Final Acts of Moses, instructions for conquest, cities for Levites
22nd November 2019
Numbering The Numbers
✅ The book of Numbers presents God's unchanging Character as he responds with both mercy and justice. In mercy He heard their complaints and supply their needs. In justice He allowed them to reap the consequences of their lack of trust and disobedience.
✅ The book of Numbers can be divided into three sections:
(i) 1:1-10 These chapters describes how God organised the people to prepare them to enter and possess the promised land.
(ii) 11:1-25:18 These chapters narrates how the Israelites behave ( disobedience and rebellion) as they began the journey to the promised land.
(iii) 26:1-36:13 These chapters portrays how God refined and prepared the second generation to conquer and possess the promised land.
✒ Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth writes, "For God is not the God of disorder .." 14:33. In other words He is the God of order who organize the things in such a way that no human beings can think of it. His orderly commands in the book of Numbers includes:
1) The Census (1:5-46) ~ For military preparation: Young and energetic boys above 20 years or more ( 603,550) were included in Israeli Army. ~ Preparation for distributing the promised land according to the tribe, clan and family ( in the later part )
2) Camp Organization (1:48-54) ~ Levites are to set up their tents around the tabernacle ~ Israelites are to camp around the Tent of Meeting maintaining a specific distance. The tribes are arranged in 4 divisions of 3 tribes each positioned at East, West, South and North.
3) Duties of Levites (3:14-48) The Lord said to Moses, "I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites... the Levites are mine.." 3:11-13 > They have a special role and responsibilities in and around the tabernacle. > They were divided in three clans /groups: Gershonites, Kohathites and Merarites. > Age permissible were 30-50 years (4:3,23,30). > 22,000 Levites were counted (3:39)
4) Purity in the camp ~ Ceremonial Uncleanness (5:1-4). Send them outside the camp so that their presence will not defile God's Sanctuary. ~ Restitution ( 5:5-10). Need to confess and make amends for wrongs done to others. ~ Adultery ( 5:11-31). Unfaithful woman was to stand before the Lord while the priest prepared bitter water. The priest would pronounce a curse that would only harm the woman if she was guilty. The woman would drink the water and it would not harm her if she was innocent..
5) Nazirite Vows (6:1-21) ~ It focus on the purity of an individual who voluntarily dedicates himself/herself to the Lord. ~ Nazirite means separated or set apart. ~ They were bound by three rules: (a) Abstain from all types of drinks (b) Not allowed to cut their hairs (c) Not to go near a dead person.
As we read and study the book of Numbers, may we learn to stand firm by trusting God for provision and protection, accepting His anointed leaders and submitting to His discipline.
God instructed Moses to gather 1000 men from each of the tribes of Israel in order to settle accounts with Midian in Numbers 31. As…
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