Hot & Dusty 40 Years
What is the first thing you think about when someone says, “Turn to the book of Numbers in your Bible”? Before I finished the Set for this week, all I ever really thought about was a bunch of numbers and the story of the 12 spies. I have missed so much in the details of those 40 years God trained His people in the desert.
First of all, Israel stayed at Mt. Sinai for a whole year before they moved. I never realized that. They counted their warriors, arranged their camp, assigned moving duties for the Tabernacle and the camp, and celebrated their first Passover outside of Egypt. The next month, the cloud over the Tabernacle moved.
I also didn’t realize how discouraged Moses was with their complaining. He even told God he’d rather die than keep leading His people – Numbers 11. God shared His Spirit with 70 other elders to help Moses. When the people pointed out to Moses other men had the Spirit, he told them he wished everyone had the Spirit. What an amazing foreshadowing of the Holy Spirit to come! It also convicts me to have more desire for everyone to have the Spirit.
Over and over, God taught the children of the people He brought out of the Promised Land just how much they could trust him – COMPLETELY! Remember, their parents were too afraid to trust God and enter the Promised Land after He divided the Red Sea and “married” them at Mt. Sinai. (See Set G from last week.)
God also taught them how serious He was about His Law. He told them to stone a man who broke the sabbath law, and he opened up the ground and swallowed three whole families who were jealous of the leadership of others. God also showed them how compassionate He is by feeding them, giving them water, and not letting their clothes and shoes wear out for 40 years.
The people learned they could completely trust God and should completely obey Him only through total dependence upon Him and living in His presence. The result was completely different when they reached the Promised Land… That’s an account for next week as they go Into The Promised Land!
Check out Set H @ TheBibleFromAtoZ.com to see what all you may have been missing in the books of Numbers & Deuteronomy – which by the way is basically a farewell sermon or two from Moses.