This really is Thursday's posting....I started it last night and it creates the post based on the time I start it...not the time I actually post it!!
Day 43 @ 6:35am...started it last night to try something....didn't work...I can't put a link in here. Don't know how. :)
(read the "introduction to numbers" post that I wrote below, too)
1.....2.......3......4......5......6......7.......8.......9.......10......11.........12.........13.......14........okay, I'm not going to count all the way to 603,550 for you......but, hey, the book is about "numbers." And that's just what they did.
Below are pics of the Sinai desert...where the people will wonder for 40 years. I did read that there was an actual oasis that they camped by. So, that would account for having water.
And....for fun...here is a link to a quiz about the book of Numbers...take it now and then again after we finish and see what we learned! Cut and paste this and see if it works!
Chapter 1 The book starts off by taking a census of "all the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were counted, listed by name, one by one, according to the records of their clans and families...." All chapter 1 does is list the family names and how many army-fighting age men there were. The Lord wants this done in order to establish a little bit of organization to the families and to instill a sense of discipline within the people. At great concern here is order and organization. There is a divine command (1:1) and that is fulfilled (1:54). They choose lay leaders (1:5-15) and they count the people (1: 17-47). The people respond to God in trying to create a new sense of community in the wilderness. The Israelites are being prepared to face their enemies and the hardships that lay ahead.
Did you notice that Levi's family did NOT get counted. They won't be considered military numbers because they are in charge of the tabernacle! Everything about the tabernacle is under their care......the furnishings, they are to carry it, etc. This is their responsibility!
Chapter 2 Everything these people do is going to center around the camp with the tabernacle at the center of it all. This is a "map" of sorts as to where each tribe will be in relation to the tabernacle. In chapter 1, all they did was say individual numbers of each tribe. Here in chapter 2 we at least get a final tally (minus women, children, men under the age of 20 and minus the Levites).....total number 603, 550! The numbers were repeated twice......Dusty thought that was very interesting...that is all these chapter do......give us numbers....an appropriate start given the name of the book! :)
Okay...now here's the cool part. I did a veeeeeeeeery long Bible study with Beth Moore (not in person...just via DVD) about the tabernacle. At first this looks just like "you go here, you go here, you stay here, etc" when telling the tribes where they are to camp. But, Beth pointed out what this might look like from "God's perspective" if you will.......okay....envision this: the tabernacle is the center of the camps and tribes...its the heart of it all. Then to the North...these people...to the south...these people.....to the east and to the west.....with your finger, draw a line from North to south and another one from west to east. What shape did it make?
W tabernacle E
A cross! From God's perspective (looking down from heaven, if you will), the people surround the tabernacle and make the shape of a cross!! And at the center of it all...don't miss this....is the place where God's presence is made known. It is the center of their very lives!
Where is God in your life today? In the center? or slightly on the fringes...be honest....you don't have to post a comment telling us where He is for you. But think about it. They were ready to set out into the wilderness with each of their clans and families....and God was going with them...desiring to be at the very center of their very existence.
Wherever you lead, I'll follow......