Up to this point, we have looked at Genesis through Leviticus. I hope each book has helped you learn something important about God and what he wants for you. Genesis is a book of beginnings: the beginnings of us, of sin, and just as importantly; the beginning of God’s love story with us. Exodus is a book of redemption: God redeems his people from sin and self; walks with them and moves heaven and earth for them. Leviticus is a book about relationships: God is a holy and just God who wants to have a personal relationship with his people. Leviticus details how we can approach God and have fellowship with him.
Today we are going to consider the book of Numbers. The book details the story of the nation of Israel as they wander through the wilderness for 40 years. What, at first glimpse, seems like a story revolving around the punishment of God quickly becomes a story about God’s grace and walking faithfully with his people.
Time after time, the people disobey God, get punished but God never turns away from them. Sure, there were times when he felt like giving up on them, but he never did. By his amazing grace, he continued to walk with them and provide even when they complain against him, wanted to return to Egypt and demanded food or water. Despite their continual failings God continued to bless them and his love never falters.
“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”
(Mal. 3:6, ESV)
While Leviticus teaches us about a Holy God who wants us to come near to him, Numbers teaches us about the failures of unbelief and how we walk with God in everyday hardships. More importantly, it teaches us about a God who loves us desperately and despite our constant failures, His love for us never changes.
If you want to better understand how hardships affect people and their faith, Numbers is the book to read. If you want to better understand the damage a little doubt and complaining can do to God’s people, Numbers is the book to read. If you want to better understand the relationship between our failures and our gracious God, Numbers is the book to read.
Throughout the book we see a God who is present, provides, who is patient and protects us; a God who loves and answers the prayers of his people.