|Week 7 |
A QUICK LOOK BACK
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Not only have you finished yet another book of the Bible, but you have also persevered through one of the most challenging books of the Bible for Christians to read: Leviticus. We are beginning to see that the Bible is helpful in different ways. Leviticus is not inspirational reading that sweeps us up in praise and beauty. As a matter of fact, on the surface, it seems pretty useless to us. But as we studied it together, we see that it teaches us how to prepare ourselves for an encounter with the Holy. We must NEVER take God lightly or casually. The Bible is a collection of works from the hands of many writers over thousands of years. Each writer is passing on age-old oral traditions, as well as attempting to point to and explain their experience of God at a specific time, place and among a specific people. It contains various kinds of material: history, lists of records, theology, persuasive sermons about God, politics, law, worship, and prayer. In Numbers, we return to the story of God’s People and the Promised Land.
THE ROAD AHEAD
After a long rest at Mt. Sinai, the establishment of the Tabernacle, and deployment of the priesthood, Israel is once again on the move. God is ready to cross over into the Promised Land of Canaan. But is Israel ready? That’s the question. After endless grumbling and complaining, they arrive at the Jordan River. But they are not ready to just follow God and dive into the new land. They want to test the water by sticking in their little toe. A small band of spies, led by Joshua and Caleb, sneak into Canaan to see what lies ahead. What they find is beyond compare! But can they agree on what they’ve seen? Is it the opportunity of a lifetime or a suicide mission? Before we know it, mutiny breaks out. Aaron and Miriam challenge Moses. The Levites challenge Moses. 10 out of 12 spies challenge Caleb and Moses. The people are terrified, panic, and don’t know which way to turn. Most refuse to cross over and claim the land. Remember, God’s greatest punishment is often to give us what we think we want. If they do not want to enter the Promised Land of Canaan, they won’t. Even if they change their minds, God will not let them. The next generation will enter. This generation will keep wandering until they die in the desert. God will not force them to enter, but the good news is, they cannot stop God’s plan. They may slow it down by forty years, but they will not stop it. Keep your eye on Joshua and Caleb this week. They are two heroes in the making!
WEEK 7 Reading Schedule:
Feb 12 Numbers 3-4 Levites Prepared to Serve
Feb 13 Numbers 5-6 Nazirite Vow
Feb 14 Numbers 7 Offerings of the Leaders
Feb 15 Numbers 8-10 Consecration of Levites, Marching Orders
Feb 16 Numbers 11-13 Grumbling in the Desert, The Spies
Feb 17 Numbers 14-15;Psalms 90 Refusal, Rebellion, and Condemnation
Feb 18 Numbers 16-18 Revolt of the Levites