A musical meditation based on Numbers 11:17

00:00 / 06:06

The book of Numbers is perhaps best know for the blessing of Aaron. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and give you peace. Yet Numbers is not a book we will have heard many sermons about. Although we see countercultural and universally applicable  approaches, for example, in promoting the inheritance rights of women in chapter 27, many of the laws and commands are given by God specifically for the Israelites living in that time and in that place and therefore not applicable to us today. The name of the book, Numbers, can get in the way. It has, however, been know by two other names that come from words in the first verse of the book in the wilderness and the Lord spoke. This book is about God speaking to his people in the wilderness. It is a book that was important to Jesus and New Testament writers and is a book that can inform us today. 


Raymond Brown helpfully divides the book into four parts: getting ready - about the Israelites’ year’s stay at Sinai having left Egypt and receiving the law; setting out - the initial stages of the journey to the promised land; drawing back - when the people refuse to enter the land; marking time - the period of waiting in the wilderness; and pressing on as the next generation looks to the future and Moses hands the leadership over to Joshua.