A husband promises to love and to cherish his wife, but would he keep this promise if his wife was unfaithful? Not so with Christ, who, like Hosea, kept his promise, even to an adulterous Bride: he “loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
God instructed Moses to go to a mountain where he will show him the extent and the beauty of the Promised Land he is giving to Israel before he died. But beyond this disappointment, God also assured Moses that Israel, after he died, will be ably led by Joshua, a Spirit-filled man, in their conquest of the Promised Land.
No earthly promise to Israel remains unfulfilled, contradicting the claim that God’s promises to Abraham still have to be fulfilled in a future millennial reign.
Beneath Matthewâ€™s genealogy is the story of Godâ€™s salvation plan through Abraham, David, and Christ. Notice that the record includes not only Jews, but also a few Gentiles, all of them women who had tarnished reputations. But as Paul says, all those who are Christâ€™s are Abrahamâ€™s offspring, heirs according to promise (Gal 3:29).
With two, not three, swings of his staff at the rock, Moses struck out of the Promised Land! But we have a Mediator better and more complete than Moses. Moses could not give the people Living Water. Only God could. And Moses could not accompany Godâ€™s people into the Promised Land. Only Christ could, by his provision of the Living Water of eternal life.
The new spiritual life that results from looking to Jesus lifted high on the cross by faith corresponds to the new physical life given to mortally snakebitten Israelites in the desert who by faith fixed their eyes on the bronze serpent.
The book says about the women’s turns in the king’s chamber, “In the evening she would go in, and in the morning she would return to the second harem” (Est 2:14). Now we know that a night with a king widely known for being a womanizer was not spent on exchanging pleasantries.
“You wish to go back to Egypt? Then you shall go back in the direction of the Red Sea where you started your march. You wish to die in the wilderness? Then you shall die in the wilderness. Do you fear that your children will be slaves in Canaan? Then your children will be shepherds in the desert for 40 years.”
Christian, Jesus is your “spy” who knows everything about your Promised Land because he came down from there. He assures you that your Promised Land is the heavenly city, beautiful and abounding in Godâ€™s blessings. Its inhabitants are not wicked enemies you have to fight and conquer, but righteous friends with whom you will fellowship for eternity. Its fortifications do not just reach up to heaven, but the city is in heaven itself, safe and secure from all evil.
Numbers 11 and John 6 show us that Jesus as our Mediator is better than Moses the mediator between God and Israel. Unlike Moses, even in his darkest hour, Christ did not grumble against God about the rebellious people he was saving. Instead, he prayed for their salvation and for God to be with them.
When we are fully obedient to Godâ€™s word in our pilgrimage, and when we invite others to join us, God promised to bring us together to our Promised Land, a place that will be for us a “resting place” (Numbers 10:11-36).
The one who had no blemish or defilement, who was perfectly obedient, and who was eternally faithful became our defilement, our rebellion, and our unfaithfulness to be offered as a sacrifice for our sake on the cross.