Set up the book of Numbers and remind of the context

Numbers 1-8

These are boring genealogies that can be skipped

Numbers 9

Second passover (v. 1-14). So they are one year out of Egypt at this point

Read v. 15-23

  • God’s leadership
    • His cloud moving and staying
      • DQ: What do you think it would have been like to move on an irregular basis?
      • DQ: Why do you think we want to know where God is going to take us next?

Quote from Crabb, Inside Out, p. 136:

The passage in Numbers repeats one theme again and again: When the cloud moves, you move; when the cloud stops, you stop. I wonder if God is saying something like this:

“I know my ways will seem to ignore your concerns at times.  I want you to trust Me when you feel unusually tired and I call on you to get up.  I want you to trust Me when you’re eager to serve and I put you on hold.  But you will never learn to trust Me until you come to terms with My authority.  Trust will never emerge from a demanding spirit.  Let’s start with a clear understanding: I give the orders.  You do what you’re told.  With that as a beginning, you will eventually taste My goodness and the richness of fellowship with Me and come to trust Me deeply.”

      • DQ: God is calling for full obedience. This sounds really intense! What is it about this statement that is difficult to accept?
      • Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a cloud to guide us?  DQ: What are some ways God directs us now?

Numbers 10

Blowing the trumpets to leave Mt. Sinai.

Moses talks Hobab into coming along to help guide them. It’s a good thing he had those 40 years in Midian. The relationships and experiences he gain there are important pieces of his final 40 years of ministry

Numbers 11

Moses’ delegation (also see Ryan Lowery’s awesome teaching on Numbers 11 from the 2015 Servant Team Retreat on the Xenos website)

v. 4-5 – People complain about hardship and manna

Romanticize the past – “Egypt was sooooo good! It was basically an all you can eat buffet! You could eat as much garlic as you wanted…We were in slavery…”

v. 10-15

DQ: What are some things we notice about Moses’ reaction?

  • He’s acting like God is trying to make him fail. Or that God’s love is dependent on his service.
  • Look at the language he uses. “I/me” “All by myself…” Moses is right! He can’t do it himself. Moses feels the tension of “I know I can’t do this alone, but I feel alone.” Maybe you can relate. You feel like there’s no way you could do what God is asking you to do because there is no one to help.

v. 16-17 – God’s response

  • Q: What are some reasons someone might not delegate even when they should?
  • Q: How are humility and delegation related to one another?
    • See that you can’t do it all
    • Forces you to admit your need
    • See that other people might do some things better than you could
    • Not get your way all the time

Numbers 12

Rebellion against Moses

  • DQ: Why did God get so angry?  Wasn’t this about Moses?
  • DQ: Compare Miriam and Aaron’s jealousy to Joshua’s jealousy in Numbers 11


1. God is calling on us to follow him regardless of where he leads us. He’s asking us to trust him based on what he has done for us and what he says he’s going to do for us

2. We weren’t made to do God’s work alone! Leading is difficult! God has provided us with people to lead with
Is God calling on you to step up? Are you going to be one of those who step up and answer God’s call?

3. We can lead boldly because of the fact that God is backing us. You can step up confidently and serve other people because you know that God is backing you

Contributors to this outline

Chris Cooksey and Chris Risley