Numbers 34

Sunday Evening Bible Study

May 24, 1998

Introduction

Israel has finished wandering in the wilderness for forty years, and is just about to cross over the Jordan into the Promised Land.

Moses has just finished reviewing all the places that the people had visited over the last forty years.

Now heís going to outline the boundaries of the Promised Land.

Numbers 34

:1-5 The Southern Border

:3 the salt sea

namely, the Dead Sea

:4 the ascent of Akrabbim

NIV: "Scorpion Pass", perhaps the modern place called Naqb es-Safa, about 20 miles southwest of the Dead Sea

:4 Zin

The desert area in the south

:4 south to Kadesh-barnea

65 miles southwest of the Dead Sea.

Kadesh-barnea was where the people decided against trusting God and going into the Promised Land, and had to end up waiting forty years.

Their border would stretch south to even cover Kadesh-barnea.

When you enter the Promised Land, to take possession of it, God stretches the borders to cover your previous failures and doubts.

:4 Hazaraddar

4 or 5 miles away from Kadesh-barnea

:4 Azmon

3 miles away

:5 the river of Egypt

or, Wadi or brook of Egypt (also known as Wadi el-Arish)

:5 at the sea

The southern border ended at the Mediterranean Sea, about 50 miles south of Gaza.

:6 The Western Border

:6 the Great Sea

The Mediterranean

:7-9 The Northern Border

:7 Mount Hor

This is not the same Mt.Hor that Aaron died on. That was in the south.

This mountain is ten miles north of the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos, which is north of the modern city of Beirut.

:8 entrance of Hamath

or, Lebo-hamath

A city about 50 miles north of Damascus

:8 Zedad

Northeast of Lebo Hamath about 30 miles

:9 Ziphron

10 miles farther east

:9 Hazarenan

70 miles northeast of Damascus

:10-12 The Eastern Border

:10 Shepham

Unknown

:11 Riblah

70 miles north of Damascus

:11 the sea of Chinnereth

Also known as the Sea of Galilee

:12 the Jordan

The Jordan formed the remainder of the eastern border all the way to the Dead Sea.

:13-15 Land goes to 9 1/2 tribes, the rest already settled

:15 two and a half tribes

Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had already decided to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan River.

:16-29 Those in charge of apportioning the land

These guys were the ones who would decided who got what.

The only one we recognize besides Joshua and Eleazar is Caleb.

Lessons about Borders:

1. Knowledge precedes possession

They were told the locations of the borders before they even crossed over and conquered it, before they even had possession of it.

You don't have to have already taken possession of it to appreciate what God has for you.

Get into the Word and dig out the promises that God has for you.

Stay in the Word, it's the map to the Promised Land

PSA 119:105 Thy word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.

Example: Eph.1:3Ė23

God's great blessings that He has for us.

1:3 All the blessings weíll peek at are in a sense "in the heavenlies", they are reserved in heaven, they are tied with Christ. Some of the following blessings we taste from time to time, and we certainly grow in them through our life, but I doubt that any of us can say that weíve totally arrived.

1:4 Are you holy and blameless before Him? Right now?

1:5 Do you feel like youíre His child?

1:7 Do you always feel forgiven?

1:9 Do you always know His will?

1:11 What is your inheritance? (a place in the Promised Land...)

1:18 Do you know how incredible His calling is for you, and what hope that should bring?

1:19 Do you experience all the power that God has reserved for you in your life?

We know before we take possession.

2. Don't settle for less than God has for you

The Promised Land is quite a bit bigger than what Israel settled for, or than what they have today.

Illustration

The story of the people who booked passage to the United States on an ocean liner. They took all their savings to buy the tickets. They only had money left to buy bread and cheese, food to survive on for the trip. After a week, the food was old. They begged the steward for help, found out that food all came with the price of the ticket.

Just how much does God have for you?

EPH 3:14-19 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; {and} that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

Itís hard to comprehend something that surpasses knowledge!

Are you immersed in the love that God has for you? Are you settling for only a small portion of what God has for you?

3. Some promises have limitations.

As big as the Promised Land was, it didn't cover the entire planet.

It had limitations.

Sometimes we neglect to notice that many of God's promises have boundaries to them. Sometimes there's fine print on those contracts. If we expect to receive them, we need to meet the conditions.

Examples of the "Promised Land" and it's borders

Satisfaction Ė being "fed"

Psa 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

The secret of satisfaction is not going out and doing whatever it takes to get what you want. The secret of satisfaction comes from trusting in God, and doing good.

Answers to Prayer

Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

We like to think about the possibility of getting the desires of our heart. But thereís a condition. God must be the very biggest desire in my life.

What happens is that as I make God the object of my desire, then all the rest of my desires start coming into line with the things that God desires for me. And then when I pray, I find myself asking for the right things.

Purpose in life

Psa 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Instead of being a "self-made-man", and doing whatever it takes to get your plans done, Godís way is to put it in His hands, trust Him. Do it His way.

Obtaining Godís promises

Psa 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

Weíd like to think that it can happen overnight. Maybe stick it in the microwave and in twenty seconds Ö

But obtaining Godís promises requires patience.

4. Boundaries might be to keep us from where we don't belong

The land excluded from the Promised Land was not land that God had designed Israel to live in.

Egypt was not in the Promised Land. God didn't want His children in Egypt anymore!

There are specific things that God hasn't designed you for.

You can't drive your car to Catalina. It wasn't designed for that. God hasn't designed His New Creation to continually, constantly, without repentance, practice sin.

1JO 3:9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

The naive youth

Proverbs 7:6-23

The important thing is to notice when the kid crossed the border. It might seem that the border was where he took the street to her house:

(Prov 7:8 KJV) Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

But I think itís really a step further back. Itís when he began to think about going to her house, and he let himself think about it enough that he started heading that way. And so Solomon writes,

Prov 7:24-27 Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. {25} Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. {26} For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. {27} Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

It starts in the heart.

James 1:13-16 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: {14} But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. {15} Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

We need to learn to recognize those lustful thoughts when they first come to us, and stop dwelling on them.

Know where your borders are. Itís safer if you stay in the borders.