The theme of the Pentateuch that will stick with me long after this school, is just how much God’s people had to do to be right with God, prior to Jesus’ atoning work on the cross. Animal sacrifices were made for unintentional sin in the days of Moses right up until the time of Jesus, and if you sinned with a “high-hand” (intentionally), you were either kicked out of the assembly, or you were stoned to death. Sounds harsh, right? The truth, however, is that God is altogether holy, and He demands His people to be perfectly clean before Him. He gave His people the commandments and the law for their good – so they could receive His blessings and be His people. But of course, people are sinful, and God’s justice demanded discipline. This is why the Israelites spend forty years wandering in the wilderness, and why a whole generation dies out before the next generation is permitted to enter the long-awaited Promised Land.
What does this mean to us today? It means we should be beyond thankful that we have Jesus! Because Jesus was the final, perfect sacrifice, we no longer have to bring animals in sacrifice. We no longer receive death if we sin. The wages of sin are death, but Jesus has paid the price for us. In this act of sacrifice, God’s justice and mercy meet; He sacrificed His Son for you and for me so that He could extend His loving mercy to us, while still being a perfectly just God. As I studied the Pentateuch, I found it amazing what Jesus has saved us from. He has not only saved us from the sacrificial system and separation from God, but He has saved us from the death we deserve to die when we rebel against God through sin.
If you’ve been reading along with me, congratulations on finishing the Pentateuch! The next books I’ll cover are Joshua, Judges and Ruth; you can read all three of these books in about four and a half hours.
Main Idea: God’s people are counted as they prepare to enter the Promised Land in accordance with the covenant; as the exodus generation rebels, they are not permitted to enter the land, but the next generation is promised to receive it.
Reason Written: Written to explain why the exodus generation was not permitted to enter the Promised Land, and to show how numerous God’s people were as they prepared to enter the land.
Timeless Truth: Complaining is akin to questioning God’s provision and direction (Numbers 11:1-6; 14:1-4).
Main Idea: Moses sums up the events of Israel’s history since God set them free from Egypt, and reiterates the covenant given, telling Israel that if they keep the law, they will be blessed, but if they do not keep the law, they will be cursed.
Reason Written: Written to the people of God who were about to take the Promised Land so that they would know how they were to live, worship and be blessed in the land.
Timeless Truth: God’s people are to remember what He has done for them (Deuteronomy 8:2-6;11-20).