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Numbers 2

Talks for Growing Christians

The Arrangement of the Tribes of Israel in the Wilderness

Numbers 2

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Lesson Number 2

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God desires to dwell in the midst of His people.
  2. God desires His people to function as families.

Practical Application

  1. Count your warriors and not your pew-sitters.

Questions

  1. How is this account in Numbers 2 similar to the Creation account?
  2. Was there any design to the way the tribes were grouped around the tabernacle?
  3. Draw a diagram of the tribes camped around the tabernacle and their marching order.
  4. How did the children of Israel camp, within each tribe?

Answers

  1. Both accounts show that God is a God of order and purpose.
  2. Yes, the tribes were often grouped according to family ties; consider Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin.
  3. Within each tribe, the people camped by families.

Discuss/Consider

  1. When the children of Israel set up camp, the tabernacle was in the center. The tabernacle was also in the center whenever Israel marched. The tabernacle was the dwelling place of God in the midst of His people. Refer to Matthew 18:20, 1 Corinthians 3:16, and Ephesians 2:22. God desires to dwell in the midst of His people today. Discuss the comforting and sobering implications of this truth.
  2. God puts great emphasis on families. The family is the basic social unit designed by God. In our culture today the institution of marriage and family are under attack. Christian families have not been exempt from this breakdown. Discuss how you, personally, can elevate your regard for family. Are you emphasizing what God emphasizes?

Challenge

  1. The strength of the children of Israel was determined by those who were able to go out to war. The strength of a local church is not determined by numbers only, but by those who are willing to do the work of the church. Do you only go to your church on Sunday mornings? Or are you actively involved in the ministry of the body? Be a warrior, not a pew-sitter.

Key Verses

  • “Everyone of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard, beside the emblems of his father’s house.” Numbers 2:2
  • “So they camped by their standards and so they broke camp, each one by his family.” Numbers 2:34

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