Revd Joe’s Bible Studies

Revd Joe’s Bible Studies

I am currently reading the Book of Numbers. I invite you to join me!

The Book tells one of the greatest of the stories in the Bible – the forty year journey through the desert from Mount Sinai to the edge of the Promised Land.

The Book begins with a census – God commands Moses to count the people. This is why the book is called the Book of Numbers: it contains two censuses. This is a book about counting – about discovering that, together and individually, we count to God.

This series of around a dozen Bible Studies take place 8.30pm till 9.30pm on Mondays via Zoom. You’re welcome to arrive early from 8.00pm for chat before we open our Bibles. Absolutely no prior knowledge of experience of Bible study is expected. These Bible Studies are accessible for novices, though I hope they’ll also give food for thought for those who are more experienced.

You’re welcome to turn up regularly each Monday, or occasionally. The only stipulation is that I ask you to read in advance the passage we’ll be thinking about that week.

To join the Bible Studies, email each Monday before 7.00pm, and ask for the Zoom access code. We’ll email it back to you.

Week Eleven: February 15th – we’re taking a second look at Numbers 30:2 to 32:42
With so much to see and learn from this portion of Numbers, surely it’s worth a second look! Everyone is welcome.

Week Ten: February 15th – we’re reading Numbers 30:2 to 32:42
In an action-packed portion of the Book of Numbers, we read about the cardinal importance of keeping your word, the competing priorities of business and family life, and the Art of the Deal. But this week, we concentrate on seeking to make sense of a disturbing war between Israel and the Midianites.

Week Nine: February 8th – we’re reading Numbers 25:10 to 30:1
The Israelite men take Moabite lovers and begin to worship the Moabite idols. God responds by punishing His People, and tens of thousands are dying. When Phineas takes the law into his own hands and executes an Israelite prince and his Moabite princess lover, God rewards him. But is Phineas’ reward also a rebuke?

Week Eight: January 25th – we’re reading Numbers 22:2 to 25:9
The king of Moab fears that the Israelites will defeat him in battle and so he hires Balaam, a ‘mercenary’ prophet, to curse them. Will Balaam go? Will he have more spiritual insight than his donkey? Will he be able to curse the people whom God wishes to bless? Only one of the questions has the answer ‘yes’.   

Week Seven: January 18th – we read Numbers 19:1 to 22:1
Why is God so upset with Moses when Moses strikes a rock instead of speaking to it? We investigate Moses’ “big sister problem”. Miriam has saved Moses and the Hebrew people in the past, but after Miriam dies, will Moses place his trust in God or turn to his absent sister?

Week Six: January 11th – we’re read Numbers 16:1 to 18:32
Korach leads a treacherous mob, falsely claiming that he is fighting for them whilst really seeking his own preferment. Dathan and Abiram challenge Moses out of jealousy. Then public opinion blames Moses and Aaron when God punishes the insurrectionists! Will Moses show true leadership in dealing with his revolting people?

Week Five: December 14th – we’re taking a second look at Numbers 13:1 to 15:41
We dig a little below the surface. As the spies return and report on the Promised Land, God’s People would have been inescapably reminded of an earlier consequential story in their history – but which one? With them, we listen as God reaffirms in a beautiful way that their years of slavery are over.

Week Four: November 30th – we read Numbers 13:1 to 15:41 
They’ve arrived! The People of God reach the edge of the Promised Land and God tells Moses to send out scouts to spy out the land. They return with news that this is beautiful and rich land, but they also tell God’s People that they will never take the land from its inhabitants. But… what are they really frightened of?

Week Three: November 23rd – we read Numbers 8:1 to 12:16
A year after they arrive at Mount Sinai, the People of God set off on their journey to the Promised Land! This week we ask… What can we learn from Moses’ experience of leadership? Are our own spiritual lives teenage or adult? And why does Jesus teach that the humble are ushered into the kingdom of heaven?

Week Two: November 16th – we read Numbers 4:21 to 7:89
God gives his People new laws dealing with theft, perjury and suspected adultery. We also read a long text labouring the point that all the tribes gave the same gifts when the Tabernacle was completed. But why is all of this so important just before God’s People set off together for the Promised Land?  

Week One: November 9th – we read Numbers 1:1 to 4:20
The journey hasn’t started yet… God’s People are still encamped around Mount Sinai. We read a description of the census which God takes. The Levites get a special job. The camp is formed. There’s a law about redeeming the firstborn. It all seems a bit random! – but these four chapters have hidden depths.