Numbers 11-13

So I did not post this morning.  I was ornery.  During lunch I walked past someone reading their Bible and she said “Are you ok?  No post today?”  The Lord had His way with me all afternoon after that!!  God used her to let the Lord show me my heart today.   It was ugly.

Chapter 11: My goodness, I am not sure what to write about.

  • Should we talk about how Moses prays and how that effects the Lord.  When I pray do I really comprehend how that actually effect the Lord?  Verse 2: Moses prayed and the fire died down!
  • Do we talk about complaining??  What in the world!!  Wait….that’s me.  All the Lord has provided and yet I still find things to complain about.
  • My favorite….Moses’ conversation with the Lord!

11 He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? 13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”

I like him!!  This is how I talk to God about my students when I have forgotten to take my meds!  Just kidding…ummm.

Chapter 11: Seriously, the complaining has BEGUN.  The Lord has 2 plans.  First, he takes 70 elders to help share the burden of leading these people.  It’s like herding cats at this point.  The Lord gives 70 men the Holy Spirit so that they can help manage these whiner babies!  (How cool is it to see the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, so many of us think of it as a New Testament gift)  The second plan is to give them what they ask for (we will see this MANY times as we continue to read….otherwise, we wouldn’t have the books of Kings!).  These people were given redemption, freedom, safety, food, shelter, AND the community with the Lord…and they wanted MORE!  Wanting it was one issue, But ACTING on it was another!

Chapter 12:  What in Sam Hill is going on here!  Miriam and Aaron call Miriam a “Cushite” as a racial slur.  We do not know if this is Moses wife Zipporah (the MIdianite) or if he has a different wife now.  If you are not sure who they are look at this.

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As much as I would love to say “that’s sibling rivalry”,  it’s not.  It is jealousy and pride.  Aaron is also very aware that Moses grew up in Egypt and married a non-Israelite.    The Lord inflicts Miriam with a skin disease that changes her “color”, the very characteristic  she was using to instigate the issue of Moses’ wife.  Aaron was not inflicted because that would disqualify him from priestly service.   What does Aaron do?  He confesses.

“Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.”

Once again, Moses prays and God relents.

Chapter 13  HUGE HUGE CHAPTER!!   It is the Big BUT!

28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”

They might as well have said “BUT they are more powerful than the Lord!!”  

I want you to stop and think about the hardest prayer you have right now.  “Lord I need you to…”  think of the lost person in your life, the stronghold someone might have, the situation someone is gotten themselves into.  Pray for them.  When you were done did you say in your head after “they won’t change” “That might not happen”….etc.  If you did you might as well have said “But they are more powerful than the Lord!”



Numbers 8-10

Chapter 8: The lighting of and continual burning of the lamps in the tabernacle symbolized the consecration of the Levites, who were to represent the whole nation as lights to the world. The high priest was in charge of the lampstand.  This is was the final task before the journey, setting apart the Levites as the priesthood.

Finally…The anniversary of the Passover (Exodus 12).  How fitting that this too is an exodus, this time from being camped in the wilderness at Sinai.  God graciously allows all to participate, even though some are considered unclean(exposure to a corpse), he has a plan for an alternate date.

The time had come for the Israelites to resume their journey, now that the people had celebrated the Passover. All that remained for the Israelites to know was how God would lead them.  The trumpets are sounded:  “When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out.” The first tribe to lead was “east”, that would be Judah.  “When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies.” 

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The cloudy pillar stood over  the tabernacle.   It lifted and in the tribal arrangement order, they marched.  The GPS says: you will reach your destination in 11 days!  The cloud leads them toward Kadesh Barnea.

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As the nation left Mt. Sinai, the people were at their strongest spiritually, having received the Law and having committed themselves to following it faithfully.  What could go wrong??

The first 10 chapters of Numbers contrast with the next 10, which record Israel’s terrible regression and failure..



Numbers 7

  • Click here to read
  • Click here to listen
  •  (if anyone grew up catholic you will get this) “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned, it has been 40 years since my last confession.  After reading Nashon’s offering,  I skimmed”. 😣

Numbers 7:

Today’s chapter reading describes the offerings the tribes of Israel made for the tabernacle.

The process of altar dedication takes twelve days, and offerings by a leader representing each of the tribes are made on each of these sacred days. The offerings:

Day 1 Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah
Day 2 Nethanel the son of Zuar, the chief of Issachar
Day 3 Eliab the son of Helon, the chief of the people of Zebulun
Day 4 Elizur the son of Shedeur, the chief of the people of Reuben
Day 5 Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai, the chief of the people of Simeon
Day 6 Eliasaph the son of Deuel, the chief of the people of Gad
Day 7 Elishama the son of Ammihud, the chief of the people of Ephraim
Day 8 Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur, the chief of the people of Manasseh
Day 9 Abidan the son of Gideoni, the chief of the people of Benjamin
Day 10 Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai, the chief of the people of Dan
Day 11 Pagiel the son of Ochran, the chief of the people of Asher
Day 12 Ahira the son of Enan, the chief of the people of Naphtali

The leaders who make the offerings are the same as those who assist with the census in Num 1:5–15, but there is a distinct order of offering.

Here in Num 7:1–88 the order of offering is influenced by the order of encampment given in Num 2:1–34.

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In case you “skimmed”, like me.  (Evidently my husband has not skipped a word, but I think he is a liar!)The chapter ends with a large summary of all the offerings and donations given for the tabernacle.  Plates, basins, dishes, bulls, rams, lambs, grain offerings, goats.

The tabernacle itself is anointed when it is dedicated.

89 And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.

Once it was dedicated, Moses entered the tent of meeting and the LORD spoke to him from the mercy seat.

What a moment!!!  Time to start packing our bags…we are so close to getting on the road!


Numbers 5-6

These chapters are similar to what we read in Leviticus, in that they explain the importance of holiness among the Israelites.  However, chapter 5 talks about restitution.  This is something I actually study for my job. 
“Say to the Israelites: ‘Any man or woman who wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord is guilty and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the person they have wronged.
 The point is clear—wrongs committed against God’s people were considered wrongs committed against God himself.

5:11-31 The test of the unfaithful wife. 
I actually had to read this a few times and process it for awhile.
  • In biblical law, this is the only kind of case in which the Lord Himself renders the verdict through a spiritual procedure.
  • The Israelite court was made of all-men, and God knew that men would naturally side with a man who suspected his wife of unfaithfulness. and women would have difficulty attaining a fair hearing.
  • When a woman would pass the test, her husband could have full confidence in their marriage.
  • Unfortunately, if she failed, her “womb” (not baby) would miscarry, becoming infertile.

The Nazarite Vow:

Any Israelite, man or woman could voluntarily take a special vow of separation in order to be holy to the Lord for a specified period of time (or vowed for life at birth).


  1. abstain from intoxicating beverages or any grape products that are used to make it
  2. let on’s hair grow without cutting it
  3. avoid any corpses

The vow ended with a purification ritual that paralleled the consecration of the priests.  The vow allows an ordinary Israelite to enjoy  a brief moment of exceptional closeness to God. ❤

Who else was a Nazarite in the Bible?

  • Samuel
  • John the baptist
  • Samson

Ohhhh now the story of Samson will totally make sense when we get there!

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Number 3-4

God exempted the Levites from the military. He did this because He chose the whole tribe to assist the priests, Aaron’s “family” within the tribe of Levi, in the service of the Tabernacle.

The tabernacle responsibilities of each group were as follows:

  • Gershonites-curtains and coverings
  • Kohathites-furniture and utensils
  • Merarites- boards and bars

A prominent emphasis in this book appears again at the end of this chapter:  Moses carried out the Lord’s commands exactly. (for now!)

Since we are hanging on knowing we are about to turn a corner in the readings, it is about to get super exciting…in the meantime, make sure you have any handouts you may have missed.  Here is a shortcut to them:



Numbers 1-2

This is an quick easy read.  If you do the audio, it is only 10 mins.

I should have put this in the overview last night, but here is our outline:

I. The old generation (Sinai to Kadesh) chs. 1—14
A. The numbering 1—4
B. The instructions  5—9
C. The journey  10—14
II. The transition era (wandering in the wilderness)  15—20
III. The new generation (Kadesh to Moab)  21—34
A. The new journey 21—25
B. The new number  26—27
C. The new instructions  28—34

My hope is that when you read these chapters they actually make sense. Verses 1-15, you should say “I totally know who these guys are, and why Levi was not counted, AND how without Levi we still have 12!”.  If you are just jumping in and you don’t know, please ask!

The purpose for counting the adult males 20 years of age and older was to identify those who would serve in battle when Israel entered the land.  Entrance into the land should have been only a few weeks from the taking of this census (not 40 years).  The twelve tribes—excluding the Levites—camped in four groups of three tribes each, a different group on each of the tabernacle’s four sides. The priests and the three clans of Levites camped on the four sides of the tabernacle, but closer to the sanctuary than the other tribes. This arrangement placed God at the center of the nation— geographically—and reminded the Israelites that His rightful place was at the center of their life—nationally and personally.

So if you were to draw the census (adding in woman and children) , you would see between 2 and 3 million people.  Now picture it from God’s point of view and tell me what you see.

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If you would like to have the first picture as a handout, click here.



Book Overviews · Numbers

Numbers Overview

(Fun Poll at the bottom)

The Hebrew title of this book is “Bemidbar”-In the Wilderness.   As noted earlier, when the book was translated (Septuagint) the English title became Numbers because the book lists two sets of census lists.  I am going to warn you, God’s treatment of the Israelites is much more sever in Numbers than in Exodus.  In Exodus, He rescues them and pours our grace time and time again.  In Numbers, He justifiably holds them accountable for their lack of trust.

This book begins right where Leviticus ended, at the base of Mount Sinai.  The Law has been given, the tabernacle has been built, the priests have their jobs, and we are ready to now go forward to the land flowing with milk and honey, the land that was promised to them by God himself.  He now wants them (us) to trust in Him.  Sounds so easy.  So as we move forward we are going to be so tempted to say:

“What is wrong with these people??”

When you are tempted to say that (like me), that’s where your own application will take place.  What is God saying to you?? (Other than what is wrong with you? Why?)

The next two weeks we will cover about 40 years and about 220 miles.  A distance that should not have taken that long to travel! (can you relate)

This is a great time to jump in if you are behind or to invite a friend to jump in.  We start tomorrow and will finish Numbers on March 10th.  (February 29th will be your catch up day if you need it)


Leviticus 26-27 The End!

When I read Chapter 26 I honestly thought to myself-“Well, if someone wanted go know what the rest of the Old Testament is going to say, they can just read this chapter and be done.  Do you think the rest of the Testament will be 1-13 or 14-39??

These are the last 2 chapters in Leviticus and it begins with two fundamental commandments, one negative and one positive:

“‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God.“‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.”

Tomorrow we are getting in the car, putting on the GPS, and heading toward the promise land.  After months of learning what it means to be set apart, how to live in the presence of the Lord, how to obey his commands….He gives one last recap.   It reminded me of one of my Principals (I am a teacher).  Every morning he walks by my room and says “Make Good Choices” (to me not my students!).  The ball is in their court!

‘If’ occurs nine times and it has to do with the conditions on which they occupy the land. God says ‘I will’ twenty-four times. God will act and react according to their response to the ‘if.’  Verse 14 starts with “BUT if you will not listen to me….”

We have read 3 books of the Bible (well 4, don’t forget Job) and it feels like so much more!

Genesis reveals how people can have a relationship with God. This comes through trust in God and obedience to Him. “Faith” is the key word in Genesis.

Exodus reveals that God is also sovereign. He is the ultimate ruler of the universe. Man’s response should be worship and obedience.

Leviticus reveals that God is also holy.

Tonight I will post an Overview of the next book: Numbers.  If you know someone who has fallen off the read, encourage them to pick back up tomorrow.  Share with them the Leviticus Video to catch them up.  Click here.