I knew that today I would be reading the last chapters of Numbers. I looked forward to some great climax, something that would end the story of the Wilderness Wanderings with appropriate fanfare.
Instead, the book ended with a summary statement: These are the commands and regulations that God commanded through the authority of Moses to the People of Israel on the Plains of Moab at Jordan-Jericho.
I confess, I was disappointed. As a writer, I was looking for a different ending, something that made me feel good, gave me a glimpse at the future happiness of the main characters, and tied up all my questions.
But Numbers is no fairy tale, with a happily ever after ending. Instead, Moses repeated the one theme of the book, of everything he had written from Exodus forward, that lay at the center of God's revelation. These are the commands and regulations that God commanded.
If there was one thing Moses (and the Holy Spirit, who inspired the writing) wanted the people of Israel to remember, it was this: These are the commands of God. Obey them.
As the Israelites prepared to move forward into the Promised Land at last, they must remember all God had commanded.
The Bible doesn't have to be exciting or heart-tugging to be important.
And God's commands always matter.