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Parashat Bamidbar

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

33rd Portion

[2-8 June 2024]

Theme of the Book of Numbers:

Desert life whilst here on earth. Between Egypt & Promised Land. Faith is the key.

Meaning of "bamidbar" = "in the desert"

This week's Torah portions:

Sunday: Numbers 1:1-19

Monday: Numbers 1:20-54

Tuesday: Numbers 2:1-34

Wednesday: Numbers 3:1-13

Thursday: Numbers 3:14-39

Friday: Numbers 3:40-51

Shabbat: Numbers 4:1-20 & Hosea 2:1-2

Apostolic Writings:

Romans 9:22-33

Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:

Jerermiah 6-12

Job 27-32

Romans 7-12

Matthew 2-28

We are now in the book of Numbers. By now you know that each book of the Torah (first five books of the Bible) has an overhanging theme connected to it. Genesis is about to desire life and to choose life. Exodus is about pursuing the instructions, so that we could build a dwelling place for God amongst us. Leviticus is about living life as priests.

Now we get to Numbers, which is all about life in the desert. Which is symbolic of where we are spiritually in our lives. The Israelites were made free from the bondage they faced in Egypt. Then they travelled through the desert and eventually they came to their Promised Land.

As believers, despite many years going by, we are on the exact same route. Obviously not physically, but spiritually. Egypt is a symbolic representation of our lives before / without Yeshua. Then Yeshua died on the cross to set us free (from spiritual Egypt). In the same way that the Israelites didn't go straight from Egypt into the Promised Land - in the same way we will also have to go through the desert (life) before we could enter our Promised Land (eternity with Yeshua).

There are so much Truth captured in the first five books of the Bible, so much about Abba's redemption plan for mankind... And all to often, it's missed because we don't appreciate these books for what they are worth. Through our own ignorance, we miss out on so so much!

While we are on this desert path (after being born again), it's where our faith life lies. The book of Numbers is all about exercising our faith whilst we are on this faith journey towards the Promised Land (eternity). We have to keep God at the very centre of our faith walks!

This portion plays off whilst the Israelites were still living in the desert. Abba gave Moses instruction to do a census on the people. And the Levitical tribe, who served and attended to the tabernacle) were divided into 3 groups and each group had a specific responsibility in the taking down and reconstruction of the tabernacle items whenever they moved their camp as they traveled through the desert.

The Levitical tribe was divided into Kohath, Gershon & Merari. They camped around the tabernacle, closest to it. Moses, Aaron and Aaron's sons camped at the gate of the tabernacle. They were also part of the Levites but did not form part of the other three groups mentioned above. Behind these four groups, the 12 tribes of Israel camped.

I am busy with an in depth study on the tabernacle and will share it once I am done - but herewith a simple sketch of where each of the tribes camped in the desert to give you a better idea.

Kohath moved the items (Ark of the Covenant, Menorah, etc) of the tabernacle whenever they moved their camp. They had to create coverings for their shoulders - to carry the items on.

The Gershonites were in charge of taking down, carrying and re-assembling the veils, gates, curtains, tapestry, coverings, etc. And the Merari group were responsible to carry the posts and the pillars of the tabernacle.

This order was instructed by Abba. The Israelites were to adhere to this order as long as they traveled through the desert. Remember that the desert is symbolic of our faith walk. When we grasp this concept, we realise that there was a divine order set in place. Faith has a diving order set in place. If we want to live in Abba's blessing and reach the promised land, which He has in store for us, we have to live according to His Divine Order.

Faith is not something that simply happens by coincidence. Life don't just happen and one day we wake up and we have faith. Faith is something you have to intentionally choose every single day and you have to live it constantly! Saying that faith has a divine order means that we have to order our lives according to faith.

The concept of "order" is about consistency. It's not something that you can only attend to every now and again when you feel like it. Order requires constant work and commitment. Every single day of your life. Every single minute of your day.

The Israelites had to camp around the tabernacle - which was the place where Abba dwelled amongst them. Which is an symbolic reminder for us that we have to order our lives around Him as well. Furthermore, the Israelites set up camp in a certain order every single time - every tribe at a very specific sport. Which serves as a reminder for us that we also have to stick to Abba's instructions and divine order.

One of the lessons we can learn from this week's portion is that we have a responsibilty to order our lives in a certain manner and to stick to that order. When we are out of order, we cannot expect Abba to come through for us and expect to live in His blessing.

When we take our eyes off of Him and we look at the way the world orders things - we'll loose focus and attention to detail. Our lives must be ordered according to His Divine Order - and that's about us living in His presence!

As mentioned earlier in this portion, we read that Moses did a census on the people. When a census is done, all the men who are ready to go to war are counted - which was roughly between the ages of 20-60. Interestingly enough, the tribe of Levi were not counted from 20-60 years of age - but from one month and older. The ones who served in the tabernacle were counted differently than those who went to war.

From one of our earlier Torah portions, we've learned that the original Hebrew word which is translated in our Bibles to "census" means "lifting of heads." Which reminded us about our worth that's found in Him. This portion once again confirms it. When you serve Abba and live from His presence - you cannot live with you head down / hanging. Our heads must be lifted up! You cannot live a life of complaining and negativity with your head held high. When you choose to lift your head, you choose to get up and keep going despite the circumstance you might face in the physical.

When we read about this census, Abba is reminding us that each and every single person counts in His eyes! Society normalised that people talk down on themselves and break themselves down as well as allowing others to do so as well.

Yeshua paid the exact same price for you and me. I'm not worth more than you. Nor are you worth more than me. Yeshua died on the cross for each and everyone of us. We are bought for the exact same price, which means that we are all equal in God's eyes. Regardless of the worth the world values you, you are bought for the Ultimate Price by Yeshua! His Blood saved, purchased and redeemed you.

We have to choose to shift our focus from social status, education, etc in order to determine what someone is worth. And keep our focus on Abba! Through His Son's complete work on the cross - we are all equal in His eyes. Your worth is based on the price that has been paid for you!

God is a respecter of faith, not of persons. He doesn't care what you own or who you are based on worldly standards. He cares about your faith walk. And our faith walk is a choice. God will weigh up how devoted and intentional you were in your faith walk and not what you own, where you lived or who you knew.

Faith is a choice. And no one can make the choice on behalf of someone else. The choice you make will determine the course of your life. It's not a choice to take lightly. When we choose to walk in faith and fully trust Him with our lives, He will do above and beyond what we could ever dream of or hoped for in our lives.

This life with Him is available for each one of us. The Price has already been paid. We are worthy, because we have been made worthy by the Blood of the Lamb! We can lift up our heads (census) and stand up boldly to pursue a life in His presence - because we know our worth through what Yeshua did for us on the cross!


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  1. Portion 30: Bamidbar (The blog you are reading now)

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