In June, I started doing a Bible study on the book of Numbers with a friend. It was Bekah’s suggestion; not mine for the record. Who wants to study the book of Numbers? What I’ve realized is that there is more to the book of Numbers then census counts. Two things have stuck with me the past few months.
1 – God has been, is, and always will be faithful. The Israelites are anything but faithful at this point in Scripture. They continually forgot what God had done for them, how He provided for them and what His hope was for them. From start-to-finish, He was always advocating and providing for their good.
2 – A large part of the book has to do with the Israelites forgetting the faithfulness of God, sinning against God, and God’s righteous anger being kindled. Usually, when His righteous anger occurred, death ensued. As I was reading, it felt like half of the Israelites died in this one book. But, when you get to the last census, you realize that there is roughly the same number of Israelites from the first census in Numbers 1 to the last census in Numbers 26. Lauren Chandler put it very succinctly in her book, “A Study of the Book of Numbers: With Us in the Wilderness.”
The Lord had Moses and Eleazar take another census for two reasons: for military purposes and apportioning land. A third reason runs underneath the other two: God’s proof that He kept His promise to His people. While the population differences varied from tribe to tribe, there was only a variance of 1,820 people among the tribes and one thousand among the Levites. Despite constant complaining, murmuring, and rebellion, the Lord had preserved His people and His promise.”
I need to look for the faithfulness of God daily. Just as He provided for the Israelites and showed His faithfulness, He does the same for His children today. I have a dear friend who told me this week that she’s going to look back on her life and write a faithfulness journal so that she can actively work on remembering His faithfulness. May my heart also desire to see the Lord this way.