This is God: He takes us through our struggles of obedience and disobedience and provision as his children. He loves us and uses us even while he disciplines us. And he distributes his blessings out of his love and mercy. My life looks like this. Does yours?
1 Here are the stages in the journey of the Israelites when they came out of Egypt by divisions under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. 2 At the Lord’s command Moses recorded the stages in their journey. This is their journey by stages:
3 The Israelites set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover.
14 They left Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
38 At the Lord’s command Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor, where he died on the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. 39 Aaron was a hundred and twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor.
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Command the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter Canaan, the land that will be allotted to you as an inheritance is to have these boundaries…
16 The Lord said to Moses, 17 “These are the names of the men who are to assign the land for you as an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun.
1 On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Command the Israelites to give the Levites towns to live in from the inheritance the Israelites will possess. And give them pasturelands around the towns. 3 Then they will have towns to live in and pasturelands for the cattle they own and all their other animals.
Numbers 33:1-3, 14, 38-39, 34:1-2, 16-17, 35:1-3
Numbers 33 starts a summary of Israel’s journey from Egypt to the promised land. In a nutshell, they have been through stuff. They meandered and camped and fought and meandered and camped and fought and followed God and disobeyed God and followed him again.
Have you ever wondered why the story of Israel is so full of drama and trauma? Isn’t it because real life is full of these things?
We can identify with the struggles of these people because they are real – we struggle in similar ways.
God made real people who have struggles and issues and burdens to be his people. He didn’t choose the perfect and create a superheroes-only story of their lives. God has given us life and choice to serve him or deny him. Israel lived in that tension through their whole story.
It is our story today.
Moses and Aaron don’t it make to the promised land. Their leadership failings resulted in consequences, even though God continued to loved them and use them to their deaths. We see Aaron die on Mount Hor as he comes to the end of his service to God there. Moses dies in Deuteronomy 34. Joshua is the one who is named to take leadership for the next time passage of their story with Eleazar as priest.
We see God set the boundaries of their new land and organize the distribution of their blessings. That’s God. He takes us through our struggles of obedience and disobedience and provision as his children. He loves us and uses us even while he disciplines us.
And he distributes his blessings out of his love and mercy.
My life looks like this. Does yours? Let’s be thankful to God and be sincere in our devotion to reflecting his goodness to our world.