When life or our trust in the LORD seems to get too tough for too long, it’s tempting to give up. Yet we should look back on how far we have come in our new life in the Kingdom of Heaven through the mercy given us on the name of Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ). Our journey from our old life is much like Israel’s journey from bondage in Mitsraim (Egypt) to freedom at Sinai and rest in the Promised Land, a trek recounted for the second generation in the Torah passage (parashah) מסעי Massei (or Mase’y, “journeys of”).
The traditional companion passage (haftarah) for Massei is Jer. 2:4–28; 3:4.
The following are Bible study recordings and notes from Hallel Fellowship teacher Richard.
Parashah: Num. 33:1–36:13
We may be tempted to give up when the end of our jobs, our relationships or lives are looming or they get too tough. Yet Moshe embodies apostle Paul’s encouragement to “fight the good fight” and “run the race” with all we have until we reach our goal or it’s time to pass the baton to the next person. Moshe encouraged the tribes of Reuben and Gad to pitch in to the hard settlement of Canaan, even when their new home was secured.
This is a difficult, laborious chapter with lots of hard-to-pronounce names — 40, 42 or 43 depending on the count. Yet the name of each encampment carries important teachings from what happened at each site and the meaning of the names themselves.
It might not be the literal meaning of the name but based on the symbolism of what occurred at that place. These are God’s names for these places, not necessarily the common names given to those places by the inhabitants at the time.
There’s a bigger picture to be found in the names of these places that Moses records and we endeavor to discover God’s picture.
In the closing chapters of the book of Numbers, among a discussion of land grants to the tribes of Israel we read of a justice-and-mercy system for murderers that prophetically links ransom of the accidentally guilty to the death of the high priest.
The borders of the modern state of Israel are a fraction of the territory the LORD granted the long ago. The promises for a much larger area from Genesis to Revelation speak to the wider vision of many nations in the Kingdom of Heaven and how our vision for our own potential may be too narrow.
The book of Numbers is more than just a collection of long lists of numbers of people in the tribes and families of Israel and of places where the people camped for 40 years. It shows us how God prepares His people then and now to move forward into the tasks He has for them. Numbers contains lessons of character refinement of a people.