New Sermon Series: “God and His People in the Wilderness”

The Punishment of Korah by Sandro BoticelliLast Sunday, in the mission church that meets at Mars Hill Study Center, I preached the first sermon in a series entitled “God and His People In the Wilderness.” This series is based on Numbers, the fourth book in the Old Testament.

The English title “Numbers” is borrowed from the name of the book in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, where the title is “Arithmoi,” presumably because of the census accounts in chapters 1-4 and 26. However, the original Hebrew title is taken from the fifth word of the book, bemidbar, which means “in the wilderness.” This title is a better fit because the book is an account of Israel’s sojourning in the wilderness.

Similar to an epic, Numbers tells the story of Israel’s journey from Mount Sinai to the borders of the Promised Land, summarizing the first 40 years of the nation’s historical beginnings. The book begins with Israel’s final preparations to leave Sinai, the place where God made his covenant with them. With their sights set on Canaan, the people triumphantly set out, but soon after they started grumbling about their difficulties in the wilderness, provoking God into sending a series of disasters as judgment. Finally, when they reached the gates of Canaan, they were fearful of the inhabitants of the land and defied God’s command to conquer it. In response to this rebellion, God turned the Israelites back into the wilderness to delay the entry into Canaan by 40 years, a move designed by God to prevent all of the people who came out of Egypt – except for Joshua and Caleb – from entering the Promised Land.

Join us as we journey with 15th century B. C. Israelites in their adventures – and misadventures – in the wilderness as they march to the Promised Land, even as we also make the pilgrimage to our heavenly city. We meet for worship services and catechism classes at Mars Hill every Sunday at 2:30 P.M.

For the rest of the first sermon, please click here.

For a handout, “Introduction to the Book of Numbers,” click here.

Related Articles: