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Bible Pathways 02/24/2003

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 told Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, Take a census of the entire (male) Israelite community, those 20 years old and above, by their patriarchal families, everyone who marches in Israel's army (Numbers 26:1-2). This took place in the plains of Moab by the Jordan (River) across from Jericho (26:3).

Another major event was to take place before the Israelites could enter the promised land. The LORD said to Moses, Ascend this Abarim mountain range (Mount Nebo) and view the land that I have given to the Israelites When you have seen it, you will be gathered to your people, even you, just as Aaron your brother was. For at the waters in the wilderness of Zin as the community quarreled, both of you rebelled against My command to treat Me as holy in their sight. Those were the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. Moses requested of the LORD, May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the community. . . . The LORD replied to Moses, Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit. Lay your hand on him (27:12-18).

Despite his rebuke and his great disappointment in not being allowed to enter the promised land, Moses did just as the LORD had commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire community (27:22). And, without hesitation, he stepped down from leadership and announced that his helper, Joshua, would become his successor to lead the Lord's people (27:23). Moses blessed Joshua and laid his hands on him, symbolic of transferring his leadership.

God has said that Moses was the most humble man on earth (12:3). One test of humility is to yield our prominent position to another. As a follower of Christ, we are taught to do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).

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:

Government Officials: Sen. Zell Miller (GA), Sen. Joseph Lieberman (CT), Gov. George Ryan (IL), and Gov Don Siegelman (AL) · Country: Samoa (190,000) in the South Pacific · Major languages: Samoan and English · Religious freedom · 68% Protestant; 21% Roman Catholic; 9% cults; 2% Baha'i · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your decisions will always be to please the Lord (Psalms 73:24).

Optional Reading: Luke 11

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:11

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