The Journey Brought Forth "Numbers"
This blog series is focused on God’s word bringing people through their journeys in His intentional way that He has set in front of them thereby bringing them through to His completion.
Exodus through Malachi is the section of scripture that most Christians find themselves living in its revolving pattern of realization, but once they receive its revelation, the Third Stage of Life is what their lives are built upon instead of attempting to achieve. Numbers is the fourth book of the Bible, and it tells of how God was leading the Israelites through their wilderness journey every step of the way.
Numbers begins with God speaking to Moses and telling him to number the people of Israel that were twenty years and older that were able to go to war and to have a man to represent each tribe which God told Moses who they were, and the total was six hundred three thousand five hundred fifty. This number is only of the men able to go to war who were twenty years of age or older and not the number of the Levites. This is about four hundred thirty-two years after the seventy-five people in total entered Egypt with Israel. This displays how prolific God will make His people and build them in and through adversity even when it does not seem like it as long as they are following Him.
God then instructs Moses how to have the tribe’s encampments arranged. There were 186,400 on the east side, on the south side was 151,450, on the on the west were 108,100, and on the north side of the 157,600; which if you look at it from the east it looks like a cross. The names of the tribes and how they are set in order has a significant story behind it as well, but that will need to be3 explored at a later date.
Moses then numbers the Levites who were able to do tabernacle ministry and gave them jobs according to their Levitical families. This demonstrates how each person fits into their individual-collective roles as the Body of Christ.
Numbers 6:22 - 27” And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.” Which is the blessing He gives to His people today, and it always ends in the place of peace in His presence which is signified by the statement put His name on them.
The twelve tribes were now brought one each day and sanctified through an offering, and then the Levites were sanctified through a more in depth ceremonially offering for the people. This displays how God’s people are set in the “Church, ” and the priests are held to a higher standard.
The next thing it reiterates which has not been communicated in this blog series so far is the fact that God led His people through their journey allowing them to know if they were to stay in their tents and rest by a cloud being upon the tabernacle, or the cloud being lifted from it for them to continue moving. God still speaks to His people today through His Spirit and their surroundings.
The Israelites complained because they wanted meat and they were only receiving a delicious bread like food from God so He gave them an excessive amount of quail and while it was in their mouths God placed a great plague upon them. God does the same thing today to people who are not content with the things He has supplied for them. If people are looking for external things to make them content, they never will be, but once they are content internally, they can always be content.
Numbers 13:1-2 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.“ Moses told them to see if the people were strong, if the land was good, if the cities were fortified, and to bring some fruit back with them. They went and came back with a good report of the land, but ten of the twelve told Moses and the congregation that they were giants that were insurmountable, and the whole congregation was disheartened; therewith only two of them that were over the age of twenty when they came out of Egypt, Caleb of the tribe of Judah and Joshua of the tribe of Benjamin were allowed to enter the Promised Land because they spoke up and said God is able to do what He has promised. Everyone else had to die as the congregation wandered in the wilderness for the next thirty-eight years. This happens in people’s lives today. People are told what God is going to give them, He proves Himself to them through their relationship with Him, leaders tell them it is impossible to receive what God has already promised, they lose confidence just before they receive transformation, and they don’t receive what is rightfully theirs, but it does not have to be this way. Just because everyone else has lost heart and does not believe God has already performed His perfect work in His people does not mean He has not done it. It is set in every one of His people that believe and call upon His name with faith that He can and will do it.
God then tells Moses the difference if sinning willfully and ignorantly and to make a fringe upon their garments to remember all of the Law when they looked upon it. This is fore telling of how God’s Law is an automatic way of Life that His people stand on when they keep focused on Him.
Moses had tribal leaders from each tribe bring Him a rod, and they placed them all together over night, and Aaron’s rod miraculously budded. This was to show the other tribes that Aaron and Moses did not place themselves in their position, and God had placed them in them. It is no different today. God has His people right where He wants them to be for His glory.
Immediately after God proving who His chosen priests were, He gave them a list of responsibilities and obligations to do and more ordinances to oversee. Every time God gives His people more revelation of who they are in Him He also gives them more responsibilities to uphold.
After this, the congregation complained against God to Moses, and God told Moses to Speak to the rock, and it would produce water for them, but Moses struck the rock. God supplied the water even though Moses disobeyed Him, but the punishment was for Moses to not be able to enter the Promised Land. God gives distinct directions to His people every moment of their lives, and when His people disobey Him, He chastens them.
Numbers continues with several nations not allowing passage through their lands even though the Israelites were willing to pay; so they had to force their way through the land (we must also take the stance of kindness, but not be distracted or stopped from our destination by outside forces). The Israelites complained against God and Moses again, and God sent fiery serpents which the only way for any of them to live was to look at a brass serpent on a pole (a portrait of looking to the cross).
Balak the king of the Moabites, (one of the descendants of Lot Abraham’s cousin that Abraham took with Him after God told him to get out of his land and way from his family) tried to hire Balaam, a non-Jew that was a prophet of God, and Balaam told Balak that he could not speak anything that God did not tell him, but went to Balak without God’s consent. God gave Balaam’s donkey the ability to see the angel of death that God had sent, and it avoided the angel twice then could not so it laid down. Balak hit the donkey and threatened it, and the donkey spoke to him explaining what was happening then Balak’s eyes were opened to the reality of the situation. Even though God’s prophets are who He creates them to be, they can still be improperly focused by distractions of this world.
God had Moses number the Israelite again after almost forty years in the wilderness, and the number had decreased by eighteen hundred twenty. This was a decrease in their population by less than one percent, even though they dealt with a harsh environment and the repercussions of speaking out against God.
Moses then gets to see the Promised land and is reminded that he would not be allowed to enter into the land because of disobedience. After Moses sees the land, he asks God for a predecessor and God gives him Joshua. Moses takes Joshua in front of the congregation and has the priest anoint him the successor. God will show His people who are to follow them and continue the work they started.
The next thing they did was to speak and plan again for the offerings and the feasts to be observed and treated properly. These feasts are important in a spiritual understanding just like the rest of God’s word.
The laws of vows are told concerning ladies and their husband and young ladies in their father’s homes. It was taught that if the father or husband heard the vow and did not speak out against it, the father or husband was responsible for the vow that had been made. We know that our Father God and our husband Jesus Christ always hears us.
Moses gave the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh their inheritance outside of the Promised Land with the contingency of them going into the Promised Land and helping the rest of the tribes take the land from its inhabitants.
The journey through the wilderness was highlighted once again at the end of this book. God wants His people to look back on their journey and understand what they have gone through, learned, and become because of the lives they have experienced by His leading.
The Book of Numbers tells about the journey of God’s people through the wilderness, and how God leads and guides His people all of the way. There will be some people lost, and there will be trying times for all, but the true meaning of all life is to keep focused on God and know that no matter what the situation may appear to be, God is always near His people and knows what they need, to be brought through it.