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    ROUTE 66

    6. Destination: Numbers

    Numbers is the 4th offering in the writings of Moses known as the

    Pentateuch (The Five Books). Numbers is the 5th largest book in the Old

    Testament. It contains 36 Chapters, 1,288 Verses. GENESIS was about CREATION (beginnings). The creation of the heavens and earth. The creation and beginnings of mankind. In Genesis we see the first sin and we hear God make the first Gospel proclamation. All of that in the first three chapters. Genesis 12-50 dealt with God choosing a man named Abraham through whom God would create the nation of Israel through that nation the savior of the world would come. EXODUS was about REDEMPTION and INSTRUCTION. By the blood of a lamb God redeemed Israel from Egypt. Gods people moved from death and bondage in Egypt to the Government of God. God revealed to them how they are to live before Him and how theyre to live with one another. He led the Israelites to Mount Sinai where they camped here for a YEAR (Numbers 10). During that year at the base of Sinai the 10 commandments are given; the Law is given; the design for the tabernacle is given and it is constructed.

    LEVITICUS tells us what holiness looks like in the worship and walk of the redeemed believer.

    NUMBERS is about PREPARATION; preparing the children of Israel for what they will face once they cross the Jordan and they enter into the Promised Land; preparation to further the Kingdom of God.

    Numbers is a big landmark on Route 66 because it pictures for us the work of God in preparing the New Testament church (you and me) to participate in the furtherance of His Kingdom.

    THE TITLE of the book is a bit misleading. Numbers gets its name because the people of God are numbered three times in the book. Once in Chapter 1, another in Chapter 3, and a final one in Chapter 26. But the book is about much, much more than numbering the people. The very title of the book, and the opening chapter that is 54 verses long and filled with names discourages a whole lot of people from making their way through

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    Numbers. A lot of Christians have passed this off ramp on Route 66 and in doing that theyve missed out on the wealth of spiritual value that is tucked away in the book of Numbers. Think of it like seeing a road sign on the freeway that says food and lodging ahead. The list of food services looks boring and from the freeway the town looks less that interesting it looks like one of those places youd only get off at if your bladder was about to explode. But unbeknownst to you theres a dozen incredible places to eat that are packed with incredible art and music. As a baby Christian I had no idea that there was such a thing as the book of Numbers in the Bible. You know how I discovered the treasures in this book of the Bible? My pastor taught through every book of the Bible. I just knew that every time I showed up he was going to say, Lets turn in our Bibles to _ _ _ _ . And every time he did that I was filled with truth, fell in love with God and fell more in love with His Word, and began to see that this really is Gods book and that its all about Jesus. The name Numbers was given to this book when the Bible was translated from Hebrew into Greek a couple of hundred years before Christ. Prior to that, the book carried a different name. It was taken from the very first verse of the very first chapter in the book.

    Numbers 1:1 The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai The ancient title of this book was In the Wilderness. That title reveals the content of this 4

    th book of Moses. It tells us that this book is going to follow

    the children of Israel in their journeying through the wilderness. WHY IS NUMBERS SO IMPORTANT that the Holy Spirit saw fit to inspire it and preserve it for us? 1.

    Numbers supplies for us a wealth of background information that will help us in understanding the rest of scripture. Its pregnant (if-you-would) with people and events that are going to be influential and significant as the story of Gods redeeming plans and purposes unfolds in the rest of the Bible. Here are a few: Calebs heroics, the national unbelief, the water from the rock, the bronze serpent, Balaams prophecy. 2.

    Numbers illustrates for us some crucial New Testament truth.

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    Write 1 Corinthians 10:6 in the margin of your Bible up near the title of this book. Then turn to 1 Corinthians 10.

    1 Corinthians 10:6 KJV Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

    These things became our example/warning. What things? Things that happened in the book of Numbers! Paul references them beginning in 1 Corinthians 10:1. Ill read them to you

    1 Corinthians 10:1-5 NLT 1I dont want you to forget, dear brothers and

    sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground.

    2In the cloud and in the sea, all of them

    were baptized as followers of Moses. 3All of them ate the same spiritual

    food, 4and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank

    from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. 5Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were

    scattered in the wilderness. Thats the Book of Numbers. Then Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:6 "Now, these things became our examples." As Paul continues there in Corinthians Paul tells us that the people and events in Numbers are recorded for us

    Verse 6 "so that we should not lust", Verse 7 "and not become idolaters" Verse 8 nor commit sexual immorality" Verse 9 "nor tempt Christ" Verse 10 "nor complain" Verses 11-12

    Now these things happened to them as an example,

    but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

    12Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take

    heed lest he fall.

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    Six things we learn to stay away from by studying the Book of Numbers. Numbers is written just for you and me so that we can be instructed and grow in our relationship with Jesus. While were in the New Testament make another right hand turn and go to the book of Hebrews.

    Hebrews 3:16-19 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses?

    17And with whom was he

    provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?

    18And to whom did he swear that they

    would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19

    So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

    Numbers teaches us huge lessons concerning disobedience and unbelief. 3.

    Numbers is loaded with Messianic prophecy. It is packed with predictions concerning the coming of Jesus and pictures of Jesus. Well glance at a few of them and look at one in greater detail at the end of our time.

    THE FLOW OF THE BOOK Remember Genesis covers 3200 years. Exodus covers 82 years. Leviticus covers a month. Numbers covers 38 years. The book of Numbers is going to follow the Children of Israel as they march from Mount Sinai in the wilderness and finally arrive at the border of the Promised Land. The purpose of those 38 years? God is training His people, preparing His people for the special role that theyre going to play in the plan of Redemption. Heres the big benefit to this series We see the unity of this amazing collection of inspired writing we call the Bible. Remember In Genesis God chose a man named Abraham. He promised Abraham three things: Seed, Sod, Salvation. He promised Abraham a son and through that son a nation would come into existence. He promised Abraham land for his descendants (we call that place the Promised Land). And through Abrahams descendants would come the Savior of the world. Numbers is all about God moving His people forward in their role in that plan.

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    Im going to say something here that I hope you don't misconstrue. The flow of the Bible from here forward is: Numbers, Deuteronomy, and then Joshua (the account of the Israelites gong into the land of promise). In a perfect world, there would never have been the need for the book of Deuteronomy. Let me explain. Deuteronomy means Second Law. Its not new truth. Its old truth for a new generation. Moses is reiterating the law that was supposed to be taught to this new generation by their parents in the land of promise. We know that because God of what God says to the new generation in Deuteronomy 6:7

    You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

    In Deuteronomy Moses had to instruct a new generation of Israelites because their parents never brought them into the land of promise. The adults that came out of Egypt should have made it to the promised land in eleven days. And when they got their it going to be their joy and privilege to live in the promised land by faith and teach their kids the truths they were taught by Moses at Sinai. BUT HERES THE DEAL Numbers tells us that the adults that were redeemed out of Egypt spent their lives wandering in the wilderness because of their unbelief and died outside the promised land. Their children went into the land of promise orphaned. But in His faithfulness, God met that new generation. So when we get to Deuteronomy we will already have a sense that Deuteronomy is huge because that whole book is God meeting man in his failure. The Book of Numbers begins thirteen months after they left Egypt.

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