Today's reading covers the offerings of the princes, the dedication of the Tabernacle, consecration of the Levites, observance of the Passover, and the guiding cloud for the people of Israel. The Book of Numbers has a tremendous spiritual lesson for Christians today, as explained in Hebrews 3 and 4, and I Corinthians 10:1-15. God honors faith and punishes unbelief. At the root of all Israel's sin in the wilderness was unbelief; they did not trust God's Word. At Kadesh-Barnea they doubted God's Word and failed to enter into their inheritance. Instead of claiming Canaan in faith, they wandered in the wilderness of unbelief.
Many Christians today are "in between" in their spiritual lives. They have been delivered from Egypt by the blood of the Lamb, but they have not yet entered into their inheritance in Christ Jesus. Canaan is not a picture of heaven. Rather, it is an illustration of our spiritual inheritance in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), an inheritance that must be claimed by faith. Canaan was a land of battles and blessings, as is the Christian life today. Too many Christians fail to enter into all that God has for them. Instead of being conquerors (as described in Joshua), they become wanderers (as described in Numbers). Many are saved, but fail to fulfill God's purpose for their lives.
As we read the Book of Numbers, it is interesting to note that the nation did not grow in their wilderness wanderings; in fact, the second census showed 1,820 fewer men of war. The nation wasted 38 years, endured unnecessary afflictions, did not grow and, in general, did not honor God while they were marching in the wilderness. This is what unbelief does to Christians. It produces wasted time, wasted effort, and no blessing.
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