What does it say?
Moses commits to writing an account of the journey from Egypt to the Jordan River, listing 42 stations along the way, many of which have still not been identified by archeologists (Num 33). This portion concludes with specific instructions to take full possession of the land and includes a detailed list of the tribes in current occupation. This record of 42 stops over 40 years of journey reveals that what we sometimes call the “wilderness wandering” was not a different stop each day. Israel moved only occasionally during these years, and even some of the 42 stations are only a temporary stop between major encampments that would have lasted for years.
God clearly defines the boundaries of the Promised Land given to Abraham and his descendants, approximately 50 by 150 miles, or the size of the American state of New Jersey (Num 34). God names ten men to assist the High Priest Eleazar in dividing up the land among the tribes of Israel.
What does it mean?
This list of stopping points along the journey will be a permanent record of God’s grace and mercy and a perpetual reminder for future generations. God’s mission to redeem the nations necessarily involves the movement of his people. Even in movement, there are many places to stay for long periods of time along the way. We can avoid unnecessary delays and diversions by learning to listen to and obey God’s word. Ultimately, his mission is fulfilled and Israel enters the land. A generation that rebelled in unbelief dies in wilderness. A new generation, far from perfect, enters the land to experience God’s blessing to the degree of their obedience. God keeps his promises; we often do not keep our promises.
How will I respond?
Have you considered keeping a journal to record your journey with God? It can very simple. Each day I record in a journal the one or two verses that speak to me the loudest in our daily reading. Following, I express what I have learned or can apply from this passage. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you can see what I am personally recording each day in response to a certain passage. Finally, I write two or three key prayer requests for each day and go back and date them when answered. Why not join me today?