A daily break in your day to celebrate our salvation in Yeshua (Jesus) and our abundant life through the Torah

Preparing to Enter Our Promised Land – Part 2

Image271In Numbers 1-2 God appoints leaders from each tribe of the Israelites, counts the men for military battle and organizes them as to how they are to camp and move.  By Numbers 10 they are moving toward the Promised Land.  These are our bookends in this study.  Everything within this 20-day period can be considered the last minute instructions before the Israelites can move forward.

In Part 1, we referenced Hebrews 3-4, in which Paul points out,

“it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it ‘Today.’ ”  … “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;”

The last minute preparations in how to enter our Sabbath rest in these last days are the same for us as they were for the Israelites in Numbers 1-10.  These are our instructions for what is required in order for God to fulfill His promises to us.

Let’s Get Personal

Before we get started, I want to first shift our lens a little bit.

Speaking specifically about this portion of the Torah, we saw in Hebrews 3-4 that Paul (quoting David) refers to the Promised Land as “God’s rest”:

Hebrews 3:11, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”
Hebrews 4:6, “Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest,”
Hebrews 4:9, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;”

The Promised Land can represent the Millennium, or our rest that is to come, our destiny – and our rest in God even now as a lifestyle.

This is our perspective as we review this portion of scripture.

  • The Promised Land can represent the Millennium, or our rest that is to come, our destiny – and our rest in God now.
  • The Israelites represent us.
  • The priests also represent us – “a kingdom of priests.
  • Aaron as the high priest represents Yeshua, our high priest.
  • The tabernacle represents us – “your bodies are the temple.”  It also represents the place where God’s presence dwells – in us.

As we look at this story through this lens, we can see ourselves in his plan.  It becomes clear how these instructions pertain to us and how we can participate in the preparation of these last days in order to enter His rest.

The Last Minute Preparations

Let’s look at each of the points in the outline we reviewed in Part 1.

1.  Census – Counting Men Old Enough for Military Service (Numbers 1:2-3)

First, God appoints the tribes’ leaders by name – He calls them, just as our leaders today are called.  It’s important to follow leaders who have been called, not those who may have just decided on their own to lead.

In Numbers 1:2 God instructs Moses to count the men 20 years or older.  The numbers in each tribe are recorded once in chapter 1 and again in chapter 2.  Why would God need Moses to record exact numbers?

Believe it or not, this is just the summary of the count.  Look at verse 1:18:

“and they called the whole community together on the first day of the second month. The people registered their ancestry by their clans and families, and the men twenty years old or more were listed by name, one by one,”

They wrote down the name of every man.  When we see the total of 603,550, these weren’t just hash marks on a two-sided page.  These are names – God had each name written down.

Likewise, God has counted us by name.  In Exodus 33, Moses is interceding with God for the Israelites.  God says to him:  “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

God knows each of us by name.  As one of 603,000, it would be easy to feel anonymous.  Sometimes we feel anonymous is God’s worldwide plan.  But he knows each of us by name.  We aren’t a hash mark on a page either.

To God our name represents who we are – our character, our destiny, our strengths.  Names mean something, and they aren’t just given to us by accident or coincidence.  That’s what God was looking at in this census.  He’s taking stock of who we are individually and collectively, because He’s putting together a strategy to enter the Land based on who He’s got to work with.  This is the first thing any good commander does.

This census was about God calling each individual by name to His service.  That’s what He does with us.  (Remember, these people represent us.)  Each and every person counts.  And He is counting on us, on who we are, on who we were made to be.  He knows who we are, and we have a specific place in His plan.  Write your name in His census as one called to His service.

2.  The Tribes are Positioned Around the Tabernacle (Numbers 2:1-31)

In chapter 2 God instructs each tribe where to camp around the tabernacle.  These are very specific instructions.  He’s put them in a rectangle with the tabernacle in the middle and three specific tribes on the east side, three on the south, three on the west and three on the north.  This is their position in the camp.

There’s any number of ways he could’ve arranged them – He could have mixed the tribes, put them in a circle, put the tabernacle out front with rows of people behind.  But He arranged them this exact way for strategic reasons, according to what they’re going to encounter on their trip.  He knows what’s ahead, behind and to the sides.  This is their best position for what’s ahead as they enter the Promised Land.

This is what he does with each of us.  He has positioned us where we are for specific reasons.  This includes where we were born, our country, our region, the family we were born into, our denomination or theology, our local group of believers, our leaders, down to our specific station in life, career, family, neighbors – all of it.  When we’re obeying his leading, He positions us in the best place to accomplish His plan based on who we are.

This is an important step in our preparation for entering the land – accepting His placement of us in His service.  Not striving to make your own place, not lamenting that you’re not up front or closer to the tabernacle; but following His instructions exactly for where you’re positioned and trusting that this is the best possible place you can be to accomplish his will.

3.  Census of the Levites and Defining Their Roles (Numbers 3-4)

Earlier we said the census was about God taking stock in who we are, calling us by name.  In chapter 3 He’s now doing this with the Levites.

We can see that these are a subset within the Israelites.  Even though they were called out as a group for service in the tabernacle in chapter 1, now God records each one by name.  It’s not that they were all lumped together because they were all in the ministry.  No, God is planning very specific tasks for each clan of the Levites.  He’s calling them individually.

In Numbers 1:48-51 the Levites’ purpose is stated:

48 The Lord had said to Moses: 49 “You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites. 50 Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the covenant law—over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they are to take care of it and encamp around it. 51 Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the Levites are to take it down, and whenever the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall do it. Anyone else who approaches it is to be put to death.

If we think of the tabernacle as God’s presence and ourselves as the priests, this is a picture of us carrying God’s presence.  If you re-read it with that perspective, our purpose becomes very clear.  It’s us that bring God’s presence where He wants it.  We are to “camp” around it – make it our focal point in our life.  We are the representation of God’s presence on earth.  This is a serious responsibility.

In chapters 3-4, God gets very specific about the roles of each of the priests in transporting the tabernacle, and about specifically where each one was to camp around the tabernacle.  This shows us two things:

  1. God is concerned with the details of how we carry His presence.
  2. God is concerned with the details of how we do the job He’s assigned us.

You’ve heard “the devil is in the details.”  Here we see in reality God is in the details.  He has very specific plans that require each one do a very specific task.  To get to the Promised Land, He needs this exact person doing this exact job.

Look at Numbers 4:46:

So Moses, Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted all the Levites by their clans and families.  All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to do the work of serving and carrying the tent of meeting numbered 8,580.  At the Lord’s command through Moses, each was assigned his work and told what to carry.  Thus they were counted, as the Lord commanded Moses.

What does this sound like?  The unity of the body described in 1 Cor. 12:12-20:

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  …. the body is not made up of one part but of many…  God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  …there are many parts, but one body.

This is what’s going on in this story, and what’s going on with each of us.

4.  Redeeming the Firstborns (Numbers 3:40-51)

Numbers 3:40-41:

The Lord said to Moses, “Count all the firstborn Israelite males who are a month old or more and make a list of their names. 41 Take the Levites for me in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites. I am the Lord.”

This is the beginning of God’s whole plan for spiritual salvation.  Here we see it in its most primitive form, then it progresses over time in various other forms into our understanding today of a substitutionary sacrifice for salvation.

Justice had to be served in Egypt; blood had to be shed for the wages of their sin.  But remember, the Israelites were not blameless while in Egypt.  They assimilated into that culture.  The Egyptian firstborns paid the penalty for the sins of their people with their own lives.  The Israelites’ penalty was paid for with the blood of the Passover lamb.  This is a picture of someone else paying our ransom.  Now we’re slaves to the one who paid our ransom.

In verses 46-47 God instructs Moses on how to pay for every last one of the Israelites’ firstborns – down to the exact number.  Every last slave is redeemed for God’s own.  There is nothing left for them to pay.  The Levites are the ones fulfilling the payment for them by being priests for the Lord.

They become the priests until the time of Yeshua, who then becomes our high priest.  At that point, we all become priests enslaved to him who just paid our ransom once and for all.

We have to get this deep into our psyche in order to enter the Promised Land – God’s rest.  There’s not one more thing we need to pay for.  There’s nothing left hanging over our heads.  Yeshua paid for every last one of us, just as the Levites fulfilled the payment for every firstborn.

When we think that God is standing over us still trying to exact payment from us in some form, we’ll never enter His rest.  To the degree we’ve put Him in a position of critically judging us, to that degree we’ll block Him fulfilling His promise in us.

Ask the Holy Spirit to firmly plant this truth in your soul:  Your whole penalty has already been paid.  You can rest on Yeshua’s blood.  God sees you through Yeshua’s righteousness.  You can safely and joyfully come into God’s presence, and He’ll see you as blameless, just as He does Yeshua.  Orient your life with this truth at your core and take every thought captive that tempts you to doubt it.

Wow – I’m already resting better!

5.  Additional Laws for Righteousness (Numbers 5:1-6:21)

As we know, the Torah is not given to the Israelites – or to us – all at once.  It’s given as it’s needed and little by little over time.

In Number 5-6 we have four commands.  Some of them were already given in Leviticus.  Some are new.  Three of them have to do with touching a corpse, one has to do with adultery and jealousy.

Now why would those be important as a last minute preparation?  Because this is what happens in battle – you have corpses around, and you have most of the men gone to battle, separated from their wives.

The Nazirite vow is included here.  It’s interesting that God chose to put the laws for the Nazirite Vow right here.  This is the first mention of the Nazirite Vow in the Bible.  The Nazirite Vow is a way someone who’s not a Levite can also be set apart and obtain the holiness of a high priest.  It’s a sort of intercessory role, as Yeshua our high priest is interceding for us.

Buy why put it right here?  First of all, a Nazirite has more strict rules about touching a corpse, even more strict than other priests.  It’s the same law as for the high priest – he can’t touch the body even if it’s someone in his own family.

Secondarily, possibly this was put here as an option for those who couldn’t go to battle.  They have the option of intercessor.

What does this show us about our own preparation?  It shows us that God gives us direction as we need it.  He reminds us of his commands, He shows us new commands, and He reveals more about the commands we already know – just before we’re going to need them.

I hear some people fretting about the idea of keeping all 613 laws in the Torah.  First of all, not all of those laws pertain to every person.  There are some for men, some for women, some for sacrifices, etc.

But more importantly, God didn’t just make a list of all the 613 laws one day, then expect everyone to memorize them on day two, and by day three you’re on your own to keep them or else.  That’s not how He gave them to the Israelites, and that’s not how He gives them to us.  His word is a living word, He reveals Himself over time as the opportunity arises.  As we seek Him and begin to align our lives with what He’s already given us, He reveals more.  These commands in chapters 5-6 are an example of how He does this.

We can rely on His preparation of us.  If we’re listening, He’ll teach us what we need to know by the time we need to know it.  He’ll show us His ways, so that when the time comes, we know the right thing to do.

6.  The Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:22-26)

Wow – the Priestly Blessing right in the middle of the last minute preparations!

22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
24 “‘“The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’

This is going to be an important blessing going forward.

Read vs. 27:  “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

This is one of the ways God marks us as his own and blesses us.  The only other place the Bible refers to God putting his name on something is in the book of Kings.  Various times in Kings, He refers to Jerusalem as the place He chose to put his name.  Putting His name on us is just as weighty.  He’s chosen us, He’s claiming us for his own, He’s blessing us and sealing us for His future and His inheritance.

It makes sense in this context because you’ve now got His chosen people heading toward his chosen land and His chosen city of Jerusalem.  It’s all coming together for Him now.

When this blessing is spoken over us, we are reminding God that we are His chosen people.  We are committing to carry His name that He’s put on us.  And we are part of His plan coming together as we enter the Promised Land.

We need this blessing in order to enter into His rest, just as the Israelites did.  We need to carry His name on us in order to be victorious in His plan.

7.  Dedication of the Tabernacle and the Altar (Numbers 7)

In chapter 7 each tribe’s leader brought voluntary offerings – one offering from each tribe for the tabernacle (the holy place), then one offering from each tribe for the brazen altar.  God told Moses to receive the offerings for the altar from each tribe on separate days.  So for 12 days in a row a different leader brought his offering.

I’m sure there are a lot of implications and deeper meanings that we can glean from these offerings.  But what’s important here for our purposes is that these were voluntary offerings the people themselves decided to give.

Look at Numbers 7:3-5:

They brought as their gifts before the Lord six covered carts and twelve oxen—an ox from each leader and a cart from every two. These they presented before the tabernacle.  The Lord said to Moses, “Accept these from them, that they may be used in the work at the tent of meeting. Give them to the Levites as each man’s work requires.”

In verse 5 God says, “Accept these from them.”  The implication is that these leaders came with all these wagons and oxen, and Moses wasn’t expecting them, so he asked God what to do with them.

Then again in verse 11:   “Adonai said to Moses, ‘They are to present their offerings to dedicate the altar, each leader on his own day.’ ”

God had not commanded either of these offerings before this.  These were offerings from the leaders’ hearts, offerings that the priests would need for their work in the tabernacle.  This was a tangible demonstration of their commitment to God and to His commands with regards to the tabernacle.

Remember in Leviticus they gave voluntarily the materials to make all of the furniture and walls and utensils for the tabernacle.  Now they are voluntarily giving to the operation and maintenance of it.  Their hearts are truly invested in this.  They are completely on board with this tabernacle.

Plus, they brought the offerings over those 12 days in the order God had instructed each tribe to camp and to move back in chapter 2 – with Judah first and Naphtali last.  This is another show of their commitment to God’s commands.  They’re listening and they’re organizing their steps accordingly.

Then look at Numbers 7:89, the offering for dedicating the altar after it had been anointed:

89 When Moshe went into the tent of meeting in order to speak with Adonai, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the ark-cover on the ark for the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and he spoke to him.

Aha!  This is new just since the leaders brought their offerings.

After the golden calf incident in Exodus 33, God spoke to Moses only in the tent completely outside the camp.  Now as the peoples’ hearts have changed, God is able to again dwell among them.  God dwelling among them will be important as they enter the land!  He’s now able to speak to Moses directly from the tabernacle, from the Mercy Seat.

This is a picture of how God desires our hearts to be:  dedicated to his presence the way these people dedicated the tabernacle – completely sold out.  Remember, these people were giving from their sustenance.  It’s one thing to give lavishly of the gold and silver that you took from the Egyptians on your last day there, as they did for the making of the tabernacle.  But now they’re giving lavishly from their own food sources – bulls, rams, goats, sheep, grain – 264 animals in total!  It took 12 days to present it all.  This is faith and commitment.  This is sold out dedication to God’s plan.  This is God’s desire for our hearts.

When we have this mindset, He freely speaks to us as He did with Moses from the Mercy Seat.  He dwells with us, not outside the camp.  This is what we need as we enter the Promised Land.

8.  Consecration of the Levites for the Priesthood (Numbers 8)

Consecrating Aaron and his sons happened in Leviticus 8.  Numbers 8 is the consecration of all the Levites.  Verses 20-22 summarizes the process God commanded for their consecration.

20 Moses, Aaron and the whole Israelite community did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses. 21 The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes. Then Aaron presented them as a wave offering before the Lord and made atonement for them to purify them. 22 After that, the Levites came to do their work at the tent of meeting under the supervision of Aaron and his sons. They did with the Levites just as the Lord commanded Moses.

When we think of the priests representing us, and Yeshua as our high priest, we can recognize that this is exactly the process we go through today.  We cleanse ourselves.  Then Yeshua makes atonement for us and offers us as holy before God.  Then we come into His presence and serve Him alongside our high priest, Yeshua.

The work of the priests is paramount as we enter the Promised Land.  Look how much time is spent giving instruction for the priests, their roles, their service in the tabernacle.  The instructions for priests started way back in Exodus 28.  God has been showing us more and more about it over the whole year since we left Egypt.  Why?

Because this is how the people come to God – through the priests – through us.  The Levites performed the work that allowed God’s presence to dwell with the people.  Remember Numbers 3-4, when the presence of God’s glory moves, it’s the Levites who carry His tabernacle to where He’s going.  As we’ll see coming up, it’s the Levites who blow the trumpet when it’s time for the people to move.

These are our roles today:  bringing people to God, being God’s presence in our worlds and sounding the trumpet as it’s time to move.  The Levites – WE – are doing the work of a mediator here on earth, bringing God to people and people to God.

Remember the Levites’ role as they entered the land with the second generation.  The priests brought the ark into the Jordan River, the river piled up on each side of them so the people could cross on dry land.  The Levites stood there until every last Israelite had crossed over.

In the very first battle they had at Jericho, the priests were first in.  They blew the shofars and marched around the walls.

The priests are the gateway to victory.  The Israelites couldn’t even get to the Promised Land without the priests holding back the river for them.  The priests play a huge part in taking the Land.

If we cleanse ourselves, keep ourselves holy and carry God’s presence as He commands, we, too, can play a huge part in entering and being victorious in the Promised Land.

9.  The Second Passover (Numbers 9:1-12)

Numbers 9:1-12 reminds us of the instructions for Passover.  What is Passover doing in Numbers 9?  We’re getting ready to move, to go to the Promised Land.  Passover was last month – that was Exodus and Leviticus.  Why is it coming up again now?

The Israelites are in the second month of the year, the month of Zif/Iyar.  These instructions include a second chance.  If they hadn’t observed Passover last month on Nisan 14, Zif 14 was their last chance this year.  Before they can get moving as a military force, every last one of them has to complete this Passover command – the lamb, the blood, the unleavened bread, the bitter herbs – all of it.

It seems like a tangent, a delay.  But what is the point of observing Passover?

  1. Remembering God’s miraculous signs and wonders at the Exodus
  2. Applying the blood that saved their lives

This has everything to do with entering the Promised Land.  We need to remember who God is – what He’s capable of as we come up against rivers too big to cross, walled cities we can’t get into, and giants.  The Passover Seder reminds us of all the miracles of the Exodus and builds our faith that nothing is impossible with God.  Against all odds, we can prevail.

They’ll need that firmly in their minds as they go into battle – just like we do today.  They’ll need the saving power of the lamb’s blood as they pass through life-threatening and even death-defying situations – just like we do today.

God wants everyone covered by the blood before they go into battle.  He wants to build their faith in His power to bring about His will.  We must have these firmly in our psyche in order to enter His rest and stay there.  That’s why Passover is here in the last minute preparations.

10.  Hearing the Trumpet and Following the Cloud (Numbers 9:15-10:8)

Now the story shifts to how the Israelites were to follow the cloud – the presence of God.  This is actually Moses’ description of how it worked once they got moving.  To this point, they’ve been at the foot of Mt. Sinai for about a year.  The cloud just started appearing continuously since the tabernacle was set up six weeks ago on Nisan 1.  The description of how following the cloud works is here, because they are just about to move with it for the first time.

As we look at Numbers 9:15-23, consider the cloud to represent God’s presence and ourselves as the people following His presence, His leading:

15 On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. 16 That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. 17 Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. 18 At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the Lord’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out.22 Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. 23 At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.

It sounds like they were completely dependent on that cloud.  No matter what else they were doing, they stuck with that cloud – God’s presence.

Now read Numbers 10:1-8:

The Lord said to Moses: “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. If only one is sounded, the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—are to assemble before you. When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out. At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the south are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out. To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the signal for setting out.  “The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come.

Even though we can’t see God’s leading this tangibly today, this is still how it works.  We are still to be this dependent on God’s leading in our lives – when He moves, we move; when He stops, we stop.  We’re ready to move with him at the sound of a trumpet – any moment, day or night.

This is a picture of following God’s leading without wavering, arranging your whole life around listening for his call and responding to it.  This becomes more important as things heat up in the last days.  In fact, I believe discerning the Spirit’s leading and obeying immediately will be the two most important things we can do to be prepared for what’s ahead.

You may have heard of the television reality show called “Doomsday Preppers”.  This group of people tries to arrange their lives to prepare for every disaster.  Here’s the description of what this year’s season will cover:

“This season, the preppers are testing the limits of ingenuity as they develop extreme doomsday survival machines, high-tech shelters, and specialized escape routes. With customized features, super-secret locations, and home-spun engineering, these extreme Armageddon defense systems are ready for anything.”

As exciting as this sounds, wouldn’t it just be easier to be in lock-step with the Source of our salvation, following His every instruction?  We have no idea what’s ahead, and we can’t plan for every contingency.  Hearing the Spirit and obeying immediately IS our emergency preparedness plan.  (I’ve posted a whole blog on just this topic.)  Practice this now – spend time in His Spirit, so you know that voice distinctly.  Practice obeying immediately as you hear His leading.  You’ll need this in order to enter into His rest – in every sense of the word.

As we sharpen our ability in this area, our faith in God grows exponentially and peace begins to permeate our lives instead of fear.  This hearing and following provides us rest in Him right now, and it’ll be the sort of faith we’ll need going forward.

11.  Marching Order of the Camps (Numbers 10:11-28)

Now, we come to the last instruction in the preparations.  Finally, 10 chapters later, the camp is ready to move!

We read earlier in Numbers 10:5 that when the priests sound the first alarm, the camps to the east will commence.  On the second alarm the camps to the south will set out, etc.  So there are trumpets blowing every little while during this process.

As you read Numbers 10:11-28, picture the weaving together of each tribe with the priests.  This is an amazing operation!  I think only God could organize 1.5 million men, women, children, all their belongings and livestock and a whole tabernacle to move as one unit together through the wilderness.

Some of the words that come to mind to describe how this works are:

  • Organized
  • Obedient
  • Cooperation
  • Understanding
  • Unity

Right now we’re hearing a call to Unity – unity within the Messianic movement, and within the broader body of Yeshua.  That’s what this is a picture of, just like 1 Corinthians 12:12 – many parts forming one body.  1 Cor. 12:18 says, “God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”  That’s what He did here in Numbers, and that’s what He’s done in His larger body today.

But we have to understand his plan, organize around it, be obedient to His leading and cooperate with others in the body.  There’s no record of those in these camps that said, “Y’know if we could just go a little further to the right, there’s a nice shady area there.” Or, “Hey, I think I see another cloud over there, let’s follow that one.”  The camp of Naftali could have said, “We’re really sick of being last, eating everyone else’s dust.  We’re going to run ahead and get some fresh air.”

Each one understood the plan and they did their part.  This is a picture of how God leads His kingdom into the Promised Land.  It requires working cooperatively with others, following God, not following man’s leading, doing it His way, and being accountable for accomplishing our part in the whole.

We’re not responsible for getting everyone on our plan.  We’re just one part of God’s plan accountable for fulfilling our specific purpose.  It’s God’s responsibility to bring it all together.  We can trust Him with that.

We are responsible for:

  • Hearing His call,
  • Being obedient,
  • Cooperating with each other,
  • And trusting God for the result.

In Summary

There are many other teachings within these 10 chapters.  But looking at these as the last minute preparations for entering the Promised Land, we have a total of 11 general instructions.  This is a powerful list of the gifts God has given us in order to prepare us.

We are:

  1. Called & Counted (Census – counting men old enough for military service, Num. 1:2-3)
  2. Positioned (The tribes positioned around the tabernacle, Num. 2:1-31)
  3. Assigned (Census of the Levites and defining their roles, Num. 3-4)
  4. Reconciled (Redeeming the firstborns, Num. 3:40-51)
  5. Reminded (Laws for righteousness, Num. 5:1-6:21)
  6. Marked/Sealed (The Priestly Blessing, Num. 6:22-27)
  7. Inhabited by His Presence (Consecration of the tabernacle, Num. 7)
  8. Consecrated (Consecration of the Levites for the priesthood, Num. 8)
  9. Protected (The second Passover, Num. 9:1-12)
  10. Led (Hearing the trumpet and following the cloud, Num. 9:15-10:8)
  11. Coordinated (Marching order of the tribes, Num. 10:11-28)

These 11 instructions are the ways God has prepared us to enter into His blessing, and the Sabbath rest that David and Paul talk about in Psalms 95 and Hebrews 3.

Here is a summary of the points covered.  I encourage you to spend time reflecting on this, and let the weight of what God has given us continue to build your faith in Him and allow His peace to grow within you.

One response

  1. Carolyn

    Oh this is so incredibly awesome and I thank you for all of these teachings from the bottom of my heart!! I am sharing them and this website with all of my friends for it will certainly enhance our walk and life with GOD.

    March 7, 2016 at 7:23 pm

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