Numbers 10:1,2--The Lord spoke to Moses: “Make two trumpets of hammered silver to summon the community and have the camps set out.
Israel was supposed to have a relatively short trip to Canaan but when ten of the twelve spies gave a bad report of the land the people rebelled and refused to enter the Promised Land. God punished them by making them wander forty years in the desert until the entire generation of those older than 20 (except Joshua and Caleb) perished.
Rebellion and complaining mark two major blemishes in this book. Repeatedly the Israelites tested God’s patience, defied His will and grumbled despite His provisions of manna, quail and water. Unholy actions brought divine punishment of earth swallowing proportion. Venomous snakes inflicted terror until God had Moses create a bronze serpent. Moses’ sister Miriam and brother Aaron died. Moses threw a temper tantrum that impugned God’s holiness and resulted in God prohibiting him entry into Canaan.
The book describes battles and opposition. Edom blocked Israel’s movement. Canaanite, Midian and Amorite kings with their armies were defeated but not without influencing Abraham’s children to worship Baal.
Continuing themes from Exodus and Leviticus, we learn more about religious laws, priest and Levite responsibilities and duties and how they were to be supported. Numbers 6:24-26 provides a famous priestly blessing.
Primarily, Numbers is about God’s leadership. He instructs Moses in how to organize their camps. He guides their movement. He places His Spirit on 70 elders to assist Moses. He confirms Aaron’s anointing and blocks Balaam from cursing His children. He commissions Joshua. He appoints leaders for land distribution and gives instruction on how they were to occupy Canaan. He allows the establishment of Transjordan settlements.
Numbers is a great lesson about one generation learning from the sins of their parents. It glorifies God’s faithful love to an unfaithful people. It reminds us why obedience matters.
God disciplines the stubborn, but he does not abandon his covenant.—Michael LeFebvre
©2020 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
 Eugene H. Merrill, "Numbers," The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1985), 215.