Encountering the Old Testament, 3rd Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

Materials available for professors by request only


8. Numbers: Failure in the Desert

Discussion Questions

  1. How can we account for the apparent lack of organization in the book of Numbers?
  2. What comparison can we make between Moses and Aaron?
  3. Why was it necessary to have a system of alarms to use as Israel moved to the promised land?
  4. What similarities do you see between the Israelites and the church today?
  5. Is it necessary for God to punish our disobedience like he punished Moses’s disobedience?

Class Activities

  1. Divide the class into groups of three. Have them discuss different examples of the disobedience of the Israelites. Follow this with a feedback session in which the various acts of disobedience are reviewed. Conclude with a discussion of the question: How could the Israelites have avoided disobedience? Class time allowed: 20 minutes.
  2. Divide the class into groups of four or five students. Ask the groups to identify how Christians today are disobeying God. Follow with a feedback session involving the entire class. Ask what Christians might expect as a consequence for their disobedience. Class time allowed: 25 minutes.