NUMBERSPurpose: To tell the story of how Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land, how they sinned and were punished, and how they prepared to try again.
To Whom Written: The people of Israel
Date Written: 1450-1410 BC
Setting: The vast wilderness of the Sinai region, as well as lands just south and east of Canaan.
Key People: Moses, Aaron, Miriam, Joshua, Caleb, Eleazar, Korah, Balaam
Key Places: Mount Sinai, Promised Land (Cannan), Kadesh, Mount Hor, the plains of Moab
*Census: Moses counted the Israelites twice for the defense of Israel as they entered the Promise Land. People have to be organized, trained and led to be effective in making a difference in their world. Before beginning great tasks, it is always wise to count the cost of what lies ahead.
*Rebellion: At Kadash, the people of Israel rebelled, having accepted the negative report of ten out of twelve spies. Rebellion against God is always serious. Usually, rebellion is not an abrupt, radical departure from God; instead, it is the result of long-term drifting, often characterized by complaining and criticizing.
*Wandering: Because they rebelled, the Israelites had a forty-year stay in the wilderness. During this time, God rained a new generation to follow him while those who still had wrong attitudes died. He judges sin not just because he dislikes it but because he is holy and cannot tolerate it.
*Canaan: Canaan was the Promised Land – the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Canaan was to be the dwelling place of God’s people, those set apart for true worship. Today, the place for true worship can be found in the human heart - the home of the Holy Spirit.