Let’s continue our study of the last three books of the Pentateuch: Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
The events recorded in Leviticus, the third book of the Bible, took place between the completion of the tabernacle (in Exodus) and Israel’s departure from Mount Sinai. Leviticus was important to the nation of Israel. In it, the Levitical priesthood was established, and it contains instructions regarding temple worship and service as well as the moral obligations of the Israelites to God and to each other.
Through all of the rituals and offerings and sacrifices, Leviticus communicates God’s holiness and the way Israel was to worship him (Leviticus 19:2). This response was to be reflected in their daily interactions with God and each other. God’s people are to faithfully obey the Lord and live holy lives according to his Word in order to reflect his character.
As the title implies, the book of Numbers includes various statistics, including census counts, priest counts, and tribal counts. In Numbers 13–14, we also discover the reason why the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years before reaching the Promised Land. As they neared Canaan, Moses sent twelve spies to scout the land. When the spies returned at the end of forty days, all except Joshua and Caleb gave a negative report. The ten spies expressed disbelief that they could conquer a land filled with such powerful people. However, Joshua and Caleb disagreed and expressed faith that God would help them conquer the land. However, the people believed the report of the ten spies and began to fear the people living with the land. As a result, God punished the people by making them wander in the desert. The years corresponded to the number of days it took the spies to scout the land. The rest of the book of Numbers recounts the events that occurred during this season of wandering.
The events of Deuteronomy occur at the end of the Israelites’ forty years of wandering. They were ready to enter the Promised Land. By this time, all those who had seen the signs of God in Egypt had died (Numbers 14:22–23). Before this new generation crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, Moses retold the Law to them to remind them of the covenant that God had established with the nation years earlier. The covenant was conditional. This meant if Israel kept God’s commandments, they would be blessed. If they failed to keep his commandments, they would endure the curses that were recorded in the Law. The final chapters of Deuteronomy record Moses’s preparation for his death and his appointment of Joshua as his successor (Deuteronomy 31–34).
God’s people are to faithfully obey the Lord and live holy lives according to his Word.
Watch Week Two
Old Testament: The Pentateuch
What are your thoughts after reading today’s overview of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy? Are they different than before reading . . . are they the same?
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