A Worshipful Journey Through the Book of Numbers
Four hundred years of compromise, sin, suffering and darkness at the hands of evil authorities. Israel’s only way to be healed is to come out of slavery and into the freedom of the Lord’s authority. Picture yourself when reading of Israel. As you follow our study through the often overlooked book of Numbers, you will see how God rehabilitates and frees broken people.
Day 11: Prayer
In almost every chapter, and over 88 times in the book of Numbers we observe an interchange between God and his people through a prayerful conversation. The Lord speaks, and the people listen; the people speak and God listens and responds accordingly. The theme of prayer in the book of Numbers is a hidden and often overlooked gem of this regularly avoided book. In taking time to make mention of its role within the story of God’s people coming under his Lordship again, we catch real glimpses into the nature of prayer itself. Prayer is not presented in this book as something formal, regulated, overdone, or underused. Prayer is seen as ordinary. Prayer is seen as something that should invade the daily space of our minute-by-minute lives. It cannot be overused, but it can be maligned in turning it into something that it is not. Faith and guidance under our Lord’s authority ultimately rises and falls depending upon whether we learn this artful language of heaven—prayer.
God, in Numbers Chapter 1-13, ultimately builds a rhythm in his people of faith and obedience. He gives them enough information to keep them safe and moving, but he never unveils too much for the sake of preserving these two rhythms. His desire is that through prayer they would trust him and move into their next phase of the journey based on their belief in his character and truthfulness, not simply based on all the gifts they believed they would receive. The medium of prayer also served to protect the people from seeing things and knowing things that they are not yet ready to handle. If God were to reveal and speak everything to the people, they would either have attempted to march forward in certainty—losing the greatest hope for their souls, satisfaction and dependence upon God, or on the other hand, would have wound up in fear and terror beneath the sheer weight of all they would encounter. The people needed to maintain faith. It was a safety to them.
Consider the specifics of how God sent out the spies. What does this have to do with prayer, and him speaking to Moses and his people today? Consider the different responses of faith and obedience in the spies. Though all of them obeyed, not all of them returned full of faith. Does this demonstrate something about real and false belief?
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