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The Results of Suffering (20 of 20)
I Peter 4:12-19; 5:10-13
July 20, 1997
We all have trials, and we expect to suffer from time to time as we live out our Christian experience. But Peter says here, "Beloved, don't think it strange, weird, or unexpected that you are going to have fiery trials." In Hebrew the word is "saraph," which means "burning one." In Greek the word is "puroomai," and it means "to be set on fire."
This is heavy stuff. It is exactly what the three Hebrew children went through in Daniel 3:1-30. They wouldn't bend, bow, or burn.
There is another great example in the Old Testament. It is recorded during the Wilderness wanderings in Numbers 21:1-9.
They had just had a great victory over Arad, the Canaanite, who dwelt in the South. Israel was coming along the road to Antharim, which means "spies" when Arad came against them and took some of them prisoners.
This really upset God's people, so they made a vow to the Lord, which essentially was, "If you will deliver these people into our hands for what they have done, we will utterly destroy them and their cities."
God heard their vow and delivered up the Canaanites, and Israel utterly destroyed them and their cities. It was a great victory.
They continued their journey from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea and had to go around the land of Edom, which was where the descendants of Esau lived. The Edomites were a mighty, powerful people, and Israel feared them as Jacob had feared Esau. Israel was afraid to march through Edom the way they had just marched the road to Atharim and wiped out the Canaanites in the South. That's why they went back from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea and went around Edom.
They were fearful and afraid. They didn't even ask God, if He would help them. This fear overwhelmed them, and "the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way." Fear led to discouragement.
Then the people spoke against God and Moses. Aaron had been de ...
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