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Bible Pathways 02/24/05

February 24

Read Numbers 26 - 27

In Today's Reading:

Second numbering (census) of the Israelites; law of inheritance; Joshua to succeed Moses

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 and Moses had died. This second generation was now near the promised land. The LORD spoke to Moses and to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, Take the sum (a census) of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward (Numbers 26:1-2). This took place in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho (26:3).

Another major event was to take place before the Israelites could enter the promised land. The LORD said to Moses, Get . . . up into this Mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel. And when you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people (will die), as Aaron your brother was gathered (died). For you rebelled against My commandment in the Desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify Me (make My holiness apparent) at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah. . . . And the LORD said to Moses, Take you Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand (transfer authority) upon him (27:12-18).

Despite his rebuke and his great disappointment in not being allowed to enter the promised land, Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge (commission) (27:22-23). And, without hesitation, he stepped down from leadership and announced that his helper, Joshua, would become his successor to lead the Lord's people. Moses blessed Joshua and laid his hands upon him, symbolically transferring his leadership, which God had given to him.

God has said that Moses was the meekest man on earth (12:3). One test of meekness is our willingness to yield our prominent position to another. As a follower of Christ, we are taught: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (conceit); but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).

Word Studies:

26:2 sum = census; 26:61 strange = unauthorized; 27:4 done away from among his family = withdrawn; lost to his family; 27:19 give him a charge = commission him as your successor.

Christ Portrayed:

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).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for BP Staff: Beth Carlton · Government Officials: Rep. Chris Chocola (IN), Sen. Zell Miller (GA), Sen. Joseph Lieberman (CT), Gov. George Ryan (IL), and Gov. Don Siegelman (AL) · Country: Mongolia (3 million) in east-central Asia · Major language: Khalkha Mongol · As a 70-year era of communism wanes, Bibles are now on sale in the capital, Ulaanbaatar · 29% Shamanist; 2% Buddhist; 2% Muslim; .2% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Trust the Lord and ask Him to direct your steps (Psalm 143:8).

Optional Reading: Luke 11

Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 5:11

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