Bible Time Period: Desert Wanderings
You taught Israel to walk in faith through 40 years’ wandering in the desert: Help me to trust in you today, O God.
Getting Israel out of Egypt and setting them up as his people was one thing. It will be quite another to purge Egypt from their hearts. They are children still, spiritually, and they need to learn to trust their Father and walk in faith before they are ready to possess the land that was promised them. The book of Numbers picks up the story here and tells how they fare in the period of “Desert Wanderings.”
The Book of Numbers gets its English name from the census God has them take at the start of the book and again at the end. (The book’s title in Hebrew, bemidbar, means “in the desert” – which is where they will spend the next 40 years, before entering Canaan.) The tribe of Levi is not counted in the census because they have no military role. After the incident with the golden calf, God set them apart from the other tribes to care for the Tabernacle. Notice their position in chapter 2 in relationship to the tabernacle and to the other tribes, which are being put into a formal marching order.
The Tabernacle provided a way for the people to approach God. What do all these careful instructions say about him?
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