Israel, Wilderness, Temptations

The Ten Temptations of the wilderness

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The Ten Temptations of the wilderness

Moses speaks to the children of Israel in the wildernessTEN in scripture is one of the perfect numbers and signifies “the perfection of Divine order”. It implies that nothing is wanting, that the number and order are perfect and that the whole cycle is complete!  It is also the number of man’s responsibility!

TEN commandments were given and contained all that was necessary, and no more than was necessary Exodus 20 v 1/17.  The Lord’s prayer is completed in TEN clauses. Noah completed the antediluvian age in the TENTH generation from God. 

When we are born again of God’s precious Holy Spirit and have been given the POWER to become the sons of the Living God, we have a responsibility to walk in the authority of those who believe and trust in HIM.                                                                                                     

Romans 8 v 15 “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

When we read about Israel going into the desert for those very long years, we can learn lesson after lesson about how to deal with the fears, doubts, rebellion, hunger, thirst that are the same in our own lives today.                                        

In 1 Corinthians 10 v 5/6 we read “Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased, FOR THEY WERE LAID LOW IN THE WILDERNESS.  Now these things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave evil things, as they also craved.”

Numbers 14 v 22/24 “Surely, all the men who have seen My glory and My signs, which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these TEN times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.  “But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.”

TEN is the number of completeness.  Rebekah was entreated to tarry ten days before starting from home to meet her bridegroom Isaac.  Genesis 24 v 55.

Eliezer took with him TEN camels and bracelets of TEN shekels as he started from the homeland to seek a bride.  Genesis 24 v 10.

Jacob’s wages were changed TEN times, thus setting forth the complete disappointment of life while away from God and God’s land.  The tables of stone written by the finger of God contained ten commandments (complete law).  Genesis 31 v 41.

The parable of the TEN pounds, TEN talents, ten cities set forth complete stewardship and complete responsibility.  Luke 19 v 11/27.

The woman lost one of TEN pieces of silver and consequently marred the completeness of her betrothal, wedding and marital happiness. Luke 15 v 8.

Christ healed TEN lepers (complete work), but only one returned to give thanks (incomplete work on man’s part).  Luke 17 v 11/17.

The dragon of Daniel had TEN horns (complete power).  Daniel 7 v 7.

Daniel and the three Hebrews were proved TEN days (complete testing), and were TEN times better than the other college fed students (complete blessing). Daniel 1 v 12, 14.

“The tithe is the Lord’s”.  The TENTH is the Lord’s and is thus an acknowledgement that all we have, belongs to God.  Malachi 3 v 10.

Israel tempted the Lord TEN times, setting forth their complete failure and weakness. 

  1. The first temptation was at the Red Sea when Israel yielded to DESPAIR. God performed a miracle on their behalf, delivering Israel and destroying Pharaoh and his hosts.
  2. The second temptation was at Marah when Israel MURMURED because of the bitter waters.  God commanded Moses to cast the branch of the tree into the bitter waters, and the waters were made sweet.  The branch (Christ) of the tree (Calvary) cast into our Marah’s (bitter experiences) will turn all our bitterness into sweetness.
  3. The third temptation was in the wilderness of Sin.  HUNGER was the cause of the discontent.  Israel’s stomachs got the better of them, and, like Esau, they were ready to sell out for a bowl of broth!  God gave the manna from heaven.  In condescending love and grace, He rained them bread from heaven. 
  4. The fourth temptation was at Sinai.  Here the people gave way to IMPATIENCE.  Aaron made the golden calf, and Israel fell into idolatry.
  5. The fifth temptation was the wickedness of Nadab and Abidu, who offered strange fire.  WILFULNESS was the crime of these wayward and wicked sons of the High Priest.  They died because of their sin.
  6. The sixth temptation was at Taberah when again the people COMPLAINED.  The Holy Spirit was grieved.  The kindness of God was bestowed in vain, and judgement was sent.
  7. The seventh temptation was at Kibroth-hattavah. LUSTING after flesh, with their hearts already in Egypt, the people were ready to kill God and their leader, Moses.  The patience of God was being exhausted, and Israel was fast approaching the line beyond which there is neither hope nor mercy.
  8. The eighth temptation was Rephidim. There was no water and they were THIRSTY.  Instead of bowing before God on their knees, they were filled with vanity, pride, rebellion and they blamed God, Moses, and everyone but themselves!  God gave them water out of the flinty rock.
  9. The ninth temptation was at Horeb. Israel was wilful and DISOBEDIENT.  God’s mercy still lingers, but Israel comes nearer and nearer doom.
  10. The tenth temptation was at Kadesh-Barnea where their UNBELIEF sealed their doom. They crossed the line.  God’s dove of mercy spread her wings and departed, and Israel perished in the wilderness!  COMPLETE FAILURE BROUGHT COMPLETE JUDGMENT!

The only way to escape falling in the wilderness is to appreciate Christ and the Holy Spirit revealing Him to us.  Nothing but the appreciation of grace that has come to us in Christ and His Holy Spirit will keep us.  They had thirty-eight years’ experience of the grace of Christ, and yet they complained that they had been brought into the land to perish!  When things do not go as we wish we are very apt to tempt Christ, especially when the government of God may involve suffering and trials that may press very heavily on us.  God had given them the very best that love could give.  When we do not learn by divine teaching what our flesh is, we must learn it under very humbling experiences!  God must teach us that according to the flesh we have derived from the serpent, and then we must learn that the serpent has been lifted up.  John 3 v 14/15.

The very flesh to which I have yielded has been condemned in God’s Son.  

Father please help us to walk in the Spirit and not fulfil the lusts of the flesh which have been so clearly shown to us in your Word.  We desire to walk along the King’s Highway even in all our desert places and always know and acknowledge your grace!  Your Word has come forward for us and revealed your love and grace and we desire to live and appreciate your provision of love and care in every area of our lives!


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