Read Numbers 1
God organizes the people in preparation to inherit the promised land. He speaks to Moses over 85 times, and just as important: Moses did as the Lord commanded (Num. 20:27).
The Israelites had been camped near Mount Sinai for more than a year. It took about 30 days to receive all the laws and regulations recorded in the Book of Leviticus. It was just one month after the erection of the Tabernacle on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt (Num.1:1). They were now ready to move toward the promised land.
Israel was free from the cruel slavery of Egypt (a type of the world) and the forced obedience to Pharaoh (who typifies Satan). Israel's tribes were not journeying as strangers through a desert waste merely led by Moses. They would be led by God Himself.
As long as they were at Mount Sinai but not yet required to go forward, the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses (2:34). But during their journey from the Red Sea to the promised land it was far different. When they saw the Egyptian chariots led by Pharaoh coming toward them, their faith of living in the promised land completely failed. The Israelites murmured against Moses saying it would have been better to stay in Egypt (Ex. 14:10-12). After numerous times of refusing to trust God on their way to the promised land, He would declare: All those men which have seen My glory, and My miracles . . . and have tempted Me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers (Num. 14:20-23).
Yes, as Moses said: We went through all that great and terrible wilderness (Deut. 1:19). But if the children of Israel had believed God and had entered the land when Caleb said: Let us go up at once, and possess it (13:30), they would have been in Canaan within less than two years after they left Egypt. Consequently, very little is said about the 39 years of wandering in the wilderness, for it was a time of failure. They would not trust God, even after all He had done for them. Instead, they murmured against Moses. . . . and they said . . . Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt (Num. 14:2-4).
The people of God live by faith, obey His Word, and trust in His promises. Fullfilment in life becomes a reality when we realize that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10).
Thought for Today:
Unless Thy Law had been My delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction (Ps. 119:92).
By Moses as he led the people (Num. 1:54). Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep. . . . My sheep hear My voice . . . and they follow Me (John 10:14,27).
1:2 Take ye the sum take a census; by their polls by head count; 1:16 renowned chosen national representatives; 1:17 expressed designated; 1:18 pedigrees ancestry; 2:2 ensign tribal banner.
Pray for Government Official: Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) • Country: St. Vincent and The Grenadines (120,000) in the Lesser Antilles of the eastern Caribbean • Major languages: English and French patois • Religious freedom • 50% Protestant; 17% Roman Catholic; 2% spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Have faith in the Word of God (John 4:49-53).
Optional Reading: Mark 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Exodus 20:1-3