Numbers begins with the Lord revealing his will to his people by speaking to Moses. God’s people always need a mediator, and Moses fills that office supremely in the Old Testament, speaking to God as with a friend (12:8; Ex. 33:11). Yet with the advent of Jesus Christ, the Word of God itself became flesh and tabernacled among us (John 1:14). Because no one knows God more intimately than his Son, it is Christ, the long-awaited new and greater Moses (Deut. 18:15; John 1:17), who has made God known most fully (John 1:18).
Having delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, God now shows his ongoing grace as he prepares them to conquer the land. The census reminds the people that God has already been faithful to fulfill one part of his gracious promise to Abraham, to make him into a great nation, so that the enumeration of those “able to go to war” should now bolster confidence that God will also fulfill the land promise (Gen. 12:1–3).
We too, having been delivered out of sin and death through the new exodus of Christ’s suffering and glory, are called upon to engage in battle spiritually. We do this by putting to death the deeds of our sinful nature and resisting temptation (Col. 3:5; Eph. 6:10–18). In all of our spiritual struggles, our confidence is in God’s gracious purpose demonstrated in the cross of Christ. Having died to reconcile us to God, Christ now lives to bring us into glory (Rom. 5:8–10; 8:32; Heb. 7:25).
This series of posts pairs a brief passage of Scripture with associated study notes drawn from the Gospel Transformation Bible. For more information about the Gospel Transformation Bible, please visit GospelTransformationBible.org.