LEVITICUS-NUMBERS: Who Shall Ascend the Hill of the Lord?
LEVITICUS (Be Holy As I Am Holy)
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?” Everything was perfect in Eden, the mountain of God, but humanity was cast out from God’s presence because of their sin. Now, Yahweh has set Israel free from Egypt so he could set his Eden-like presence among humanity once again. Israel has constructed an Eden-like tabernacle precisely according to the pattern of God’s heavenly throne. The glory of the Lord has come down upon it. But Moses cannot enter. In the beginning of Leviticus, God calls out to Moses who is outside the tabernacle. By the beginning of Numbers, God speaks with Moses who is now inside the tabernacle.
Leviticus is a strange book full of detailed rules about sacrifices, food, cleanliness, morality, and festivals. But at its very core, Leviticus is a book from the heart of the God who deeply desires intimacy with his children. Placed at the center of the Pentateuch, its regulations and ceremonies all testify to the chief aim of not only the history in the Pentateuch, but the aim of all history: God’s desire to be at one with his people.
Leviticus is a shadow of the substance found in Christ. Our goal is not to memorize the details of the Levitical rituals, but to discover how these rules and rituals point to our experience in Christ. We will study Leviticus from a big picture perspective.
NUMBERS (Faithless People, Faithful God)
With the divine Presence dwelling among them, the Israelites begin journeying to the promised land. The commandments have been given in theory, but trusting God in real life becomes challenging once Israel hits the road. What follows in Numbers is the story of how God both destroyed and sustained Israel’s numbers in the midst of a rebellious generation.
This book is filled with famous narratives and a smattering of teachings pertaining to the people of Israel that contain great application for us today. Are we really ready to dwell with the Consuming Fire? Will we still rely on God in the middle of the desert? We will apply both Israel’s mistakes and God’s faithfulness as we study Numbers.