More Rebellion (Numbers 15-16)

There is the tendency to read the book of Numbers as a series of disjointed pieces of information. We can see why people are tempted to do so when we leave these interesting narrative sections about Israel in the wilderness and suddenly get a restatement of laws, which seem to be completely out of place. One commentator called the book of Numbers the junkyard of God’s laws, as if it was a dumping ground for laws that were not previously given in the book of Exodus. But I want us to have an important lens for this book. The laws are not randomly dumped into this book but strategically placed with the narrative accounts to help the reader understand what has happened. Further, we must also keep in mind as we continue to read through the book of Numbers that the present generation are going to be dying daily as God promised because this generation of Israel rebelled and did not go up to take the promised land. In these next six chapters Israel was now wandering in the wilderness for 40 years awaiting the maturity of the next generation to take the land. They must be taught the ways of God and see the wonders of God in the wilderness.

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