Stand Up and Be Counted
The Wilderness Wanderings of the Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers records the wilderness wanderings of God’s people from Sinai where God gave them the Ten Commandments to the doorstep of the Promised Land of Canaan. Numbers presents great insights into the nature of God and His people. It also gives us very practical insight into our own walk with the LORD. If Egypt is a type of the world out of which we are saved and the Promised Land a type of the Spirit filled abundant life, then the wilderness is the route that connects the two. Doctrinally we see a parallel in the letter to the Romans where we are lost in sin (Egypt / Rom. 1-3), saved from sin (Exodus / Rom. 4-5), called to live a holy life in the power of the Spirit (Sinai / Rom. 6 and 8), but must learn this cannot be accomplished in our own strength or our flesh (Wilderness / Rom. 7).
The wilderness is a place of preparation, proving, and purification. God spoke to Hagar in the wilderness (Gen. 16:7). Moses spent forty years in the wilderness before God divulged His calling to him (Exodus 7:7; Acts 7:23, 30, 36). God’s people will spend forty years in the wilderness as a result of their disobedience and lack of faith (Acts 7:36; Heb. 3:8, 17). David spent time in the wilderness (1 Sam. 23:14). When look at the New Testament we see John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness (Mat. 3:1). Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil (Mat. 4:1-11). The apostle Paul spent time in the wilderness (Gal. 1:18; 2:1; 2 Cor. 11:26). There is a pattern in our walk with the LORD that includes passing through a wilderness. It is in the wilderness where we learn to stand up and be counted. Numbers will give us great insight into the purposes of the wilderness in our walk with the LORD.