We're starting a new book today!
We call the book Numbers. The Hebrew name is Bemidbar, which means "In the wilderness." That is taken from the first line of the first verse. That's a familiar naming mechanism that we've already seen. I'll say a little more about the idea of being "in the wilderness" after we finish today's readings.
First, check out The Bible Project's video on Numbers:
Now, let's get reading.
DAILY NOTESNumbers 1:1-4
- A census of every male aged 20 years and up.
- The purpose? To know who would be able to go to war.
- According to the text, that's a grand total of 603, 550 able to wage war.
- Levites are not counted because their work is dedicated to the tabernacle.
- "Ensigns" seems to indicate that each tribe had it's own insignia.
- The people are instructed to camp in a way that their tents face the tent of meeting.
- The Levites are reserved for priestly duties. No one can be a part of what they do.
- The Levites serve as a substitutionary people.
- Patiently waiting for God.
- How easy is it to turn to other resources when you're waiting on God?
OTHER OBSERVATIONSNumbers is about more than numbers. This books shows us the people of God in the wilderness. We'll watch a generation pass away and a new one prepare to take their place in God's story.
So, don't be put off by numbers. Recognize the journey of God's people and how their journey often mirrors our own (or ours theirs). There's a lot to be learned as we journey, if we pay attention.
Here's a thought for you to consider as you read Numbers: Why did God bring the people to the desert?