Summary: God has a cure for every plague and He can stop them dead in their tracks. This passage in Numbers calls the church to stand in faith and intercede for the world around us.
Standing Between the Dead and The Living
PPT 1 Message title
We are going to look at an amazing story in the book of Numbers about a plague that came as a judgment from God and was stopped. And we are going to learn some valuable lessons that we can apply to the current situation in our world with this deadly Covid19 viral disease.
I am not saying Covid19 is a judgment from God, it may well be, but I don't know. My thought is that this epidemic is just a taste of what is coming if the bible is too be believed, and it is. I do find it interesting that the state hit the hardest here in the US, is the same state where its leaders were laughing and smiling as they passed one of the most liberal abortion laws in the United states. I don't think God was laughing. Franklin Graham can't hold gospel crusades in England because he is allegedly homophobic. Imagine refusing to allow gospel crusades because a preacher believes what the bible says! Those types of things are the real virus that is killing our world. Still I don't know if Covid19 is a judgment from God, I do however feel it is a shot across our bow.
Even if it is a judgment there is still hope, and we will see that in the bible story we are about to look at.
Let me give you the background and then we will begin.
Dathan, Abihu, Korah, challenged Moses' right to lead. God issued the worlds first quarantine, the ground swallows up and they are all killed. What happens next is almost mind blowing:
PPT 2 text
Nu 16:41 But on the next day all the congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, "You are the ones who have caused the death of the LORD's people."
The whole nation was committing the same sin, grumbling against Moses' leadership. God made it clear it wasn't Moses they were rejecting, but by proxy God Himself.
Let's keep reading
PPT 3-5 text
Nu 16:42 It came about, however, when the congregation had assembled against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tent of meeting, and behold, the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared.
Nu 16:43 Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting,
Nu 16:44 and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Nu 16:45 "Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly." Then they fell on their faces.
Nu 16:46 And Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer and put in it fire from the altar, and lay incense on it;then bring it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them, for wrath has gone forth from the LORD, the plague has begun!"
Nu 16:47 Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people.
Nu 16:48 And he took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked.
Point #1 Stop freaking out and start looking up with full faith and confidence in the mercy grace and power of God.
Are we relying only on hand washing? All you need is for a few cells to get inside you.
How big is the corona virus? All you need to do is miss washing your hands once, or get around one cough. I am not telling you that to cause you to be more obsessive in hand washing. I am telling you that to remind you that while those things are good and proper we have other defensive measures as believers in Christ.
God has a solution for the most horrible devastating plagues that can come on the earth.
Covid19 is not a death sentence, God has a cure that can stop it in its tracks.
Take comfort in that.
Point #2 God assigns the church to stand between the dead and the living and stay the plague.
We need to get past hoarding toilet paper, and stacking up food. We need to stop relying simply on the medical community and government to deal with this plague. We need to rise up as the body of Christ and couple with the work of health workers and government and add to that prayers and intercessions to make a real difference.
So let's break down this story in Numbers and see just how this plague was stopped.
1. Aaron was instructed to get fire off the altar, and put incense on it.
While these are literal instructions the NT tell us that many of the things in the OT are type and shadows to teach us truths.