Numbers

Numbers

Numbers spans 38 years and 9 months. A journey that should only take two weeks took almost forty years.

Numbers records the death of the first generation (chapters 1-25), being replaced by a second generation (chapters 26-36).

The question: how do Israelites prepare to enter the Promised Land? God is faithful, but the people fail. Numbers is about the gradual fulfillment of God’s promises despite their unbelief.


Exodus Generation (1:1-25:18)

First Cycle (1-15)

1:1-46

S: What do numbers tell us?
C: God keeps his covenant promises.
BI: God always keeps his promises.

1:47-2:34

S: How does God prepare Israel?
C: By numbering, arranging, and placing his presence among his people.
BI: God equips his people and gives them his presence.

3-4

S: How does God nourish our holiness?
C: By assigning roles to his people.
BI: God nourishes our holiness through the various roles he gives us to fulfill.

5

S: How does God prepare us to move?
C: By purifying his people.
BI: Before God moves his people, he purifies his people.

6:1-21

S: Who can be devoted to God?
C: Any believer.
BI: God invites any believer to devote themselves to him.

6:22-27

S: How can we bless others?
C: By giving them God’s blessing.
BI: Bless others by conveying God’s blessing.

7

S: What role do I have in giving?
C: You get to give in response to God’s grace.
BI: You get to give in response to God’s grace.

8

S: How does God prepare people for mission?
C: Through worship.
BI: Worship prepares us for mission.

9:1-14

S: What do we need?
C: Regular reminders of God’s deliverance.
BI: We need regular reminders of God’s deliverance.

9-10

S: How does God lead?
C: Through his direction, wisdom, and presence.
BI: God leads us through his revelation, wisdom, and presence.

11

S: Why do we rebel?
C: Our cravings cause us to doubt God, discourage leaders, and damage ourselves.
BI: Our cravings cause us to doubt God, discourage leaders, and damage ourselves.

12

S: How should we not treat our leaders?
C: We should not grumble against them.
BI: Beware of grumbling against God’s leaders.

13-14

S: What happens when we fear others more than God?
C: We miss out on God’s blessings.
BI: When we fear others more than God, we forfeit his blessings.

15

S: How does God treat us when we fail?
C: He instructs us and keeps his promises.
BI: Even when we fail, God instructs us and keeps his promises.


Second Cycle

16-17

S: What does sin do?
C: It causes us to overstep boundaries and scorn God’s grace.
BI: Sin causes us to overstep boundaries and scorn God’s grace.

18

S: What does God provide for us despite our sin?
C: A priesthood, which makes it safe for us to approach God.
BI: Despite our sin, God provides a priesthood through which we can approach him.

19

S: What do we need to deal with our impurity?
C: Cleansing through sacrifice.
BI: Because we’re impure, we need cleansing through a sacrifice.

20

S: How should we view our own vulnerability to sin?
C: Don’t underestimate the severity of sin or your vulnerability to it.
BI: Don’t underestimate the severity of sin or your vulnerability to it.

21

S: Where should we look when we sin and need help?
C: Look to God.
BI: Look to God when you sin and need help.

22-24

S: Why are God’s people safe?
C: Because the people God blesses can’t be cursed.
BI: The people God blesses can’t be cursed.

25

S: Why do we sometimes get into trouble?
C: We’re drawn away from God by our appetites to the enemy he’s defeated.
BI: Flee from what would destroy you.


Next Generation: New Start on the Border of the Promised Land (26-36)

26-27

S: After 40 years of Israel’s unfaithfulness, what is God faithful to do?
C: To bring his people into the promised land.
BI: God is faithful despite our unfaithfulness.

28-29

S: How do we remember God?
C: Through the reminders he’s given us.
BI: Remember God with the reminders he’s given us.

30

S: What two relationships should we take seriously?
C: Our relationship to authority and our relationship to God.
BI: Take your relationship with God and authority seriously.

31

S: Why did God command the destruction of Midian?
C: As judgment on their sin.
BI: God intends to bless the world through his people, but he also judges sin.

32

S: What’s our responsibility?
C: Not just to ourselves, but to the people of God.
BI: We have a responsibility not just to ourselves, but to the people of God.

33-34

S: When it comes to God, where should we look?
C: Look to God’s faithfulness in the past and his promises for the future.
BI: Look to God’s faithfulness in the past and his promises for the future.

35

S: Does God care about justice or mercy?
C: God cares about both justice and mercy.
BI: God cares about both justice and mercy.

36

S: Why is the tribal inheritance secure?
C: Because God has made provision for it to be secure.
BI: The inheritance of God’s people is secure.

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