Highlights In Today's Reading:
After the dramatic and miraculous deliverance of the Israelites and their preservation by the Almighty God, the New Testament reveals why today's two chapters are so important to us. Read how God organized the people in preparation for their inheritance of the promised land. Over 85 times in the Book of Numbers we read these wonderful words: The Lord spake unto Moses (1:1).
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 (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 (Exodus 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, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, 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 (Numbers 14:20-23).
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.
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 (Ephesians 2:10).
Thought for Today:
It is when we recognize the necessity to rid ourselves of sin and submit ourselves to Christ as Lord of our lives that He will do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
By Moses as he led the people (Numbers 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 the census; by their polls =number each one individually; 1:16 renowned =chosen national representative; 1:17 expressed =designated; 1:18 pedigrees =ancestry; 1:44 princes =leaders; 1:53 charge =responsibility; 2:2 pitch =set up, camp; standard =flag; ensign =tribal emblem or flag; 2:24 rank =group
Pray for The Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Priscilla C. Wilcox • Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Government Official: Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) • Country: Chad (7 million) in north-central Africa • Major languages: French and Arabic • Limited religious freedom • 35% Muslim; 31% animist; 11% Protestant; 5% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Call unto the Lord and He will give you strength to overcome (Jeremiah 33:3).
Optional Reading: Mark 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 118:29