This last week we made our way through the book of Numbers. We learned how this book, filled with some pretty famous Sunday School type of stories, is also shot-through with the sad themes of unbelief and rebellion. It is shocking how a people who experienced so many displays of God’s faithfulness could still be ungrateful and unsatisfied with his provision and timing. Which ironically makes it so relevant for our study, for we all struggle with being satisfied with the circumstances of our lives.
We also discovered that while God must address such an attitude with his justice and discipline, he also continually displayed his mercy toward his people. In fact, we were able to see how his justice can actually function as mercy, for Israel, and for us.
If you would like to continue exploring this section of The Whole Story found in Numbers, the resources below are a great place to start:
- Review last week’s sermon on Numbers.
- Watch the Numbers video that is part of the Bible Project’s Torah series for an extremely helpful overview, and for how this story points us to the grace of God in Jesus.
- Click here to find a whole page of videos, milestones, study resources, and recommendations for further reading and study on Numbers.
One of the other things that we explored this last Sunday was a little on how to read the Story of the Bible. Namely, how Numbers should be understood as a story that stands on its own, how it functions within the overall story of the Old Testament, as well as how the New Testament authors (e.g., Jesus and Paul) understood it as part of the Whole Story. If you’d like more instruction on how to understand the broader scope of Scripture, I highly commend this six-part video series on How to Read the Bible.
Each video is only about six minutes in length, and you will find a study guide on the webpage for use along with the videos.
As always, please feel free to email me with questions or ideas for The Whole Story. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, when we will begin the next chapter of the drama by studying Deuteronomy. Be sure to read it before you come!
Overflowing with thanksgiving for the snake-crusher and sin-bearer, Jesus,
You’ve probably never considered the book of Deuteronomy as one long funeral sermon, given by a man who knew he would die, to a people aware of his impending death. That’s exactly what we reflected on this last Sunday.
It is the backdrop of Leviticus — with its thousands of priests and millions of sacrifices — that causes the beauty of the work of Jesus — the one priest, and the once for all sacrifice — to shine all the more brilliantly.
There are a number of major themes that weave their way through the whole story of the Bible: covenant, kingdom, and temple, just to name a few. This last Sunday we looked at the theme of God’s presence in each of the sections of the story that we have covered thus far (Genesis 1-11, Genesis 12-50, and Exodus 1-18), and then how this idea of God’s presence comes into a bit of a sharper focus in Exodus 19-40.
I think it is probably safe to say that there are two great peaks in the mountain range of God’s rescue and restoration of the earth. What the cross-resurrection event is to the New Testament, the exodus is to the Old Testament. In each case, the great redemptive salvation act (exodus/cross) produces the covenant community of God’s people (Israel/church) who are called to serve God and his universal mission.
Genesis 12-50: I Will Bless You
It is hard to look at any one text in the Bible and say that it is more important than any other text of the Bible. Since the whole Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit as God’s Words, it is all equally valid and useful for growth in the grace and knowledge of our King, Jesus (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:18). At the same time, there are those passages that are particularly vital and important to knowing what God is up to in his rescue and restoration plan for the world.
The Whole Story: Genesis One Through Eleven
This last Sunday, January 7th, we kicked off our new sermon series, The Whole Story. As Genesis is the first book of the Bible, we began there, by covering chapters one through eleven...
Why Should I Read The Bible?
Most days I love waking up, coffeeing up, praying up, and then gobbling up the Bible. But not every day. I’m just like you in that. I need reminding about why the Bible — God’s Whole Story — is an important part of my day, for every other part of my day.