Tuesday, August 7, 2007

GOD SPEAKS IN THE BOOK OF NUMBERS

I recently finished a deliberate reading through the Book of Numbers. Numbers is not the easiest book to get into. But it is filled with great lessons. Listed below are some of my observations and gleanings.

  • Becoming a true community of believers is a long, messy, complex process.
  • Numbers are important to God. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
  • Now I see where the clergy-laity distinction got its roots. The Levites were totally singled out from the rest of the population.
  • God spoke to His leaders Moses and Aaron. I believe He still speaks to His leaders today (but not necessarily audibly).
  • God likes creativity, but He also wants things organized.
  • God also likes excellence in worship. Everyone had a role/ministry to play.
  • Check out chapter 5 to learn an interesting way to determine if a woman was guilty of adulery.
  • God takes vows seriously.
  • I wonder how many different numbers are listed in the Book of Numbers.
  • I never noticed before, but God welcomed "outsiders" (those outside the faith) to participate in the Passover.
  • God and grumbling and whining do not get along.
  • Moses was brutally honest with God in his prayers--"Just kill me."
  • Even people back then talked behind the leader's back.
  • Numbers 13-14 are two of the most significant chapters in the Old Testament. They explain why Israel had to wander in wilderness for 40 years. What is interesting is that the spies' assignment was not to go into the land and assess the likelihood of success. They were to go and scout out the land God had already given them.
  • The majority is not always right. In fact, show me in the Bible where "majority rules" is the way to run a church.
  • Caleb had a "we can do it" faith.
  • There is some good that came out of the people's grumbling, resisting, bailing, and seeking a new leader. It forced the leaders to pray.
  • One of the true tests of leadership is how to keep leading when people whine and don't want to follow.
  • Moses and the rock--It's not good for a leader to act in anger.
  • God sure is innovative--speaking through a donkey!
  • Balaam the prophet was careful to speak ONLY what God said. He could not be swayed otherwise.
  • Moses handed the torch of leadership with great grace. There was no bitterness or jealousy. His vision was still strong and so was his compassion for his people.
  • God expects our best when it comes to sacrifice.

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