ARE YOU STILL AWAKE OUT THERE??? I KNOWWWWWW WHEN the Bible begins to list names, genealogies, tribes, numbers …. It can easily become a snooze fest for me so I either have to read it out loud to myself or use the AUDIO option on line!!!
HOWEVER… there REALLY are some interesting tidbits here 🙂 REALLY… there are!! 🙂
Chapter 1 — WHY does God tell them to take a census?
“Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. 3You and Aaron are to number by their divisions all the men in Israel twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army.
Why? (yes, I ask it again… just testing to see if you’re awake) 🙂
For the same reasons we list every name enlisting in our military today…Because Every Person Matters. They are organizing their camps SO THAT they can go forward to CONQUER the Promised Land. Genealogies …DETAILED genealogies … were the ONLY way for these people to PROVE membership in God’s chosen nation. This record was VERY important to the Hebrew Nation so that they could ensure they came from the line of Abraham.
God was making sure that the people had an inventory of their resources which is vital in any kind of move or crossroads… for the Israelites and for us now. God will be leading about 3 million (603,550 men PLUS family) people 220 miles, and He knows there will be obstacles along the way. This is sooooo important. In the VERY beginning of this chapter starting in verse 3, HE calls them “the Army”. One of the comments in last year’s blog pointed out that we are witnessing awesome military strategy by the Lord in these two chapters. God is preparing the Israelites to move into the Promised Land. HE KNOWs MANY enemies lie ahead so it will be important for the camp to maintain the formation the Lord outlines for them. The formation is in a square with 3 tribes on EACH side of the Tabernacle. That would mean that approximately 150,000 SOLDIERS would be on guard on each side. By the LORD’s design they had NO EXPOSED sides that an enemy could sneak through, around, or behind them to enter their camp!!! Isn’t that AMAZING!!! God also gives them SPECIFIC instructions on the order the tribes were to proceed making departure and arrival orderly. God truly IS in the DETAILS of EVERY aspect of our lives!
We learn that 603,550 men age 20 and older are censused. Another reason God does this is because they are headed to the Promised Land and the census would help with the division of land.
Verses 5 to 15 tell us of the 12 heads of the families, the 12 tribes of Israel. YES.. I actually numbered them in my Bible. HOWEVER, did you notice verse 49??? It says:
The LORD had said to Moses: “You must NOT count the tribe of LEVI OR INCLUDE THEM IN THE CENSUS of the other Israelites.
Ok, my math skills were never my strong point which explains a lot as to my being technically challenged 🙂 …. BUT … we have 12 leaders/TRIBES LISTED … NOT including the LEVITES…. So that would make 13 right?? AND then JOSEPH is not counted … but BOTH of Joseph’s sons are. BUT BUT…. I thought there were 12 tribes of Israel??????
First, notice verse 47 where it tells us that the tribe of LEVI was NOT to be counted because the LEVITES were to (verse 50) “be in charge of the tabernacle of the Testimony –over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it. THEY are to carry the tabernacle and ALL its furnishings; they are to take care of it and encamp around it. (Verse 51) Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the LEVITES are to take it down, and whenever it is to be set up, the LEVITES will do it.” If ANYONE else messed with the tabernacle… they were to be put to DEATH!! Ummmmm.. sounds pretty serious to me!!
Ok… so I understand the Levites not being counted because they had their own fulltime job with the tabernacle so we are back to 12 tribes. The Levites were also SUPPOSED to be provided for by the rest of the Hebrew Nation. (Do you think the Israelites will stop taking care of the priests??? …. Stay tuned.)
NOW… I am clear on the Levites,but what about JOSEPH???? Go back to Genesis 48, seems like forever ago, but it was only a month or so ago. Remember Joseph married an Egyptian wife (A GENTILE). They had 2 sons named Manasseh and Ephraim. Do you remember what happened on Jacob’s death bed?? He blessed them as if they were his OWN. (THINK ABOUT THAT for a minute or two.) Rather than Joseph’s name being on ONE TRIBE …. There are TWO tribes because of Joseph. Does this make sense? Now dig a little deeper in your mind, ask yourself “So are the 12 tribes that are about to head out to the Promised Land ALL Hebrew? NOPE NOPE NOPE!!!! Are you following? THIS IS HUGE 🙂 WE… YOU AND I were ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS grafted into the way to SALVATION.
So are we in Jesus’ line? Do you ever think about that? Please take a minute to look at Luke 3:23-37. Hummmmmm some of those names are really starting to make sense now, but more importantly skim to the bottom….the son of Adam. The son of God. The answer is YES YES YES!!! 🙂
Chapter 2 – God lays out the SPECIFIC way the 12 tribes were to be laid out in the camp around the tabernacle.
WHAT things can we look forward to reading about in Numbers???
- Chapter 1 verse 51…”anyone else who approaches it is to be put to death.” Will that happen? Stay tuned.
- Names Names Names…eventually some will start to look familiar and bells will begin to go off in your head with certain names.
- The Arrangement of the Tribes. A whole chapter on that? WHATdoes it matter?
- Chapter 1 ends with the Israelites doing ALL the Lord commanded without one complaint …. Will this continue????
I’d LOVE to hear what things stood out to you today… any questions you may have…. Anything special you have learned….. tell, tell. 🙂
Sharing HIS love,