Camping in the Wilderness

Discovering God’s Divine Design in the Camping Arrangement

Yearly, many people make a New Year’s resolution to read through the Bible. They start off well with all good intentions, and for the first few weeks, things go well as they move through the stories in the books of Genesis and Exodus. Their resolution usually gets them through the book of Leviticus with all the intricacies of the Levitical laws.

But next come the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy. Here they become bogged down in the details surrounding the construction and erection of the tabernacle, building the furniture, and preparing the vestments for the high priest and those serving in the tabernacle. This is followed by the elaboration and explanation of the Levitical laws. The book of Numbers begins with Moses receiving instructions from God.

In the first chapter, the instructions relate to the census of the Israelites, the manner in which it was to be taken, who in each tribe was to be charged with conducting the census, and the results of that census.

In the second chapter, he receives the camping arrangement.

In the third chapter, the details of the Levites, their census, and camping arrangement are given. Upon hitting this wall, one of several things tends to happen. Either their commitment to the project fails, the reading goes the way of other resolutions and they quit reading all together, or they skip to the Book of Joshua, where the stories pick up again.  Occasionally, their resolution holds out and they plod through these two books, basically just reading the words to say they did. Admittedly, when the book of Numbers starts off with the census process, resulting figures, and the camping arrangement, it is about as exciting as a bowl of oatmeal.