Summary: A simple overview of these two chapters - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Death & Failure (chapter 20):
• Death of Miriam (vs 1).
• Failure of Moses & Aaron (vs 2-13).
• Failure of Moses in negotiation (vs 14-21).
• Death of Aaron (vs 28).
Life & Conquest (chapter 21):
• God gives victory (vs 1-3).
• God gives water (vs 10-21).
• God gives healing (vs 4-9).
Note: this is a simple overview and not a verse by verse commentary!
• A man in North Dakota U.S.A. self-penned his own obituary;
• It has been published in his local newspaper;
• And what makes it unique is that it is only two-words long.
• The notice informing people of Douglas Legler's death;
• Simply reads: "Doug died."
• The masterpiece of brevity also featured a photo of the 85-year-old man;
• His daughter Janet Stoll, told the newspaper:
• "He said over and over, when I die I want my obituary to just say 'Doug Died.'"
• And so his wish was granted!
• Regarding death and last words;
• 15 years before his own death, Mahatma Gandhi wrote these words:
• (By the terms he used, he must have been reading, or read “The Pilgrim's Progress.“)
"My days are numbered. I am not likely to live very long - perhaps a year or a little more.
For the first time in fifty years I find myself in the Slough Of Despond.
All about me is darkness; I am praying for light."
• According to those who were near him,
• John Bunyan the author of The Pilgrim's Progress.“
• While struggling with death, his last words were,
“Weep not for me, but for yourselves. I go to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who will, no doubt, through the mediation of his blessed Son,
receive me, though a sinner;
where I hope we before long shall meet, to sing the new song,
and remain everlastingly happy, world without end. Amen.”
• TRANSITION: As we do an overview of these two chapters,
• You will notice the themes death and life flow all the way through them.
• Sadly some people die without hope,
• But the believer always dies in hope!
• Quote: Martin Luther King Jr.: “Death for the believer is a reward!”
• (American clergyman and civil rights leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize):
Death & Failure (chapter 20):
• This chapter (20) starts with the death of Miriam,
• Verse 1:
“In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried.”
• This chapter closes with the death of Aaron,
• Verse 28:
“Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain.”
• So this chapter opens and closes with two deaths;
• And in between these two bookends of death;
• We have the sin of Moses and the sin of Edom,
• So at first glance it is not the most cheerful of chapters,
• It is a chapter of death and failure!
• It is an important chapter because it marks the end of forty years of wandering;
• For the Children/People of Israel.
• And it is the beginning of marching, positively moving forward.
• Chapters 14 to 20 of this book,
• Is the only section that deals with the forty years of wandering in the wilderness.
• Forty years of going nowhere fast, forty years of going around in circles.
• One of God’s little creatures is a special Caterpillar,
• What makes this caterpillar different to all other caterpillars;
• Is its instinct to follow the one in front, they literally line-up head to tail,
• If you were to gaze casually at them;
• You might think that they were joined or locked together.
• This unusual behaviour gives the caterpillar its name,
• It is called the Processional Caterpillar.
• The 18th early nineteenth century botanist Jean Henri Fabre`
• Once saw some of these caterpillars and tried and completed a famous experiment.
• Leaving no gaps, he lined them up in a big circle;
• And got them to march around the base of a stone pot,
• He wanted to see what they would do.
• For almost a week these caterpillars went around and around in circles,
• All foolishly following the one in front of them;
• They were using a lot of energy but they were going nowhere fast!
• TRANSITION: Just like the Children/People of Israel;
• Going around in circles and getting nowhere fast!
• The journey from Egypt to Canaan, was an 11-DAY journey!
• These people took 40 YEARS to get there!