Today is Day 13 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
We finished up Numbers today and moved into the final book of the Torah, Deuteronomy.
Numbers was an adventure for sure. Thankfully, it’s not a math textbook like its title makes it seem.
There were plenty of numbers though – the first 2 chapters were all about the census that God commanded Moses to take of the people. I wonder if he was even shocked to find out that he had been given charge over 603,550 people! I know I would be!
603,550 is the number that Numbers 1:45 and 2:32 gives from the census, but that didn’t count everyone. That was only 11 of the 12 tribes (the tribe of Levi was not included in the census) and only included males twenty years and older who were able to fight in the army!
So, their army was made up of 603,550 men, but if you included women and children in that number, there were probably about 2 million people in the wilderness, under Moses’ care! That’s more people than live in Wyoming, Vermont, and North Dakota combined! Just imagine being put in charge of over 2 million people. Moses had to rely on God, which is exactly where God likes for us to be – forced into complete submission to Him.
In Numbers, God also dealt out the responsibilities of the Levites and a few other groups. The whole nation celebrated their second Passover together (imagine the volume of unleavened bread and wine they went through!).
Nobody likes a whiner. Especially God…
Although God’s people started whining (which made God really mad), He still provided for them and took care of them.
Not only did the nation as a whole complain, but so did Moses’ siblings, Aaron and Miriam. That also didn’t make God too stoked. God hates when we complain. In effect, you’re telling Him that what He’s given isn’t good enough.
The whining continued when the spies went into Canaan and saw how “scary” the enemies were. Their fear got the best of them, and they successfully persuaded almost everyone else that God wasn’t quite strong enough to get them into the promised land. Again, God wasn’t happy, so for each of the 40 days they had spied out the land, God sentenced the doubters to a year of wandering the wilderness. 40 years later, their sons and daughter would be back and enter the same land they thought they wouldn’t be able to enter.
Other cool things…
God promised to provide so much quail for them to eat that it would come out their nostrils. Yummy. Nose quail.
Korah, who challenged Moses leadership, was swallowed by the earth. Apparently it was hungry.
God told Moses to speak to a rock, but he was mad, so he hit it. Bad choice. Goodbye, Promised Land.
Balaam and his donkey got in an argument. For real.
Numbers is an action-packed book, but also an attack-packed book. God’s people revolted against Him often. Sometimes He gave them a little taste of what they deserved, but over all, He was very kind and forgiving. He continued to provide. God was able and willing to do great, miraculous things for His people, but they didn’t believe Him, so He didn’t.
It gives a good view of how rotten humans are and how faithful God is.
Is that your story? Are you a doubter? a whiner? a pessimist? God is able to do things you can’t even dream up. Will you let Him be God and provide for you in miraculous ways, or will you cower away and miss out instead?