November 13-17


These are the stages of the people of Israel, when they went out of the land of Egypt by their companies under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. - Numbers 33:1 ESV

Familiar Places
A pilot was flying a plane-load of passengers to their destination when suddenly the rudder malfunctioned. He radioed the control tower in a panic, and shouted, "The RUDDER has malfunctioned! What shall I DO?" The air traffic controller radioed back, "Keep calm, Captain. Just repeat after me: Wings flap... check. Velocity... check. Altitude check." The pilot made the appropriate adjustments and the aircraft continued on course. Not five minutes later, the pilot radioed the control tower and shouted, "The STARBOARD ENGINE has stalled! What shall I DO?" The air traffic controller radioed back, "Keep calm, Captain. Just repeat after me: Wings flap... check. Velocity... check. Altitude check." The pilot made the appropriate adjustments and again the airplane continued on course. However, not five minutes later, the pilot radioed the control tower a THIRD time. This time he shouted, "MAYDAY! MAYDAY! BOTH the engines have gone! What shall I DO?" The air traffic controller radioed back, "Keep calm, Captain. Just repeat after me: 'Our Father... Which art in heaven... Hallowed be Thy name...'"

In Numbers 33, Moses is repeating the places where Israel journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land. This chapter is a record of the journey over the past 40 years. "One impression cannot escape the student who has followed the account of Numbers up to this point, that is, the long-suffering grace of God in preserving a people as He had originally promised, through all the experiences of this vast number of places.” (EvBC-Nu)

God noted and recorded the steps that His people took back then. God is also leading and noting our steps today. When you reflect on your past faith journey, how do you recall God at work?

Praise God for the grace and longsuffering He has shown you every step of the way in your faith journey. Ask God to continue to lead you to the places He wants you to go.


The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  “Command the people of Israel, and say to them, When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan as defined by its borders),” - Numbers 34:1-2 ESV

Fulfilled Promises
If you’ve ever been on a road trip with small children, you know they relentlessly ask, “How much longer till we get there?” It can be a frustrating experience for the parents. Thankfully, when the road trip finally ends, the kids are excited to be at the destination. No matter how many times we ask God, “How long?” let us always remember that one joyful day he will make all things right.

In Numbers 34:1-2, Israel is finally there. They are standing on the doorsteps of the Promised Land and Moses is telling them which part of the land they will all inherit. These details are preserved in Scripture to remind us that God keeps His promises down to the very last detail.

If your faith is like going on a trip with God, where are you hoping He takes you soon? Where has God promised to take you that you are still looking forward to arriving?

List a few promises you have experienced God fulfill in your life and praise Him for those. Ask God to give you the faith to trust Him with any future promises He has made to you.


These are the men whom the Lord commanded to divide the inheritance for the people of Israel in the land of Canaan. - Numbers 34:29 ESV

Jesus is Our Rest
According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens, a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity. Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, "Now, answer the riddle if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bows implies."

The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. Aesop explained, "If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it." (Our Daily Bread)

We are better when we rest. When God delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt, His purpose was to bring Israel to the land of Canaan, where they would be able to enjoy the Sabbath rest that Pharaoh had prohibited (Exodus 5:5). In Deuteronomy 12:1-14, the Lord told the people that they would enter the rest when they entered the land of Canaan. Hebrews 4:3 teaches we enter God’s rest when we believe in Jesus for salvation.

What does it mean for you to have God’s “rest” in your daily life? What does it mean for you to enter into God’s “rest” in eternity?
Thank Jesus for shedding His blood to offer you “rest” in Him and knowing that you are part of God’s family. Ask God to show you how to adjust your schedule so that you can experience the peace and rest He has for you on a daily basis.


The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. - Numbers 35:12 ESV

Jesus is Our Refuge
42-year-old Sefa Cebeci was with her husband in a seven-story building in Duzce, Turkey, when just before 7:00 P.M. local time on November 12, 1999, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook the city.  The building collapsed, and when all was said and done nearly 1,000 people were dead—including Sefa’s husband who was right beside her.

Despite rescue team leaders from some countries calling off the search for survivors after three days, an Israeli team pulled her from the rubble after nearly 5 days without food and water.  She would have to have an arm amputated and her kidney failure from dehydration nearly killed her.  She was able to survive in freezing temperatures for 105 hours under tons of concrete. How? A closet fell on top of her and protected her from her collapsed house.  Her closet became her refuge. (Neal Pollard)

The cities of refuge in Numbers 35 were six Levitical towns in the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah in which the perpetrators of accidental manslaughter could claim the right of asylum. Outside of these cities, blood vengeance against such perpetrators was allowed by law. These cities are also a picture of the provision “in Christ Jesus” for the sinner who, whether they know it or not, need a place of refuge from the penalty of their sins.

Proverbs 18:10 says, "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." List some ways we find safety when we run to Jesus.

Praise Jesus for the protection He has given you from the penalty of your sins. Ask God to help you remember to come to Him first for shelter from the daily attacks and accusations of the enemy.


The Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  “Avenge the people of Israel on the Midianites. Afterward, you shall be gathered to your people.” - Numbers 31:1-2 ESV

Finishing Touches
Pat Allen attends Westminster Presbyterian Church in northeast Portland and helped start a project using needlepoint to embroider cushions on the church’s wooden pews. It was so massive, it took 150 volunteers, many of whom had been laboring for more than 30 years. The church has 80 pews, most of which are 18 feet long. That’s over 1,440 feet of needlepoint stitches across 700 different patterns. The cushions for the 70 pews in the main sanctuary were completed back in 2004, but the last ten pews in the balcony took much longer to complete. Gwen Harper is a longtime volunteer who led the effort until her death in 2019. “Sometimes I think about it as building a cathedral. Just one brick at a time, and you keep going until it’s done.” (Preaching Today)

In Numbers 36, a major portion of Israel’s history is done. Pastor Brian Bell writes, “When Numbers closes, Hope springs anew! A new generation is hungry for the Lord and the fulfillment of His promises. A second high priest and Moses’s replacement stand ready to serve. God’s grace has overcome all obstacles and continues to do so in Israel’s history, right through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In Philippians 1:6 the Apostle Paul writes, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” How does it make you feel knowing that Jesus will finish what He has started in you?

Praise God for finishing what He starts. Ask God to continue to build your faith one day at a time.