We're finishing the book of Numbers today. We've traveled through the desert and are making final preparations before entering the promised land of God.
DAILY READINGSNumbers 35-36 & Psalm 52
DAILY NOTESNumbers 35
- This chapter is divided into 2 sections.
- The first half outlines the cities that are to be given to the Levites; the Levites do not have inherited land because God is their inheritance.
- The second half describes what to do when someone kills another, either unintentionally or as murder.
- Notice the role of the avenger. He (I presume it would always be a man) has a duty that he must fulfill. In Verse 25 illustrates the seriousness of his task--the congregation might have to "rescue" someone who kills another unintentionally from the slayer.
- The slayer must reside in the refuge city until the high priest dies.
- The final chapter deals with property of tribal families. This is based on the decision made in Numbers 27. From this, women are to marry only men from their father's tribe--whom they "think best" (Numbers 36:6).
- This psalm is written in response to the events of 1 Samuel 21.
Yes, the time spent in the desert was a punishment to the people. But consider what they learned in the desert. I remember someone saying something like, "When you're in the desert, you find out what you really believe." The desert became the place God instructed the people. It was where they learned who they were to be and what their new life would look like.
Could they have just learned that on the go in the promised land? Probably. Did the people's time in the desert make them a perfect people? Absolutely not!
Still, the desert experience has become a reminder of our need to fully trust in God's direction and provision. Our tendency is to try to avoid the "deserts" of our life. Interestingly, though, when Jesus gets his call, it's the first place the Spirit leads him.
So, if you're wandering in a desert, keep your focus on what God wants you to learn. You won't be there forever, but the things you learn may impact your life that long.