I can't help but just see that even in the choosing of the rod, which represents authority for God's people, there is life. The people who God chooses is to always be life producing. The almonds are a picture of, I would say, resurrection power. God shows his faithfulness through that, which brings forth blessing for his people and life, life more abundantly.
We even see it on the rod of Aaron and we see it through God's people on just how he brings resurrection power and his faithful promises to carry us through all of life's challenges. That's what I love about the book of Numbers.
Hello and welcome to the You Can Learn the Bible Podcast where we summarize complete Bible books in single episodes. I am Bodie Quirk from YouCanLearntheBible.com here with Joey Rozek, lead pastor of Living Springs Fellowship in New Jersey. Joey, we are back. It's podcast day again, I am so fired up. How are you today my friend?
Brother Bodie, I am also excited to tackle another book with you. So I'm doing really well.
We are hitting our next book here in this uh, Pentateuch series, the book of Numbers. And, once again, I think people are gonna be really blessed getting to see how exciting this particular book is in the Bible.
Yeah, yeah. We are on episode 10, man, 10 episodes. We're, we're rolling on this thing, you know, and hopefully by, by the end of this episode, you will have a sense of what the book of Numbers is, how it functions, and hopefully that we have both equipped you and inspired you to get into reading this book, cuz this book offers some unique challenges, doesn't it, Joey?
I think there's some interesting things in this book that people are, are gonna encounter that might throw them off a little bit. What do you think?
Yeah, and it's not the challenges of arithmetic or algebra or something like this cuz the book of Numbers is not a mathematical book of the Bible
a math book.
It is actually a, a book that actually is gonna take us into God really being so personal in the involvement of his people as they're wandering in the wilderness.
And, we'll explain a little bit more about why the book is called Numbers, but it actually has to do a little sneak peek, is that it has to do with the census that is recorded twice, two different censuses in this book where the numbers of God's people are being mentioned. And we're gonna explain why, and we're gonna get into the nitty gritty of this book. And as we always do, give some commentary and insights and follow our seven part framework.
So this is gonna be a good book to work through the challenges of your own life because Bodie, we all go through wondering times in our lives. We're all sometimes in between a period of life from a b, you know, we started something and then it hasn't ended, and we find ourselves sometimes in those wilderness experiences, don't we?
Yeah, there's a a lot of universal themes that happen and so hopefully by the end of the episode you will have a sense of how this book fits in the whole, how to study it, and you'll be excited to approach it. So just a quick reminder though,
we always do audio and video. So if you're listening on your podcast app, just know that there is a video version, and the only reason I mention that now is because we're gonna use a map. This is kind of a traveling book. Joey mentioned some of the wanderings. The locations actually play a little bit more of an important role in this episode, than they do in previous episodes. So being able to see a map of where the locations could be helpful, but it's not essential.
We're gonna walk you through each of the parts there, but the video is on YouTube. The podcasts are of course, what you're listening to now. But we wanna really explain the book of Numbers,
and we wanna start by the first point of our framework, right, Joey, the essentials again. So we are sitting down with you trying to equip you in a short time to understand the book of Numbers. So first question,
what do we need to know first, if we're gonna study the book of Numbers well? What are the essentials? I'll let you jump in first.
Yes. Well in this particular book we are picking up right where we left off from Leviticus, where God's people are in the wilderness, they've left Egypt, right? They're not in the promised land, and as they're roaming, God has already been showing his holiness to the people he's dealt with, the people with their idolatrous kind of ways already, and their complainings.
We see that he's given the sacrificial system as we learned in the Book of Leviticus, but the Book of Numbers is a book that, let me give you first of all the title of the book and why it's there. It comes from the Hebrew, "Bamidbar", and that has to do with the opening words that are in this particular book, where in the fifth word, "wilderness", it's "midbar", we understand that, "Bamidbar" is this time of being in the wilderness.
Now, interestingly, in the Greek, in the Septuagint, this book is called "Arithmaoi", and what that means is the numbers are being reflected as it's actually where we get the word arithmetic. And what we see in this particular narrative is that although the children of Israel may be wonder, They can still count on God, there's one little play on the word and we're gonna
a lot of
the census. The census kicks in to number the people for war because they're gonna have to deal with some challenges and some fights, that are in this book.
And we also see that as they journey from Mount Sinai where we ended off in Leviticus to the plains of Moab, there is conflict within, there is war without, but God is faithful to his covenant promises. And that's what we're gonna continue to see in this book of Numbers.
Exactly, so if you're kind of, we're trying to keep track of where we're on the storyline. Joey said, where we are at the base of Mount Sinai, after the law's been given, the priesthood has been established, but this is a journey book.
The book of numbers is the preparation and the journey, and then the preparation at the end again in a second. So we'll talk about how we're gonna approach the structure of the book, but it's really important to understand the purpose, this is a book about wanderings, in fact. So if we want to talk about like where does it fit in the Bible, again, it's after Leviticus, but what we really wanna understand is how it orients its role in the larger biblical story.
We don't get to the entering of the promised land, without the book of Numbers. It's how we leave Mount Sinai and how we get there. And a lot happens in this particular book. So we call this wilderness wanderings toward the Promised Land. So we're starting a Mount Sinai.
The law's been given. The priesthood is established, leadership is established, and it's gonna get challenged in this episode, Moses and Aaron. And then we're gonna end at what's called the Plains of Moab. And Joey already mentioned the beginning of the book, and actually I'd love to have you read some of the early verses that really set the tone for where this book is going to take us, Joey, if you would.
Because the Lord speaks to Moses, doesn't he? What's key to make sure that we understand as we start reading the book of Numbers.
Yes. Well, the opening of this book is the Lord speaking to Moses. And remember Moses is the author of the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch or The Torah. And so the Lord speaks to Moses in the wilderness again, where the name of the book comes from. The wilderness of Sinai and in the tent of meeting, and then it goes on to tell us how they had come out of the land of Egypt saying,
take a census of all the congregation, of the people of Israel by clans, by father's houses, according to the number of names every male, head by head. And then notice Bodie, the specifics are they have to be 20 years old and above to be considered able to go to war in Israel.
And so those opening verses really set the tone of the name of the book, where things are gonna begin to flow from here, and how God is preparing them for what's to come, in their final portions of the journey in the wilderness.
Exactly, because now that they've received the priesthood, that God's presence is with them, but really it is, they're about to face some opposition, aren't they, Joey? So we know that if we look at the map here,
now, if you're listening to this, this is just a map of Israel and Egypt, but it's really important to know that the book starts at Mount Sinai and it ends, it's what's called the plains of Moab, on the east side of the Jordan River. And the whole book of Numbers is the journey from that beginning point in Mount Sinai to the end and the plains of Moab. And so what we wanna do is help you understand the major sections and how the book gets us from our starting point to our ending point.
And that is why we wanted to make sure that we understand that this book is the journey. to the land that was promised to Abraham.
So, I think we under, we kind of understand where we've started and where we're going, but let's talk about some of the major biblical concepts. So we know some of the essentials, we know where it fits in the story, what is unique about Numbers Joey, from a thematic and from a, a major idea standpoint. Let's start here. What are some of the key ones we wanna make sure people get?
Yeah. Some of these key ones we're gonna hit
is the formation of God's people. And let me just throw out this as a theme to think about in the formation of God's people, we see the camp is centered around the tabernacle, so what you realize is that the center is the tabernacle and all the tribes go out in different directions.
You have Dan to the North, Efraim to the West, you have Judah to the East and then you of course you have Ruben to the South, and do you know what's interesting, Bodie, if you were to actually do an aerial view looking down at the formation of God's people, you would actually see the camp is actually shaped in the form of a cross.
It just really shows how even a foreshadowing sense Christ is central to all of God's people. If you look at the measurements of how long the tribes are, you really do get a picture of the cross. So that's kind of interesting. Uh, but of. It's cool, right? But the specifics though is that there's, that people are being numbered, as I said, the men are being made ready for war, so we have census and genealogy.
It's another key theme. And then I've already mentioned about God's presence and the tabernacle and how key that is. But let me also add this, God is with his people. He is the ultimate, covenant keeping God that is making sure that his people are staying close to him.
And that's why we're gonna see how God deals with the people of God throughout this book. God's established authority is gonna be shown to us. We're gonna see there's a rebellion against Moses. In this book, right? And during that rebellion, God establishes his authority once again and shows that his delegated authority has been given to Moses and to Aaron, but, but particularly to Moses first because it's his own brother and sister that begin to question some things.
And we see that there's conflict, conflict within. , there's war without. We'll see that in the pages of this book. And then of course, the common things that all believers deal with.
Unbelief failure, us forfeiting our side of the covenant because we just constantly seem to get it wrong. But God is faithful and so his covenant loyalty kicks in when we're faithless, he remains faithful because he cannot deny himself as the New Testament would later tell us through the Apostle Paul.
So these are the key themes that we're gonna be looking at.
So we're gonna start to watch some of these key themes, the role of the census, the formation of God's people, the role of authority within the structure. And so the way we wanna approach this episode is we wanna walk section by section and take each one on its own and ask some of these larger questions.
So the first major question of our structure, number four, now that we've talked about the themes and ideas, what are the major sections? We're gonna address that. But within each of those, what do we learn about God and what does each one offer our Christian life? So the book of Numbers can be a little bit complex, so let's just go one at a time and walk section by section.
So we've broken this book up into six sections.
Now some of these are going to be journey sections and some of them are laws. And that's kind of where some of the breaks happen, right? And this is where Joey, I think it could be confusing for people when they read it. All of a sudden the genre just switches from like a narrative to like a list of laws or priestly regulations and people kind of feel like they get lost.
So follow us on this one. The first section is preparing to Leave Sinai. The second section is a journey. It's Journey part one, and that's from Sinai to Kadesh. And there's some unrest and there's some unbelief.
That's nine through 14. Then we have, kind of some inserts, right in chapter 15. There are some laws, in chapter 16 there's. A leadership crisis and some priestly matters. Then in chapter 20, the second part of the journey begins, and that goes from Kadesh to Moab where the book is gonna end. Then the final section of the book, 26 through 36, is preparing to enter the land.
So again, it's kind of a little bit more of a, of a of a tedious structure, but if you stick with us, we're gonna walk you one at a time through each section. So I'm ready to start in this first one, Joey, preparation to leave. Sinai, unless you have anything you'd like to say about kind of the whole of the book of Numbers before we get into each section.
No, I think this outline's probably helpful for our listeners because we have two journeys, as you mentioned, Sinai to Kadesh, Kadesh to Moab. That's the movement of God's people. But then we're, we're dealing with, um, the internal realities of the makeup of God's people. So you have this movement in the makeup.
And what's interesting is that in, in the midst of all of these different holy laws that God has given his people, we're gonna continue to see that God's laws are perfect to convert the soul as Psalm 19 seven says, because the soul needs to reorientate with God because we see a mirror reflection of our sins and failures when we look at the law, and so that's gonna be really seen in this. And so, yeah, let's dive in. Let's go to these first opening chapters as they prepare to leave Sinai.
Right. Well that's why it's gonna be important with each section break that we ask some of these questions. What does it teach us about God and what does it teach us about ourself? Cuz Joey, each section is gonna tap on some important things like you just said.
Okay? So section one, if you're looking for a guide through the book of numbers, first section is chapters one through nine, and this is preparation to Leave Sinai.
So within this section, what happens? Well, there's a census, the book begins with a census, but it also talks about setting up the camp, the Levitical service in the Tabernacle. As Joey already said, the Tabernacle is so central to the presence, to the gathering of God's people, but also to the role of the book.
Purification is right on the heels of that. So within this first block of chapters one through nine, we've got the census. We've got the camp, the purification, and then the final preparations to leave. Cuz again, this whole thing is they're preparing to leave Mount Sinai. And we remember Exodus 19:6, what is God doing with these people?
He's making them into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. So this is our starting point, Joey. We're about to leave Mount Sinai. Any thoughts that you have during this first section that you'd like to
Well, well that key verse that we will learn about how they are a kingdom of priests in a holy nation. And that's from the Book of Exodus, but you really see it lived out here in the book of Numbers. Peter the Apostle will pick up on that as we talked about later on in the New Testament, how we are a holy nation, and we are his special people and we are a royal priesthood.
And so we really see that God has always had, and here's the key, a real emphasis on the priestly side of the call for God's people. And one of the unique things that takes place in this opening nine chapters you already mentioned that the census in the first couple, the setting up of the camp in chapters three and four, but in chapters five and six, there's a couple key things that really highlight the priesthood in chapter six.
We actually have that besides the normal laws that govern God's people, we have what's called the Nazarite vow. Some of you might be familiar with that. It comes up in the book of Judges. We see that Sampson and Samuel and later on, John the Baptist. These were all people who kind of had taken this Nazarite vow.
And what was the Nazarite vow? It, it was a vow of consecration and separation to God. It involved three specific things. There was a need to stay away from alcohol, a need to stay away from a razor. They weren't allowed to cut the hair on their head. They were to stay away from anything dead, so that they didn't defile themselves.
And so these were some extra things that people did to set themselves apart in greater holiness. And then you see at the end of chapter six, something that we'll get back to at the end of this episode, but a special priestly blessing that God gives to Moses, to Moses, to Aaron, and to all the people you know, the Lord bless the, and keep
to shine upon thee, and be gracious indeed this, that beautiful blessing that will what we see. These are things that are really important as they're leaving Sinai. They still have the blessing of God within the people as they're a priesthood before the Lord.
Yes, they are becoming a holy nation who's now going to inherit the land required for their nation. Yeah. That number is chapter six. I think that's one of the verses that people know best. But it often gets extracted out of its context and it's found right there as God is purifying the peoples, they're preparing to leave Mount Sinai in order to ultimately inherit the land, so thank you for sharing that. That was great. The first section, chapters one through nine.
So in now, in the middle of chapter nine, there is a transition into our next section,
and this is really the journey part. The first journey. So journey part one from Mount Sinai to Kadesh Barnea. They leave with a pomp and circumstance, right? A cloud and fire and trumpets. And the reason why is because God has aligned his presence to this people in this way to signify that there is a supernatural authentication. We're gonna see this later with Aaron's staff, but God is abundantly, clearly, and evidentially with this people in a special way.
That doesn't mean the people are perfect. Oh goodness. We're gonna see them fail on all kinds of ways, right? But that's what's so beautiful about God and his covenant nature. He is good, he is for them, regardless of what they do, but that doesn't mean they're gonna avoid judgment. We'll get to that in a second.
So they leave, Joey, let's talk about the journey. So they're leaving from Mount Sinai. They're super happy, they're thankful for all that God has done. They're just praising God the whole way. There's never any problems. I'm totally lying. If you're paying attention, none of that happens right? As soon as they leave, like a kid wanting some candy in a car ride.
Chapter 11 and 12 complaining like it starts to really take root in this book. Why does Moses make sure that this part, this cuz so this is some of the ugly parts of this book, they complain against him, they challenge his leadership, on the way to their first for their journey at Kadesh Barnea. What does this teach us about God and ourselves, Joey, in the second section, on the first part of the journey?
Well, we live in a day and age where people often say, follow your own heart. And you realize that the Bible tells us the heart is deceitful and wicked. And so instead, what we should do is trust in the Lord with all of our heart, lean not on our own understanding, but in all of our ways, acknowledge him as he directs our paths.
Well, in chapter nine, we realized that God was directing their paths. He was doing it by the cloud of fire by day, and the pillar of fire, by night, the God was faithfully guiding his people. But then what happens is we tend to try to guide our own lives at different points of the juncture.
We oftentimes feel like we have to take the control of our destiny or of our decision making, and usually what that turns into is pride and selfishness. We tend to wanna guide our lives toward what we think is best. And I think what's interesting in chapters 11 and 12 is we get to this point where many of the people start complaining because they're not keeping their eyes on the Lord, and trusting his faithfulness.
Instead, they start looking at their own desires and their own lusts. And that is always the beginning of a downfall of not only a breakdown of unity among God's people, but purity within God's people. And so you really do see the, holiness of God contrasted with the un holiness of man as the people start to complain.
And, Moses had to deal with these complaints all the time. I mean, it was wearing on him. But how much more does it grieve the heart of God? And so we're gonna see that a judgment comes as Moses intercedes for the people in chapter 14. As the people are rebelling, we see that God, holds back judgment because of the power of intercession.
And then this is again, another priestly aspect that we are called to participate with God in. He ever lives to make intercessions for us. We learn as Jesus is our great intercessor, but you see the power of Moses' intercessions and. It holds back the hand of God's wrath, so to speak at this time.
Well, and if we think too, that we are a royal priesthood, priests pray on behalf of people to the Lord. Right? And it is our priestly status that places that our prayers into a unique spot in the heart of God. I think that's why we are called to pray. People often wonder like, why do I pray if God already knows everything? Well, we have been called to be his very people and he hears our prayers. He wants to hear our prayers. The problem isn't that we pray too much. It's the problem is we pray too little and we pray without, without faith.
So we can move on from here, but the important thing you wanna understand is there's a preparation section. There's the first journey, but when we get here, there's a number of problems. One, Moses sends spies into the land, only two of them say, oh, this is gonna be great. Everybody else is terrified because of the Canaanite inhabitants, and they say, we can't inherit that land, and Joshua, and Caleb say, yes we can. And they are the only two who actually end up in, entering the land because of their faith. Yeah. Jump in anything else here on this, on this section?
yeah. This is so important because Joshua and Caleb, are the two spies that see everything that the other spies, but they see with eyes of faith, they see beyond just what is seen in the physical. They remember the power of God in the spiritual, and as a result of that, they come back with a different report.
We can do great things when we see a great God. When God is big, the giants are small, but when you don't see God clearly, the giants seem bigger and bigger and bigger. And, we discover that this is a great lesson for the believer that we must see beyond the natural and into the supernatural. We must see the promises of God and his faithfulness at all times, and so I love the fact that Joshua and Caleb come back with a good report.
And I also love that if you really do see God for who He is, you discover that his divine attributes are so much greater than the atrocities that can come to us in this life. In fact, in numbers chapter 14, when God is hearing the prayer of Moses, it tells us about these attributes.
Let me just read this first from Numbers 14, there in verses 17 and 18, Moses is praying and he says, "now I pray, let the power, of my Lord be great. Just as you have spoken, saying The Lord is long suffering, an abundant in mercy for giving iniquity and transgression, but he by no means clears the guilty visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.
But you see, God is willing to pardon mercy triumphs over judgment. Verse 21 says, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord". That's where faith should always be taking us. God's glory is gonna be seen as we keep our eyes on him and trust in him. Amen.
Yeah, I love it. And that's the challenge, is it The heart of man is constantly drawn away, but God has made a covenant and made a promise here. And so we see that the journey has now taken us from Mount Sinai. There was a preparation that was this first section. Now we did the first part of the journey.
Now there's a couple, the couple chapters just to know about that happened before the second part of the journey. So in chapter 15, we received some more supplemental laws, the things that we kind of saw in Leviticus,
but then we start to see some of the challenges, don't we Joey? In Numbers 16 through 19, there's a complete mutiny against Moses and Aaron's leadership by this guy named Korah. He starts this rebellion and God so beautifully steps into, authenticate that he has chosen Moses and Aaron through a supernatural miracle in chapter 17. I'd love to have you talk about that in a second.
But then at the end of chapter 18, there's some more priestly matters because after chapter 19, 18 and 19, there's a turn that starts to happen, isn't there? But before we get there, why is it so beautiful and what does it teach us about God, when man is challenged where God has placed them and God steps in to authenticate his chosen man, of Moses and Aaron. I love that chapter 17. I'd love your thoughts on that.
Yeah, well, when we hit chapter 16, we come to Korah's Rebellion and it really is a picture of so much of the conflicts that exist around our world today. Instead of trusting God and his timing and who He exalts and puts into power, there's so many people who thrive on trying to position themselves for greater gain and for greater prestige, and this is what happens with Korah, and then of course, Dathan and Abiram. These particular people are starting to say, wait a minute, we don't really like the way that Moses is leading us.
Maybe we should overthrow his power. Maybe we should position ourselves, and they gather the people together. It's amazing how when somebody has a powerful persuasion to them and they begin to have pride leading them, there are people that will sometimes get caught up in that and they will follow.
And we see this happening here. All the people of.
to follow the lead and you know what I love? This is what I love, Bodie. Moses falls on his face. That's his reaction to this conspiracy. It says that when he heard it, he fell on his face in Numbers 16, verse four. And then he says, and he spoke to Korah and all his company saying Tomorrow morning the Lord.
The Lord will show us who is His and who is holy and will cause him to come near to him. And that one whom he chooses, he will cause to come near him. So Moses puts all of his confidence in the fact that the Lord will make it clear, make it known who is the one that he's appointed to lead. And of course, the end of the story is powerful because as they bring their censors before the altar and see who's God gonna bless, we discovered that God actually does something he's never done before.
He opens up the earth and the earth swallows up all of those who are full of pride. It really shows you how God resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble, and so God does this new thing in destroying those who who tried to seek power for themselves.
Yep. Yep. And that's
what God did with Satan, right? This is what
opened ABIs of the.
we, yeah, you can't thwart what God has decided here. And so that's what I think is, is man can challenge it, but ultimately what God has decided he's gonna bring forth because this is ultimately what's gonna be the best for mankind, cuz this of course is the lineage of Christ, but these are, we're still way, way back.
And so at the end of 19 though, we now start to see the story shift. So they've been in Kadesh Barnea, they're ready to leave. And so now we're gonna see the second part of the journey.
So, so just to recap, they were at Mount Sinai first. There was a preparation, then there was a journey, then there was some challenges, at this place called Kadesh Barnea, now they're preparing to leave and take the land, but a lot of things happen. Numbers 20 is one of those key transition chapters.
So now we're starting in the next section, which is the Journey part two. Now we're going from Kadesh Barnea to where the book's gonna end at the plains of Moab in chapter 20, we have a this really important moment where Moses disqualifies himself by striking the rock twice in anger and we also see Miriam and Aaron, pass away, and the Edomites, which are the descendants of Esau, which are constantly opposing the people of Israel, refuse them to go the short way through their land.
So they got to go all the way back down and around showing that there is going to be opposition. So opposition is gonna be what they experience in the second part, Joey, but they do end up making it all the way up to Moab.
So in the second part of the journey, now we're long away from Mount Sinai. We are now heading toward what do our listeners really need to make sure that they catch in this part, the part two of the journey between numbers 20 and 25.
Well, in this part of the journey, we see a really unique thing starting to take place. It's not just that there's the heart issues of God's people, but now there is the heart issues of the people who aren't God's people. So when you have. When you have those who are also not even subject to the laws of God and they're not a part of the priestly blessings, they don't know the sacrificial system, they don't have the tabernacle central to their lives.
There are battles to be fought, and if God's people are not in a right place spiritually, we're not gonna be in a victorious position to deal with these things because it's only when we submit to God resist the devil that he flees, and so there is this challenge here.
But, the good news is there is through the intercession again of God's covenant people, and through their obedience they begin to go forward and they are receiving victories. They do come against Arad, Og, Sihon, and then there's this really interesting thing, and I don't want us to miss this Bodie, is that we discovered there was this instance of what was called the Bronze Serpent.
And we read about this there in, in numbers 21, because the Bronze Serpent was this brass pole that a serpent was interwoven on it. And of course, that takes us all the way back to the Garden of Eden, doesn't it? Where the serpent entered the garden to deceive mankind, bringing us under the curse. And so this Bronze Serpent is then put before God's people, after they're being bit by these little vipers that are coming at them, these snakes that are biting them and poisoning them.
And then there's this bronze serpent and that and what's interesting about this is it shows that God is the one who can judge the devil. God can judge sin. And when God judges sin and the people just put their faith in God by looking to the Bronze Serpent. they are saved.
Why is this so important? Because Jesus himself, in John chapter three, quotes from Numbers 21 to illustrate how Jesus would be taken up on another pole, a cross, so to speak, and he would be bringing forth judgment against sin and against Satan and his power over our lives. And so that's really important.
And then these next few chapters, chapters 22 and 20. We come into this whole unique scene with what's called Balak and Balaam. We have a donkey speaking Bodie, I imagine that, God even speaks through a donkey, because Balaam is beginning to take money in order to be told to curse Israel but, what's the problem with cursing Israel, Bodie?
God has already made a covenant with the land of Israel and his people, and God does not allow Balaam to curse Israel even though he's getting paid to do this. Every time he gives the prophecy, he can only bless Israel, not curse it, and the donkey speaking is even to stop him in his tracks to show him how serious it is that he's even kicking this money and even beginning to try to curse Israel.
God has his ways, doesn't He, Bodie, to get our attention, to stop us in our tracks and to prevent us from going against his sovereign plans and purposes. I love this.
Uh, thank you for Yeah. Well, what I think is important for our, our listeners and readers to get, when you come to moments that, that are unique and supernatural, the temptation is either to completely write them off as ridiculous or fantastical, meaning not real, or to extract a meaning that is not part of its context to where it's given.
So this Bronze Serpent thing, this is not like a universal law, this is a special case moment to show a larger idea of God's saving grace. And that's why Jesus points back to it in the gospels because he is the ultimate example of God's saving grace, where we look to something God has done to receive a forgiveness and mercy for things that we have done.
And so, the fact that we have this strange event with this talking donkey, with this foreign prophet, with this bronze serpent is all to show that God is going to do what he needs to do to make his providence known and to accomplish, and ultimately why is, what's the whole point of the book of Numbers that God is going to preserve and he's gonna lead the people to the land he promised to Abraham. That's the whole thing. And it's easy to get lost in that larger goal amidst some of these unique kind of strange moments in this book.
That's why we like to take a high level view and kind of zoom back, but we are coming up now, Joey, to the end of the book, the final section, anything you'd like to say? In this part two of the journey from Kadesh to Moab before we get to them arriving at Moab, cuz a lot happens there before the book ends still.
Yes, I think I would just like to add this, that in the conversations that Balak and Balaam are having, we must remember that Balaam was not one of the priestly, parts of Israel, this is sort of a foreigner prophet that comes in, he's leading the people to an idolatrous position. We're gonna see sexual immorality even becomes a problem where the lust of the flesh are beginning to drown out these works of God, and there's a judgment there about that, but perhaps I would just like to bring this out.
There were different prophecies that were being given by Balaam and the fourth prophecy that we read about in Numbers 24, Bodie, actually even, not only is God not gonna allow bayam to curse Israel because of his covenant blessing and promise, but we actually even see him prophesying rightly about the coming Messiah.
In Numbers 24 verses 16, and 17, we read this, the utterance of him who hears the words of God and has the knowledge of the most high, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down with eyes wide open, I see him but not now. Notice as if it's a later time.
I behold him, but not near, and then it says this, well, when will the time be? When will God become near? Well, it says in verse 17. There a star shall come out of Jacob, a scepter shall rise out of Israel. Isn't that amazing that the star is being spoken about and a scepter rising, and of course, the scepter will not depart from Judah, we read, and of course, Jesus would be the fulfillment of the scepter and of the star that would reveal Him. So I think that's just a beautiful thing that a, there's a Messianic prophecy even coming during this very ugly time of trying to get Israel cursed during this, so that's my last thoughts before we hit this final.
And God doesn't need Israel to pro to produce prophecies for Israel. He can use whoever and whatever he wants. I think that's kind of the point of the donkey and the Balaam. This guy is a foreigner and this is an animal, and still, they are part of God's sovereign plan his providence, so it's so cool. So just don't lose sight of the larger movement that's happening with some of these unique details, anyway.
So, okay, so we're on our last section now. So just to kind of review, so we started at Mount Sinai, we went to Kadesh Barnea. There was some challenges.
We've now left Kadesh Barnea and we are now arriving in what's called the Plains of Moab. And so, this is a, a pretty big portion of the whole book, Joey, Numbers 26 through 36, they, it's not like they arrive and the book's over. A lot happens between the arrival at the end of the journey, to actually entering the land, and that's what this last section is for.
It's a preparation for this new generation now who's going to inherit the promises of their parents who forfeited their right to enter into the land because of unbelief. So now that this new generation, God is still faithful to keep his promise to this people, they've gotta get ready, don't they?
That's what Numbers 26 through 36 is about. Give us some of the key things in this section and how it fits in the whole of the book of Numbers.
Yeah, so when we hit Numbers 26, we have the second census of the book. Again, the book of numbers is about the numbering of the people. This is the next generation, though, as you rightly point out, Bodie, that's actually gonna be able to enter in to the promised land. We're gonna see that they're gonna need to be circumcised once they get into that land because this is a whole new generation that has to follow the Abrahamic Covenant.
And, because of that Bodie, what we see in these next chapters is just God beginning to reinstitute those teachings about His law of Holiness, about the offerings that are needed in order to maintain a covering for God's people as they sin.
There's a lot of different, specific laws that are even given, and why are those laws given? Because they have to understand inheritance laws because they're going to be inheriting land. They have to understand the succession of what happens when their generations pass on their land to their people and the legal requirements for these things.
So, you know what I love Bodie? God is always preparing his people for the place he's gonna put them in. And he also prepares the place for the people. We learned that back in Genesis when God planted a garden, eastward and Eden and put man there. Well, he's now gonna put them in the Promised land. And so there's these laws that are going to govern them.
And so then chapter 31, we see there's a war that breaks out with the Midianites. And so we see that's another big issue because there's always gonna be some conflict, both within and without. And then we hit the final chapter, which has to do with the tribes settling into the land, a review then of the journey.
And we see that God just actually gives us a narrative of all the different places they hit on the journey to really record not just the numbers of the people, but the places that they went to, and so people and places, people and places, and how God fills the empty spaces with his divine laws and
Yeah. One tip that you may wanna do is actually read chapter 33 first, because that gives a summary of the complete journey, and it's kind of like what we're trying to do here is give you a little bit of an overview, Numbers itself does that in its final chapter, so there's a lot that happens here, and again, I feel like what I want to continually emphasize is don't forget the goal.
Don't forget what Numbers his offering us. It's offering God's covenant faithfulness to the people despite their idolatry, rebellious, wicked hearts that he is going to keep his end of the covenant. So let's kind of review the whole thing because again, the last section of the book of Numbers is really.
The book of Deuteronomy, isn't it, Joey? Because the book that comes after this one is the one of the most important books of the entire cannon of scripture, but we're not there yet. So we'll talk about Deuteronomy at the end here. Let's review where we've been and then let's answer number seven. What do we personally love about this book?
So again, we started at Mount Sinai. We prepared to leave. We had the first part of the journey to Kadesh Barnea, some laws, some challenges. The second part of the journey where we have some of the outside challenges Joey mentioned. And then the preparation to enter the land. And so at this point, we're gonna pause the narrative.
They are in the plains of Moab. The first generation has died off. The second generation is getting ready to inherit the land. Now, there's gonna be a lot that still happens, right, Joe? Until they get there. Namely the book of Deuteronomy, and then the book of Joshua, which is gonna be our coming episodes.
Before we talk about those though, what do you love about this book, the book of Numbers for our final question, number seven, we talked about the structure. What does it teach us about God? What does it teach us about ourself? We've covered all of these things. What are some things that you love as we wrap up?
You know, Bodie, what I love about this book is that God is someone that we can count on no matter what trial, what trouble or what conflict we find ourselves in, because whether people are attacking us or whether we're just hurting ourselves through our own unbelief, we can continue to see that God is faithful.
We can count on God's faithfulness. I love that God is a priestly kind of God who's praying for us, interceding for us. I love that we see the blessing in this book. I also just want to add, perhaps, in the middle of the book when Aaron and Moses are being attacked in their authority, how God just continues to have the final word on all matters, and when Aaron's rod buds, we see there's an amazing picture there of when all the rods are placed down, God gets to choose, where he puts his blessings. God chooses who his servants are and what they're supposed to do, and we see that it's sprouted forth and produced blossoms of almonds.
And I, I can't help but just see that even in the choosing of the rod, which represents authority for God's people, there is life. The people who God chooses is to always be life producing. The almonds are a picture of, I would say, resurrection power. God shows his faithfulness through that, which brings forth blessing for his people and life, life more abundantly.
We even see it on the rod of Aaron and we see it through God's people on just how he brings resurrection power and his faithful promises to carry us through all of life's challenges. That's what I love about the book of Numbers.
Yeah, there's so many great, wonderful things that it, I love how it reveals God's patience, his kindness, his love. I love how God doesn't need Israel to bless Israel. He can use whoever he wants, and I just think though this verse in Numbers six, the Aaronic blessing. Let's talk about this as we kind of wrap up.
This probably is one of my very favorite things, not because it's quoted so often, but I think the reason why it resonates with people so much is because we know how far we we can fall away from God, and yet this priestly blessing is for us. Would you go ahead, Joey, and just read us Numbers six, the Aaronic blessing, we'll wrap up the episode for today. Talk about where we're gonna go next, as we look toward a Deuteronomy. But if, would you read this, please?
This is a very special portion of scripture for me as well. I, I grew up always hearing this Aaronic blessing at the end of the service that I used to grow up in when I was there in Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa all those years ago, and, um, and I used to hear this as the blessing from Pastor Chuck, but I'll, I'll tell you this, this passage is still applicable today for God's people.
This is the same God who's in covenant with us. And so when the Lord spoke to Moses saying, speak to Aaron and his sons saying, thus, you shall bless the people of Israel, you shall say to them, this:
"the Lord bless you, and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace and. They put his name on the people of God. When they would say this blessing it, it would be like the pudding of God's stamp of blessing over the people of God when they said this, and Bodie, every time I say this blessing, whether I say it over my church today as a pastor or I read these words, it reminds me of the character of our God.
He is a blessing in keeping God and it's his face that shines upon us and it's His grace that carries us. And establishes us through every storm of life, and God is so good and His shalom, his peace is with us all. That's what I love about this. Amen.
Yeah, and I, I just think that for me, just as you were reading it, Joey, I was imagining the context of when Aaron gave it, right? He, they were still at Mount Sinai after the law had given, before they had left, and he, it's the heart of God for this people. God knows all the things that are about to happen on this journey, and yet He still offers this blessing in the same way that God knows all the mistakes you and I are going to make, and yet still in Christ there is a blessing of forgiveness and love and reconciliation for those who are in Christ, it just says so much about how God's long suffering and the deep well of his love for his people.
So I love it. Thank you for reading that. I'm gonna have you, just read a whole audio. because the way you read scripture is awesome. So, but I think we're done, Joe. I think that we have now gotten people to the plains of Moab where Deuteronomy is going to take place.
So if you would like to see the timeline that we have been using, you can go to, YouCanLearnthBible.com. It's a free PDF timeline. It walks you through this whole story. This is what we've been using visually, but I want you to be able to have as many resources as you can to help you see the full beauty of Scripture and so YouCanLearnthBible.com/timeline if you would like to download that, that we have been using.
We are now at the plains of Moab, but we're not in the promised land yet. Joey, one very important thing has to happen before we enter we being them, the children of Israel. It's the book of Deuteronomy.
What is one thing that we can look forward to for our next episode on Deuteronomy Explained?
Well, Deuteronomy re-invites us to be reawakened to the reality. The God who is calling us to enter into the promises of God. Deuteronomy, will not only give us the law again, but it's gonna show it in a beautiful narrative. There's so much rich, promises and blessings that are shown to us throughout Deuteronomy as God takes another generation and prepares their hearts to enter into the Promised land.
This book is gonna really open up our eyes to see so much more of the beauty of God's covenant with his people and the way in which he deals with our lives in a way of life and blessing.
right. Yep. This is Moses's final word. So again, thank you for joining us today. May God bless you as you continue to seek and read his word and ultimately be united to Christ through faith and receive new life that Jesus promises. We wish that for you. Until next time, stay in the Word and be blessed and we will see you for Episode 11, Deuteronomy Explained, next time. God bless you.