1 TIMOTHY 3:16-17

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us...God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

NUMBERS - A Bit of Foreshadowing

Don’t you love the part in a book or a movie when something happens and you just know it’s pointing to something else that’s going to happen in the future?

That’s called “foreshadowing.”

Foreshadowing is used in written art and film to give hints about things to come in later plot developments. It can be very broad and easily understood, or it may be complex use of symbols, that are then connected to later turns in the plot.” (From wisegeek.com)

Today’s “Bible Pick ‘Ems” is an example of Biblical foreshadowing.

It is about one year after the Israelites had departed from Egypt. They are camped out near Mount Sinai. Here they have received all the laws and regulations recorded in the book of Leviticus, and they are ready to go possess the Promised Land.

Now the LORD gives them specific directions for their lifestyle in the new land. His instructions are very precise, very detailed, as He begins to form the nation of His chosen people.

In Numbers, Chapter 3, God lays out His instructions for the Levites, the Israelites appointed for service in the Tabernacle and to minister to all the people.

And here’s the “foreshadowing” –

“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Look, I have chosen the Levites from among the Israelites to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me, for all the firstborn males are mine.”
(Numbers 3:11-12)

YES, we know what’s coming, don’t we?!

We have the advantage of living on “this side” of Christ. We can see what God had planned all along. We know that many of His instructions to the Israelites were “foreshadowing” the Master Plan of Christ’s death on the cross.

There is quite a difference between the priesthood in the Old Testament, and the priesthood of Christ in the New Testament. However, the whole idea of “substitution” was a recurring theme in the old covenant.

God completed and fulfilled the “sacrificial system” when He sent His Son, Jesus, to die “in our place.” He became the ultimate substitute for us – our “once and for all” sacrifice. He is our High Priest, our intermediary with God – the One who died in our place.

Now all believers can come into God’s presence without fear.

Some may think that portions of the Old Testament are boring or dry. But make it a point to look for all the “foreshadowing” that’s there.

Everything points to Jesusbefore He appeared on earth, while He was here...

...and to His future return to claim His Lordship over all!

“When in doubt, search God out!”


  1. That's a great way to look at the Old Testiment. The verses held within its pages prepare us for the wonderful news that what was to come! I'm so thankful for His plan!

    Living for Him, Joan

    P.S. Thanks for stopping by by blog today. I so know what you mean about finding it difficult to release our grown children to God. I have two also (a boy and a girl)...God is teaching me each day that they are His before they are mine. He loves them and I'm clinging to that! =)

  2. Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for sharing this Pick 'Em from Numbers. As I think about how the Levites were the substitution for every family from every tribe of Israel, Christ is the more excellent substitute as our high priest.

    This is a good explanation of foreshadowing.

    Blessings and peace.


  3. Joan - I share with you a deep spirit of gratefulness for the wonderful plan that God unfolded in the New Testament! The gift of His Son was a Love that I can barely understand - but I am SO thankful for it! Appreciate your words about the "kids" too! :)

    MTJ - Christ is INDEED the most excellent High Priest - and I love this verse about Him: "This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin."
    The fact that He understands EVERYTHING...that brings me such comfort.


  4. Love it! Both my husband and I enjoy what we call "Jesus Hunts" as we read the OT. Of course, He is walking all through it.

    Hubs can usually find Him even faster than I, but I like to tell him that mine are "better".

    A totally unrelated comment here: I'm in the beginning stages of teaching the Sermon on the Mount to my class and realized in reading this how nicely I can draw a parallel between it and the early instruction for the Israelites upon being delivered. Hmmm... thanks for that little lesson help!

  5. Debbie,

    Yours are "better" :)

    Glad that I helped with the lesson plans - as they say, great minds think alike!

    It is quite awesome, and not surprising, how God weaves His story through history - and how the OT pointed toward Jesus. I'm going to have to join in on "Jesus Hunts" - I'll share them with you from time to time!!

    Bless you, friend!

  6. What a beautiful way to savor the Old Testament. Thank you for sharing that precious tip.
    Dorothy :)

  7. Dorothy,
    You're so welcome! And welcome to "Bible Pick 'Ems" - glad you joined me for the journey!


  8. Hi Sharon -

    In July I began a chronological reading plan of the bible. I recently finished Leviticus and am now in Numbers. On my retreat last weekend, I shared with my friends that it's difficult to read through all the Levitical laws and the seemingly endless genealogy listings in Numbers. However, when I look at it from the perspective that everything points to Jesus, it makes everything so much clearer.

    Thanks for sharing that and have a blessed weekend.


  9. Joan -
    So happy to have shared with you! Yes, some of the OT is a little "challenging" - but looking for Jesus certainly helps!!

    The other thing I'm impressed with in the laws and the genealogies is the ORDERLINESS of them - God is a God of order, of organization, and amazing attention to details! I should remember that when I neglect to yield to Him ALL aspects of my life!



"So I have been greatly encouraged in the midst of my troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives me new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How I thank God for you!"
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!