The Book of NUMBERS
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Numbers takes up the history of the children of Israel where Exodus concludes. It tells of the wilderness wanderings of God’s redeemed people. In type it is the book of service and walk, as Exodus is the book of redemption, and Leviticus the book of worship and fellowship.
INTRODUCTION – Numbers takes up the history of the children of Israel where Exodus concludes. It tells us of the wilderness wanderings of God’s redeemed people.
- THE LORD SPEAKS UNTO MOSES IN THE WILDERNESS (Ch. 1:1-3).
All who were able to go forth to war. (v. 3)
- In Exodus we see them being redeemed from the Egyptian brick kilns; in Leviticus they are gathered round the Tabernacle of the congregation in worship and fellowship. But in Numbers, at the very outset, we read of “men of war,” of “standards,” of “camps” and the alarming “sound of trumpets.”
- Each book of the Bible has its own distinct place and object.
There is no repetition without purpose. There are no superfluous words or phrases. “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” II Tim. 3:16.
- THEY DECLARE THEIR PEDIGREES (Ch. 1:4-47).
- Their pedigrees after their families by the house of their fathers. (v. 17-19).
This was exceedingly important. The pedigree of each one was to be established beyond question.
- The spiritual warrior must establish his pedigree.
Can each of us declare our pedigree?
(1). It is demanded – “Ye must be born” (John 3:3,5,7).
The emphasis is on the “must”. This means when one is born again he is born into the family of God.
(2). We can establish it!
It is possible, therefore, for every believer to declare his pedigree – “Beloved, now are we the sons of God” (I John 3:2).
“Whosover believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” (I John 5:1) I believe that Jesus is the Christ; therefore, I know I am a child of God. That is the way I declare my pedigree.
I can go further – “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26). We can continue adding evidence. (See Romans 8:14, Romans 8:16, John 3:5, James 1: 18 and Ephesians 5:30.)
The believer traces his pedigree directly to the risen Christ in glory. To trace and declare one’s pedigree naturally is to admit that we all spring from a fallen family. But for the grace of God, we are irrecoverable ruined, irretrievably lost.
(3). There must be no question about this.
Among the children of Israel, those who were to be warriors must declare their pedigrees – every one of the six hundred, three thousand, five hundred and fifty. (vs. 46) So it is imperative that the believer declare his pedigree. If a Jew could be certain as to his pedigree, why cannot the Christian be certain as to his?
John wrote his Gospel in order that men might “Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of and that believing ye might have life through His name” (John 20:31).
He wrote his First Epistle “that ye may know that ye have eternal life” (I John 5:13). (See also I John 5:19, 20.)
(4). Our conflict is against spiritual wickedness (Eph. 6:12).
This spiritual conflict is as impossible with the Christian warrior in doubt as it would be to imagine an Israelite in conflict with Amalek in the wilderness, Or with the Canaanites in the Land of Promise, without being able to declare his pedigree.
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER I.
- Differentiate Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers and Compare.
- What do we have at the very outset in Numbers? vs. 1-3.
- What did each and every Warrior of the Israelites have to dot vs. 17-19
- Can every Christian declare his?
- What did John write his First Epistle for? Give references.
- How many warriors were there?
- EVERY MAN SHALL PITCH BY HIS OWN STANDARD (Ch. 2).
Every one of the 603,550 pitched by their standards. (vs. 32-34). It was absolutely necessary for every man of war to have not only a clear declaration of his pedigree, but to recognize distinctly and rally to his standard. The pedigree and standard were inseparable. Each had to know his post and abide by it.
- God was the author of all. He gave the post and He assigned the standard.
- There was therefore no ground for jealousy.
Each had his place to fill, his Work to do; and there was room enough and work enough for all.
- Here was order and progress, God is not the author of confusion.
The arrangement, the order of this camp of approximately three million people, presents a spectacle almost beyond imagination. It was simple, yet complete.
- In type we see the church – the army of God.
Its program, its plans, are simple.
The Holy Spirit allots each warrior his place and work. “For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.” (Mark 13:34.)
Here our Lord takes a far journey, permits authority to His servants and gives to “everyman his work.” There is a place for every child of God to fill, a definite work for every one to do; just as definite and specific as was the place assigned here in the Army of Israel.
- The Christian’s standard is Christ.
He is our life; He is our rule of life. His Word is to be obeyed.
QUESTIONS ON CHAPTER II.
- Where was each Israelite to pitch?
- What or who is the Christian’s standard! What is his rule of life?
- Who was the author of all this and how does it differ in the church?