Friday, February 11, 2011

Numb & Numbers

Why would the 4th book of the Old Testament be called "Numbers?" Why not "Alphabet" or "Do-Re-Mi?" Even though the Hebrew title for this book means "in the wilderness," the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament called it "Numbers" (arithmoi) because of the counting of the people of Israel in two censuses.

The book title could have been shortened to "Numb" because Israel grew numb to God's provision (so much complaining!) and God's promise of their own fruitful land.  They were afraid of Giants in the land - and it was understandable - they just won the World Series!

Here's a rhyming survey:
  • Ch 1 As the population started to mount, a census was taken to take account. 
  • Ch 2 Real Estate is all about location, each of the tribes had their designated station. 
  • Ch 3-4 Less you think they’re out of sight, God has a place and role for each Levite
  • Ch 5 To keep things holy and not get wild, Israel was to send out anyone who was defiled.
  • Ch 6 The Nazarite vow made one very rare, no touching dead things, red wine or hair.
  • Ch 7 Each tribal leaders would give a gift to help the Levites with a lift.
  • Ch 8 Levites were purified to be spiritually nifty, they can serve in the Tabernacle from 25 to 50. 
  • Ch 9 The Passover reminded Israel God is on their side, then pillars of cloud and fire would guide. 
  • Ch 10 To alert Israel to gather, feast or warn, the alarm would be sounded by a silver horn. 
  • Ch 11a Mumbling started to grow , the food was just to plain, so they cried to Moses and started to complain. (1-10)
  • Ch 11b As the pressure mounted, Moses began to crack. Seventy elders were employed to get them off his back. (11-30) 
  • Ch 11c God was still very merciful and He showed He’d never fail, so God sent to the whining nation a whole lot of quail (31-35) 
  • Ch 12 Complaining is contagious, Miriam & Aaron now chimed in, God would judge Miriam with leprosy because of her bad sin. 
  • Ch 13 Twelve spies deployed to Canaan to give account about the land, 10 said it was horrible while 2 said it was grand
  • Ch 14a Though God would lead them to the Promised Land, Israel whined against God’s plan.
  • Ch 14b Joshua and Caleb knew God gave land to own, but the rebel crowd grew angry and responded to them with stone
  • Ch 14c Moses prayed to God for mercy to not kill of the flock, so God would thin out naturally through a 40 year wilderness walk.
  • Ch 15 God spared the people and reminded them about what to do, offerings, laws, and Sabbaths and where a tassel of blue. 
  • Ch 16 There arose Korah the rebel, he said Moses had too much on his table. Though privileged by birth, he was swallowed by earth. 250 other leaders were disabled. 
  • Ch 17 Each tribe was to bring up an almond rod, the one that would bud would get the nod.
  • Ch 18 The Levites were chosen to represent Israel, the nation was to take care of the priests without fail. 
  • Ch 19 A red heifer was offered as sacrifice to symbolize Jesus would pay the price.
  • Ch 20     Moses got frustrated and hit the rock, he told if he needed water just speak to the rock.  It was already tough his siblings had died, but now entrance to Canaan would now be denied.
  • Ch 21 Israel complained and got snaked alive, those who looked up to the snake pole would survive 
  • Ch 22 Balaam was hired to play Israel in the wrong key, but God would rebuke Him by speaking through a donkey
  • Ch 23-24 After four prophecies well rehearsed, Balaam knew Israel couldn’t be cursed 
  • Ch 25 Though Balaam couldn’t hit Israel with a curse, to get them to sin was actually worse. 
  • Ch 26 After years in the wild the with struggles that were tensest, it was time to count Israel again with another census. 
  • Ch 27a Moses was approached by the daughters of Zelophehad, they wanted the inheritance from their dad. 
  • Ch 27b Moses prayed to God as an intercessor, God appointed Joshua as Moses’ successor. 
  • Ch 28-29 God gave Israel offering instructions to be given in routine, Saturdays, Holy Days, Feasting Days and other times in between. 
  • Ch 30 God takes vows seriously unless the authority overrules, this way passionate youths won’t impulsively look like fools. 
  • Ch 31 Israel had victory in Midian and took their stuff as booty, then divided it up as their God instructed duty. 
  • Ch 32 There was a lack of appreciation for land granted to Reuben and Gad, God got angry at them for not trusting God with what they had. 
  • Ch 33 A record of the wilderness walk was marked from place to place, now as Israel would enter Canaan they were reminded of God’s grace. 
  • Ch 34 God mapped out the Canaan border, so the nation would settle in order. 
  • Ch 35 In God’s mercy so sin would deluge, God established Cities of Refuge. 
  • Ch 36 Manasseh asked for a ruling on female inheritance, Moses approved that daughters can be in the will from their loving parents.

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