Numbers 26 -- 27
Almost 40 years had passed since the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. All the 603,550 men included in that first census, except Joshua, Caleb, Moses, and Aaron had died. The Lord said to Moses and to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, Take the sum (a census) of all the (male) congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward (Numbers 26:1-2). This second generation of Israelites was near the Promised Land, in the plains of Moab by the Jordan (River) near Jericho (26:3).
Another major event was to take place before the Israelites could enter the Promised Land. The Lord said to Moses, Go up into this Mount Abarim, and see the land I have given to the children of Israel. And when you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was gathered. For you rebelled against My commandment in the Desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify Me at the . . . water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. . . . Moses spoke to the Lord, saying, Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation. . . . And the Lord said to Moses, Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him (27:12-16,18).
Sin kept Moses from the Promised Land. God had told him to speak to the rock, but he had struck the rock and shouted: Hear now, you rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? (Numbers 20:8-10). In anger, Moses said: Must we fetch you water out of this rock? Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice (20:11). Moses put himself equal with God when he said: Must we? But he also sinned in that God had instructed him to speak to the rock before their eyes (20:8,11), but he smote the rock twice. Moses represented the Law that cannot allow for even one exception. The Law is perfect. It defines sin and points us to Christ, who alone can cleanse us from sin. Trying to live up to the Law of God will not qualify anyone to enter the Promised Land or Heaven. For whosoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).
Despite his rebuke and his great disappointment in not being allowed to enter the Promised Land, Moses continued to express an attitude of meekness and obedience. Without hesitation, he stepped down from leadership and announced that his helper Joshua would become his successor to lead the Lord's people (Numbers 27:23). Moses blessed Joshua and laid his hands on him, symbolic of transferring his leadership. Moses' life was characterized by his loyalty and submission to the Lord with the often repeated words: Moses did as the Lord commanded him (27:22). Furthermore, it was said: There arose not a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face (Deuteronomy 34:10).
The stressful, unexpected events of life often bring out our human nature. Attitudes of complaint and discontent are always self-destructive and expose a lack of submission to God. When faced with our next confrontation, let us ask ourselves the question: "Who do I represent in life?" Our first and foremost consideration should be what would Jesus do?
We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be you reconciled (thoroughly changed) to God (II Corinthians 5:20).
By the man (Joshua) who would lead the people like a shepherd (Numbers 27:17). Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11).
26:2 sum means census; 26:61 strange means improper, unlawful, unholy; 27:4 done away from among his family means lost to his family; 27:18 lay thine hand means transfer authority; 27:19 give him a charge means commission him as your successor.
Government Officials: Sen. Zell Miller (GA), Sen. Joseph Lieberman (CT), Gov. George Ryan (IL), and Gov. Don Siegelman (AL) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KIBC-FM, Burney, CA · Country: Vatican City (900) in Rome, Italy · Major languages: Italian and Latin · Religious freedom · Approximately 100% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4).
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