Numbers Survey

Chapters 1 & 2


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 – see the creation of man / the FALL of man  And The election of Abraham as the founder of a NEW nation...


D) Exodus deals primarily with The REDEMPTION 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


F) But when we get to the book of NUMBERS the focus shifts to the Walk w/ God

1) It is book that PICTURES our walk with God.... Specifically in the areas of our WORSHIP... Our WARFARE.../  Our WORK


The Book is actually the story of TWO GENERATIONS of people and the Book is divided into THREE sections around that account

A)1st Section – The old Generation –travels from Sinai to Kadesh/   Ch. 1-14


B) Ch. 1-4 The Numbering / Ch. 5-9 Instructing / Ch. 10-14 The Journeying


C) SECTION 2 – The transition Era – (In the Wilderness) Ch. 15-20

   The wandering { 1st Generation Dies off


D) SECTION 3 The New Generation: Kadesh to Moab – Ch. 21-36

1)   The New Journeying (21-25 ) / The New Numbering (26-27)

The New Instructing (28-36)  

Question that is commonly asked when Studying OT passages

A)Is there really application for the O.T. stories for us who are a part of the N.T. Church? Is it relatable


B) Paul answers that Question: 1Cor 10: 1-11

1)   Paul says that these stories were written specifically to be examples to us


Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience & comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.


Heb.3:7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice,8         Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,


C) He Proceeds to talk about how they couldn’t enter in because of Unbelief


D) So these stories & Lessons have great application to our lives – Neat Parallels for us to glean from – Our Journey w/ the Lord { Ch.1:1


NUMBERS takes up the narrative where EXODUS left off

A)Exod. 40:17   And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was   reared up.  


B)NUMBERS 1:1 begins with  on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt


C) There is a break of ONE MONTH from the erecting of the    Tabernacle at the end of Exodus & the command to number the      people

1)   The INSTRUCTION found in the Book of LEVITICUS comes                  between the two


Now I noted first service – Sunday – When the Lord spoke to Moses – IN THE WILDERNESS – { God’s desire to speak to us

A)Also where – In the Tabernacle of meeting – { Fellowship – …forsake

       So God spoke to Moses – what Say - READ V.2-4

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

 1) God was NUMBERING Israel for some very important reasons


     1.) Verification  of His promises


     2.) Identification  of His people


     3.) Separation  of His people from the mixed multitude


The importance of KNOWING our background / The need for the work & witness of the Spirit in our lives that we might be effective in service and warfare


     4.) Organization  of His people { Military Census Ready for Battle


3 Observations.

1st God is a God of order; here, before Israel can take the Promised Land, He requires they order themselves also.


A)Not only is it more efficient and useful, but it also simply more like God - ordered and organized.

1)   There is a limit to what we can be and what we can do for the Lord without order and organization.


B) Construction site – All the workers are there – but there are No plans –

1)    They know they are supposed to build a Building – but they don’t know what Kind – Spanish Med. / Modern / Tilt up / Block –


C) What would happen all started doing own thing – Chaos

1)   Our Construction Project – Builder – trying to get us to figure out Phases/ what is your Plan what is your Budget 


D) Pete –Gym / Ron Choir Room / Eddie Howard PA { No seats or Roof


Now It isn’t that order and organization are requirements for progress in the Christian life; they are progress in the Christian life,

A)becoming more like the Lord. Jesus was into order !!! Ranks / 12 disc.


B)2nd God orders things according to His wisdom, not ours. Seen In the arrangement of the tribes, We will see that

1)He did not place the largest tribes closest to the tabernacle (as if bigger was always better); Ephraim, the closest westward tribe, is the third smallest


C) Nor did He place all the large tribes on the outward perimeter for greatest protection (Benjamin, the 2nd smallest tribe, is on the outer perimeter).

 1) God always has order and organization, but it may not make sense to us.


D) Our resistance to God’s order and organization is almost always the product of simple selfishness –

  1) wanting to do things our own way, instead of the Lord’s


3rd  Also note that God wanted the count to be made by their families;

A)Significance the strength of Israel was determined by looking at the strength of individual families.


B)The same thing holds true today the strength of CCV is going to be scene by the Strength of the Individual families in the Church

1)   Why I am such a believer in Family worship – Sun. / Wed. – Important


Now in v. 5-15 we have a list of names of the men from Each tribe who would be the Representative of those tribes

A) NOTE: These men were NOT elected / They were NOT voted on

      They were NOT even agreed upon by the masses


B) They were APPOINTED by the Lord{ Always needs to be the case leadership { Who is the Lord raising up !!!! Body Bears witness


 Bb) Now We are not going to read thru the list or talk about each one –


C) Interesting study (Students)  In Gen . 49 Jacob is on his death bed & he calls his sons together to Bless – them – Prophetic Blessing

1)   In other words he was predicting what would be the Plight of each tribe


C) Now when you take that description & you compare it w/ the meaning of the Name of the person in this list – Creates an interesting Picture

1) Example V. 5 And these are the names of the men that shall stand         with you:  of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur.


D) El izur  = God is my rock- This man was from the tribe of REUBEN


In GENESIS 49, Reuben was prophesied as being unstable as water

A) The tribe of Reuben is to be as unstable as water/ YET - A man was chosen who from the tribe of Reuben who knew that God was his rock


B) APPLICATION: No matter what group of people you find yourself linked to /   Your family... Your church.... Your friends

1) You WILL see instability in that "tribe", so to speak - BUT - Remember this: God is your rock


D) Listen Your rock is NOT CCV /  Your rock is CERTAINLY NOT ROB SALVATO – or any other person on Pastoral Staff

1)   God is your rock- So Keep your eyes fixed upon Him


E) v.7 From Judah –Gen 49  Bring forth the Messiah – great blessing – Nashon- enchanting – Charming – Nashon is listed in the Genealogy – Matt


F) One more v.8 from Issachar – Nethaneel

1)   Gen.49 said of Issachar – Strong Donkey lying between two Burdens –

( idea is he isn’t carrying either ) not doing anything/ result Taken Captive


G) Nethaneel = Given of God – given to God – Idea is here is a man who’s life has Purpose /  Placing  himself under God’s care



Now in v. 21 –45 We are basically told how many were numbered from each tribe 20yrs old & above – were eligible to fight {Not read v4.6 We are given the Grand total –


A)So all the tribes were Numbered accept for the Tribe of Levi – they had a Unique Place / a special responsibility to God – serve Priestly Duties

                                 VERSES 47-50



NOTE: The last line of verse 50

A)They were responsible for all of the FUNCTIONS & FURNISHINGS of    the Tabernacle


B) Because of this they were told to encamp around the Tabernacle

      APPLICATION: Those serving God are camped closest to God


C) The Shekinah Glory   of God was manifested within the Tabernacle

    1) Those serving God found themselves CLOSEST to His glory


D)True The MORE you serve the LORD... the more you will sense His                 glory

  1) IF you are feeling DRY and DISTANT, THEN ask the Lord to give                 you an opportunity to SERVE /   VERSES 51-54


So God says: I want the Levites to take it down and put it up and the stranger that tries to do it is going to die

A)Some people would object – why are they so special Well who let them do it?"- "Who do think they are... I want to do that"


B) That kind of talk is so IMMATURE...

1) For some reason there is always those in the body of Christ – who want to do something else – Serve in another aspect –


C) Always complaining – I want to do that – how come they get to do that & I don’t – Immature – { Strife Division / Flesh -

D)The Mature Brother or sister – who says gladly – I will serve where ever I am needed – Where ever the Lord sees fit


E )That kind of talk is NOT only IMMATURE... it is DANGEROUS

1)if someone tried to do the Levites Job they would be killed by the Lord


F) Application – If you are trying to do something that God doesn’t want you do to – Striving in the Flesh – DEATH TO YOU – WIPE YOU OUT

  1) It will Kill your Joy / Kill your Effectiveness – Rob Mack – Pastor



So we learn from the First Ch. That  Counting, or taking inventory, is an essential step in organization.

A)It was essential, in preparing to enter the Promised Land, that Israel be organized –


B)God is an organized God, and moves through organization (even when we can’t figure it out!),

 1) So it was essential that Israel take inventory and see where they were.


C) God Himself counts; He counts the stars and has a name for each one and knows the number of hairs on your head!


"He who counts the stars and calls them all by their names, leaves nothing unarranged in his own service." (Spurgeon)


Now as we move into Chapter 2 we see that the Organization gets more Specific   Read v.1-9

A)As God was leading Israel in a cloud by day & a pillar of fire by night .... WHEN either would stop, the people were to stop & set up camp right there


B) BUT - They were to set up their camp in a SPECIFIC and a   DEFINITE order

  1) You could NOT say: "I want to set up on the east side today and             tomorrow on the west

C) God says here that they are to camp in a SPECIFIC ORDER and    under SPECIFIC BANNERS and SPECIFIC PEOPLE

    1) It is ASSIGNED  { Divided into 4 Groups consisting of 3 tribes each & each group having a Lead tribe


So On the EAST SIDE - Judah, Issachar and Zebulan

A)They were marching under the banner of JUDAH- JUDAH was the lead tribe


B) NOTE: This is significant prophetically& Practically

1)Prophetically because Jesus Christ came from the tribe of JUDAH


C) And -Speaking of His 2nd coming Matt. 24:27 For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines  even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.


D) Judah was to PITCH his tent EAST in relationship to the tabernacle- Prophetically pointing to Jesus and His second coming


 Not only PROPHETIC significance but also PRACTICAL significance

A)Judah was the first one mentioned here - The name JUDAH means PRAISE-


B) PRAISE always has PRIORITY/ Praise is what we are made for

1) Praise sets the stage for every other kind of ministry/ Praise prepares our hearts to hear the word / Prepares our hearts to Give / to serve right attitude


C) In ACTS 2 we see the disciples PRASING God in tongues and       THEN Peter PREACHED and POWER went forth and 3,000 were saved


D) The opening of the Tabernacle was on the East side – Told in Scripture Enter into his gates w/ thanksgiving / Courts w/ Praise


E) Final note: Judah & the tribes w/ her – make up the biggest number – 186,400 – { Explain in connection w/ Tab – Do Diagram

Next v.10-16 –South side  tribes of Rueben marching w/ Rueben was Simeon & Gad  total – v.16 -  151,450

A)Notice the end of v.16 says of those tribes they would be in the 2nd Rank


B) They were picked by the Lord to be second – There are people who don’t like to be 2nd –

1) Hardest spot to fill in the Orchestra is 2nd Violin{ Someone to play harmony


C) Harmony makes the person singing Melody Better – Sometimes have a great lead singer – Even Better – back up singers are blending


D) Some people just don’t like to be 2nd – they feel they have to lead –

1)      It is going to be their way or the Highway – They miss out on a tremendous blessing of being able to see someone else Blossom


E) See something happen that has someone else’s personality all over it

1) Not your own -   { You might have done it differently – Your way might have been better – { But it was a blessing to watch others be used


F) Don’t be afraid of being a 2nd – Experience the Blessing of helping someone else’s vision come to Life –

1)   Instead of always needing to do it your way !!!!!


Next v.18- 24 on the West side was the tribe Ephraim & w/ Ephraim was the tribes of Mannessh & Benjamin –

A)Only thing I want to note is they numbered the smallest v. 24 108,100


B) Notice Everything was positioned in relation to the presence of God, the tabernacle.

1) God could have described where the tribe of Judah was in relation to the tribe of Dan, but He did not. The reference point was always God Himself.


C) Same thing holds true in our walks / but some people get themselves into trouble because they position & measure themselves in reference  others

Next v. 25- 31 On the North side Tribe of Dan & With Dan was the tribes of Asher & Naphtali { Number v. 31 157, 600

A)Now look at that picture – what do you see – A CROSS –


B) Significance – God was giving a Picture that His Son would come to die for the People { Balaam’s Curse -


C) Draw a Circle / Levites were placed – So There in the mist of the Cross – were the priest –

1) The Bible says that we are all Kingdom of priest – Royal Priesthood – singing Praises to Our God/ We gather together around our Banner the Cross


One other thing that I want you to note that is Significant

A)As the tribes gathered under the Leadership of the main tribe – each of the 4 main tribes had banner or a Flag


B) TRADITIONALLY - The rabbis have said The flag of JUDAH  on the east side= Lion The flag of REUBEN on the south side = Ox


C) The flag of EPHRAIM on the west = A man's face / The flag of DAN on north = Eagle

  1) It is very possible that this is so{ Awesome Prophetic Picture


D) In EZEKIEL 1 and REVELATION 4 we see mentioned four                             heavenly creatures having these same four faces

1) They are seen as EMBLAMATIC or REPRESENTING the 4 Gospels & how Jesus is Portrayed in each one


Matthew -  Jesus is portrayed as the KING of the Jews & thus the Lion

A)Mark - Jesus is portrayed as the SERVANT and thus the Ox / Luke - Jesus is portrayed as the Son of Man and thus the Face of a man


B) John - Jesus is portrayed as DIVINE and thus the Eagle

1)   Love this kind of thing –Jesus In the Volume of the Book it is written of

     Me – Purpose is to point us to Him – Finish up – v.32-34

So The grand total 603, 550-  Add women and children and those unable to fight and senior   citizens and you come to 2-3 million

A)All under the leadership of Moses... Bless his heart{ Wow – Hard enough time Overseeing the 3,000 or so that come here. { 3 Million


B) NOTE: The larger a congregation gets, the harder it is to lead

   QUOTE: Pastor Chuck  With great gain comes great pain


C) For that reason I ask you to PRAY for Myself, Denise & the Other pastors and their Families – Huge Responsibility

1) Sometimes I am utterly horrified sick to my stomach – that I might do something that would mess up what God is doing here


QUOTE: Spurgeon   When asked the success of his ministry

"I have one thing to attribute the success of this ministry to That is the LOVE and PRAYERS of the people"