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By Shofar Communications
Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.
For further study - Numbers 20:14-29
The account we read for our devotional today, these 16 verses, record the travels of the children of Israel, led by Moses, toward the Promised Land. You will notice that they travel along the "King's Highway" which was the road of the merchants from Africa through Egypt along the lower section of Israel near the Red Sea and then into southern Jordan going north.
I have traveled many times along the King's Highway as was the case for the thousands of Jews near the end of their 40 years of wandering in the "wilderness" because of unbelief. They did not believe Joshua and Caleb who gave the positive report of the "Promised Land" after their "spy mission" into the land almost 40 years earlier.
What we read in our devotional today is the account of what happened right after Moses had been disobedient to the Lord when the Lord told the leader of the Jewish people to "speak" to the "rock" and instead, Moses "smote" the rock, Numbers 20:7-13. The Lord told Moses and Aaron that because of their lack of obedience they would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land, verse 12.
The last seven verses of our reading for today record the death of Aaron, the brother of Moses and the High Priest. The record shows that Aaron died atop Mount Hor that is near the headquarters of the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, a place called Petra. As I have visited Petra many times, I have often thought about the disobedience of Aaron and Moses and the penalty they both had to pay for not following the instructions that God gave them.
You might remember the account of the Lord sending Esau and his family to Mount Seir, which is the same location of the Edomites in this passage. When Esau arrived in Petra the Lord changed the land area, so that it would be known as Edom, after the name that God had given Esau, Genesis 36:1.
Space will not allow for me to trace from Esau in Petra, the land of Edom, to the modern-day Palestinian people (see my audio series Esau and the Palestinians.)
Verse 18 reveals that Edom would not allow the children of Israel to travel the King's Highway towards the Promised Land even though Moses said he would pay for any damages made by his people and their animals, verse 17. This account is simply one chapter in the life and struggle of two brothers, Jacob and Esau.
Their mother was told by the Lord that these two boys struggling within her womb would become two nations - two manner of people, Genesis 25:23. The Scriptures tell us that they would continue this struggle until Jesus Christ returns to the earth to settle the battle between these two brothers, Obadiah 17 and 18.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict of today is evidence of the truth of God's word and the prophecy that will be fulfilled in the end times.
PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord, to obey You and follow Your instructions.
1Thessalonians 5:16 -18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. KJV
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