When we began this study, I mentioned that, in order to make sense of the big picture of Sacred Scripture, we’d read fourteen books that present to us 12 different time periods in Biblical history. We’ve now completed three of these: the Early World (Genesis 1-11), the Patriarchs (Genesis 12-50), along withe Egypt and the Exodus (Exodus 1-40). This week, we begin a fourth time period, Desert Wanderings, covering the forty years or so between the liberation of Israel from slavery in Egypt until the time they are ready to step into the Promised Land.
In a lot of ways, this would seem to be one of those moments where the Bible should end with “and they lived happily ever after…” since the entire nation of Israel has now experienced both God’s power in the plagues He used to free them from Egypt – along with His mercy after the incident with the golden calf. They’ve got another covenant established with some very clear commandments as to how they should live, and have seen how God can take care of their needs by his miraculous gifts of water and manna.
All in all, they should be ready to enter into the promised land as God’s chosen people.
But as you’ll see in this week’s readings, Israel continues to push back against the leadership of Moses and Aaron, to rebel against God, and to wonder if they had it better in Egypt (they didn’t). In a lot of ways, they aren’t much different than we are – knowing the goodness and the grace of God, yet looking at certain sins as though they offer us more than God ever could (but they can’t.) My video introduction to this period, which covers the entirety of the book of Numbers, is found below.
This week, you’ll read:
- Monday: Numbers 1-2
- Tuesday: Numbers 3-4
- Wednesday: Numbers 5-6
- Thursday: Numbers 7-8
- Friday: Numbers 9-10
- Saturday: Numbers 11-12
- Sunday: Catchup on what you’ve missed or read the Sunday readings
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