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Bible Pathways 02/24/2002

February 24

Read Numbers 26 -- 27

In Today's Reading:

Israel was led of God to again take a census. This time it was in preparation for a war against Midian because of their wicked deception. The conquest of Canaan was imminent and this census would determine their military forces.

Verses for Today:

And Moses did as the Lord commanded him; and he took Joshua . . . and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded (Numbers 27:22-23).


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 of Israelites was in the plains of Moab by the Jordan River near Jericho on the east side of the river (Numbers 26:3).

The Lord said to Moses, Take . . . Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand upon him (27:18).

Despite his rebuke and his great disappointment in not being allowed to enter the Promised Land, Moses continued to express an attitude of meekness. Without hesitation, he stepped down from leadership and Moses blessed Joshua and laid his hands on him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded (27:23). 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).

The stressful, unexpected events of life have often caught all of us off guard and we have responded with attitudes of complaint and discontent. However, such attitudes are always self-destructive and, at that moment, expose our failure to allow Christ to be Lord of our lives. When faced with our next confrontation, let us ask ourselves the question, "Whom will I represent with my life -- Christ or self?"

We are ambassadors for Christ (His personal representatives), as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Some are deceived into thinking that, if they keep most of the Ten Commandments most of the time, they will go to Heaven. They are convinced that they are too good to be cast into hell, even though Jesus warned: There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth and everlasting fire (Matthew 25:30). All people have sinned many times and we all deserve to go to hell. That is why Christ said: No man comes to the Father except by Me (John 14:6), and the Apostle Paul wrote: Not having my own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (Philippians 3:9).

A Thought from Psalms: I will delight myself in Your statutes: I will not forget Your Word (119:16).

Christ Portrayed:

By Joshua, whom God declared was a man in whom is the Spirit (Numbers 27:18). In addition to sharing the same name as Jesus (Y'shua means "YHWH is salvation" and is variously translated as Jesus and Joshua), Joshua is one of the few men in the Old Testament of whom it was said, the Spirit was in him. It is said of most Old Testament saints that the Spirit of the Lord came upon them.

Word Studies:

26:2 sum = census; 26:9 strove = contended; 26:61 strange = improper, unlawful, unholy; 27:4 done away from among his family = lost to his family; 27:18 lay thine hand = transfer authority; 27:19 give him a charge = commission him as your successor.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Sen. Zell Miller (GA), Sen. Joseph Lieberman (CT), Gov. George Ryan (IL), and Gov. Don Siegelman (AL) · Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: St. Kitts-Nevis (42,000) in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies · Major language: English · Religious freedom · 74% Protestant; 7% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for guiding you to sacrifice freely for what pleases Him (Psalms 54:6).

Optional Reading: Luke 11

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:11

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