[bible1year] Devotional comments on Numbers 1-3

Message: < previous - next > : Reply : Subscribe : Cleanse
Home   : February 2016 : Group Archive : Group : All Groups

From: glen_stewart@...
Date: 9 Feb 2016 12:53:49 -0000
        The Book of Numbers takes its name from the two 
numberings of the men of war in chapters 1--4 and 26,27. 
The first was made the second year after the nation had 
left Egypt, and the second was made 38 years later, when 
the new generation was about to enter Canaan. These 
numberings were not of the entire nation, but only of 
the men able to fight. The first census revealed there 
were 603,550 available men; the second, 601,730.

        Numbers is the wilderness book of the Old 
Testament. It describes the failure of the nation at 
Kadesh-Barnea, and their wanderings in the wilderness 
until the unbelieving old generation had died. Israel's 
wilderness wanderings have been described as "the 
longest funeral march in history." Only Caleb and Joshua 
of the older generation were permitted to enter Canaan, 
because they had trusted God and opposed the decision of 
the nation to turn back at Kadesh-Barnea. Even Moses was 
forbidden to go into the Promised Land because of his 
sin when he smote the rock instead of speaking to it.

        Genesis is the Book of Beginnings, Exodus the 
Book of Redemption, and Leviticus the Book of Atonement 
and Worship. Numbers, on the other hand, is the Book of 
Testing. The author of this wilderness book was Moses. 
In chapter 1:1-46 we have the actual account of the 
numbering of the people. The command to number (verses 
1-4) was given one month after the erection of the 
Tabernacle (see Exodus 40:17). Notice in verses 47-54 
that the Levites were excluded in the numbering and 
separated to Tabernacle service.

        The tribes are arranged in chapter 2. The camp 
of God's people was divinely arranged and ordered, with 
the Tabernacle in the center (showing that God's worship 
and service were to be central). The entire arrangement 
of each tribe is given in verses 3-34.

        In chapters 3 and 4 the Levites were assigned to 
their work. The job of the Levitical Priests was 
sacrifice and intercession as representatives of the 
nation of Israel. Divine sovereign grace was exemplified 
in the choice of the Levites for holy Tabernacle 
ministry (Genesis 34:25-31; 49:5-7). In general, the 
work of the Levitical Priests was the care and 
transportation of the Tabernacle. Notice that the 
Levites were numbered at birth, rather than at twenty 
years of age, because they were set forth for specific 
duties as described in chapters 3 and 4. The other 
eleven tribes were numbered for the purpose of knowing 
the men available for war.