Hey everyone! I am excited to be sharing with you all my next series – The book of Numbers. It has been a few years since I spent some time in this book and am looking forward to seeing what the Lord teaches me this time.
As I share what I learn with all of you, I am well aware that my attempts through a passage may not necessarily comprise the depth and knowledge that some of you may hold over this text. But I do not want that to hold me back from sharing. I grow a lot in my understanding of the word each time I revisit a book. So, with humility I approach this book, and invite you all to journey with me.
Numbers is the fourth book in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the bible), the Hebrew title of the book is ‘Bemidbar’ which means ‘In the wilderness’ and is quite apt considering that the book tells of the account of the nearly 40 years of the Israelite journey in the desert after the Israelite exodus from Egypt where God through Moses, freed them from slavery, and at Mount Sinai they enter into covenant (Exodus 19-24) with God to be his people among whom he will reside (tabernacle).
The book depicts Israel’s identity as God’s people, as servants of God to be obedient to Him and be a part of establishing his purpose and kingdom on earth.
While it is a fairly short distance from Egypt to Israel, it took the people nearly 40 years to get there and we get to see the ‘why’ through this book. The grumblings and rebellion of the people against God invokes the chastening wrath of God on his disobedient people. Besides this we also get to see the long-suffering nature of God, his patience, mercy, and the ultimate fulfillment of his promise.
The book of Numbers accounts the fulfillment of God’s promise, His faithfulness, protection and discipline in light of Israelites’ stubbornness and rebellion.
Birds eye view of Numbers
Numbers 1-4: Israel at Sinai, preparation of their journey towards the promised land and the order they are to follow while they will camp in the wilderness.
Numbers 5-9: The Nazerite vow and the observance of Passover
Numbers 10-12: The journey from Sinai to Kadesh.
Numbers 13-20: Israel at Kadesh and the delay resulting from their rebellion.
Numbers 20-22: The Journey from Kadesh to the plains of Moab.
Numbers 22-26: Balaam blesses Israel instead of cursing them, the Israelites who turned from the Lord were slain and the people are numbered again and Moses sets Joshua apart to lead Israel.
Numbers 27-30: Instructions for the new generation
Numbers 31-36: The war against Midian, Moses reflects on Israel’s journeys and instructs the people.
As I have done my other studies through topics or books of the bible, I have found that Journeying with you all helps me stay accountable to finish what I started, so thank you and I look forward to the journey through this book.