Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday, March 9th: Numbers 33-34 ~ Nathan

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Numbers 33-34

Numbers 33 begins with a brief review of the route the Israelites had taken up to that point. It also gives a brief review of some of the things that happened along the way.

What struck me first was how the journey they took begins in Egypt on an odd day. The Egyptians were almost happy to see the Israelites leave, after years of depending on them for slave labour, this was due to all the plagues they had been through and had each just endured the death of all their firstborn. So as the Israelites were excited to leave, the inhabitants of the place they were leaving were grieving. What an odd tension their must have been there that day.

The journey the Israelites took crisscrossed all over both geographically and spiritually. They had at many times doubted God and had even wished to go back to Egypt to be slaves again. When I look at this storey and the big picture, it's hard to understand how the Israelites couldn't have just been thrilled at what they left behind and what was in store for them.

Maybe we need to look back more often at out own journeys in life and look at the big picture. I too have doubted God and wished for things that at the time looked better, but now seem foolish. How foolish I have been and how wise and loving God has been on my journey. Not only has He guided me, and given me many blessings like an awesome wife and family, but He has also forgiven me and promised me a home in Heaven. How humble I all of a sudden feel.

In chapter 34 we read about Canaan and it's boundaries. From a commentary I read, Canaan in size covered approximately the distance from Winnipeg to just past Brandon, then down to the US/ Canada border. Not a large area, but a land that had rich farmland. God didn't give His people a large piece of land, but a fruitful piece of land. They were to be content there, knowing their true home awaited them in heaven.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Numbers 35-36


Conrad said...

That is a good point that the Israelite's journey crisscrossed both spiritually and physically. It would be interesting to see our journey laid out on a map. How often have we vered off the path because of our lack of faith in God?

danae said...

I though the same as you, Nathan, as to why the Israelites weren't excited to leave the past behind & look forward to what was in store for them. However, it hit me today as I read chapter 33, that in forty years they travelled to 41ish places to camp. If you average that out, it's a year at each stop. Can you imagine how impatient they got (I would have been), a year is a pretty long time to wait, then they got hopeful as they were told to pack up camp & move out, only to have to camp & wait again. I think you "hit the nail on the head" when you said to look for the big picture because, just like the Israelites, if you take one stop at a time it can feel like you'll never get there.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Love your point about the Israelites journeying crisscrossing, not only geographically, but spiritually as well.

Also appreciated the size comparison! It was indeed a fruitful piece of land.