LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
Hello friend, this post is meant to come up earlier, but I made a mistake in my timing while scheduling the post.
A few weeks ago, I decided to join the Good Morning Girls online Bible study community to read and study the book of Numbers.
This is one of those books of the Bible I passively read in the past and never really took time to study the book. But in the past 10 days, I have realized that this precious book is not dull or boring as I thought, but has great truths we can learn about the character of God and for our Christian walk.
In Numbers 1-5, we see God counting the Israelites, organizing their camps, giving out their duties and commanding that they remain undefiled- sanctified- consecrated – set apart for Him.
Here are a 14 beautiful lessons I have learned from the first five chapters of the book of Numbers and why I encourage you to take a closer, deeper look at this book rather than just skimming through.
1. Whenever we are at the crossroads in our lives, it is important to take a ‘census’ or an inventory of our life’s resources, i.e our spiritual condition, possessions, relationships, time, goals and other resources at our disposal; before making any major decision.
We have to count the cost before plunging in. We must be aware of obstacles, potential challenges that may arise from our own end, so we can easily avoid or handle them rather than break down or become discouraged.
This will help us to serve God more effectively and be more effective in other aspects of our lives.
2. We serve a God of order. God is detailed, organized, and orderly. Without the counting, organization and planning, conquering the Promised Land would have been more difficult for Moses and the Israelites.
Planning, organization, orderliness makes our task easier and more effective. God wants things to be done orderly. We are reflecting God’s character when we set goals, layout our plans, organize our lives, pay attention to the tiniest detail and maintain order in our lives.
3. God is not only interested in seeing us fulfil purpose, or achieve our goals. He wasn’t just interested in the Israelites entering the Promised Land. He was very much interested in the process of getting there and how they will live there. He wants to be a part of your life, all the preparations, planning, and organization.
4. We can accomplish very much when we chose to obey God, and very little when we disobey. OBEDIENCE is important.
5. God’s commands requires obedience. It requires it to be done God’s way rather than our way or at our convenience.
When God calls us or assign us a task, we have the special responsibility to obey Him, to be conscious of the fact that our position and lives could easily lead people astray or lead them right.
Each tribe of Levites had a different assignment and they each had different burdens to bear. Some were heavier and some were lighter. Some were carried on poles and others on their shoulders.
In the same way, each of us have different burdens in life that we carry. Some are heavier and some are lighter. Our trials and circumstances may differ dramatically, but God’s grace is sufficient.
He sees and knows our burdens in detail and He gives each of us the amount of strength and grace we need to bear the burden we carry.
- As we function with others in service to God, we have to ensure that the lines of authority between us and the people we are working with is clearly defined and understood to foster respect, accountability and effectiveness.
8. God is intentional, specific and very detailed. We are expected to be intentional in our walk with God, to obey and carry out every task He trusts us with, paying attention to details.
We put ourselves in danger when we disobey, disrespect God or act carelessly and flippant with the things He has trusted us with.
Our worship must not be taken lightly. We must revere God in all aspect of our lives, seeing the things He has committed to us as HOLY.
9. When we wrong others, we should do more than apologize. We should look for ways to set matters right, and if possible leave the victim better than when we hurt or harmed them. When we have been wronged, we should seek restoration rather than striking out in revenge.
10. God desires purity, faithfulness in our marriage relationships. We see in Numbers 5 a peculiar passage. I don’t have all the answers to explain it – but the key point is this…God wants purity in marriage.
Marital unfaithfulness results in consequences and hurts everyone. It leads to distrust and public shame. Forgiveness is available for those who repent.
Through Jesus, we find restoration but we can’t escape the hurt and the pain brought to the family and the church as a result. Is your marriage pure? Always remain faithful to your husband.
11. God uses warriors for His glory. All God’s children are warriors called to fight spiritual battles daily.
If God were counting spiritual warriors – ones who are prepared to fight for truth – would you be counted?
Are you one who sits on the sidelines letting others take the gospel into dark places or do you roll up your sleeves and work hard for the Lord, despite the intimidating battleground? We are all in a spiritual battle, stand firm.
12. God appoints leaders. As God organized Israel and numbered the warriors – he appointed Moses and Aaron to take the lead. Then he organized their camps by households, families and tribes. Tribal leaders were appointed for each tribe. Have you been appointed to lead something? God appoints leaders and uses them for His purpose. Do it for His glory!
13. God values worship. While warriors and leaders matter – we see God valuing the role of worship as well. The Levites were exempted from fighting and were assigned the duties of caring for the tabernacle.
These were very serious duties and a matter of life and death if performed wrong. If you were counted by God, would you be counted as a worshipper? We need those in the church who take God and His word seriously.
We need leaders of worship to remind us, as we fight our daily battles, to stop and simply rest in God and His greatness. Some of us may relate more to the warriors – others may relate more to the worshippers.
14. God sets his people apart. God wants his people to live differently than the rest of the world.
We are to be a holy people set apart for him. God’s presence dwelled amongst the Israelite camp; therefore, the people had to remain holy. God used his laws and pictures of sin and defilement to teach his people how to be holy through obedience.
Are we living differently than the rest of the world? Let’s be a holy people set apart for God’s use.
What has God called you to do?
Numbers 1-5 could be considered dry and dull by some…but we see today, it is ALIVE and relevant to us!
After Israel was “number”ed, including women, children and Levites — the total was more than a million people. But this was not a mob of a million people wandering in the desert.
The Israelites were divinely ordered with God at the center. Each individual had a specific purpose, place and calling given by God. Each individual had a responsiblity to obey God. We see that their act of obedience made the numbering easier and effective, and they achieved much by it.
Where do you see yourself?
As a warrior?
A burden bearer?
Perhaps, one who needs to be purified?
Whatever your place in life today is – you matter. Your life counts!
You are numbered as one set apart for God’s service and we are not to abdicate our positions! We are not to act flippantly and take the things of God for granted.
Numbers 4:49 says:
“According to the commandment of the LORD through Moses, they were listed, each one with his task of serving or carrying. Thus, they were listed by him, as the LORD commanded Moses.”
May we keep God at the center of our lives and may we live out our callings from the Lord in an orderly and obedient way.
Look out for part 2 of this post where I share lessons from Numbers 6-10!
I can’t wait to glean more from God’s word this week! I invite you to join the Good Morning Girls community to study this amazing book. You won’t regret your decision!
Where do you see yourself?
Which calling or position do you most relate to and why?
Have you read or studied the book of Numbers before? Or are you also taking this study?
Is there anything you’d add to this list? What else did you learn?