April 12, 2017

Reading the Bible Chronologically (2017): Old Testament Survey (Numbers Part 1)

Sermon Notes

Survey of the Old Testament (Numbers)

[1] The LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, [2] “Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, by clans, by fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male, head by head. [3] From twenty years old and upward, all in Israel who are able to go to war, you and Aaron shall list them, company by company. [Num 1:1-3 ESV]

Intro: Numbers is a book of the numbering and wandering of the children of Israel.
In Genesis we saw the election of the nation of Israel. In Exodus their redemption was accomplished. In

Leviticus God made provision for their sanctification. In Numbers we see their direction by God.
In contrast to Leviticus, the book of worship, Numbers is a book of the people’s walk with God. Leviticus

stresses their purity; Numbers their pilgrimage. Leviticus is ceremonial while Numbers is historical. Leviticus gives a call to fellowship with God; Numbers is a call to faithfulness to God. The emphasis shifts from sanctification before God to direction by God.

  1. Numbers is named for _________________ accounts in 1-4 and 26-27.
  2. The title in the Hebrew Bible is taken from the first three words of the book, “In the wilderness…”
  3. God’s people cannot get into the promised land of His ____________________ without going through thewilderness of testing.
  4. God honors faith and punishes unbelief.
  5. The root of sin is ________________ — A lack of trust in God and His Word.
  6. Look for six definite failures of God’s people between the census records.A. Complaining (10:11-12:16)
    B. ___________________ at Kadesh-Barnea (13:1-14:45) C. Rebelling (15:1-19:22)
    D. ____________________ (20:1-29)
    E. Complaining (21:1-35)
    F. Adultery and Immorality (25:1-18)
  7. See the price of unbelief in the geography and time frames of Numbers. A. Geographya. Sinai (1:1-10:10)
    b. Journey to Kadesh (10:11-13:25)
    c. Encamped at Kadesh (13:26-20:21)
    d. Journey to Moab (20:22-21:35)
    e. Encamped at __________ (22:1-36:13)

    B. Time Frames
    a. 1-10= 20 days

    b. 11-14= 70 days
    c. 15-20= _______ years d. 21-36= 5 months


C. Basic Outline
I. Israel’s direction from the Lord (1-10). Specific and personal…

1. The position of God’s people (1-4). Highly organized and symmetrical around His presence in the tabernacle…
2. The __________________ from God (5-6). How to handle uncleanness and sin in the camp…
3. The provision for cleansing (7-9a). Offerings and the Passover…
4. The pilgrimage toward the promised land (9b-10). God prepared His people to move forward to their place of blessing.

II. Israel’s disbelief in the Lord (11-14).
1. Discontent with the provision of God (11-12). They wanted to return to Egypt…
2. Disbelief of God’s ______________________ (13-14). The spies give a discouraging report…

III. Israel’s discipline from the Lord (15-36). God’s discipline is the consequence of disbelief (fearful faithlessness for 40 years). 1. The passing of the Old Generation (15-26). The death of the disobedient…
2. The preparation of the New Generation (27-36). They realize God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen. 13:17).

8. When Israel moves from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Nebo we see God punish the older generation, even as He is preparing the younger generation. There are no shortcuts to God’s blessings. Trials and testings are used to temper the faith of God’s people.
9. See the God who is faithful despite His people’s____________________.

10. Types of Christ in Numbers:
A. The Rock from which the thirsting multitude drank (1 Cor. 10:4).
B. The ________________________on the stake (pole) portrayed His crucifixion (Jn. 3:14). C. The daily manna pictured the Bread of Life who came down from heaven (Jn. 6:32).
D. Balaam foresaw that “a star shall come forth out of Jacob…” (Num. 24:17).
E. The overall presence of Christ is symbolized by the pillar of____________________.

11. God always leads His people faithfully.

[1] For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, [2] and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, [3] and all ate the same spiritual food, [4] and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. [5] Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. [6] Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. [7] Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” [8] We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. [9] We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, [10] nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. [11] 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. [12] Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. [13] No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. [14] Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. [1Cor 10:1-14 ESV]

[13] These are the commandments and the rules that the LORD commanded through Moses to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. [Num 36:13 ESV]


Dr. Deric Thomas