“Bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
“And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them.” – Numbers 15:38-39

Readings

Numbers 15:32-41 · Matthew 22:1-14 · Psalm 17

Sermon

In the Scriptures garments are symbols of those principles which clothe the soul. So in the Word we often find directions as to what kind of clothes people should wear. There is the command not to wear a garment of linen and woolen together, for a woman not to wear the garment of a man, for a man’s garment not to be kept as a pledge after the sun has gone down, and now the law before us: that a fringe should be made to the garment, and on the fringe a ribband of blue.

To teach us how to give the soul such a dress that it may be beautiful in the sight of the angels in heaven the Lord says, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.”

The chief use of clothing is for defense against the chills and variations of the weather, and there are, of course, other uses, such as for the promotion of beauty, and for the distinction of office.

The soul has its summers and winters and varying seasons, as we read in Zechariah of the living waters flowing out from Jerusalem, “in summer and in winter shall it be.” There are times of sunshine and warmth in the soul, when we are in states of happiness and peace; and there are times when our love is cold, and life seems joyless and sad, when the storms of doubt and fear afflict. The truths of Word will be a comfort and blessing in times of joy and of sorrow, in sickness and in health, in summer and in winter; and we should know that the Lord in His mercy has provided us with this spiritual clothing.

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Aaron’s Rod, by Louis A. Dole

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“And, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” – Numbers 17:8

Readings

Numbers 17 · John 5:30-47 · Psalm 115

Sermon

In the chapter preceding that of our text is the account of the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram and the general murmuring of the people against Moses and Aaron. To quell this discontent, Moses was commanded to take a rod from each tribe – twelve in all – and to write the name of the head of the tribe upon the rod of each, writing the name of Aaron for the tribe of Levi. These rods were then all placed in the Tabernacle before the Ark, which contained the two tables of the Law. There the Lord promised to meet Moses, and said, “And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel.” All this was done according to the Divine command, and on the morrow, when Moses went into the Tabernacle, “the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” This was done to establish the tribe of Levi in the service of the Tabernacle and to confirm the authority of Aaron and his posterity in the priesthood.

There are two qualities that proceed from the Lord, Divine love and Divine wisdom, or Divine good and Divine truth. It is the function of truth to rule by its laws, as a king does; it is the function of good to save by mercy or love. Originally in Israel the priesthood and royalty were conjoined in one person, because good and truth as they proceed from the Lord are united. Later these were divided, as the people declined into self-dependence and idolatry – doing what was right in their own eyes – and it was permitted that the two should be quite separated, and that the Lord should be represented as to Divine truth by kings and as to Divine good by priests.

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“And Balak said unto him, thou shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence.” – Numbers 23:13

Readings

Numbers 23:1-24 · Luke 24:36-53 · Psalm 16

Sermon

We recall the story. The Israelites are traveling through the wilderness, and are approaching the domain of Balak king of Moab. Balak is frightened, and sends for Balaam, the Mesopotamian wizard, and asks him to curse Israel. But Balaam has been told by the Lord that he must speak only what the Lord will put in his mouth, and so, looking out from the height overlooking the encampment of Israel, he pronounces a blessing. Then it is that there occurs to Balak the idea which is recorded in the text. Perhaps if the prophet did not see the whole host in its multitude, he might be able to curse them, So King Balak says: “Thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence.”

It was a vain expedient. The blessing came pouring forth more richly and abundantly than before. It was not the numbers of Israel but what they represented that drew forth the blessing.

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“Make thee two trumpets of silver… that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.” – Numbers 10:2

Readings

Numbers 10:1-13 · Revelation 4 · Psalms 98, 99, 100

Sermon

This is one of many laws given through Moses at Sinai which were abrogated as to their literal observance when the Lord came into the world. But being a part of the Word they have a meaning for today and for all future ages.

When the commandments were given at Sinai, there was the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud, signifying that a revelation from the Lord was being given.

Our text speaks of two trumpets made of silver. If both were blown at the same time the people were to assemble before the tabernacle. If but one trumpet was blown, the princes and heads of Israel were to assemble. When an alarm was sounded, the camps on the east were to take up their journey, and at the second sounding the camps on the south. Before going to war they were to blow an alarm on the trumpets, and also on the days of their rejoicings, on their solemn days, and in the beginning of their months.

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