Life is like a marathon. It is a long distance, hard work, takes a lot of preparation; it requires a lot of training. The Israelites have been running a marathon. They are now in the home stretch. They are on mile 26. The finish line is in sight. They can see Canaan – The Promised Land. God has been by their side. God has been faithful.
God is always faithful to His people.
How have I seen God’s faithfulness this week?
How have I seen God’s faithfulness this month?
How have I seen God’s faithfulness in this Study of Moses this year?
Before entering the Promised Land, the Israelites are instructed to take a second census.
Numbers 26:1-4, “After the plague the LORD said to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by families – all those twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army of Israel.” So on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them and said, “Take a census of the men twenty years old or more, as the LORD commanded Moses.”
Numbers 26:51, “The total number of the men of Israel was 601,730.” This is an entire new generation. Everyone who came out of Egypt has died. The only ones from the Exodus who will enter the Promised Land will be Joshua and Caleb. The number between the first census and the second census was less than 2,000. God had provided for his people despite their sinfulness and the large numbers had had died because of their sinfulness.
Man’s failure does not negate God’s faithfulness; God is always faithful to His promises.
Numbers 26:52-56, “The LORD said to Moses, “The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one; each is to receive its inheritance according to the number of those listed. Be sure that the land is distributed by lot. What each group inherits will be according to the names for its ancestral tribe. Each inheritance is to be distributed by lot among the larger and smaller groups.”
The census was taken to divide the land and also determine how many men were available for God’s army. The land was assigned based on population. Only the Levites did not share in the land distribution. Zelophehad’s daughters approach Moses about their inheritance. Their father had no sons. God gives them their father’s property. Moses cannot enter the Promised Land and the Israelites need a leader appointed.
Numbers 27:12-14, “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.” (These were the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)
Moses and God have a conversation. Moses will see the Promised Land of the Israelites but he will not enter it.
Numbers 27:15-17, “Moses said to the LORD, “May the LORD, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
Moses asks for a leader for the people. Moses does not complain, whine, grumble or try to tell God how important Moses is to these people. Instead, Moses was focused on others, not himself.
A godly leader is others-focused not self-focused.
What am I? Part of being focused on others is to prepare them. It is to mentor them, teach them, train them. That is our responsibility for the next generation of the Kingdom. How am I pouring into the next generation? We need to raise “Joshua’s” to succeed us.
Numbers 27:18-23, “So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the LORD. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in.” Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the LORD instructed through Moses. Joshua is commissioned.”
In Numbers 28 and 29, God reiterates the importance of keeping Him at their center. God wants fellowship and a relationship with the Israelites.
These are the sacrifices recorded in the first year offered by the priests: 113 bulls, 32 rams, 1,086 lambs, a ton of flour, 1,000 bottles of wine/oil.
We have Jesus Christ – our once and for all sacrifice so we do not need to offer these anymore for our atonement. What an amazing grace!
Numbers 30:1-2, “Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: “This is what the LORD commands: When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.
God faithfully keeps His word and He wants His people to do the same.
The way unbelievers are exposed to God’s Word is through us. They draw conclusions about God based on our character. We must represent Him accurately. I must keep my promises no matter the cost. O, God please help me.
Numbers 31:1-2, “The LORD said to Moses, “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”
The Israelites must eradicate the Midianites. The question asked is, “How could a loving God destroy innocent people?” But no person is innocent. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. The Midianites led the Israelites into worship of Baal – a false god.
God faithfully opposes sin.
God will not tolerate sin.
God hates sin.
God despises sin.
And He sent His only Son to die for our sins.
How more loving can you get?
Lord, thank you for Your faithfulness towards me. Please help me to hate sin and love the Truth. I want to be faithful to the Truth all the days of my life and follow You gladly.