Numbers Priceless Nuggets contain Hidden Gems

The Bible’s book of Numbers Priceless Nuggets detailing the Israelite’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land is often considered boring, because it is seemingly repetitive. It takes censuses, lists rules in minute detail and sets Israel in order. However, after being compelled to read it in 4 versions recently, I found it to be loaded with wisdom for today.

1) Everything should be carried out precisely as God says. Don’t add your own spin to it. He has a reason for everything. Just because you don’t know the WHY, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It may not make sense, but be confident He knows WHY!

Num 20: To provide water to a thirsty Israel, Moses was told to speak to a rock and it would gush out water to glorify God. Instead in anger against the people, Moses hit it with a stick, glorifying himself. Result? Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land.

2) God chose Moses, the most humble man on the earth, as leader. Most leaders in the world are arrogant, thinking of themselves as great. But Moses was not a braggart (Num 12:3). God is not looking for great but obedient and humble! Want to lead? God will exalt you when you’re ready.

3) God can’t be in the presence of ANY sin. Therefore. God had introduced a blood sacrifice to wash away sin!  Since God is perfection, all animal sacrifices must be perfect, spotless, unblemished, and without defect to wash away the Israelites’ sins.  17 times this demand for perfect sacrifices is mentioned with a total of 42 in the Old Testament. This includes money and offerings of all types (Num 28-29 & Mal 1:6-8). This removed sin, and sanctified His people as well as objects.

If the sacrifice is obtained through crime or any means except hard work, it isn’t perfect and unacceptable to God for the removal of your sin. A church might unknowingly accept the gift/sacrifice, but God won’t bless it. See: A Godly Principle: Would You Buy This Barrel of Apple Juice? Instead of just a few animals needing to be sacrificed, the sin of the Israelites became so great, thousands upon thousands of animals had to sacrificed. It was very difficult to find perfect sacrifices in this huge quantity.

So, God gave Jesus as a perfect blood sacrifice for all sin – once and for all time! No longer was it necessary to offer blood sacrifices for removal of sin. God’s sacrifice had to be much better than anything man could do, so He gave the Perfect Sacrifice – His only Son for everyone’s including yours and my sin. Your job is to accept the free gift!

4) God considers grumbling and complaining as rebellion. Rebellion brought about plagues and disaster (Num 11, 12, 14, 16, 21, 25)! Only Moses’ and Aaron’s intervention kept the Israelites from being wiped out. (Thank goodness for Jesus being our perfect sacrifice to wipe out the sins against us.)

5) Rebellion against Moses and God were by those closest to them. They were Moses’ brother, Aaron, and sister, Miriam, (Num 12); and those inside the priesthood (Levites) and leaders of the people (Num 16). Therefore, if you don’t like what’s going on in your church, it is suggested – obey or leave. Note: Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (I Sam 15:23). While 8 tribes increased in number, the tribe of Simeon lost 63% of their men as a result of rebellion.

6) It’s God’s job – not yours to oversee what ministers do with your offerings. It’s your job to present clean offerings to God. If you think you are paying too much, remember, you gift is going  to God! (If you suspect your offerings are not being used appropriately, you certainly should withhold it and give it to a better ministry.)

7) Don’t forget God’s miracles in your life! The Israelites quickly forgot how God parted the Red Sea; how He liberated them from slavery in Egypt with 10 incredible miracles; how He got water from a rock; how He fed them everyday for 40 years; how he healed them of plagues and poisonous snakes! Remember your blessings even while you are in the midst of problems. You can count on His deliverance!

8) God permits you to do things, but it’s not His perfect will. In Num 22 King Balak sent for Balaam who asked God if he could go. God said NO! That should have been enough. However, Balak sent more important people to ask Balaam. “God, this is really important and I’ll make big money. Can I go?” The reply was, O.K. (But God was angered. He doesn’t change his mind just because your situation changes.)

The result was: The Angel of the Lord nearly killed Balaam 3 times, finally God using Balaam’s donkey to speak to him. Not only did Balaam not get any money for his trouble, but was eventually killed by the Israelites. God’s permissive will is NOT his perfect will for you!

9) God repeats his instructions over and over and over with a definite purpose! One might consider this boring. But, it provides no “wiggle room” for any interpretation. Example: 17 times He states animals for sacrifices must be without defect! If He only mentioned it once, people might say: “I only have to give the perfect, once.” If it was 13 times they couldn’t say: “This time, we can give any old and sickly critter. It doesn’t apply to us!”


Surprising Census’ in Numbers Priceless Nuggets 

Two censuses of Israel’s 12 tribes were taken. They included only  males above 20-years old and able to go to war. The first was at the beginning of the 40-year journey. The second was nearing the end of the 40 years in the wilderness. In between those censuses there were a number of rebellions against God and Moses, which were punished in plagues, snake bites, a fire and other judgments from God.

During the 40 years the population diminished from 603,550 to 601,730 men. Whereas some tribes flourished, others lost significant populations of the males of battle age. While it doesn’t indicate which tribe rebelled, the censuses identify which tribe was most punished

2nd Census %
% Gain/Loss
Reuben 46,500 43,730 94% +  6%
Simeon 59,300 22,200 37% – 63%
Gad 45,650 40,500 89% – 11%
Judah 74,600 76,500 103% +   3%
Issachar 54,400 64,300 118% + 18%
Zebulun 57,400 60,500 105% +   5%
Manasseh* 40,500 52,700 130% +30%
Ephraim* 32,200 32,500 101% +  1%
Benjamin 35,400 45,600 129% +29%
Dan 62,700 64,400 103% +  3%
Asher 41,500 53,400 129% +29%
Naphali 53,400 45,400 85% -15%
Total 603,550 601,730 99.7% -0.3%
Levi** 22,000 23,000 105% +  5%

* Manasseh and Ephraim were children of Joseph.

** Levites were given to God’s service, so counted 1-month old and above.


Every page of the extraordinary Bible contains golden nuggets from God. Repeated reading, asking the Holy Spirit to open your mind, will uncover them for you. They have been placed there to help lead, guide and direct you into all Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding. God has a wonderful plan for your life and sent His Son so you would have life and that more abundantly. You are invited to seek, knock and ask Him for help. He’s always listening!

To find more Nuggets in Isaiah click here

To find more Nuggets in I Chronicles click here

To find more Nuggets in II Chronicles click here

To find more Nuggets in Jeremiah click here

To find more Nuggets in Hosea click here

To find more Nuggets of Jesus in the Old Testament click here