Numbers Chapter 1

A God of Order


The Book of Numbers was written by Moses under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit somewhere around the year 1,500 B.C.

A)Moses was the human author of the first 5 books of the Bible, known as the PENTATEUCH


B) Genesis... Exodus... Leviticus... Numbers.... Deuteronomy

1)   Genesis - Deals Primarily with / The creation of man / the FALL of man


C) And The election of Abraham as the founder of a NEW nation... the nation of Israel


D) Exodus deals primarily with The REDEMPTION of Israel

      The LIBERATION of Israel / How Released from bondage in Egypt


E) Leviticus deals primarily with COMMUNION

    1) In the Sacrifices the people were taught how to APPROACH God

         In the FEASTS the people were taught how to ABIDE with God


If you wanted to SIMPLIFY it, the KEY words for these first 3 books then would be Genesis = ELECTION/  Exodus = REDEMPTION

A)Leviticus = COMMUNION-   But when we get to the book of NUMBERS the focus shifts to the Walk w/ God


B) It is a POWERFUL and PRACTICAL book that PICTURES our    walk with God.... Specifically in the areas of our WORSHIP...  

    1) Our WARFARE.../  Our WORK


C) Numbers covers a time period that  encompasses more than 38 years.

1) What happened during those 38 years? The Hebrew title of the book helps us; in Hebrew, it is not called Numbers / but instead, In the Wilderness.

So This book gives us some key insight into those 38 yrs of wandering in the Wilderness

A)The wilderness was never the destination point for Israel; God meant to bring them into the Promised Land of Canaan.


B) The wilderness was intended to be a temporary place, a place to move through, but not to live in.

1) So Numbers is all about God’s people in the wilderness - how they get there, how God deals with them in the wilderness,


C) And how He brings them out of the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land./  Numbers helps give us a big vision

  1): Where is God taking us? What will it take OF US  to get there? What   

     inward qualities will God develop IN us & demand OF us along the way?


1Now the LORD spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying

A) Notice first of all that the Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness -


B) All of us have our Wilderness experiences in the Christian walk – our Desert times / where things are tough and Spiritually we feel dry –

1) But Know this God wants to speak to us in those Wilderness times


C) Notice Where God speaks to Moses - in the tabernacle of meeting,-

1)      We saw in the end of the Book of Exodus how the Lord gave instructions for the Tabernacle to be Erected


D) This was to be the place where the people of God would gather to commune w/ God & to Sacrifice –

1)   This is where God spoke w/ Moses at / In the Tab of meeting !!!



Now I point this out because I think it is our tendency when we feel like we are in the desert or in a wilderness spiritually to neglect Church

A)We think I don’t feel like going to Church on Wed. night – That is when we most need to be there –


B) God so often is wanting to speak to us as we gather w/ His People

1)     Times I feel so out of it on a Wed. night – gather together w/ God’s people Worship starts – Spirit refreshes my heart – SWEET


C) So God spoke to Moses in the Wilderness in the Tabernacle of meeting – now notice what He said v.2 2“Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male individually, 3from twenty years old and above—all who are able to go to war in Israel. You and Aaron shall number them by their armies. 4And with you there shall be a man from every tribe, each one the head of his father’s house.


D)God SPOKE IN THE WILDERNESS and He said that He wanted the people numbered - WHY?


Focus This morning - I want us to consider FOUR reasons why God commanded this census to be taken: /   1ST  Verification

A)In Genesis 15 God promised Abraham (who at that time was childless and married to a woman that was barren)


B)That He would bless Abraham and that from Abraham would spring forth a mighty nation, numbering  like the stars of heaven

 1) Now Of course THIS seemed impossible


C) But the Lord asked Abraham and Sarah: "Is anything too hard for the Lord?"

 1) When we get to the book of Numbers we see that God Kept that Promise as the People are numbered – total of 2 to 3 million people


D) Testimony that God kept his word & his Promise to Abraham

2nd  Identification

A)The people were to be counted according to their families & by their names


B) In PSALM 80:1 the Lord is identified as the shepHerd of Israel

1)   In JOHN 10:3 Jesus says that the shepherd knows His sheep & calls

    them by name/  Jesus is our shepherd


C) Jehovah is the shepherd of Israel and here He is telling us that He   cares about individuals

1)   He does NOT simply care about MASSES of people/ He cares about each one of His sheep individually


D) He cares about YOU..... He cares about ME / He knows YOUR name..... He knows MY name

  1) NOTE: In a very real way: God has your number


EXAMPLE: Acts 9 God's dealings with a man named Saul of Tarsus

A)God told a man named Ananias to go to Saul

Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he’s praying


B) The Lord not only knew Saul's name, but He had his address as well

   1) He told Ananias right where to find him


C) PLEASE NOTE: You are not just A NUMBER  in a huge group of people known as the Body of Christ / You are an important individual

    1) The Father KNOWS your name { Kelli & Amanda


D) That would never happen w/ God - He KNOWS the very number of hairs on your head/

1) Psalm 103:14 He knows our Frame = He knows your Make up -




He Knows every detail about you & CARES about you PERSONALLY

Ps. 139:17-18 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

18  If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;


A)God even lists some of these names They might seem BORING or MEANINGLESS


B) BUT - They are listed to demonstrate to us that God takes note of individuals/ So first Verification / 2nd Identification



17Then Moses and Aaron took these men who had been mentioned by name, 18and they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month; and they recited their ancestry by families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and above, each one individually.


A)NOTE: The NUMBERING consisted not only in the counting of    heads, but in presenting pedigrees{Marked by their families


B)The ISRAELITES were IDENTIFIED and SEPARATED from the mixed multitude  that came out of Egypt with them


C) What an important lesson for us- because ONLY true Israelites were allowed to fight in Israel's battles

 1) None of the mixed multitude  were eligible


D) This speaks to ministries today that allow anyone to serve in the Church without the pedigree  of a new birth{ Born Again

1) Hiring Professional Musicians who are not saved –{ We make it hard 6 mt


E) The FIRST question in connection with Christian service should be that of spiritual pedigree

 1) Are People Born again & growing in the Lord

BUT it also relates to us INDIVIDUALLY a very CRUCIAL truth

A)What is your Spiritual Pedigree / Your Spiritual background? /Are you truly born again.


B) IF you are NOT certain of a  REAL RELATIONSHIP to Jesus THEN you are NOT going to be able to be effective in serving and in warfare

1)   You will be VULNERABLE to the lies and wiles and condemnation of the enemy


C) A lot of Christians are that way – they wander around w/ no assurance of their Salvation – Always feeling like they need to respond to every invitation

1) And others walk around w/ a false sense of Security even though they are continuing in the flesh – because they went forward @ Harvest Crusade …..


D) HOW can YOU be sure of your spiritual pedigree... that YOU are truly a member of the family of God?

Romans 8:14- 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,


Paul gives us 3 very important evidences to a Persons Spiritual Pedigree I want us to look at in Reverse order / Starting w/ v. 16

A)1st The H.S. bears witness in your heart / Bears witness = to corroborate w/ evidence or Testify Jointly – Evidence is Fruit of the Spirit


B) In other words the Testimony of the HS is the marked Change that has taken place in your life { Not as Selfish as you used to be

1)   You talk differently / think differently / you treat people differently


C) 2nd v. 15 it is evidenced by a Desire in your Heart for the Lord – Crying Abba Father { MOST INTIMATE EXPRESSION

1)   Person who is Born again is going to have a yearning & Hunger to be close to the father


C) 3rd V.14 it will also be evidenced by a Desire to be Led & directed by the HS


D)If those 3 things are lacking then a person has to wonder about where they are really at Spiritually

 1) { No matter how many altar calls they’ve responded to


D) You need to Have a Witness in your heart/ it is not enough to have Head Knowledge You NEED to have that work & witness of the Spirit in your life

1)   Haven’t Pray today



4th  ORGANIZATION - This is very important

A)The people of Israel had been ELECTED in Genesis... REDEEMED in    Exodus and INSTRUCTED in Leviticus


B) NOW they are being ORGANIZED for Numbers 

     1) They are MARCHING towards a military objective

          They have a land to occupy and enemies that will oppose them


C) SO This was predominately a military census; to see who could fight on Israel’s behalf in taking the Promised Land.

1) This was the first step in taking the Promised Land: An inventory to see what will be, and can be, used in getting them there.


D) Imagine how this census would affect the nation! As the count was made, every family would know preparations were being made for war.

1) Note – this numbering wasn’t for GOD but it was for them  to see what God had done – taken 46 pp & made them into a great nation !!!


So God is numbering them to Organize them / and from this  we learn a very important lesson

A)God does NOT do things in a haphazard way Concerning His Church, we read in the last verse of 1 COR.14 Let all things be done decently &  in order


B) That is the New Testament truth.... Numbers is the Old Testament illustration of it

1) This is very difficult for our generation is TWO WAYS :


C) We belong to a people that say: "Do your own thing" Who hate any kind of Structure     


D) They feel IF something is ordered or organized it can NOT be good

 That Organization – quenches the Spirit !!! { No PREPARATION

1)    But in Their Lack of organization they IGNORE the HS – so much so that what is manifested resembles so much of the Flesh


E) Example: BEAR ….don’t know what talk about ……


Now on the other side of the Church are those who have went to the opposite end of the Spectrum

A)They watch the utter Chaos that resembles the meetings of those who Shun organization / those who – are not into Structure


B) And because they don’t want that or think that is right/ they don’t want to be that way they institute Programs & Order 

1) They organize everything – Full of Programs & Committees / The Church resembles a well oiled machine / a Strategically planned organization


C) But they are so into their Programs & their Committees that they limit the Work of the HS – there is No Flexibility

1)   Both are Extremes & Both are Wrong !!!!


We need to not Shun Organization / WE MUST Understand God is NOT opposed to organization or orderliness

A)Story - There was a small country church that seated a couple of hundred people/  It was constructed in 24 hours


B) They were able to do this because they were ORGANIZED They had all of the materials already brought in..... They had all of the plans ready.....

D) They had all of the workers organized to perform very specific duties

    1) They started out at 9 a.m. and finished at 1 a.m. the next morning


E) Every single worker - Mason... Plumber... Electrician... Carpenter... KNEW exactly WHAT they were supposed to do &when they were to do it

 1) Without organization that job could NOT have been    completed


NOTE: God is building HIS Church.... His Kingdom

A)God is desirous that each one of us know our place and fill our job and understand our assignment


B) The Lord is directing and orchestrating His people – there is a need to be Organized – but we need to watch –

1)   NOT so organized that we quench the Work of the HS – because we have our Box / our plan that God needs to fit into


C) Outreach – Our Plan – what we were thinking – God closed the Door

1)   Opened up the Schools -  AMAZING – { Grass area Disaster


D) Everyday – He orchestrated things perfectly – Laslo – TV lady


E)So we need to be flexible – Not quench the Spirit – but at the same time we need to watch that we are not so unorganized that Spirit is hindered



NOTE: Organization must NEVER be the result of HUMAN COMMU-NICATION..... But ALWAYS the result of DIVINE REVELATION

A) It must NEVER simply come about through organizational   committees or mental agreements


B) The reason that the people of Israel were so effectively organized here is because it was NOT a matter of human institution

  1) but rather the result of divine revelation{ thIS IS that which was written


C) THAT is the key God was DIRECTING and calling the shots for His people

1) THAT is why that before there is ever ORGANIZING OF PLANS, there needs to be AGONIZING IN PRAYER


D) Organization is a very good servant but a very bad master


We have ONE master..... the true and living God He gives to us the organization

A)And when it is carried out under His direction, THEN it works


B) If it is simply our own human ideas, THEN it is bound for FRUSTRATION and FAILURE and DIFFICULTIES


C) It is IMPORTANT for us to understand that IF we are going to be an effective army, THEN we must let the Lord ORGANIZE us and ASSIGN us