Thursday, September 16, 2010

NUMBERS

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”~Numbers 6:24-26

Wanderings of a faithless generation

                                  The historical account of Numbers demonstrates God’s great mercy and forgiveness for his people despite their repeated rebellion, disobedience and complaining. Time and again the Israelites choose to disobey God rather than to submit to his will. Their lack of faith brings about the death of an entire generation and 40 years of wandering in the Sinai desert.
                                 The book of Numbers introduces some interesting women as it recounts the struggles and growth of the nation of Israel. Miriam, Moses’ sister, joins forces with their brother, Aaron, in a short – lived revolt against Moses’ leadership. God’s judgment on their insurrection is visible and instantaneous, as Miriam is stricken with leprosy. Yet God also demonstrates his mercy when he forgives their sin, heals Mariam and restores the sister and brother to the community (Nu 12). Zelophehad’s daughters take center stage when Israelites receive their land allocations. In a patriarchal society these brave women discover that they are not second- class citizens in God’s economy (Nu 27). Numbers also reminds us that God holds women, as well as men, accountable when it comes to sexual immorality and unfaithfulness in marriage (Nu 5).                      
                             Forty years of wandering in the desert provide ample opportunity for God’s people to learn to trust him in every circumstance. The Israelites’ example in Numbers assures us that God’s purposes will not be thwarted. With our eyes focused on God’s promises and on his eternal faithfulness, we can face our futures with courage, what God says, he will do. You can read the whole book here.

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