This Book speaks of the SEVERITY of GOD [He destroys the old generation in chapters 1-25] and the GOODNESS of GOD [He works with the new generation in chapters 26-36] as described in Romans 11:22: Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (KJV).
It also warns of two sins: PRESUMPTION [I Corinthians 10:1-12] and UNBELIEF [Hebrews 3:7 – 4:6]. This book illustrates that unbelief defeats the unbeliever. It is an epic on the halting progress of unwilling followers. It took them only 40 hours to get out of Egypt in Exodus, 30 days to learn of God’s HOLINESS in Leviticus, but nearly 40 years to get out of the Wilderness of Egypt — within them. They went up a mixed multitude [Exodus 12:38] who wanted a Savior [Exodus] but not a Lord [Sinai].
Numbers provides so many illustrations in the NT. There are four specific types [1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples [TUPOI, types], to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.. (KJV)] described in Numbers:
1. The Manna in 11:6-9 [John 6:31-33]
2. The Smitten Rock in 20:7-11 [I Cor. 10:4].
3. The Brazen Serpent in 21:4-9 [John 3:14].
4. The Cities of Refuge in 35:6-32 [Hebrews 6:18]
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (KJV)
Chapter 7 = Freewill offerings
1. God loves SPONTANEITY, these gifts were not commanded.
2. God is pleased even with UNIFORMITY, these gifts were all the same.
3. God expresses His delight with PARTICULARITY [God who possesses all things, loves and cherishes each individual’s gift .
And he called [unto him] his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: (Mark 12:43KJV)
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, [this] also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. (Mark 14:9KJV)
Chapter 9 = The Pillar and Cloud which most likely overshadowed the Camp as a shield from the desert Sun in the day and a light for the people by night, speaks of the UNFAILING GUIDANCE of GOD.
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psalm 32:8 KJV)
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12 KJV)
The Lord’s WORK is PERFECT, so REST in it!
The Lord’s WORD is PERFECT, so LIVE by it!
The Lord’s WILL is PERFECT, so WALK in it!
1. God said make no plans but to follow.
2. Don’t worry what route we will take.
3. You won’t know how long we will travel.
4. Don’t worry how long you must wait in camp.
5. Your only requirement is to watch the Pillar and Cloud.
6. You must be totally dependent upon His guidance.
7. Following His leading is the only source of absolute safety.
Chapter 14 = The Turning Point of the Book Israel rejects God’s leadership and goes their own way. The results are: graves, old campfires and campgrounds.
Chapter 17 = Aaron’s Rod speaks of the Resurrection of Christ; the leaders of the world’s religions are dead like the other rods
Chapter 19 = The Red Heifer’s Cleansing Water
1. Red like the bloody Cross
2. Outside the camp like Christ in Hebrews. 13.12
3. Blood sprinkled 7x is a perfect atonement
4. The ashes in water on the defiled speaks of perfect cleansing [ I John 1:7], is this the water of John 3 and Nicodemus?
5. This sacrifice was never to be repeated like Christ’s sacrifice!
Chapter 20 = Old vs. New
1. Moses [Law] never can lead to the promised rest.
2. Miriam [Prophets] never can lead to the promised rest.
3. Aaron [Priests] never can lead to the promised rest.
Chapter 21 = The Brazen serpent
A. The Pattern/Plight of the People:
1. Sin v. 5
2. Suffering v. 6
3. Supplication v. 7
4. Salvation v. 8-9
B. The Plan of God:
1. DIVINELY: It was from God.
2. GRACIOUSLY: It was to tell the people how to escape the judgment.
3. EXCLUSIVELY: It was the only way to escape.
4. PROMINENTLY: It was very visible in the center of the camp.
5. ENDURINGLY: It was brass and lasted for centuries.
The Promise of Salvation reflected in:
- GOD’S SUFFICIENCY: The lifted up brass serpent was all that was needed to supply a complete cure.
- THEIR HOPELESSNESS: The snakes’ venom was deadly, as is sin. The burning pain reflected how desperate was their need.
- GOD’S POWER: One snake on a pole worked no matter how many bites or how bad their condition.
- THEIR PERSONAL NEED: The antidote was only good for an individual, no one could look for another.
- GOD’S PERFECT SOLUTION: One source of hope and salvation saved those of any age, of any family, anywhere in the Camp.
- GOD’S RELIABILITY: The Brazen Serpent never failed to work, no matter how often they tried it.
- GOD’S SIMPLE PLAN: It was an easy, instant look that was required. But, it had to be at the only source of help. “Look and Live”