Chapter 26 — The second census of the NEW GENERATION takes place. Joshua and Caleb are the ONLY 2 remaining of the ORIGINAL me!! WHY are they doing another census?? The first one is gone. ALL those people have died and the next generation will now attempt to go into the Promise Land. The reason for the census is stated in verse 53:
The LORD said to Moses, “The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one; each is to receive its inheritance according to the number of those listed. Be sure that the land is distributed by lot. What each group inherits will be according to the names for its ancestral tribe. Each inheritance is to be distributed by lot among the larger and smaller groups.”
Below you will find a chart of a comparison of the 1st census and the 2nd census. Keep in mind that ONLY the men 20 and over were counted in the 12 tribes of Israel. I showed the tribe of Levi although they were not part of the 12 tribes, since they were the priests, just so you could see their numbers. Plus the Levites were to count males a month and older.
|TRIBE||FIRST CENSUS||SECOND CENSUS|
|LEVI (NOT part of the 12 tribes since they were picked to be the priests…NO land to be given to them)||22,000 every male one month and older. NOT IN TOTAL OF 12 tribes below.||23,000 every male one month and older NOT IN TOTAL OF 12 tribes below|
While you were reading did you happen to notice:
- Each census was required “AFTER” something had happened (1:1 “… AFTER the Israelites came out of Egypt”; and 26:1 “…..AFTER the plague.” Both censuses were limited to MEN IN ISRAEL 20 YRS OLD OR MORE (1:3, 26:4), those who were ABLE TO SERVE IN THE ARMY. THINK about this for just a moment. The Israelites were originally a group of Shepherds, not trained for the military, a simple group of nomads living to provide for their families. God WANTED to be SURE HIS people were prepared to FIGHT …. Because they were going to have to FIGHT (mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally) to TAKE the Promised Land!!!
- The list of descendants of each tribe … how the names of people multiplied!!! Although the final numbers were not hugely different in the comparison, the names of the descendants were growing. THIS is part of God’s original PROMISE to Abraham … that HIS descendants would not be able to be counted because there would be so many … comparing the count to the stars in the sky and grains of sand … THEY ARE GROWING AND INCREASING. AND…. WE ARE PART OF THOSE NUMBERS TODAY!!!
- The descendant of Gilead (26:33): Zelophehad ONLY had daughters. Since the reason for the census was for land distribution in the Promised Land this was a problem since it was being divided according to the number of men. Zelophehad was the son of Hepher, who was the son of Gilead, who was the son of Makir, who was the son of Manasseh, who was one of the sons of Joseph. SOOOOOO… Zelophehad’s daughters were 7th generation to JOSEPH. The Lord would WANT this family to have land. SO in Chapter 27 the Lord grants them land AS LONG as the land REMAINED in the family.
In verse 62 it says the male Levites were not counted (among the 12 tribes) because they “received NO inheritance!!” The priests were to be provided for and supported by the 12 tribes of the camp through their tithes, gifts, and offerings. And as we saw yesterday, the Levites were to tithe to the Lord, the very best of all they had been given.
Chapter 27 – I LOVE the story of Zelophehad’s daughters. They went before Moses asking him for land. Moses heard them and went before the Lord for them. Once again the power of PRAYER and humility is shown in Moses. Moses hears back from the Lord who says: “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right.” I find this so precious because if the daughters had not humbly asked then the traditional counting would have remained and they would have received NO land. Yet because they stepped out of their comfort zone and asked for something way outside of tradition … the Lord hears and says —- they are right. I get no indication that they came before Moses with an attitude, just with concern since their father no sons. In humility and in totally honesty they asked something totally opposite tradition.. totally opposite of what was expected.. totally against what was the norm… GOD was concerned about them. He wanted the right thing done. He agreed!!! This really touched me!!
Joshua to Succeed Moses: Moses is on his death bed before the Lord. He sees the Promised Land with HIS OWN EYES!! AND what is Moses request of God at this moment???? Moses asked God to appoint a man over the Israelites. LOOK at his character!! LOOK at his concern!! After all he has been through shepherding these people through the desert, they have threatened to stone him to death, their lack of faith caused him not to get into the Promised Land, their complaining weakened his faith when it came time for the Lord to give them water (the final test that he failed) and NOW the Lord says….”You’re not going to touch the promise land. You can go up and look at it, but you cannot touch it. SO here we are with the Lord saying…it is soon time for you to go up the mountain as Aaron did (to die). THEN Moses humbly asked God to appoint a leader to lead them out of where they were and lead them into the Promised Land. He humbly asked HIM not to leave the Lord’s people “like sheep without a shepherd.” HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU KNOW TODAY WHO WOULD BE THINKING THIS WAY ON THEIR DEATH BED KNOWING they would never reach their Promised Land????
Moses said to the LORD, “May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”
Go back to Leviticus where God gave the Laws. Leviticus 19: 18 says:
” ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
We end this chapter with God telling Moses to lay hands on Joshua to become the leader of the Israelites. He is to stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence.
We end this chapter with the changing of the guard. Joshua will be the new leader of the NEW generation of the Israelites, replacing Moses. Eleazar is now the new High Priest of the NEW generation of the Israelites, replacing his father Aaron.
After 2 years of the Israelites sitting at the foot of Mount Sinai … learning HIS ways, and now it is a total of 40 years after the exodus from Egypt …..WE are headed to the PROMISED LAND!!!
We will witness through our reading much fighting in the TAKING of the PROMISED Land. FOOD FOR THOUGHT… THIS SAME Promised Land that the Israelites will have to fight to TAKE … is the VERY SAME land TODAY where there is SOOOOO much fighting over in the Middle East TODAY!! In 2013 we are witnessing major earth quakes, major natural disasters, wars and rumors of wars, stars falling from the sky, Russia, Iran, Korea all stocking up on nuclear weapons …. All I can say is LOOK UP … the earth is shaking and in pain as a woman giving birth.
TODAY here we are…. Reading about the entry into the PROMISED LAND….. during Holy Week with the Resurrection celebration only days away!!! AWWWWWWEEEEEESSSSSOMMMMEEEEEE!!! OUR HIGH PRIEST is HERE with us!!! WE are kids of the KING. 🙂 The Lord is searching for the hearts that are truly HIS (1 Chronicles 28:9, Jeremiah 17:10, Romans 8:27).
Sharing HIS love.