Rev. Tim Ostermeyer, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in St. Ann, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Numbers 1. Although Numbers begins in chapter 1 with a census, the book is much more than factoids and figures. As its Hebrew name “in the wilderness” suggests, Numbers actually tells the 40-year story of Israel’s wilderness wandering, through plagues, espionage, and miraculous events. It picks up right where Leviticus left off, one year after the Exodus. Although the census is vitally important as a way of organizing Israel’s armies for defense against their enemies, the first priority is the celebration of the Passover, establishing a pattern for us today of giving God our firstfruits and putting Him first. The names and numbers in the census reflect the historical reality of real-life families; this is no legend or fable. We do however see the tell-tale signs of something bigger: Even though Judah was only the 4th eldest son of his father Israel, he received the preeminence of the firstborn’s blessing. Already we see that his tribe has become the largest in Israel, a trend that will only continue until the time of Christ, who was born of the tribe of Judah. Although Judah was a sinner as much as anyone else, already we see grace at work, paving the way for the true leader of Israel’s armies.