When was the last time that you heard a sermon from the book of Numbers? Many are familiar with Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, Galatians, John, Mark, 1 John, Acts, Genesis, Daniel, and Revelations, but what about Numbers?
Most people when thinking about conquest of the land they think of Joshua and the book that bears his name. However, some land was taken on the west bank of the Jordan, before they crossed over. Numbers relates how that came about. In today’s reading, Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh are given land on the west bank from their conquest over Sihon, king of the Amorites and Og, king of Bashan. As you have already seen from this post, Numbers tells us about the report of the twelve spies, the rebellion of Korah, the serpent lifted up in the wilderness (which Jesus talks to Nicodemus about in John 3), the incident where Balak, king of Moab hires Balaam to curse Israel, and Moses striking the rock and being forbidden to enter the promised land. It is an incredibly rich book full of thought provoking and applicable material. The major theme is the wilderness wandering from Mt Sinai to the verge of the Jordon. In it we get reintroduced to descendents of Biblical characters from the book of Genesis: the Edomites (Edom) from Isaac’s son, Essau (Gen. 25:25), the Ammonites (Ammon) from Lot’s son, Ben-Ammi (Gen.19:38), the Moabites (Moab) from Lot’s son, Moab (Gen. 19:37). You need to pay attention to how theses distant relatives of Israel relate to Israel in the Old Testament. The Edomites will even have a whole book written against them, Obadiah.
I just want to encourage you to keep reading THROUGH the Bible, just as you would read any other book. There are elements in each book along the journey of your reading that will shed light upon further reading. Although, devotional helps like Our Daily Bread have their place, there is absolutely nothing that will help you more in your understanding and application of the Bible than disciplined, daily, reading THROUGH the Bible.
What would you miss out on if you didn’t read Numbers? Today’s reading has, “be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23). Now that is a verse to chew on and have as a part of your thought life. What a great verse to be reminded of.