Numbers 1 -- 2
Before moving on toward the Promised Land, Moses was first commanded to count the number of men from twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel (Numbers 1:2-3). Only true Israelites were qualified to fight these enemies of God. None of the mixed multitude (Exodus 12:38) were included. All were to declare (prove) their pedigree (ancestry) (Numbers 1:18). This is in striking contrast to some of our churches today that accept popular people for leadership regardless of their spiritual qualifications.
About 70 times in the Book of Numbers, we read: The Lord said or the Lord spoke to Moses. These were the words of our Heavenly Father speaking to His children. The desire of God was to have a people that would love, obey, and follow Him without reservation. He, in turn, would be their God, and lead them to the Promised Land where they would possess all the good things that He had promised. While the Israelites remained at Mount Sinai, it was twice said of them: The children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses (1:54; 2:34). As long as the Israelites were neither accomplishing anything for the Lord nor going anywhere, but were just talking about it, they were satisfied. However, as soon as the children of Israel departed from Mount Sinai (10:33) and began to face problems, they chose to be dissatisfied with their circumstances (11:1) rather than see their difficulties as an opportunity to believe God who longed to be everything to them. Moses decided to believe that God, who had freed them from slavery, was now preparing and leading them to occupy the Promised Land.
Even after entering the Promised Land, faultfinders discouraged the faithful by expressing their displeasure with various events. As the years passed, they experienced what God had foretold. They were afflicted with plagues of terror, defeated by their enemies, and overrun by pestilence and famine -- all as the result of their unfaithfulness to the revealed Word of God.
In much the same way, our lives are also a wilderness journey, a march each day through unfamiliar territory. Let us not forget that from the time the Israelites were led to move forward in obedience to His Word, Satan was there to create discontent. As with the Israelites, some today continually complain about their difficulties.
In a church that is winning souls for Christ, where people are reading through the Bible and led by the Holy Spirit, you can be sure Satan will use a mixed multitude (11:4) to sow tares of discontent. When Christians find fault and complain about their hardships, as the Israelites did, they too will find themselves spiritually powerless and ineffective.
Some disqualify themselves from the Lord's best blessings because of their faultfinding and dissatisfaction with their circumstances. Only a faithful few, like Caleb, Joshua, and Moses, recognize that God is in control and has arranged His plan for our lives. We all can avoid wasted years by following our Lord's command: Let your conversation (daily conduct) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
By Moses as he led the people (Numbers 1:54). Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep. . . . My sheep . . . follow Me (John 10:14,27).
1:2 Take the sum means take a census; by their polls means each one individually; 1:16 renowned means chosen national representatives; 1:17 expressed means designated; 1:18 pedigrees means ancestry; 2:2 ensign means tribal banner.
Government Officials: Rep. Constance Morella (MD) and Sen. Arlen Specter (PA) · BPM Staff: Rick Hash · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WTRM-FM, Winchester, VA · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Robert Miller · Country: Tunisia (10 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and French · Islamic state -- no open ministry for Christ is permitted; strict surveillance of all Christian activities · 99+% Muslim; .3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Thank the Lord for hearing your prayers (Psalms 28:6-7).
Memory Verse for the Week: