ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 214



202
IMMERSE

BEGINNINGS
section. For example, at the end of the book’s second story section, it is
announced that when the cloud (signifying the Lord’s presence) moves,
the Israelites must break camp. The subsequent law section commands
trumpets to be made to signal when this should happen. We also see in
these sections the same kind of chiastic pattern we’ve already seen in
Genesis and Exodus (the first item in a series paired with the last one,
and so on). In Numbers, each of the six law sections are paired together,
as are the six story sections.
As it concludes, Numbers pulls together both s­ trands—­story and
­law—­to show their inseparability in forming the identity of God’s covenant people. It also brings the people to the edge of the Promised
Land. The book does not just describe the journey; it also reveals the
significance of what happens along the way. God’s Story with the world
is moving forward, but as we are learning, it is not an easy journey. God
will continuously wrestle with his people, and his own commitment to
the covenant will be tested.
However, as we read of the travels of Israel, we can see clear hints
that the Lord’s promise to bring blessing to Abraham’s family will prevail. Note, for example, the words that God gives Moses for the high
priest Aaron and his sons to share with the people of Israel as a special
blessing:
“May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.”
These words begin with blessing and end with peace. While the Bible’s
story is not a straightforward path to the fulfillment of God’s ­intention—
­as there are ups and downs in the j­ourney—­he is faithful and true to his
word. And his last word will be peace.





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