Saturday, April 12, 2014

Numbers 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Numbers 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Today we start (for our weekend readings) the book of Numbers. In the book of Numbers we continue to follow the journey of the Israelites, who were the people who had devoted themselves to God. Previously freed from slavery in Egypt, in the book of Numbers the Israelites travel through the desert from Mount Sinai to Moab. Numbers covers almost 39 years of the Israelites wandering through the desert. The book is filled with these people rebelling against God (rather than the appropriate response of gratitude to God for their freedom), and God's anger at their rebellion.
  • Moses was the leader of the Israelites.
  • The "tent of the meeting" (verse 1) was a special place Moses would go to connect with God.
  • In this chapter you get an idea of why this book is called "Numbers." The census is taken and there are a lot of … numbers. The result is 603,550 men able to serve in the army, which suggests the total population was likely over two million.
  • The Levites (verses 47-53) were excluded from the census because, as the priests, they would not be enlisted in the army.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • This chapter begins by telling us "the Lord spoke to Moses." This is a theme in Numbers. In fact, over 150 times we're told that God spoke to or through Moses. This may seem like something unique, that only happened in the Old Testament times, or with special people like Moses. But actually the Bible tells us that God still speaks today. He doesn't speak audibly, but He speaks through the Bible, and will speak to us in a whisper.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • If you never feel like God speaks to you, what might be some of the reasons for that? Perhaps you don't read the Bible often? Maybe you don't ask God to speak to you? Or your life might be too loud and busy to hear His whisper? Unconfessed sin can put space between us and God, so perhaps there is sin you need to confess?
  • Don't you want the kind of relationship with God where He speaks to you? Wouldn't you like to receive His wisdom and guidance? So what do you need to do to get there? What might be keeping you from that right now?