Journey Through the Wilderness
Leviticus 26:32 - Numbers 10:2
My first thought after finishing the last verse of Leviticus was, why is the next book called Numbers?
And then I started to read.
I tried to keep track of all of the numbers in my head ––the men, the tribes, the tents. They even numbered the sacrifices ––by weight, by quantity, by the bowls they were brought in. The more I read, the more numbers I came across, and the more the name began to make sense...
But why keep a record of so many numbers?
With this careful counting of men and tribes was the Lord trying to teach us a lesson? I am reminded of a verse from the book of Moses, "all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them." (Moses 1:36)
Was the Lord trying to help us understand the worth of a soul? Because before they started this great journey into the wilderness a census was taken, and every person was accounted for. Numbered. Was the hope that not one would be lost?
If you research the title you will learn the Hebrew Bible shows the name of this book as Journey Through the Wilderness.
After crossing the Red Sea, after spending two years receiving the laws and commandments and preparing, the children of Israel began their Journey Through the Wilderness. After they were numbered.
"And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up form off the tabernacle of the testimony. And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai." (Numbers 10:11-12)
As I pictured the beginning of this journey I couldn't help but think of the pioneers. I remembered the Jaredites. And I wondered, must all of the Lord's children travel through a wilderness place before they reach their Promised Land?
And if so, will this book of Numbers, this Journey Through the Wilderness, teach me lessons that will help me get through my own wilderness places?
Today I have started a small journal. I want to record the lessons contained within this book.
This weekend we will learn several lessons that could be applied to our own wilderness places...
The importance of numbering each follower so all are accounted for, so none will be lost. (Numbers 1)
The importance of inviting others to join with us on the journey with the promise "that what goodness the Lord shall do unto us, the same we will do unto thee." (Numbers 10:29-32)
The importance of learning to literally follow the Lord. When He told Israel to stay, they stayed. When He told them to journey, they journeyed. I want to learn how to literally follow the Lord in my wilderness places. (Numbers 9:16-23)
The importance of always expressing gratitude for the tender mercies along the way. I don't ever want to say, "there is nothing at all, beside this, before our eyes." (Numbers 11:6) I want my heart to be full of gratitude, and my eyes to recognize His hand all along the journey.
My favorite part is that this Journey Through the Wilderness began with a blessing from the Lord to Moses,
"On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel;
and I will bless them."
Wherever you are on your journey, whatever your wilderness place may be, remember you are numbered of the Lord. He will bless thee, and keep thee.
Watch for Him along the way.