Summary: At first glance the book of Numbers reads a bit like an operations manual. It’s got numbers of soldiers, lists of names, and a bit of repetition. Tucked between those lists and numbers are some stories of real people, dealing with real issues of faith!
BETWEEN THE NUMBERS
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-I read something interesting this week about the GB Packers.
-I’m not a packers fan but I love those Green and Yellow uniforms
-The town of Green Bay, Wisconsin is only about 105,000 the seating at Lambeau field is 80,735.
-With so few people in town and that many seats in the stadium you might be tempted to think that there are plenty of seats available…but if you thought that you’d be wrong.
-The waiting list for Green Bay Packers season tickets has more than 110,000 names on it.
-If you called and put your name on that list today you would have to wait an estimated 955 years for season tickets.
-It’s common for residents of Green Bay to put a baby’s name on the list as soon as they are born!
-The one exception to the waiting list is the transfer of tickets from an owner to a relative upon their death.
-For Green Bay fans that may be the greatest inheritance of all!
-Today we’re closing down on our series in the book of Numbers with a different type of transfer.
-In our passage today Moses, the faithful leader of Israel, will transfer the burden of leadership to his faithful apprentice Joshua.
-Turn in your Bibles to Numbers 27 and while you are let me set the scene for you.
-Moses was raised in the luxury of Pharaoh’s palace.
-In a moment of righteous indignation he killed an Egyptian man and then fled for his life to the land of Midian.
-From the lap of luxury in Egypt Moses took on a job as a Shepherd for his father-in-law Jethro.
-And he worked out there tending sheep for 40 years until God called him to lead the people of Israel out of slavery and into the Promised Land.
-Moses lived a long life, a rather productive life, but our chapter begins with Moses’ life coming to an end.
Num 27:12 One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river, and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel.
-If you remember the story from chapter 13, there were 12 spies sent to look at the Promised Land for 40 days.
-10 of them came back and spread a bad report, the people panicked, and because of their rebellion God said you’re going to wander for 40 years.
-And so the wandered and whined and rebelled…and slowly but surely the whiners died off and a new generation came to power.
-Sadly for Moses, he wasn’t the chosen leader of this new Israel.
-He never got to settle down and grow old in the land of Promise.
-But God gave him the opportunity to see it for himself.
-“Climb one of the mountains Moses and take it all in…”
13 After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, 14 for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.”
-Moses, the leader of the rebellious Israelites, had his own rebellion and God cancelled his ticket to cross the river.
-But please notice that God didn’t cut off Moses completely, nor did Moses harbor bitterness and resentment toward God.
-Moses sinned, God disciplined him…and they continued together in a relationship and covenant with each other.
-Moses had some moments he wasn’t too proud of, but thousands of years after his death we’re still talking about him as a faithful man of God.
MOSES LEFT BEHIND A LEGACY OF FAITH. WHAT WILL MY LEGACY BE?
-We don’t think a lot about that kind of stuff when we’re young.
-We may not think about it ever, but it’s important to consider.
-We’re busy, we’re always running, going 100 miles an hour.
-I’ve talked to many seniors over the years…they ponder this a lot. -They wonder if they were good husbands, good wives, good parents, and good Christians.
-I had a chance to speak at the junior high group a month ago.
-I asked them what they wanted on their tombstones?
-We did all the possible Pizza combinations first, to get that out of the way. Then we had little cardboard tombstones and they were to write down what they wanted their tombstone to say when they died. That’s some heavy mental lifting for 12-14 year olds.
-It was almost all boys that night, and they asked if they could also write the cause of death.
-My favorite was Hunter Nicolai whose tombstone said, “He died testing the theory that pigs could fly by jumping out of an airplane on the back of a pig. He landed on the titanic which is why it sank.” (He gets points for creativity)