Numbers 35-36

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Chapter 35 — The Levites were the ministers.  They were to receive not inheritance of land as  the other tribes of Israel.  Possibly one reason was due to the fact that Levi (one of Israel’s sons deceived and killed an entire group of people because one of them had raped his sister, Dinah.) Levi did not act alone his brother Simeon did this with him.  Simeon ends up with some land as you can see from the maps I have shared with you about the land divisions.   God expected a lot from the Levites, great responsibility, great as mediators, and maintaining HIS Tabernacle according to the laws He had given.  The remaining 12 tribes were to take care of the Levites – through land provisions, land for their animals which were also given to them as part of their tithes ––  and ALL they needed.  Of course the Levites had to tithe from what they had been given back to the Lord.  A beautiful reminder of why we are to tithe today.

The Levites were given 48 towns of which six were to be Cities of Refuge.   The six cities designated as cities of refuge were; Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Romath, and Golan (see Joshua 20:7-8).  Mosaic Law required that anyone who committed murder was to be put to death (Exodus 21:14).  HOWEVER… for unintentional deaths, God made a way IN THESE CITIES where these people could flee (Israelites, ALIENS, and ANY OTHER PEOPLE LIVING AMONG THEM  (Numbers 35:15).  In the city of refuge the person would be safe from the avenger.  The BLB defines the avenger as redeemer, kinsman-redeemer, avenger, revenge, and ransom.  The person sent to any of these cities was protected ….unless he left and then the avenger would have the right to kill him.

The Levites would be the most suitable and impartial judges.  They were mediators between the Israelites and God and would have been gifted to calmly mediate between the attacker and the victim’s family preventing further bloodshed.

The cities of refuge are a reminder of Christ … a foreshadow of Christ.  As sinners today, we find refuge in CHRIST from the destroyer of our souls.  Hebrews 6:18-20 states: “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

IS this NOT TOTALLY a mind blower!!!  We run to Jesus today as our Refuge, our Protector, our Priest, where we will be safe from ALL harm.  EVEN in NUMBERS … God provided the same thing!!!  God made it clear that the people were not to judge the motive or the person.  They were to flee to the city of refuge (JESUS) and the priest (JESUS) would decide guilt or innocence.  WHOAAAAAA!!!

Since I am writing this entry late Friday evening …. Good Friday — verse 30 REALLY stood out to me — “Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer ONLY on the testimony of witnessES.  BUT NO ONE IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH ON THE TESTIMONY OF ONLY ONE WITNESS.”  Do you remember in yesterdays’ reading that they could not find 2 witnesses to testify against Jesus????  SEE… JESUS is on EVERY page!!!   🙂

Chapter 36 –Inheritance — Go back to Numbers 27.  Joseph had two sons – Ephraim and Manasseh.  One of Manasseh’s descendants ONLY had daughters, and until these daughters spoke up in a most humble way the land was divided by a lot system ONLY to the men.  So the Lord told them that the woman could inherit land, but we read here something important:

This is what the LORD commands for Zelophehad’s daughters: They may marry anyone they please as long as they marry within the tribal clan of their father. No inheritance in Israel is to pass from tribe to tribe, for every Israelite shall keep the tribal land inherited from his forefathers.

So they DO inherit the land.  They married their cousins.  I KNOW.. don’t think too hard about it 🙂  GOD IS IN CONTROL 🙂

We end the Book of Numbers 40 years after the exodus from Egypt.  Numbers covered 39 years.  NOW the Israelites are poised near the banks of the Jordan River with the Promised Land in sight.  The desert wanderings are OVER. What can we learn from this book? Perhaps the apostle Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 10:1-12:

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”[a] We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.We should not test Christ,[b] as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

We learned:

  • UNBELIEF is disastrous.
  • Not to long for the sinful pleasures of the past.
  • Avoid complaining.
  • Stay away from all forms of compromise.

Sharing HIS love,

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