How to Read and Understand NumbersMar 03, 2020
I am writing this post in the middle of the flu season. If there is the possibility of you having the flu, I will see you in 7-10 business days. When it comes to the flu, I don’t want it, I don’t want to mess with it, and I do not want you near me if you have it.
Why is that, you ask? Well, because the flu is contagious. The book of Numbers teaches us that it is not just the flu that is contagious. Belief and unbelief share that same contagiousness.
When you open up the book of Numbers, you can see all that God is doing, and all that God has done to provide for the Israelites. Unfortunately, there begin some complaints and some doubts about that provision and it starts to spread throughout the camp.
God’s people, once wholly devoted are now struggling to be obedient and faithful, and it is because they let that bug of unbelief in their midst and didn’t wipe it out.
Numbers is about God coming in and waiting for the old generation - the unbelieving, complaining one - to pass away so that He can take the new generation into the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey.
As we finish up Numbers, we see that the next move for the Israelites will be to get the people currently living on the land God had promised them off of it. These people did not follow God, and just like unbelief, these practices were also contagious. If the Israelites were to be a people that follow God and are set apart for His purposes, they didn’t need to catch whatever the surrounding people had. They needed to remain true to the One True God. Look for this as you read. Will Israel stay true to their God, or will they give in to the behaviors of those around them?
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN READING NUMBERS:
The attitude of the Israelites towards God
Different sections of laws in the middle of the narrative
How complaining affects the Israelites and their relationship with God