be given unto them. LIVING IN THE PROMISE WITHOUT RECEIVING THE PROMISE! Perhaps one of the most intriguing realities surrounding Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is that they would each live and dwell in a land that was indeed and was in fact promised unto them, yet they would not actually inherit the promise. The first three generations of the people of Israel would abide and dwell within the land that was to be theirs as an inheritance, promise and possession, yet they would not obtain, nor would they receive that which was promised unto them. What’s more, is that eventually there would come the generation of Joseph which would bring the entire house of Israel down into the land of Egypt where they would initially dwell in comfort and ease as Joseph cared for, nurtured and took care of them. Eventually and ultimately, however, Joseph died—and not only did Joseph die, but there also arose a Pharaoh which knew not Joseph. It would be this new Pharaoh which did not know Joseph that would enslave the children of Israel and conscript them into harsh and cruel labor within the land of Egypt. For four-hundred and thirty years the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel would live as slaves in the land of Egypt and would cry out under the weight of their bondage and oppression. Eventually and ultimately the living God raised up Moses whom He would use to deliver the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel out of their slavery, bondage and oppression, and would lead them into the wilderness where they would meet with, discover, and learn how to worship and obey the LORD their God.

Eventually there came the point when the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel would send twelve spies—one from each of the twelve tribes that was present among them—into the land of Canaan in order that they might spy out the land. Those twelve spies would spend forty days within the land—once more as strangers, yet this time as spies—in order that they might bring back both fruit from the land, as well as a report concerning the land. When those twelve spies returned unto the congregation of the children of Israel, however, ten of the twelve spies brought slander upon the land and brought back an evil report before the people. As a result of the slander against the land, as well as the evil report which was brought back concerning the land, the entire congregation and assembly of the children of Israel would murmur and complain against Moses, as well as against the LORD. At one point the LORD spoke unto Moses of disinheriting them, destroying them all, and making of Moses a nation greater and mightier than those which had entered into the wilderness. Because of the intercession of Moses, however, the LORD would relent of that which He had planned and purposed for the congregation of the children of Israel, and vowed not to destroy them completely. As you read the words which are found in the fourteenth chapter, however, you will find that instead of destroying the entire congregation of the children of Israel, the LORD would wipe out that first generation which emerged from the land of Egypt, and which passed through the waters of the Red Sea. What’s more, is that the living God vowed to wipe out that entire first generation which had experienced the provision of bread from heaven, as well as water from the rock. Moreover, that first generation would witness and behold the glory and presence of the living God as He descended upon Horeb in the wilderness in thick clouds and darkness as the mountain was consumed with fire and quaked violently. That first generation would receive the Law and commandments of the living God, and would be that generation which would witness and behold the glory of the LORD their God completely filling the Tabernacle, as well as fire coming out from before the LORD and consuming the offerings which were upon the altar there in the wilderness. That first generation would witness and behold the power, the provision, the protection, the presence and the glory of the living God, and yet they would ultimately be restricted and prohibited from entering into the land which they were destined to enter.

When you come to the twenty-sixth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers you will find the LORD speaking unto Moses and Eleazer the son of Aaron the high priest that they might take a second census. This time, however, the census would not take place in the wilderness of Sinai, but would take place in the plains of Moab opposite the land of Canaan, and opposite the city of Jericho. What is so interesting and unique about this census is that there was not a single one who was numbered in that first census which was performed in the wilderness of Sinai that was numbered and included in this census. I still cannot escape the fact that when the LORD first instructed Moses and Aaron to take a census of the congregation of the children of Israel and to number all those men who were twenty years of age and older who were able to go forth to war, it was never His desire, nor was it His intention on sentencing that generation and all those which were numbered to death in the wilderness. IT was never the desire, nor was it the divine will of the living God to destroy that first generation in the wilderness, and to cause their bodies to fall over a period of forty years. In fact, the language which you will find in this Old Testament book of Numbers which the LORD spoke unto Moses was “breach of promise,” which literally means the LORD altering that which He had planned and purposed within His heart and mind. When the living God delivered the children of Israel out of their slavery, bondage and oppression within the land of Egypt He had absolutely every intention of bringing them forth into the land, and yet because they had within them an evil heart of unbelief which tempted and murmured against the living God, they would be restricted and prohibited from entering into the land. I find it absolutely astonishing that an entire generation would not only be prohibited from entering into the land of promise and blessing, but they would also perish in the wilderness knowing they had the chance to seize what was before them, only to shrink back in fear. Stop and consider that for a moment—the reality that for forty years an entire generation would be forced to live with their whoredoms and iniquity knowing that they were given the chance and opportunity to enter into the land of Canaan and take possession of it, and yet they chose instead of shrink back with an unbelieving heart of fear and doubt. It is absolutely necessary that we understand this reality, for one thing that first generation could never claim was that they weren’t given every opportunity to enter into and inherit the land which was sworn on oath to their ancestors and to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That first generation could never state that they weren’t given the opportunity to enter into the land of promise, for they were given the chance to go up and take possession of the land, yet through their own deliberate and intentional actions they missed out on the land which they were originally intended on entering.

YOU WERE THE GENERATION THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO ENTER INTO THE LAND! YOU WERE THE ORIGINAL GENERATION INTENDED ON INHERITING THE LAND! I can’t help but wonder what it would have been like for that first generation to wander through the wilderness knowing they were intended on entering into the land of Canaan, and yet through their own deliberate actions they restricted themselves from entering into it. Through fear, doubt and unbelief they chose not to rise up and enter into the land to take possession of it, and as a direct result they were forced to spend forty years wandering in the wilderness. For four-hundred and thirty years the children of Israel would live as slaves in the land of Egypt, and for forty years they would live as strangers and vagabonds in the wilderness as they wandered in circles. What’s more than that is I can’t help but wonder what it was like for that final person from the previous generation to still be alive among the congregation of the children of Israel knowing that their death would signal the end of that first generation, and quite possibly the beginning of the journey into the land of Canaan. I sit here this morning thinking about and considering this first generation which emerged from the land of Egypt and how despite experiencing the power, presence and provision of God, they still allowed themselves to be utterly and completely consumed with an evil heart of unbelief. I can’t help but wonder how a generation which witnessed the judgments of the living God in the land of Egypt, and which passed through the waters of the Red Sea could in fact reject the land of Canaan because of fear and unbelief which was present within their hearts. That generation which experienced the provision of bread from heaven and water from the rock would find themselves confined and relegated to the wilderness for forty years until the last one of that generation fell and perished in the midst of the desert. What we must realize and recognize concerning that first generation is that there was absolutely no way they could ever claim or state that they weren’t given everything they needed to take possession of the land, and to claim that which was promised by the living God as in inheritance. That first generation would and could not dare say that they weren’t given the opportunity to step into that which the living God had for them no more than the chief priests, the scribes, the elders and the religious community during the days of Jesus could state that they weren’t given the opportunity and chance to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

As you come to the twenty-eighth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers you will find that the LORD began speaking to Moses concerning something entirely different. At the end of the twenty-seventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers you will find Moses looking over the vast land of promise which was going to be given unto the congregation of the children of Israel—although he himself would be restricted and prohibited from entering it himself. The twenty-seventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers concludes with Moses appointing Joshua the son of Nun as his successor—as that one who would not lead the congregation of the children of Israel through the wilderness, but would lead them into the land of Canaan to take possession of it as their inheritance. What would begin with a census being taken of that new generation which rose up and emerged in the wilderness would transition to Moses himself going up into the mountains of Moab and looking out over the vast land which this new generation would take possession of as an inheritance. Once Moses appointed Joshua as his successor and that one who would lead the congregation of the children of Israel into the land of Canaan, the LORD would speak unto Moses and instruct him to begin speaking to the congregation of the children of Israel. What we must recognize concerning that which the LORD began speaking unto Moses is that the words and instruction(s) the LORD was speaking unto him was not only for a new and future generation, but it would also be a powerful reminder of that which the LORD had previously spoken to that last generation. Despite the fact that this was a new generation which emerged and rose up in the midst of the wilderness the living God would not speak unto them some new thing, but would instead speak unto them the same words which He previously spoke to their fathers who perished in the wilderness. The living God was not interested in bringing some new revelation unto the generation that would enter into the land of Canaan, but would instead remind them of those words which He had already and previously spoken unto their fathers. WHEN THE LIVING GOD REMINDS A FUTURE GENERATION OF WORDS SPOKEN UNTO FATHERS! WHEN SONS HEAR THE INSTRUCTION SPOKEN UNTO THE FATHERS! There was an entirely new generation that would rise up in the midst of the wilderness, and it would be that new generation which would not only enter into the land of Canaan, but which would also need to know what the living God expected and required of them.

Before I move further into the words which are found within these chapters I can’t help but think about and consider the words which the ancient Hebrew prophet Micah spoke according to the word of the LORD within his generation. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the sixth chapter of this Old Testament prophetic book you will find the prophet not only writing concerning this particular time during the history of the children of Israel, but you will also find the Hebrew prophet speaking of that which the living God requires of the His people—those whom He has called by name, and those whom He has delivered out of slavery, bondage and oppression. If you begin reading with and from the first verse of the sixth chapter you will find the following words which were both spoken and written by the ancient Hebrew prophet Micah:

“Hear ye now what the LORD saith; Arise, contend thou before the mountains, and let the hills hear thy voice. Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD’s controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with His people, and He will plead with Israel. O my people, what have I done unto thee? And wherein have I wearied thee? Testify against me. For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron and Miriam. O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD. Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:1-8).

TEACHING A NEW GENERATION WHAT THE LORD REQUIRES! TEACHING A NEW GENERATION HOW TO WORSHIP THE LIVING GOD! REMINDING A GENERATION OF SINAI! TEACHING A NEW GENERATION HOW TO WALK WITH AND PLEASE THE LIVING GOD! HOW SHALL THIS GENERATION COME AND APPEAR BEFORE THE LORD? THAT WHICH WAS ORDAINED IN SINAI! REHEARSING SINAI IN THE PLAINS OF MOAB! TEACHING A NEW GENERATION ABOUT THE FIRE AND THE ALTAR! REMINDING A NEW GENERATION OF THE FEASTS OF THE LORD! APPOINTED SACRIFICES! APPOINTED TIMES OF WORSHIP! As you continue reading within this particular portion of scripture you will find the Lord speaking unto Moses concerning this new generation which was now before him in the wilderness. None of that previous generation which were numbered among the congregation of the children of Israel were present at this time save Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Upon reading the words found within this passage you will find the Lord speaking unto Moses, yet not speaking unto him concerning the previous generation, but about that generation which stood before him on this particular day. It’s quite remarkable to read the words found in these chapters, for the revelation and word the living God was speaking unto the congregation of the children of Israel was in my opinion preparation for that which we find in the book of Deuteronomy which immediately follows this book. If you come to the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy you will find and discover that it is essentially a retelling and recounting of everything that took place in the wilderness, as well as a reminder concerning the faithfulness and provision of the living God. What we find within these chapters is truly astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider them, for the Lord is speaking unto Moses His servant and speaking unto him concerning this new generation and how he was to instruct them in the ways which their ancestors were taught. Despite the fact the previous generation was no longer present in the wilderness at this point in time, the lessons and experiences they learned were undoubtedly rehearsed and recounted among those who were alive and present among this new generation. Despite the fact that previous generation was no longer present in the wilderness and had perished and gone the way of their fathers, they were still THR original generation which received the law and commands of the living God as spoken unto Moses. What’s more, is that first generation was the generation that beheld the glory, presence and power of the living God as she descended upon the mountain in a consuming fire and thick clouds and darkness. In addition to this, that first generation was the one who received the pattern of the tabernacle and was instructed concerning how to worship the Lord with their offerings, gifts, sacrifices and tithes.

It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this reality, for what we find within these chapters is Moses taking of that which was spoken unto that first generation and teaching it unto this new generation which was before him. I included the words of the prophet Micah within this writing because it is within that particular portion of scripture that is found in that book we come face to face with the question of what the living God requires of those who wish to walk with and follow Him. Within the prophetic book of Micah we find this ancient Hebrew prophet speaking unto the people of God and speaking unto them concerning that which the living God requires of them. What’s more, is that there is within the words which the prophet Micah spoke a strong connection to what we find in the Old Testament book of Numbers, for within the book of Micah we find a reference to how the children of Israel sinned against the Lord in the plains of Moab when they transgressed against the Lord by committing fornication with the women of Moab. What’s more, is that within the prophetic book of Micah we also find him referencing the account of Balak king of Moab who sought to bring Balaam into his service to curse the people of God. There appears to be a strong and intrinsic link and connection between that which the prophet wrote and spoke concerning what the Lord requires and the events which took place in the plans of Moab—not only when Balak king of Moab sought to curse the people of God, but also as the children of Israel had committed fornication with the daughters of Moab. Within the words the prophet Micah wrote and spoke we find him asking what the Lord does in fact require of men, and if is this concept of what is required of men that is quite telling when you read these chapters which are found within the Old Testament book of Numbers. The words and language you will find in the book of Numbers is in essence a wonderful and powerful reminder unto this new generation concerning that which the living God required and expected of them. There in the plains of Moab you will find Moses speaking unto an entirely new generation of the congregation of the children of Israel—sons and daughters of those fathers and mothers which perished in the wilderness—and speaking unto them concerning those things which the Lord their God asked, demanded and required of them.

If there is one thing we must recognize and understand when reading the words which are found within this passage of a scripture it’s that although this new generation would be the ones to enter into the land of Canaan instead of and in place of the generation of their fathers, they would not be permitted to enter into the land without and apart from understanding that which the living God asked and required of them. It was true they would enter into and take possession of the land which was sworn in oath to their ancestors and forefathers, however, they would and could not enter into that land without knowing and understanding what the Lord required of them. What makes this even more telling is that that which Moses spoke unto them was not some new revelation but was something that had been spoken unto their fathers in the wilderness. It’s quite remarkable to think about and consider the fact that the same thing the living God spoke unto that first generation would now be the same thing He would speak unto their sons and daughters who were preparing to enter into the land in stead of and in place of their fathers and that generation. That which the living God was speaking unto Moses at this time—words which he was to speak unto the congregation of the children of Israel’s—was not some new revelation that was somehow specific to that new generation, but was that which the living God had spoken unto that previous generation. There is this underlying notion among us in this generation that with each new generation there somehow needs to be a new revelation—a revelation which somehow was not spoken unto the previous generation. There is this line of thinking that is so pervasive within and among us in this generation—even in pas generations—that every new generation that emerges and rises up within the earth requires and demands some new revelation. In fact, there are countless men and women among us who spend a considerable amount of time chasing and searching for a new revelation that is somehow specific to them, and is somehow specific to their generation, and yet the truth of the matter is that such a pursuit is not only vain, but it is also futile and naïve. We must recognize the words which the wisest man apart from Jesus who ever lived spoke—namely, Solomon who was the son of David, and also the king of Israel. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found within the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes you will find a wonderful and powerful statement made by this son of David and king of Israel—namely, that there is nothing new under the sun. Stop and consider if you will the word which were written by this son of David and king of Israel which was written within this book:

“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun. One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11).

If and as you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will encounter a tremendous reality which at some point in our lives we must acknowledge and come to terms with. Within the opening verses of this Old Testament book Solomon son of David, king in Jerusalem made the emphatic and powerful statement that there was absolutely nothing new under the sun, and that which is and that which we presently see has been before. I realize this might seem utterly and completely absurd to our natural minds—particularly in the age of technology, innovation, architecture, and the like which we live in during these days. I realize that to our natural and finite mind it is difficult to comprehend and fathom the reality that there is nothing new under the sun, and that everything that now is has already been and was before, however, when we read the words which are found within this book written by Solomon, we must recognize and understand it independent of technological breakthroughs, and architectural masterpieces, and the like. When and as we read the words which are found written and recorded within this particular book it is necessary that we encounter and come face to face with the reality that there is indeed nothing new under the sun, and that all things that are now in this generation—particularly and especially concerning nature and that which the living God has created and made—has been before. It might be a severe stretch to our finite minds and to our natural way of thinking to consider—even for a moment—that there is nothing new under the sun, however, I am convinced that this reality must needs be understood and recognized as we consider the words which are found within the Old Testament book of Numbers. What’s more, is that I am not only convinced that we must consider this in light of what we find in the Old Testament book of Numbers, but also that which is found in the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. We would be tempted to read the words which are found within these chapters and somehow think and consider that what the LORD was speaking unto Moses, and what Moses would in turn speak and teach unto this new generation was somehow something new that was exclusive and specific unto them. There might be the tendency to think about and consider the fact that the words which Moses would teach and instruct this new generation would apply to them exclusively and to them specifically, and yet the truth of the matter is that the words which were spoken unto them had been spoken before. What’s more, is the words which were being spoken unto them had been spoken unto their fathers in the wilderness—particularly and especially considering the fact that they were spoken unto them while they stood at the base of the mountain of God in the wilderness which was altogether on a smoke because of the all consuming presence of the living God which was as a fire upon the mountain.

It would be easy to read the words which are found within these chapters and to think about and consider the fact that the words which are present here are somehow a new revelation that would be specific to that generation which would enter into the land of Canaan instead and in place of their fathers, and yet the truth of the matter is that the words which Moses would rehearse, teach, speak and instruct this generation with had been heard and spoken before. I mentioned that there is this pervasive line of thinking within this generation that there is somehow a new revelation which needs to be received among us—a revelation that somehow was not heard or experienced before. There have been countless men and women within this generation—even with generations which have gone before us—which have spent their time and their days pursuing some “new” revelation that somehow wasn’t available before, and is somehow something entirely new unto them. There are countless men and women within this generation who search the Scriptures and who feel as though every revelation they receive—either is something new, or has to be something new which has not been before, and yet the truth of the matter is that there is absolutely nothing under the sun. Would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider the fact there is no revelation you have received from the LORD that is somehow new in this generation, and which hasn’t been received and spoken before? Would it utterly astound and confound you to think about and consider the fact that whatever revelation you think you might have received from the living God is not something that is new within this generation, and somehow something that has not been spoken before. I think we tend to forget the fact that the Lord our God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and if He is indeed the same as He was yesterday, and will indeed be the same as He will be tomorrow (and for ever)—what makes us think that there is somehow something new that He will speak unto this generation which He has not spoken unto previous generations? Oh I can’t help but think about how many generations have spent a considerable amount of time chasing “new revelations” and “new words” and that which somehow hasn’t been before. I can’t help but think about how many men and women have spent their entire lives searching after something entirely new within the Scriptures as though they expect to somehow find some new revelation that was not present before.

Stop for a moment and think about every book that might line the shelves of your local Barnes & Noble store, or even your local Books A Million store. Think about the countless and endless titles that are available for Barnes and Noble’s Nook device, and even that which is available for the Amazon Kindle. Consider if you will the countless titles that are available to order through Amazon, through EBay, through Craigslist, and even through a popular Christian distribution company such as Christian Book Distributors. Think about the countless authors which have written books throughout the years and throughout the generations, and if there is one underlying current that is woven through the fabric of all the books and titles you may and will read, there is one that stands above all the others—namely, that there is nothing new under the sun. There is without a doubt in my mind the notion that some authors and some writers have that what they have written is somehow some “new revelation,” and is somehow something that hasn’t been discovered or seen before. I can’t help but think about how many authors and writers there are which are and have been sorely and severely deceived into thinking and believing that what they have written and what they have put into print is somehow something new which hasn’t been found and present in the earth before. I can’t help but think about how many authors will write books and either they themselves will make the statement that what they have written is a new and powerful revelation from the living God, or use the reviews of others to make the claim that what they have written is somehow something new that has not been seen or heard before. I can’t help but think about how many men and women buy into this false reality hook, line and sinker, and who think that what they are reading is somehow that which has not been in previous generations. There are countless men and women who will flock to local bookstores, and will even search the Scriptures with the hope and expectation of somehow finding some new revelation which has not been seen or heard before. There are countless men and women among us within our Christian circles and within our houses of worship which chase “new revelations,” “new visions,” and “new words,” and they actually think and believe that they will somehow find something that is entirely and altogether new. There are countless men and women who may very well even stand behind the pulpit and sacred desk and profess that what they are about to speak is somehow a new revelation which has not been spoken or heard before. The tragic reality is that there are actually men and women who will buy into this naïveté and deception, and who will think that what they are hearing and reading is something new which has not been in existence before. Such men and women will spend a considerable amount of time chasing awakenings, chasing seminars, chasing “revivals,” chasing gatherings, and the like, with the hope and expectation to somehow hear something new that perhaps has not been heard or spoken before.

When and as I read the words which are found within these chapters within the Old Testament book of Numbers I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the fact that what they were hearing Moses speak unto them was not something new that was specific and exclusive to them, but was something which had already been spoken. The words which Moses spoke unto this new generation of the children of Israel was not some new revelation the living God had spoken unto Moses for those who were about to enter into the land of Canaan. It would be very easy to think that with this generation being that generation which would enter into the land of Canaan that there was the need for a new revelation and for a new vision from the Lord, and yet the truth of the matter is that entering into the land did not necessitate some new revelation and new word which had not been spoken before. This new generation—although they would be the ones which would enter into the land of Canaan instead and in place of their fathers—would not somehow need and require some new revelation which had not previously been spoken unto their fathers. In fact, if and as you read the words which are found within the Old Testament Books of Moses your ill find that the LORD instructed generations to teach and rehearse that which the LORD had done, and that which the LORD had spoken unto future generations. The more you read these books of Scripture—particularly and especially the book of Deuteronomy—the more you will encounter and come face to face with the reality that fathers, mothers, parents, grandparents and the like were instructed by the living God to speak unto future generations and teach them that which the living God had spoken unto them. There is nothing found within the book of Numbers, nor is there anything found within the book of Deuteronomy that specifically states the generation which died and perished in the wilderness taught this new generation concerning that which the living God had spoken unto them, but what we do know and what we can see is the LORD God of the Hebrews speaking unto Moses concerning that which He had already spoken unto their fathers and unto the previous generation. What we read and what we find within these chapters is a wonderful and powerful picture concerning the living God speaking unto this new generation of the congregation of the children of Israel, and how this new generation would need to learn the lessons which their fathers learned, and needed to learn the commands and statutes which their fathers and that previous generation had learned.

I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the reality that this generation which was before Moses in the plains of Moab—while it was indeed an entirely new generation of the congregation of the children of Israel—would not need, nor would they require some new revelation or vision from the living God, but would simply need that which the LOD had already spoken unto Moses and unto their fathers. I absolutely love that when you read the words found within these chapters you will not find some new revelation, and some new word or new vision which was spoken unto them, but you will find the LORD reminding them of what He had already and previously spoken unto their fathers. If you take the words which the living God had spoken unto Moses at this particular time in the plains of Moab and line it up and compare it to what the LORD had previously spoken unto their fathers you will find that there was absolutely nothing new which the LORD was speaking unto them which He had not already spoken unto their fathers. There was nothing new under the sun for this generation when it came to that which the living God had spoken unto them, for the words which the living God had spoken unto them was that which the living God had already spoken unto their fathers and unto that previous generation. I can’t help but read the words which are found within these chapters and consider the fact that there is a tremendous warning to those who spend their days and spend a considerable amount of time chasing after new revelation and chasing after new vision from the LORD, and think and believe that they can and will receive something new which has not been spoken or written before. I can’t help but think and consider the fact that there is a tremendous and powerful warning and word of caution that is being issued to those who would spend their days and much time seeking to find some new revelation and some new vision from the LORD—regardless of whether they search the Scriptures for it, or whether they read countless books, or listen to countless sermons and teachings. When Solomon wrote that there is nothing new under the sun, we must understand that this even applies to that which we consider as “revelation,” and that which we consider as “vision,” and “words” from the LORD. We must recognize and consider the fact that regardless of how powerful we might feel the revelation is which we have received from the living God, it is not something new which has not been before, for the LORD our God is the same yesterday, today and for ever, and he does not change, nor has He changed.

What I so love about that which the living God spoke unto this new generation is that He was teaching them concerning the fire and the altar, and concerning their worship before and unto Him in their generation. Their fathers had worshipped the living God with their sacrifices and with their offerings in the wilderness, and now this new generation would need to learn and understand that which the living God required and expected of them. The words which the living God was speaking unto this new generation pertained to worshipping Him and what it was He required of them. It is absolutely necessary that we understand that with this new generation entering into the land of Canaan, they would need to know what the LORD—the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—required of them. I absolutely love that these chapters not only center upon the fire of the altar, but also around the feasts which the LORD had ordained and appointed when speaking unto their fathers. What’s more, is I absolutely love how the living God was speaking unto them concerning these appointed feasts and appointed seasons and times during the year when they would worship the LORD their God. As you read the words which are found within these chapters you will encounter and come face to face with the reality that the LORD not only taught this generation concerning the offerings which they needed to bring before Him, and how to worship Him with their offerings, but He also spoke unto them concerning the feasts of the LORD—those appointed times of worship when they would present their offerings—even present themselves before the living God. I find it absolutely remarkable and astonishing to think about and consider the fact that the living God ordained the feasts which we find in the Old Testament, as well as in the New Testament—specifically in the gospel narrative of the apostle John, and even the narrative and the book of Acts—for within these books we find the Jewish feasts still being observed and celebrated by men and women in the land of Judaea and Galilee. It’s absolutely remarkable and astounding to think about and consider the fact that there is a wonderful and powerful sense of worship that was specifically ordained and appointed at certain times within the year—times when the congregation and assembly of the children of Israel needed to stop what they were doing, pause, and simply celebrate the LORD their God, and worship before Him.

I read the words which are found within these chapters and I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the words found within them, for what we find is the LORD reminding this generation concerning the feasts of the LORD which the LORD their God had ordained and appointed for and unto their fathers. The revelation concerning the feasts of the LORD was not a new revelation which was exclusive and specific to them, but was a revelation which had already been spoken unto their fathers. What I so absolutely love about the feasts which the living God had ordained and spoken unto the congregation of the children of Israel was that they were appointed times during the year—those feasts which were ordained and appointed for the spring, and those feasts which were ordained and appointed for the fall—when the congregation and children of Israel would stop what they were doing and would no servile work in order that they might worship the Lord and celebrate His goodness, His grace, His mercy, his kindness, and so much more. What we must also recognize and understand is that even Jesus celebrated and observed the feasts of the LORD, for if you read the gospel narrative of His life which was written by the apostle John, you will find that much of His public life and ministry was centered and predicated upon the feasts which His Father had ordained and appointed unto the children of Israel in the wilderness several centuries and millennia earlier. What’s more, is that even the apostle Paul observed the feasts, for within the book of Acts you will find the apostle Paul journeying unto Jerusalem in order that he might celebrate the feasts of the LORD which He had ordained and appointed for His people. When we think about and consider the tremendous words and language concerning the feasts of the LORD, it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that the feasts of the LORD were specific times which were ordained and appointed by the living God as times when His people would stop what they were doing and would take a period of time—sometimes up to eight days—when they would celebrate Him and worship Him with their offerings, gifts and sacrifices. What we find within these chapters is a truly astonishing picture of the living God reminding this generation which would enter into the land of Canaan that they would observe the same feasts and ordained and appointed times of worship which their fathers would have observed during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Undoubtedly the feasts which the LORD had ordained would have been celebrated no more than forty times in the wilderness, as the congregation and children of Israel would observe those feasts and those appointed times of rest and worship which the LORD had commanded and instructed them.

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand the significance of feasts, and how the feasts which the living God ordained and appointed were specific times during the year when His people would stop what they were doing, when they would cease from their labors, and when they would simply rest before the LORD as they worshipped Him with their gifts, their sacrifices and their offerings. What I so love about the feasts which the living God ordained and appointed was not only that within them are mysteries concerning the kingdom of heaven, and mysteries concerning heavenly realities, but within them was an appointed time of rest and worship before the living God as the people would stop what they were doing and simply engage themselves in a wonderful period of worship before the Lord their God. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the absolutely tremendous and incredible reality surrounding the feasts which the LORD had ordained and appointed for His people. It is necessary that we think about and consider the words which are written concerning the feasts of the LORD, for there is within the feasts of the LORD a wonderful and powerful prophetic symbol and imagery concerning Jesus the Christ, as well as a clarion call to rest before and in the presence of the LORD in worship before Him. Oh that we would read these chapters not only recognize and understand that there is nothing new under the sun, but also that what the living God has spoken and is speaking unto us might in fact be new to us, but it not something which has not been before, and is not something which has not been spoken before. What’s more, is that we must read the words which are found within these chapters and think about and consider the fact that there were specific times within the year which were ordained by the living God concerning resting from all our work and all our labor in order that His people might worship before Him with their gifts and offerings. Oh that we would take the words which are found within these chapters and would recognize and understand the clarion call to devote time within our day, time within our week, and even time within our months and years to simply rest from our labor, rest from our striving, rest from all that would consume us, in order that we might simply worship the Lord our God with our gifts and offerings which He has instructed and commanded.

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