The Pentateuch has always held an interest to me. I have done a lot of study in Genesis. As the book of beginnings I have found it to be very enlightening, for I have found my journey with God to have many beginnings. Exodus has been very instrumental, too, because it seems that every new beginning is preceded by an exodus. The tabernacle always held special interest to me. I enjoyed very much the study of the Tabernacle, its furniture, and the priesthood in the book of Exodus. Leviticus centered around worship with its sacrifices and offerings still intrigues me. And Numbers, speaking of the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness to the land of Canaan, tells of their encampments as they were led by the cloud and pillar of fire. Each place they camped held a mystical truth. I have found my journey with the Lord to be the breaking of one camp and the establishing of another many times as the Holy Spirit leads me into more of God. I’m sure you have, too. In Deuteronomy Moses prepares the Israelites to move into their inheritance. It is a very valuable book.
Most importantly Moses writing the Pentateuch was writing about Christ. To the Pharisees, Jesus said, Had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me (John 5:46). Then He added that not believing the writings of Moses would be a hindrance in believing His words: But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe My words (John 5:47). Again, in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus said to His disciples: These are the words which I spoke unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:44-45. It is important for disciples to understand the Scriptures, for if you do not understand them, how are you going to understand the words of the Lord Jesus?
We are going to look at a few verses from the first chapter of Numbers, the fourth book in the Pentateuch.
Numbers 1:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt.
And the Lord spake… The conjunction “and” connects the book of Numbers with the book of Leviticus. The book of Leviticus was concerned with their worship of God. Before you start out on your journey learn how to worship the Lord. You would be surprised how many Christians have not learned how to worship God. The true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. John 4:23-24. Your journey to your inheritance in God will be most difficult, if not impossible, if you have not learned how to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
The Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness… After God takes you out of your Egypt, where does He lead you? He leads you into the wilderness. It is in the wilderness that you learn how to walk with the Lord. A wilderness has its barren places, is a habitat of wild animals, and even some demon activity. “Will God allow demons to come against us?” Of course! How else will you learn how “to stand against the wiles of the devil” and “wrestle against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness”? (Ephesians 6:11,12). The only route to your Canaan is through the wilderness. So learn how to worship in Spirit and in Truth!
Numbers 1:2-3 Take you the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel,
after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their
names, every male by their polls;
3 From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: you and Aaron shall number them by their armies.
Every male twenty years old and upward was to be numbered, and the purpose of the numbering was to establish a base for a standing army. The Lord is a man of war; the Lord is His name. Exodus 15:3. Christians are exhorted by Paul to endure hardness, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who has chosen him to be a soldier (II Timothy 2:3-4). Now if you want to start your journey through the wilderness to your inheritance in God, you first must become a soldier in His army – a soldier that can endure hardness. Listen, a real walk with God is not tip-toeing through the tulips with an all-day-Jesus sucker. It is real! The wilderness is your basic training ground, and when you get to your Canaan the wars will really begin. You will face obstacles in the wilderness, but each one is only preparing you for the big fight later. You will learn how to live in the barren places, how to defend yourself from the beasts that live in the wilderness. You will even learn how to war against the things of your fallen nature that rise up against you, and you will also learn how to wrestle with the Lord.
Numbers 1:4, 17-18 And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one
head of the house of his fathers.
17 And Moses and Aaron took these men which are expressed by their names:
18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.
They declared their pedigrees… More literally, “they announced themselves as having been born.” It is one thing to boast about being born again, it quite another thing to declare it after you have been delivered from your Egypt, heard the voice of God in the wilderness of Sinai, and learned how to worship. When you enter your wilderness you will need to really know who you are. Many of the Israelites that came out of Egypt died in the wilderness because Egypt was still in them. Can you follow the Lord through your wilderness? Can you declare yourself as having been born? You will be tested. You won’t always be faithful and you will probably stumble many times, but don’t quit! Get up and keep walking! Make another declaration! Declare yourself as having been born!
Copyright © 2008 by Henry DuBose