To know God's love, to show God's love

In the Wilderness

Minority Report

There comes a point in some stories – indeed, in some lives – where everything changes. It becomes the definining moment of that story or of that life. In the life of the newly born nation of Israel that defining moment is described in Numbers 13-14. Their moment of truth results in a spiral of…

The Graves of Craving

As Israel are on their way – quite literally – to the promised land, they stumble over the same thing that so often causes us to stumble … the things we crave. The thing we crave can destroy us, or lead us to salvation.

Go with God

In Numbers 9:15-10:36 Israel are finally ready to leave Mount Sinai. The time for preparation has ended and their final directions relate how they are to come and go as they travel. This is unfolded in: The Cloud The Trumpets The Invitation

Worth Remembering

It’s one thing to set people free, but how do they stay free? Numbers seems to present the Passover in Numbers 9 as the answer, that the way they’ll stay free is by remembering how they were delivered. The regulations given here highlight: The Importance of Remembrance The Indispensability of Remembrance The Universality of Remembrance

To Walk in the Light

Numbers 8 presents, rather unexpectedly, specific instructions for one item of furniture in the Tabernacle – the lampstand. It is clear that, with the dedication of the Tabernacle, the privilege of being able to walk in its light has profound significance. This is only underscored by the fact that the next thing narrated is the…

Supporting the Work

Having focused on how God numbered the Israelites In the Wilderness, arranging them around his Tent – the Tabernacle – the way an army encamps around their general, in Numbers 7 we go back in time a month to see how that Tabernacle was prepared. And it becomes clear that it wasn’t just the priests…

God is Among You

Numbers is punctuated by five sections detailing the laws under which Israel was to live. The first, in chapters 5-6, responds the fact that God is Among Them, his Tabernacle is in the heart of the camp. The camp must therefore be clean. These chapters outline: Three things which defile the camp Two things which…

Between the Holy and the Unholy

In the Wilderness the holy God living among an unholy people, the Levites were called to maintain the sacrifices and the tabernacle that protected the one from the other. In order to maintain the vertical relationship between each Israelite and his holy God, a great, horizontal network of relationships among the Israelites was necessary, with…

Prepare for War

The first chapter of Numbers is a census of the Israelite people, but not the kind of census we might expect. It counts only men, and of the men it counts only the men able to fight in the army. This isn’t a simple numbering of the population, this is a preparation for war, this…