My Glory and the Lifter of My Head is a companion commentary for a Bible study of the book of Numbers focusing on God in His glory: what a glorious God looks like, how He defines glorious living, what our own glorification as God's people looks like and how that is achieved. Each chapter highlights ways that we give glory to God or take glory from Him, as illustrated by the children of Israel on the Wilderness journey.
Step into the shoes of the children of Israel as we journey from Mount Sinai to the edge of the glorious Promised Land. We will pass through Taberah, Kibroth Hatta'avah, Hazeroth, Kadesh, the Wilderness of Paran, the Wilderness of Zin, and a number of enemy territories before coming to the final stop on the Plains of Moab before crossing the Jordan. Each stop is meant to lead God's people into a deeper walk with Him, to reveal Him increasingly in His glory, and for His people to be lifted up and glorified in return. Even so, each place becomes a point of stumbling, struggling, and failing. Enemies within and without plague their progress. Yet each moment of failing is balanced with forgiveness, grace, and hope that abounds in the magnificent prophetic pictures of a future Messiah woven through the narrative.
The physical Wilderness journey parallels our spiritual walk of faith as believers—the journey from salvation through the process of sanctification to the brink of our final glorification. Where we should be moving into a deeper walk with Christ, we stumble, struggle and sometimes fail in much the same way as the children of Israel did. Each place we camp in the Wilderness highlights a set of spiritual lessons, including taming the tongue, mixing with the worldly multitudes, decision-making (and the consequences of not giving God glory in our lives), dealing with anger, fear, discouragement, counterfeits, our leprous old man nature, and enemy tactics. The Old Testament pictures are paired with their New Testament principles, touching on passages from Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, 2 Thessalonians, Hebrews, James, 1 John, and Revelation.
There is also an examination and discussion of the various laws woven into the narrative, the principles they present, their bearing on the lessons, and some of the prophetic pictures of Messiah contained in them.
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Table of Contents
Lesson 1: The Lifter of My Head Overview—goals for the journey; What a glorious God looks like; how He reckons His glory; how we give glory and take glory from Him; what our own glorification looks like; God’s definition of glorious living
Lesson 2: Wilderness of Sinai (Numbers 1-10:11) How to organize an army in 20 days; setting up the camp environment; first census; assigning of duties; Kohathites and the accountability model; camp rules (principles drawn out of laws)
Lesson 3: Taberah (Numbers 10:11-11:3) Leaving Sinai and the prophetic picture of Christ’s death; camping at Taberah; dealing with the tongue and self-pity
Lesson 4: Kibroth Hatta’avah (Numbers 11:4-34) Dealing with old coping behaviors, separating from the mixed multitude, and cravings; enemy tactics that get us off the path; rooting ourselves in relationships, places and identities; meeting unrealistic or misplaced expectations; paired with James 4
Lesson 5: Hazeroth (Numbers 12) Miriam’s complaint against Moses; Miriam’s leprosy; dealing with division and disunity in the camp, the desire to put people in their place, criticism; putting our leprous “old man” nature; paired with Ephesians 4-5
Lesson 6: Kadesh (Numbers 13-14) Entering the Wilderness of Paran, the spies sent to Canaan; failure to enter the Land; defeat at Hormah; decisions we make that give glory to or take glory from God; dealing with fear, divisive men who suppress the truth, and the descent into mob behavior; paired with Romans 1; laws for entering the Land
Lesson 7: Wilderness of Paran: Consequences of not entering the Land (Numbers 15) Physical consequence of not entering the Land: experiencing God in our desolation, becoming others-focused, learning to judge between presumptuous sin and unintentional sin, wearing the tassels and becoming a royal priesthood; spiritual consequences of not entering the Land: examination of Old Testament picture and Hebrews 3-6 in regards to salvation and fruitfulness; doctrine of rewards and perils of not progressing
Lesson 8: Wilderness of Paran: Korah’s Rebellion (Numbers 16-19) Korah’s rebellion, the continued rebellion, Aaron standing between the living and the dead, budding of Aaron’s rod, laws of purification and the red heifer sacrifice; being happy as a Kohathite; glory in humility; Korah and Aaron as types of Adam and Christ, paired with Romans 5
Lesson 9: Wilderness of Zin (Numbers 20:21) Enduring the Maktesh (grinding bowl); Moses strikes the rock, Aaron’s death, the bronze serpent incident; dealing with discouragement and the need to keep moving forward
Lesson 10: Into Enemy Territory (Numbers 20-24) The enemy we see: victory at Hormah, King Sihon, King Og; the enemy we don’t see: Balak and Balaam; the glory of God and His people in Balaam’s prophecies
Lesson 11: Into Enemy Territory: Final Battle (Numbers 25-30) Israel’s harlotry with Moab, laws, and war with Midian; new enemy tactics: presenting the counterfeit, penetrating the camp, attacking leadership, using old loyalties and false guilt; prophetic pictures of the falling away, End Times; Zimri, Cozbi, and Phineas as types of the man of sin, harlot of Babylon and Christ in His second coming.
Lesson 12: On the Plains of Moab by the Jordan (Numbers 26-36) The inheritance, instructions for conquest of Canaan and dividing the inheritance; cities of Levites and cities of refuge; dealing with apathy and vengeance; Bethabara
Conclusion: Glorification Making progress on your journey: self-assessment and reflection