Thousands of years ago, a nation of more than 2 million people was freed from 400 years of slavery. They were given a promise that they will inhabit a rich and fertile land. Their charge was to subdue it and conquer it in order for them to settle there.
Although the promise to receive the land was for sure, it would not be easy. Since the people were born to slavery, they did not know how to make critical decisions and they doubted easily. So step by step, God taught the people how to live as free men and how to invade and inhabit the promised land.
The Book of Numbers recorded the instructions from God in order for them to obtain the promise. First, was to count the soldiers, organize by tribes, assign (priestly) duties and celebrate their new life (Passover).
- The soldiers totaled 603,000! However, all these men but 2 did not pass the training. So the next generation of men were trained. They counted them again and they totaled 601,730.
- Part of the organization of the tribes was to assign different leaders. Twelve leaders were assigned to find out (spy the land) about the promise. After they were given directions how to get there, they were instructed to see what the land was like, were people weak or strong, few or many, was it surrounded by walls, was the land fertile and also to bring samples of crops of the land.
- Duties were assigned and instructions were given. Those who did not follow the instructions were punished or terminated. Although the promise was certain, the majority of the leaders doubted and even convinced the rest of the people to go back to slavery rather than moving forward to receive the promise.
- The celebration in the wilderness to remember their past and to anticipate the fruition of the promise. Those who did not join the celebration were also terminated.
The stories in the Book of Numbers instruct us to trust God in the midst of uncertainties where doubts are abundant and where skeptical people are everywhere. We need to remember especially when we are in the wilderness that all the promises of God is certain and whatever He started, He will complete.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. – 2 Corinthians 1:20
God bless you,