Numbers 15:1-41


I.    This chapter gives instructions concerning the giving of sacrifices.  Why does God includes these instructions at this point?

A.  To comfort the adults.

1.   God has just condemned these people to a life time of wandering because of their unbelief.

2.      This is what they deserve, but God shows his mercy to them.

3.      These instructions teach Israel that God has not totally forsaken them.

4.      They can believe that although they won't go into the promised land, their children will get to go in.

B.   To comfort and warn the children.

1.   The children know their parents will die in the wilderness.

2.      This knowledge could cause them to become discouraged and turn against God.

3.      God, by giving these instructions, give the children hope that they will go in to possess the promised land.

4.      These instructions are also a warning to the children.

a.   The adults had these same instructions, but they rebelled against God and failed to inherit the promises.

b.   The children will know that they, apart from the grace of God, will also rebel against Gd.

C.   These instructions begin with the phrase, "When ye be come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you," because God intends for the sacrifices, offerings and feast days to cease while Israel wanders.

1.      People that are in rebellion against God do not have God's blessings on their "worship".  When Israel fails to keep the promises of God, they are saying that God did not "pass over" them in the Passover.

a.   If we fail to live by the promises of God, aren't we saying that God has not saved us?

b.   Isn't God justified in keeping His promises from us if we fail to claim them?

c.   If we are wandering around with no hope, isn't it because we have failed to believe the promises of God?

2.      Note the following concerning the ceasing and beginning again of Israel's holy days.

a.   Ex. 12 - When the first Passover was observed, Israel was not in rebellion against God.

b.   Numbers 9 - When Israel observed the second Passover, Israel was not in rebellion.

c.   Numbers 13,14 - Israel rebelled against the command of God to possess the promised land.  From this point, the feast days are not celebrated until Israel goes into the promised land.

d.   Deut. 16 - Moses, in the year of his death, and in the year that Joshua leads Israel into the promised land, gives the "new" generation instructions concerning the feast days.

e.   Joshua 4:19 - Israel completed crossing Jordan on the tenth day of the first month.

f.    Joshua 5:2-9 - The males were circumcised after Israel crossed Jordan because this religious observance was not kept.  (None of the feast days were kept.)

g.   Joshua 5:10 - On the fourteenth day of the first month the Passover is observed for the first time in 40 years.


II.   Verse 3-10 - The meat (meal) offering and drink offering for various sacrifices.

A.  Verse 3-5 - The meat (meal) offering and drink offering for (1) a burnt offering, (2) a vow, or (3) a freewill offering.  (Any animal except a ram or bullock.)

1.      One tenth deal of fine flour mingled with one fourth hin of oil.

2.      One fourth hin of wine.

B.   Verse 6,7 - The meat offering and drink offering for a ram.

1.      Two tenths deal of fine flour mingled with one third hin of oil.

2.      One third hin of wine.

C.   Verse 8-10 - The meat offering and drink offering for a bullock.

1.      Three tenth deals of fine flour mingled with one half hin of oil.

2.      One half hin of wine.

D.  The reason for the various quantities of meat and drink offering is because of the sacrifice it accompanies.  For a fuller explanation see the notes on Leviticus chapters 1-6.


III. Verse 11-16 - There is one ordinance for all.

A.  Verse 13 - All the Jews shall observe the same laws.

B.   Verse 14 - Any stranger that sojourns with the Jews shall be under the same laws as the Jews.

C.   There is only one law for there is only one God.

1.      These things should teach Israel that Gentiles can be saved and added to the Kingdom of God.

2.      This law will be used when Rahab and Harlot joins Israel.


IV. Verse 17-21 - The law of the Heave Offering.

A.  This is to be observed "when ye come into the land whither I bring you."

B.   This heave offering is in addition to the heave offerings described in Lev. 7;12, 7:32-34, and 10:12-15.

C.   A part of all they eat shall be heaved before the Lord.

1.   this would be given to the priest for their eating.

2.   In this manner, God would provide the needs of the priesthood.

D.  They shall give the first part to the Lord.  They, as well as we, should grow accustomed to remembering the Lord first.


V.  Verse 22-31 - The sacrifices for different types of sin.  (These would be committed after Israel comes into the promised land.)

A.  Verse 22-26 - A sin of ignorance made by the entire congregation.

1.      They shall offer the same sacrifice as described in Lev. 4:13-21.

2.      Note the phrase, "according to the manner" in verse 24.

B.   Verse 27-29 - A sin of ignorance made by one person.

1.   The person shall offer the same sacrifice as described in Lev. 4:27-35.

2.      There will be one law for the one born of Israel and the stranger.

C.   Verse 30-31 - A presumptuous sin will not be forgiven.

1.   A presumptuous sin is a sin that is committed in total disregard and hatred for God's law.

2.   It is committed by the person as if daring God to do something about it.

3.      This does not mean that the person that knows God's law and breaks it will not be forgiven.

4.   It is referring to the person that despitefully reproaches God by intentionally breaking His law.

5.   An example is shown in verses 32-36.  (Part VI. of this outline.)


VI. Verse 32-36 - An example of presumptuous sin.

A.  This example should serve as a warning to Israel that God does mean business.

B.   Israel is in the wilderness.

1.      Israel will learn that if God will enforce His laws in the wilderness, He surely will enforce them in the promised land.

2.   We do not know exactly when this event took place except that it took place while Israel was in the wilderness.

C.            Gathering sticks on the Sabbath day seems like small offence.

1.      This is in direct contradiction to the law of Ex. 16:23 which commanded all of Israel to prepare on the 6th day for the 7th day.

2.   God had provided enough manna on the 6th day for the 7th day, but his man had presumptuously ignored God's plain command.

3.      Many people disregard the plain commands of God about worshipping on His day.  Many businesses operate on His day and many "Christian" people do their shopping on that day.  God will not hold them guiltless.

D.  What they did.

1.      Somebody found the man, noted his sin, and made the sin public.

2.      Somebody has to recognize sin today and make it public.

3.      They brought him before Moses and Aaron, their spiritual leaders.

4.      Moses and Aaron put him in ward (jail).

5.      They didn't know exactly what to do for the law of Numbers 16:30,31 did not say what Israel should do.  (That law said that God would do.)

E.   The verdict from God.

1.   The man shall die.

2.   All Israel shall stone him with stones.

3.   The reason all Israel shall have a part in the death is because his sin brought condemnation upon all Israel.

4.   All Israel obeyed the command of the Lord and the man died.

5.      There were no "bleeding heart lawyers" to get him off.


VII.      Verse 37-41 - A daily reminder to Israel that they belong to God.

A.  The ribband of blue.

1.      First, they are commanded to put a "fringe" (him) on their garments.

2.      Next, they are commanded to put a "ribband" (thread) of blue in the him.

3.   The thread wouldn't be noticeable because it would be on the side of the him toward the body.

4.      This would serve as a reminder to Israel that they belong to God.

5.      Many people today reject these daily reminders, chosing instead to be "spiritual" and remember God in their own ways.  (And most of them forget God.)

B.   The misuse of God's reminder.

1.      Matt. 23:5 - The Scribes and Pharisees enlarged the borders of their garments.

a.   The ribband was supposed to be a thread, visible only upon close inspection.

b.   These hypocrites made the thread into a wide border that they might appear more holy and righteous than others.

2.      Matt. 23:5 - The Scribes and Pharisees make broad their phylacteries.

a.   The Phylacteries (or frontlets) were inventions of the Pharisees and Scribes, the ribband was God's institution.

b.   They were strips of parchment on which was written passages of scripture, and worn about the forehead and forearm.

c.   They were designed more to be seen of men than for the good of the wearer.