5 Reasons You Should Think Twice Before Skipping the Book of Numbers

The fourth book of the Bible gets a bad rap. First, there’s the title. The word “numbers” scares away math phobic people to begin with. And even if you’re not afraid of arithmetic, who would want to read an entire book called Numbers?

Jazmin Quaynor

For those brave enough to crack open its pages, many still will turn away after realizing what it’s all about: a census. Imagine downloading the US Census data and reading the names of every person with the last name Smith. Yeah, it’s kind of like that. At least that’s how Numbers begins. Even for someone like me who happens to love the book, all those names often leave me dizzy or comatose. But if you can muscle through the censuses and genealogies, you’ll be rewarded by one of the richest and most bizarre narratives in the entire Bible. From talking donkeys to spontaneous serpent outbreaks, here are five reasons you should think twice before skipping the book of Numbers.

Why You'll Never Hear the Fourth Verse of the Star-Spangled Banner

Freedom is the cornerstone of Christianity.
Brennan Manning [1]

Alex Martinez

To hear my pastor tell it, America, as she stands today, is a post-Christian nation.

When I first heard him say so a couple of years ago, I pushed back against his assertion, citing the swath of strong Christian values entrenched in the Bible belt.

Nevertheless as time marches on, I begin to see what he saw.

Before I continue though, I must say that from my perspective, the United States of America is the greatest nation on earth. This does not mean we haven’t done reprehensible things. This does not mean we don’t have some serious cultural defects or systemic political corruption. We have and we do. But the US constitution strikes a precious balance between freedom and protection like no other. (If only politicians and judges would bother to read it.) But more on that in a moment.

As an ancillary piece of evidence in favor of the post-Christian argument, consider the fourth verse of the Star-Spangled Banner:

Are You Afraid of the Holy Ghost?

When I hear of modern day “prophets” or faith healers, I cringe. When I read about the spiritual gift of healing or speaking in tongues, I scoff.

I tend to reject these things outright.

Toa Heftiba

And yet, the Bible—a collection of books I hold to be authentic, reliable, and authoritative—speaks of prophecy, spiritual gifts, tongues. God granted the disciples power to heal others.

Am I a hypocrite?

Why Was Jesus Baptized?

Had it not been for actor Simon Pegg’s loose lips, Daniel Craig’s cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens might still be a secret—a private joke among cast and a personal thrill for Craig, famous for his role as James Bond in Spectre and Skyfall.

Alexander S. Kunz

In May 2015, the seventh “episode” of Star Wars was seven months from its theatrical release. But this was the first Star Wars film in a decade, and the picture had the backing of new rights holder, Disney, which had selected wunderkind JJ Abrams as director. All of these elements combined to generate the highest fan expectations since Jar Jar Binks dashed their hopes in 1999.

Therefore, fans (myself included) lapped up any news related to the film, substantiated or not. I remember one Iowa Walmart employee accidentally set out some Force Awakens toys a week early thereby revealing some plot elements of the film. 

In short, the internet-fueled water cooler talk was ablaze with frenzied anticipation for what fans hoped was a return to the genius of the original Star Wars trilogy.

What I Read In 2016

One of the reasons I wanted to become an author is because of my love of reading. I am fascinated by books, and can’t visit someone’s home or office without spying what’s on his or her shelf. (Don’t take me to a library unless you’re in it for the long haul.)

Because I always find it interesting what other people are reading, I thought you might enjoy knowing which books I have been reading. (By the way, I’m on Goodreads, and if we’re not friends, we should rectify that absurdity right now.)

Eli Francis

This list is not exhaustive. These are simply the books I read in 2016 I thought you might find interesting. (The links to each book are affiliate links, which just means I get a small commission if you buy them. It doesn’t cost you any extra.)

Restoring the Samaritan In Each of Us

I harbor a deep dark resentment in my heart for a certain type of people. Whether I know them or not, I prejudge them. They are the dregs of society. A scourge on decency and an abomination.

Aidan Meyer

I’m referring, of course, to fans of the Denver Broncos.

Allow me to elaborate.

What God Can't Do

I'm posting over at Medium.com today on What God Cannot Do.

Here's how it starts:

Around the dinner table one evening my nine-year-old said, “God can do anything.”
“That’s technically wrong.” I told him.
There is one thing God cannot do. He cannot contradict himself. Because, in doing so, He would cease to be God. I don’t write these words without reverence for our Creator; this is no jest.
I bring this up to remind you and me of the stability and security of God — His changelessness.

Click over to read the rest.