II. A COMPARISON
At this point, I would like to make a comparison between Numbers and Leviticus. Leviticus stresses the redeemed’s worship and living. Numbers stresses the redeemed’s journey and fighting. In Leviticus God’s redeemed were instructed in how to worship God and live a holy life. In Numbers God’s redeemed were formed into an army and fought for Him throughout their journey.
In Numbers we can see three things: the formation of an army, the journeys of that army, and the fighting of the army. The formation of the army was for fighting, and the fighting required the army to journey, not to stay in one spot. Always the children of Israel were going on from place to place to gain ground that God might have a people to be built up for His kingdom and His house. For this reason, in Numbers we have the army, the journey, and the fighting.
III. THE GENERAL SKETCH
Although Numbers is a long book, the general sketch is simple. The general sketch of Numbers is that the redeemed and sanctified Israelites were formed into a holy army of God, which was to proceed by following God’s leading and was to fight for Him.
Whatever is written in the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, is a type. In particular, in these books we see that the entire nation of Israel was a type of the church. As Israel was formed into an army, so the church should be formed into an army. Concerning this, we should not look at the present situation, at the outward appearance. If we do this, we will be disappointed and wonder where the army is. Although we may have doubts about the existence of a church army, Satan knows that there is such an army. We need to believe that today there is an army formed with all the faithful ones, journeying and fighting all the time that God may have a kingdom with a house.
(Life-Study of Numbers, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)