Table of contents
Like a good detective, let's examine this book.
The Book of Numbers gets a bad reputation for being boring. This is because most people do not make it past the first few chapters. I'll admit, no one likes hearing about a family tree besides their own. However, after this, you will find some of the most compelling stories in the Old Testament. When we begin the book of Numbers, we are picking up at the end of Exodus. The nation of Israel has been freed from Egyptian bondage. They have made it to Mount Sinai and made a covenant with Yahweh. Now they are beginning their march toward the promised land. There are many lessons to be learned along the way.
Here's the bottom line: This young nation has much to learn about trusting God. They take a long time to make a short trip, 40 years. As we celebrate their success and agonize over their mistakes, we can learn a lot about trusting God in our own journey through life.
🔍 Things to Notice
- The listing of people at the beginning is all about announcing their readiness for war.
- This book gets its name from the census taken in Chapter 1 and later on.
- This book begins on one side of the desert and ends on the other.
🙏 Jesus in this Book
(Every book reveals the glory of God, revealed in Christ Jesus)
- The "Brazen Serpent On the Pole" Look to Him for Healing
- The place of disbelief and disobedience
- Learning to trust the Lord
Who wrote it: Moses.
There is some dispute over whether or not Moses wrote every word. He likely dictated the contents to a scribe. The authorship remains the same.
Who is the original audience: The nation of Israel.
Where are we: Most likely toward the end of the wilderness journey.
When was it written: The time period of the exodus is disputed. A good estimate is between 1440-1400 BCE.
What is the big idea: The overall idea of this book is learning to trust the Lord. They are forced into a nomadic lifestyle for 40 years. This requires them to trust the Lord every day. Hopefully, this ever-day-trusting will help them trust God in the bigger things too. We'll see.
Why is this book important: This book shows us how hard it can be to trust God over a long period of time. It's one thing to trust God when you see Him judge Egypt, part the Red Sea, reign fire down from Heaven, and provide manna to eat. It's another to trust God once those memories fade and the manna becomes part of everyday life. It can be easy to judge the Israelites harshly, but we can be guilty of the same. Many of us have a life that others pray for. Yet, we can easily wonder where God is. He is usually doing more in our lives than we can imagine.
How can I apply it?: This book is an example of how to "do life" with God and learn to trust Him in all things. As we read, learn from their successes and failures.
Let's Read it together: