The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, “Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, by clans, by fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male, head by head. From twenty years old and upward, all in Israel who are able to go to war, you and Aaron shall list them, company by company.” Numbers 1:1-3, ESV.
The Book of Numbers begins well. Shortly after Israel leaves Egypt, God commands a count of their fighting men. He will lead them as an army to victory in the Promised Land. He will go with them—His tabernacle in the center of the twelve tribes. They have His covenant, His law, and His presence. They have left the land of their oppression and have all they need for victory, long life, and the joy of the Lord in their new home.
Sadly, Numbers documents the faithless failure of these same people and the tragic end of this chapter 1 generation. The book serves as a good reminder to us all. Just as Israel had been rescued and was headed to the Promised Land, we who are in Christ have been rescued from our sin and are on a life-long journey to an even better Promised Land. The blessings of salvation are ours from the moment we come to faith in Jesus Christ. Nonetheless, the enjoyment of those blessings depends on enduring faith.
Over the next few weeks, we will look at some of the key passages from the book of Numbers, we will consider some of its lessons for those of us who have begun our journey to the Promised Land, but often struggle when it comes to faithful endurance.
I pray that God will bless you this day with extra faith and courage as you journey toward the land of promise.