I have finished reading the book of Numbers and just begun the book of Deuteronomy. God continues to show mercy to the Israelites in their mistakes, and the Israelites continue to seek God (sometimes) and fail (sometimes). This is a book of history, chronicling the people of God’s movements through the wilderness and their tribes and numbers of people in each tribe.
I’ve always thought of Numbers as being a historical book filled with lists of rules. It IS historical and it IS filled with lists of God’s expectations for the people, but that’s not the essence of the book. The book is a story, a tale of God’s people. It is its own story, and it is part of the larger story of God’s redemptive plan for his creation. That’s what I take away from Numbers, and it is to this truth that I cling as I continue reading scripture almost daily in 2017.
p.s.–Alongside the reading of the Pentateuch, I’ve also been reading a Psalm a day. I’ve been amazed by how often I see the same themes in the Psalms as I do in these first biblical books. I see the psalmist praying (or singing) to God, asking for forgiveness and rescue and care. I also see the writer comparing and contrasting the lives of the righteous and the wicked. The righteous are cared for by God, even in their struggle, and God blesses them. The wicked are not blessed by God. As God’s chosen people, but also a people who so often turn away from good, I wonder where the Israelites fit into this dichotomy of the Righteous and the Wicked??
Just some of my recent thoughts on Scripture reading.