“God is Still Faithful Leading Unfaithful People” – Numbers 1:1, 33:2, 36:13

Numbers 1:1, 33:2, 36:13

1:1 “The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt,”

33:2 “Moses wrote down their starting places, stage by stage, by command of the Lord, and these are their stages according to their starting places.”

36:13 “These are the commandments and the rules that the Lord commanded through Moses to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.”

Numbers opens with the Tabernacle being finished and each tribe of Israel organized and counted. The next event for God’s people was to enter the beautiful Promised Land. So twelve spies were sent to Canaan to see what the land looked like and if they could overtake it. Two came back excited to go in and ten… not so much. The ten convinced the people that it was too dangerous, so they voted not to go. 

Then God voted. All “no votes” (Israelites over 20 years of age) would not be going into Canaan. So, the Israelites spent 40 years in the desert wandering around until all the “no votes” died off. In 38 years 603,000 men died. 

The rest of the book highlights the process of those 40 years. God structured each tribe and gave instructions for the Ark of the Covenant, Priestly duties, and how the Levites were separated from the people as Priests.  

In the meantime, Israel constantly complained and rebelled against Moses. Remarkably, even though God punished them for it, He was still faithful to lead Israel through the desert. He continued to instruct them and get them ready for another chance. He provided food for them, shelter, clothing, power over enemies, forgiveness, wise leaders in each tribe, and a connection with Him. These were tough years, but God still provided. Numbers could have easily been the last book of the Bible if it were not for God’s grace.

Even when we complain, rebel, and refuse to be led, God is still faithful. He is even faithful to discipline us back to Him. And He cares for us all the way. God is good!

While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions: 

  • What are some times when you doubted that God would carry through on a promise? 
  • How has God led you and shown His care even as you might have grumbled and complained?  
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you? 
Explain – what does the passage mean? 
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today? 
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Pastor Stephen Williams
Original Photo by sasan rashtipour on Unsplash

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