October, November, December 2009

Want to learn more about Numbers? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.

Lesson 1: The New Order (Numbers 1-4)
How are you at math? Did you know that mathematical formulas govern much of our physical world? Scientists are still trying match the things they observe to the math they know. They have a very long way to go to figure it all out, assuming they can. Imagine then, a book of the Bible called "Numbers." Would the Creator of the Universe, the one who created things "by the numbers" have a book about order? It seems so. If you are like me, I have a lot to learn about math and God's order, so let's dive right into our new study on the book of Numbers!

Lesson 2: Preparing a People (Numbers 5 & 6)
Readers who are not that familiar with the Old Testament will cringe when they read the two chapters in Numbers that we are studying today. Since we are not the people being addressed, are not in their situation (a huge group traveling through a terrible desert), and are not part of the sanctuary system, you may ask "Why should we even study this?" Most Christians believe that what is written in the Bible contains timeless advice for all generations of God's followers. There are principles (and, maybe more)in Numbers that continue to teach us about God's ways and His plans and expectations for us. Let's jump right into some very interesting stuff!

Lesson 3: Worship and Dedication (Numbers 7 & 8)
This week we turn to the process for equipping God's sanctuary. How does God want to obtain the equipment for His work? How does He want to obtain the workers? If support comes from offerings? Should everyone give the same gift? Can anyone be too old to work for God? Let's plunge into our study of Numbers and learn some more about God's instructions on these issues!

Lesson 4: Trumpets, Blood, Cloud and Fire (Numbers 9 & 10)
Would you like to be more confident? Confident that you will do well in life. Confident that God is with you. Confident that you have a right understanding of God and His role in your life? Years ago, I spoke with a Christian who told me that when he was a young man he wanted to do God's will. Problem was that God never showed up to tell him what to do. Do you sometimes feel like that? If so, let's plunge into our study of Numbers to see how God interacted with His people then!

Lesson 5: From Complaints to Apostasy (Numbers 11-14)
Do you feel God has let you down? Are you unsatisfied with the life God has given to you? Have you complained that God did not do more for you? Our lesson this week shows that God is receptive to complaints, and that He responds to them, but when complaints turn to rebellion and distrust of God, watch out! We talk about faith. Our Bible texts suggest that we might better focus on contempt. Let's jump into our study of the book of Numbers and learn more!

Lesson 6: Planning Ahead (Numbers 15)
What a change in life! Imagine that you had built your hopes and dreams on a new and wonderful land. You planned to have your dream house and your dream farm. Now you know that will never happen because you distrusted God. You will live and die as a nomad in the desert. The good news is that you are no longer a slave. You live in the presence of God. How should you act now? What does God require of you now that you have broken your trust with Him? Let's continue our journey with the Israelites as they turn away from the promised land!

Lesson 7: Power Struggle (Numbers 16-17)
Have you ever had a dispute within your church? (Now that is a dumb question, right?) How can you know who is right and who is wrong? Sometimes it is obvious, but sometimes there are good arguments on both sides. What happens if you supported the losing side? How should you handle that? This week we look at a power struggle within the Israelite community. Let's dive in and see what lessons we can learn for church community today!

Lesson 8: Priests and Levites (Numbers 18 & 19)
After the last few weeks, what are your views about rebellion towards God? How about towards His leaders? I'm going to assume the answer is: "I don't want to be a rebel!" Can rebellion exist in something that is not obvious? For example, what if we refuse to support God's leaders financially? What if we are critical of their lifestyles? What if someone gives us correction and we resent them for it? What responsibility do leaders assume for the rebellious nature of the "flock?" With these questions in mind, let's dive into our study of Numbers!

Lesson 9: The Sin of Moses and Aaron (Numbers 20 & 21)
Have you had a time in your life when you felt you had an excuse for sinning? You had so many things going wrong that it was easy to slip and fall? Have you been disappointed when a spiritual leader you trusted fell into sin? Do you have a different standard for yourself than for your leaders? Should you? Our lesson this week is about a leader who fell during a difficult time in his life. Let's dive into our lesson and learn more!

Lesson 10: The "Madness" of the Prophet (Numbers 22-24)
How many times have you hoped that God would ignore one little sin problem in your life? You love God and you want to obey, except for this one small area which, you hope, God will show a little tolerance. After all, no one is perfect and we are only human, right? This week we study a fellow who is far from perfect, but one who understands that he should obey God. The result is a conflict between his will and God's will. Sound familiar? Let's jump right into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 11: Immorality on the Border (Numbers 25 & 31)
Many years ago I knew an honored and important man who was the president of a university. He fell into sexual sin, lost his job, his reputation, and who knows what else. Have you been blessed by God, and then managed by some silly sin to defeat God's blessings? Our lesson this week picks up on the topic on which we closed our study last week: how to mess up God's blessings. Let's plunge into our study and learn what not to do!

Lesson 12: The Second Generation: Admonitions (Numbers 26-32)
How do the lives of your parents affect your life? Some children blame their parents for their faults and repeat the parents' mistakes. Others look at the good and bad in their parents, and determine to do better when it comes to the bad. Moses stands as a parent figure to both the first and second generation. How did Israel do when it came to the second generation? How did Moses do in dealing with his mistakes and theirs? Let's dive into our study of the Bible and find out!

Lesson 13: Cities of Refuge (Numbers 35)
In the last chapters of Numbers we see that God is truly bringing His people into Canaan. Numbers chapter 33 contains the historical record of the journey from Egypt to Canaan. The journey now enters the history books and is no longer part of every day life. In Numbers chapter 34 we read what God set as the new boundaries for Israel. In Numbers chapter 35 God describes a system of justice, including the location of jails! Would you like a jail built in your back yard? Did you know that Israel had jails? Did you know that the ministers got to live with those accused of murder? Let's dive into our study of the Bible and find out more!

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