Evening Bible Study
We are at the end of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness…
Journal: Out of Egypt
:1 These are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went out of the
land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron.
:1 These are the journeys
Reminds me of … (play
Star Trek Opening clip)
:2 Now Moses
wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the LORD.
And these are their journeys according to their starting points:
:2 starting points
– we are actually only going to get the highlights of the trip. As many places that are recorded, there are
some that are missing. This is the
Tonight is going to be a kind of “recap” of the last forty years for the Israelites.
:3 They departed
from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on
the day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the
sight of all the Egyptians.
:4 For the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the LORD had
killed among them. Also on their gods the LORD had executed judgments.
:4 burying all
This was that tenth plague in Egypt, when the Angel of Death “passed over” all the Israelites
homes, but killed the firstborn of every Egyptian family. The disaster to Egypt made them free their
:4 on their gods
At first it seems like the various plagues were just random things that God
chose to bring on the Egyptians.
But if you read carefully, you see that it was all carefully planned:
(Exo 12:12 NKJV) …and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am
had MANY gods. One website I
went to listed 114 Egyptian gods. You
could say that the Egyptians were very religious.
Each plague that God brought on Egypt was carefully targeting specific
Egyptian gods, showing Yahweh’s complete superiority over all the Egyptian
gods. For example:
plague was turning the Nile into blood, a judgment against the many gods that were connected
to the Nile River.
plague brought frogs on the land, a judgment against the frog-goddess Heket.
plague brought lice, a judgment
against the desert god Set.
plague brought swarms of insects, judgments against the gods Uatchit and Ra.
Journal: Egypt to Kibroth
:5 Then the children of Israel moved from Rameses and camped at Succoth.
:6 They departed from Succoth and camped at Etham, which is on the edge of
:7 They moved from Etham and turned back to Pi Hahiroth, which is east of
Baal Zephon; and they camped near Migdol.
:7 Pi Hahiroth
Play “Egypt to
Sinai” map video clip.
They started out in northern Egypt and headed over to the Sinai
peninsula. We think they almost made it
up around the tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, but then God turned them back to Pi
Hahiroth, which we think might be located in the resort town of Nuweiba.
They would eventually make it to Rephidim, then on to Sinai.
Pi Hahiroth was the jumping off point at the Red Sea. (Ex. 14)
God had led them right down a dead end alley with nowhere to turn.
There were mountains on each side, the Red Sea in front of them, and the
Egyptian army behind them.
It didn’t seem fair. It seemed like
God led them right into a trap!
Difficulties and deliverances
If you’ve never camped at Pi-hahiroth, you’ll
never see a Red Sea parting.
We don’t like camping out a Pi Hahiroth where there is nowhere to turn.
We don’t like it when we have all our options removed and have nothing left
but to trust God.
But that’s not too bad of a place to be.
It was at Pi-hahiroth that God parted the Red Sea.
:8 They departed from
before Hahiroth and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness,
went three days’ journey in the Wilderness of Etham, and camped at Marah.
This is from Exodus 15
They had crossed the Red Sea, and then couldn’t find any water, a big
requirement to keep 2,000,000 people going!
Finally, after three days, they come to a spring, but instead of being
sweet water, the water was very bitter, very hard to drink.
NKJV) So he cried out to the Lord,
and the Lord showed him a tree.
When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet…
The end of bitterness
There are some things in life that are bitter that we just can’t get out
It may be a
tough job situation. It
may be a rotten marriage. It may be unreasonable family members.
You can’t walk away from these things.
You’re stuck with them.
But God can show you a “tree” to turn the bitter things sweet.
reminds us of the cross.
The cross speaks of what Jesus did for us, what He endured for us.
The cross also speaks of what we must “take up” in our lives when we follow
(Heb 12:1–3 NKJV) —1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a
cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily
ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the
author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him
endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of
the throne of God. 3 For
consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself,
lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Jesus had a mission, a purpose to fulfill. It contained a cross.
In exchange for the joy of heaven, He took on the cross.
And He endured. We
can endure. Consider Him.
:9 They moved
from Marah and came to Elim. At Elim were twelve springs of water and seventy
palm trees; so they camped there.
:10 They moved from Elim and camped by the Red Sea.
:11 They moved from the Red Sea and camped in the Wilderness of Sin.
:12 They journeyed from the Wilderness of Sin and camped at Dophkah.
:13 They departed from Dophkah and camped at Alush.
:14 They moved from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water
for the people to drink.
This is from Exodus 17:1-7, and is also called Massah and Meribah because
of Israel quarreling with the Lord.
There was no water. The people complained.
Moses was told to strike the rock with his rod, and water came out.
There is an
interesting rock structure in Saudi Arabia near the mountain that some are
suggesting is the real Mount Sinai.
We get a commentary on this story in the Psalms:
NKJV) —7 …Today, if you will hear His voice: 8 “Do not harden your
hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 When
your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. 10 For forty
years I was grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray
in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’ 11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”
How were they testing and trying God?
They didn’t go to God with their needs.
They went to Moses instead and just griped and grumbled
about their awful situation.
Complaining is dangerous
Over and over in the wilderness, the people complained about this or that
God’s attitude toward their complaining was that He “was grieved” with them.
When we find ourselves complaining, it’s because we have forgotten that we
serve a God who promises to meet our needs.
Listen to what comes out of your mouth.
If you hear yourself complaining too much, it’s a symptom of something
:15 They departed
from Rephidim and camped in the Wilderness of Sinai.
They would spend a year or so at Mount Sinai. This is the people received the Ten Commandments. Moses spent several months up on the mountain
getting instructions from God. This is where they built
Sinais” map video clip.
There are several opinions about where Mount Sinai is. The traditional view is that it is on the
“Sinai Peninsula”. Others have suggested
that it might be the mountain in Saudi Arabia known as “Jabal al Lawz”.
:16 They moved
from the Wilderness of Sinai and camped at Kibroth Hattaavah.
Hattaavah – “graves of freediness”
This happened in Numbers 11.
God had been leading them in the wilderness and providing all their
needs. He provided water to drink. He provided manna to eat.
(Nu 11:4–6 NKJV) —4 Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of
Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We remember
the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks,
the onions, and the garlic; 6 but now our whole being is dried up; there is
nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
intense craving – “a desire of desiring”
It’s a word that’s very similar to the Greek word “epithumia”, which also means “strong
desire”, or, “lust”.
Lust is a first step to sin
(Jas 1:13–16 NKJV) —13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by
God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is
tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire
has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings
forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
Lust leads to sin, sin leads to death.
So what happened to Israel in the wilderness?
(Nu 11:31–34 NKJV) —31 Now a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quail from the sea and left them
fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s
journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the
surface of the ground. 32 And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and
all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten
homers); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 But
while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath
of the Lord was aroused against
the people, and the Lord struck
the people with a very great plague. 34 So he called the name of that place
Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had yielded to
God actually gave them what they “lusted” for. And they died because of it.
God doesn’t promise to take away your lusts.
You need to change the direction your heart is pointing toward.
This is what “repentance” is all about.
I’ve heard way too many people over the years ask God to change them,
thinking that somehow one day they are going to wake up and all the lusts are
going to magically be gone.
We have to take ownership with our lusts.
We need to address the issue and “flee” youthful lusts.
33:17-27 Kibroth to
:17 They departed from Kibroth Hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.
These are the forty years of wanderings.
It was right after Kibroth-hattaavah that the spies were sent out from
Kadesh, and after the people rebelled, Israel wandered for forty years.
At least twenty one places in forty years.
(Notice that Kadesh isn’t mentioned here).
We get lots of place we don’t know much about…
:33 They went from Hor Hagidgad and camped at Jotbathah.
:33 Jotbathah – “pleasantness”
I’ve always loved that name. It sounds like
something that Jabba the Hut says to one of his guards.
:34 They moved
from Jotbathah and camped at Abronah.
:35 They departed from Abronah and camped at Ezion Geber.
:35 Ezion Geber
Today this is a modern
town of Eilat, an Israeli resort town on the northern tip of the Red Sea. (show
:36 They moved
from Ezion Geber and camped in the Wilderness of Zin, which is Kadesh.
This is actually the second time they came to Kadesh, at the end of the
The first time was when they sent out the twelve spies, around vss.16-17 in
:37 They moved from Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, on the boundary of the
land of Edom.
33:38-39 Aaron dies
:38 Then Aaron the priest went up to Mount Hor at the command of the LORD,
and died there in the fortieth year after the children of Israel had come out
of the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month.
:39 Aaron was one hundred and twenty-three years old when he died on Mount
Aaron lived a long life.
33:40-49 Hor to
:40 Now the king of Arad, the Canaanite, who dwelt in the South in the land
of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel.
:40 the Canaanite
The Canaanites heard about Israel and decided to do a pre-emptive strike
God delivered Israel and the place was called “Hormah”, meaning
“Destruction” because they wiped out these Canaanites.
More unknown place names…
:47 They moved
from Almon Diblathaim and camped in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo.
This was the place where the Lord took Moses up to the top of this mountain
and allowed Moses to get a peek at the promised land.(Num.27:12)
But because of Moses’ earlier disobedience, he would not be allowed to go
into the Promised Land.
:48 They departed
from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan,
across from Jericho.
:49 They camped by the Jordan, from Beth Jesimoth as far as the Abel Acacia
Grove in the plains of Moab.
:48 across from
This is where they are now, in the plains of Mob (see map). Jericho will be the first place they conquer
when they cross the Jordan.
33:50-56 Taking the
:50 Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across
from Jericho, saying,
:51 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you have
crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
:52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before
you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and
demolish all their high places;
:53 you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I
have given you the land to possess.
:54 And you shall divide the land by lot as an inheritance among your
families; to the larger you shall give a larger inheritance, and to the smaller
you shall give a smaller inheritance; there everyone’s inheritance shall be
whatever falls to him by lot. You shall inherit according to the tribes of your
:55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before
you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your
eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you
:56 Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.’
:52 destroy all
The dangers of compromise
God reminds the people that they are going to be taking some drastic steps
to enter into the Promised Land.
They need to dispossess the people that are living there. They need to destroy the “gods” of the
One of the things happening is that God is bringing judgment on these
Canaanite people for the evil things they had gotten into.
God wants His people to have no part in those things – the Canaanite ways
lead to destruction.
The Call of the Barnyard
A flock of wild
ducks were flying in formation, heading south for the winter. They formed a
beautiful V in the sky, and were admired by everyone who saw them from
below. One day, Wally, one of the wild
ducks in the formation, spotted something on the ground that caught his eye. It
was a barnyard with a flock of tame ducks who lived on the farm. They were
waddling around on the ground, quacking merrily and eating corn that was thrown
on the ground for them every day. Wally liked what he saw. “It sure would be
nice to have some of that corn,” he thought to himself. “And all this flying is
very tiring. I’d like to just waddle around for a while.” So after thinking it over a while, Wally left
the formation of wild ducks, made a sharp dive to the left, and headed for the
barnyard. He landed among the tame ducks, and began to waddle around and quack
merrily. He also started eating corn. The formation of wild ducks continued
their journey south, but Wally didn’t care. “I’ll rejoin them when they come
back north in a few months, he said to himself.
Several months went by and sure enough, Wally looked up and spotted the
flock of wild ducks in formation, heading north. They looked beautiful up
there. And Wally was tired of the barnyard. It was muddy and everywhere he
waddled, nothing but duck doo. “It’s time to leave,” said Wally. So Wally flapped his wings furiously
and tried to get airborne. But he had gained some weight from all his
corn-eating, and he hadn’t exercised his wings much either. He finally got off
the ground, but he was flying too low and slammed into the side of the barn. He
fell to the ground with a thud and said to himself, “Oh, well, I’ll just wait
until they fly south in a few months. Then I’ll rejoin them and become a wild
duck again.” But when the flock flew overhead once more,
Wally again tried to lift himself out of the barnyard. He simply didn’t have
the strength. Every winter and every spring, he saw his wild duck friends
flying overhead, and they would call out to him. But his attempts to leave were
all in vain. Eventually Wally no longer
paid any attention to the wild ducks flying overhead. He hardly even noticed
them. He had, after all, become a barnyard duck.
Edited from More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice. Copyright 1995 by Youth Specialties, Inc.
It happens very gradually. We let
down our guard. We stop paying attention
to that nagging sense that something is wrong.
And we stop being able to fly.
:1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
:2 “Command the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into
the land of Canaan, this is the land that shall fall to you as an
inheritance—the land of Canaan to its boundaries.
God describes to Moses where the borders are going to be for the Promised
Show map of
:3 the Salt Sea – the Dead Sea
border ran from the southern end of the Dead Sea to the “Brook of Egypt”, which
ends about 30 miles south of the Gaza strip.
:6 the Great Sea – The western border was the
border appears to have been up in modern Syria.
:10 ‘You shall mark out your eastern border from Hazar Enan to Shepham;
:11 the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of
Ain; the border shall go down and reach to the eastern side of the Sea of
:11 Riblah – 70 miles north of
:11 the sea of Chinnereth – the Sea of
border swoops down to the eastern side of Galilee and follows the Jordan River
to the Dead Sea.
Keep in mind, this is only the part of the land given to the 9 ½ tribes,
there were 2 ½ tribes that already had their portion given to them along the
eastern side of the Jordan River.
:16 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
:17 “These are the names of the men who shall divide the land among you as
an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun.
:18 And you shall take one leader of every tribe to divide the land for the
We get a list of the leaders of the tribes that will help divide up the
land west of the Jordan.
The one name you would recognize is that of Caleb (vs. 19)
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
(Ps 119:105 NKJV) —105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
(Ga 5:22–23 NKJV) —22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.
Against such there is no law.
You can look at this list and get depressed. Or you can consider it a roadmap to where God
is taking you.
The more you and I learn to yield and obey the Holy Spirit
in the work He wants to do in our lives, the more our lives will look like
2. Don’t settle
The Promised Land is quite a bit bigger than what Israel settled for, or
than what they have today.
Show map of
land not conquered.
3. Boundaries 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.
The naive youth
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:
(Pr 7:8 NKJV) —8 Passing along the
street near her corner; And he took the path to her house
But I think it’s really a step further back. It’s 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,
(Pr 7:24–27 NKJV) —24
Now therefore, listen to me, my children; Pay attention to the words of my
mouth: 25 Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not stray into her
paths; 26 For she has cast down many wounded, And all who were slain by her
were strong men. 27 Her house is the way to hell, Descending to the chambers of
It starts in the heart.
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. It’s safer if you stay in the borders.
The Five Chapter Book:
One: A man was walking down the
street. He fell into a hole.
He groped his way in the darkness.
After a long time, he made his way out of the hole.
Two: A man was walking down the same street. He pretended not to see the hole. He fell in. After a long
time, he made his way out of the hole.
Three: A man was walking down the same
street. He sees the hole. He falls in. He says it's
not his fault. After a long time, he
made his way out of the hole.
Four: A man walks down the same
street. He sees the hole. He knows it's there. He tries to walk around it. He falls in. He knows
it's his fault. He quickly gets out.
Five: A man takes another street.