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Excerpt from the book The Weapons of Our Warfare:

Lesson 39:

Hereby Shall Ye Know that
The Lord Hath Sent Me

 

There was one more great miracle wrought by Moses as he led the Children of Israel out of Egypt. Again, the sequence of events is clear. First, Moses received the Word of the Lord, his orders. By the hearing of faith, Moses believed that revelation. Then, via the gift of the working of miracles, he brought the impossible to pass at his word. The Lord commanded it. Moses said it. It came to pass.

Exodus 14:26-29: And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
27: And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
28: And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
29: But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

The people’s reaction must have been similar to that recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 8:27: But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

The Scriptures disclose God’s reason for this miracle.

Exodus 14:18: And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

Exodus 14:31: And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.

Moses continued in his ministry for forty years in the Wilderness, producing miracle after miracle to the glory of God. Yet despite this seemingly undeniable proof of the hand of God upon his life, Moses faced almost constant opposition from his own people. The uprising of the men of Korah is perhaps the most dramatic, and well worth considering in our continuing study of the gift of the working of miracles.

Numbers 16:1-2: Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:
2: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown….

Korah was exceedingly jealous of the prestige Moses held in the eyes of the Israelites. Everywhere he went, Korah heard someone solving a dispute with the words, "Well, Moses said," and every time he heard it, Korah grimaced in disgust. "I should be the one leading these people. I’m far more capable than this Moses."

Proverbs 26:21: As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

For months, Korah had been quietly at work to undermine Moses’ rule. He’d let a little word slip into the conversation, testing the waters, finding out where loyalties stood. With a little wink or a slightly raised eyebrow, he let others know that this Moses certainly didn’t impress him. He encouraged others to speak their grievances as well. "As coals are to burning coals" Korah kindled strife in the congregation of Israel, unafraid to speak evil of dignities.

2 Peter 2:10: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

Finally, after he had assembled what he believed to be an intimidating and powerful band of followers, he confronted Moses.

Numbers 16:3: And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?

This speech was crafted to appear to be addressed to Moses but in reality it was intended for the ears of the congregation. "All the congregation are holy, every one of them – not just you, Moses! Who are you to tell us what to do? What makes you think you are better than us?" But make no mistake about it. Korah had no intention of establishing a democratic society in Israel. Like many a politician today, Korah tried to hide his ambitions behind a smoke screen of concern for the people. He wanted this authority for himself.

Numbers 16:4-7: And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face:
5: And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.
6: This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company;
7: And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.

Moses was stunned by these accusations. Not only was Korah trying to usurp the government of God, he was doing it by misrepresenting Moses and his intentions. Moses had never said that he alone was holy. Moses knew that "the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy." Authority belonged to God and was His alone to delegate. Moses knew that no man chose his ministry.

Hebrews 5:4: And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

"Ye take too much upon you," Korah said to Moses. "No, Korah," Moses replied, "You take too much upon you."

Moses graciously appealed to Korah and the other Levites gathered with him to consider the honor that God had bestowed upon him, the honor of serving in the Tabernacle and standing before the congregation to minister unto them. "Seemeth it but a small thing unto you?" he asked.

Numbers 16:8-11: And Moses said unto Korah, Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi:
9: Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them?
10: And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?
11: For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the LORD: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?

Moses let the people know that their revolt was against God, not against him. But his appeal to peace and order fell on deaf ears. They threw his words back in his face. "Let’s talk about this small thing," they said sarcastically.

Numbers 16:12-14: And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up:
13: Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?
14: Moreover thou hast not brought us into a land that floweth with milk and honey, or given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: wilt thou put out the eyes of these men? we will not come up.

Now Moses, says the Word, was very wroth. God, on the other hand, had a very simple solution in mind.

Numbers 16:15-21: And Moses was very wroth, and said unto the LORD, Respect not thou their offering: I have not taken one ass from them, neither have I hurt one of them.
16: And Moses said unto Korah, Be thou and all thy company before the LORD, thou, and they, and Aaron, to morrow:
17: And take every man his censer, and put incense in them, and bring ye before the LORD every man his censer, two hundred and fifty censers; thou also, and Aaron, each of you his censer.
18: And they took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood in the door of the tabernacle of the congregation with Moses and Aaron.
19: And Korah gathered all the congregation against them unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the congregation.
20: And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
21: Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.

A lesser man might have said, "Amen and Hallelujah! Sounds like a good idea to me!" Such is the failing of man that when we sin against others, we entreat the Lord of His mercy, but for those who sin against us, we implore His quick judgment.

Romans 12:14: Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Amazingly, Moses and Aaron continued to intercede on behalf of the Israelites.

Numbers 16:22-27: And they fell upon their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?
23: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
24: Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
25: And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.
26: And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.
27: So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.

Now, Moses drew the proverbial line in the sand.

Numbers 16:28: And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.

If you are ever going to serve the Lord with any kind of authority to your ministry, you’d better know that the Lord sent you to do that work, and not you yourself.

Here was the revelation from God.

Numbers 16:29-30: If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me.
30: But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.

And here was the immediate and terrible result, the miracle wrought by Moses at the Word of the Lord to prove once and for all that his ministry was of God and not himself.

Numbers 16:31-35: And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them:
32: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.
33: They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
34: And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.
35: And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.

The moment these words left the lips of Moses, the earth "opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah and all their goods." Earthquakes are not generally known to be so choosy. All the camp ran for fear of their lives, including the 250 men that offered incense. But the fire of the Lord hunted them down and slew them as well. Not a guilty person escaped. Not an innocent person was harmed.

Jude 1:11: Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

You might think this one lesson would be enough to last a lifetime. But to do so would be to underestimate man’s incredible capacity for foolishness.

Numbers 16:41-50: But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD.
42: And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.
43: And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation.
44: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
45: Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.
46: And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.
47: And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.
48: And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.
49: Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.
50: And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.

The day came when Moses finally "blew his stack" and acted in anger and not obedience.

Numbers 20:1-3: Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.
2: And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
3: And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD!

It gives a person chills to read such a statement.

Numbers 20:4-5: And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?
5: And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.

Moses and Aaron left the assembly to seek the Lord’s counsel. Moses was told to "speak unto the rock before their eyes, and it shall give forth his water."

Numbers 20:6-8: And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.
7: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
8: 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.

Yet on this occasion, Moses did not do as he was told. Instead of speaking unto the rock, He smote it, not once but twice.

Numbers 20:9-11: And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.
10: And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
11: And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

In Horeb, God had commanded Moses to smite the rock to bring forth water.

Exodus 17:3-6: And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
4:And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
5: And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
6: Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

This rock symbolized Jesus Christ, the Rock of our Salvation, Who was crucified for our sins.

Psalm 95:1: O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

1 Corinthians 10:4: And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

The gift of Christ is a "well of water springing up into everlasting life."

John 4:14: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

But Christ was only crucified once. Having received the gift of salvation, the repentant sinner now must confess his sins to Christ. He must speak to the Rock.

1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This was the lesson God intended Moses to present to the Children of Israel. There are certain pictures in the Word that God will not allow to see disparaged, even if it means keeping a man from fulfilling his ministry. This is especially true when that picture concerns Christ. This was one of those times.

Numbers 20:12: And the LORD spake unto 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.

This sad event should not be allowed to overshadow all that Moses did accomplish for God. In the epitaph that Moses himself wrote, the Lord made it known that "there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face."

Deuteronomy 34:1-12: And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan,
2: And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea,
3: And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.
4: And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.
5: So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
6: And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
7: And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
8: And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
9: And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.
10: And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,
11: In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land,
12: And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.

Compare his end with his beginning, and you will see in Moses a man who learned that it was not who he was that mattered, but who God was.

Exodus 3:11 and 14:11: And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
14: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

This is definitely a lesson you and I will need to have settled in our hearts if we are going to fulfill our ministries.

1 Corinthians 15:10: But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Numbers 16:28: And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.