Commands from God?

bible-questions
oldtestament
numbers

(Devon ) #1

Hi Everyone!

Sort of a Quick Question here. But, in the Bible specifically the Old Testament when a Command is given by God it’s usually quite clear that it’s from God right?

Like For Example, phrases like “Thus says the Lord”, “The Lord Commanded Moses”, “A Command from the Lord”, and “And The Lord Said”. So of a commamd is given but it doesn’t say anything about being from God, can we then rightly believe that sich a claim was not from God?

The Verse in My Mind is Numbers 31:15-20, these Commands are given by Moses, yet there is nothing written there that indicates that they were from God at all.

Thank,you all,and God Bless! I just want to be sure about this issue.


(SeanO) #2

@Dev That is a very good question! I hope what is below will help you to begin processing this passage. May the Lord Jesus grant you wisdom and understanding :slight_smile:

There are certainly instances in the Bible where men make decisions and the text does not indicate that God was behind their actions at all. For example, lots of things that happened in the book of Judges - the whole point of that book is that ‘everyone did what was right in their own eyes’. Or certain decisions that King David made - like not dealing with his son Amnon’s sin, which then led to his other son Absalom’s rebellion.

In this particular case, it appears that what happened is the Moabites sought to bring a curse upon Israel by using their women to lure the men into the worship of foreign gods - following Balaam’s wicked advice (Numbers 31:16). The Moabites successfully brought a plague on Israel that cause 24,000 to die - the plague was ended by Phinehas, who drove a spear through an Israelite man involved in idolatrous activities with a Midianite woman. As a result of this attempt to pollute and destroy Israel, God told Moses to treat the Midianites as enemies (for obvious reasons). So it would appear that Moses did have a command from God to treat the Midianites as enemies. Though the text does not say that God told Moses exactly how to handle the situation beyond that…

To put this in context, let us remember that:

  • God was specifically seeking to establish Israel as a holy nation and Midian was now intentionally seeking to corrupt Israel morally
  • God had to wipe out the world in the flood because of the level of violence and immorality and He was seeking to avoid that eventual end again

Number 25:1-9 - While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, 2 who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. 3 So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the Lord’s anger burned against them.

4 The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the Lord’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.”

5 So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death those of your people who have yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor.”

6 Then an Israelite man brought into the camp a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand 8 and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear into both of them, right through the Israelite man and into the woman’s stomach. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped; 9 but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000.

Numbers 25:16-18 - The Lord said to Moses, 17 “Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them. 18 They treated you as enemies when they deceived you in the Peor incident involving their sister Kozbi, the daughter of a Midianite leader, the woman who was killed when the plague came as a result of that incident.”

Numbers 31:1-2 - The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”

Article on God’s treatment of the Midianites:

http://christianthinktank.com/midian.html