Numbers 10:1-36


I.    Verse 1-10 - The two trumpets.

A.            Commanded to make two trumpets - able to give more commands.

1.      When one trumpet is blown only the heads of the thousands of Israel gather at the Tabernacle, or Israel starts on her journey.

2.      When both trumpets sound - all Israel comes before the Tabernacle, or move forward to war, or begin one of the seven feast days.

B.   The trumpet is made of silver (meaning redemption).

1.   The sound of the trumpet would constantly remind Israel to assemble because of redemption.  Many times God's voice is described as a "trumpet".

2.   A trumpet will sound at the rapture and the redeemed will rise to meet Jesus.

3.      Seven trumpets will sound during the tribulation period, but no trumpet will cause judgment upon God's people.

C.   Blow an alarm.

1.      There is a different sound for a gathering together and a going forward (whether traveling or going to war).

2.      There are many trumpets that are sounded in the Bible.  We must learn to listen to the Word of God, so we'll know whether God is calling us together, or to war, or to observe His worship.

3.      There is much unnecessary confusion today over the trumpets of prophecy.  Before much study is done in prophecy, it would be good to understand the Old Testament trumpets.


II.   Verse 11-13 - The first phase of the journey toward Canaan.

A.            Compare Ex. 12:18 - Israel observing the Passover on the 14th day of the first month, then leaving Israel at midnight on the 14th.  One year, one month, and six days later, they have built the entire Tabernacle, its furnishings, and established a formal worship of God around the law given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.

B.   Also note that Israel journeying at this time has allowed those that weren't able to take the Passover at the proper time to take the Passover a month later.

C.   We won't be able to trace all the wilderness wanderings because it is a time of judging because of rebellion.  God doesn't want us to trace the steps of rebellion, but of obedience.  He does want us to see the result of rebellion.


III. Verse 14-27 - The traveling of Israel was not in confusion, but in an orderly fashion.

A.  They follow God's instructions in Numbers 2.

B.   The cloud went first, I suppose that Moses and Aaron traveled next, leaving the others to follow them as they followed the cloud (leadership of the Lord).

C.   The order of Israel.

1.      From the east side of the camp - they always began their journeying by traveling east, toward God.

a.   The tribe of Judah.

b.   The tribe of Issachar.

c.   The tribe of Zebulun.

2.   The sons of Gershon (4:25,26) carried the hangings of the courtyard and the outward coverings (skins) of the Tabernacle.  They loaded the two wagons (7:7) carrying the remainder on their shoulders.  The sons of Merari (4:31-31) loaded the four wagons with the heavier items; the boards, bars, pillars, and sockets of the Tabernacle and the courtyard, carrying the remainder on their shoulders.

3.   The south side of the Tabernacle goes next.

a.   The tribe of Reuben.

b.   The tribe of Simeon.

c.   The tribe of Gad.

4.   The Kohathites (4:4-15) do not have wagons but carry the furnishings and smaller items upon their shoulders.  When Israel gets to its destination, the Gershonites and the Merarites have already set up the Tabernacle and the courtyard.  The Levites then place the sacred furnishing in their places.  This is good, systematic way of doing things.  This is God's way!!

5.   The west side of the Tabernacle move next.

a.   The Tribe of Ephraim.

b.   The Tribe of Manasseh.

c.   The Tribe of Benjamin.

6.   The north side goes next.

a.   The Tribe of Dan.

b.   The Tribe of Asher.

c.   The Tribe of Naphtali.

D.            Numbers 24:1,2 - Balak, King of Moab, desired Balaam (a prophet of God) to prophesy against Israel and for Moab.

1.      Numbers 22:41 - Balak brings Balaam to the high places of Baal that Balaam might see and compare the utmost (small part) of Israel with the glories of Baal.

2.      Numbers 23:14 - Balak brought Balaam tot he top of Mt. Pisgah (when #1 above failed).  Balaam still couldn't see all of Israel, but he blessed them and cursed Moab.

3.      Numbers 24:2 - When Balaam saw the order of Israel established by God, this rebellious prophet could do nothing except glorify God.


IV. Verse 29-32 - The invitation to Hobab, Moses brother in law.

A.  The relationship.

1.   Ex. 2:16-3:1 - Moses father in law is Reuel, Reugel, or Jethro, the priest of Median having seven daughters.  Moses married Zipporah, the daughter of Reuel, but she rebelled at God calling Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt, Ex. 4:24-26.  As Moses and family traveled toward Egypt, Zipporah circumcised her sons with a sharp stone when God threatened to kill Moses if he didn't take care of his own family before trying to take care of Israel.  It is likely that Hobab was present during these things.

a.   Ex. 18:1-3 - After Israel left Egypt, Moses father in law, Jethro, brought Zipporah and her two sons to Moses (18:5).  So we conclude that Moses send his family back home after the incident at the inn.  (Ex. 4:24-26).

b.   This teaches us that a pastor's family may not follow him, but he must go ahead, but no divorce should be granted, a reconciliation can come after some hard battles have been fought and won.

c.   Moses did not marry again (Num. 12:1), but since no mention is made of Zipporah after Ex. 18, we assume she is dead.  I do not believe Moses would transgress the plain law of God in taking two living wives when he was so strong in the Lord and so close to God's sweet fellowship.

d.   Much is said today in an effort to approve pastors having more than one living wife.  Moses was a leader of Israel - I believe having one wife.  He was not a priest, even though he was a Levi.  Abraham had more than one wife, but also had much family trouble.  God allowed this breach, but blessed it because of His promise.  This is much like today when a pastor has more than one living wife and God blesses his message (because it is His Word)!

e.   The Bible never records a pastor, or priest having more than one living wife.

2.      Hobab is the son of Reugel, Zipporah's brother and Moses brother in law.  He apparently stayed with Moses after Ex. 18:1-3.

B.   The invitation.

1.      Hobab has seen all the blessings of God upon Israel, he has seen no trouble at all.

2.      Moses points out the blessings of God they can expect to receive.

3.      Those that travel with the people of God can expect to receive the blessings God gives to His people.  Likewise, those that travel with the world can expect to receive the condemnation with the world.

4.      "Thou mayest be to us instead of eyes".

a.   This doesn't mean that Israel will follow Hobab instead of the cloud, but they will use his information about the area (which is where he was raised) as a help.

b.   The lesson for us - We ought to follow God, but God gives us people to help us and we ought to listen to them.

C.   He declines.

1.   He is a descendant of Abraham through Keturah.  He doesn't have the faith of Abraham through Sarah.

2.   He could be a partaker of the promise of God but refuses because he had rather stay with family, friends, and his familiar surroundings.  So many today do this very same thing - stay with family and friends and jobs instead of moving on to the greater things of God.  HOW TRAGIC!!


V.  Verse 33-36 - The journeys.

A.  Verse 33 - God always seeks out a place of rest for us if we'll let Him lead us.

B.   Verse 34-36 - Moses words.

1.      Verse 35 - A prayer for a safe journey and giving God all our worries about unknown opposition and oppressions.

2.      Verse 36 - His prayer for the continued presence of God with the individual people of God.

3.   It's always good to thank God for a blessing when we have received it.  How many times have we prayed that God would give us "traveling grace", then never thanked Him for it and asked Him to bless us in another way?