After the dramatic and miraculous deliverance of the Israelites and their preservation by the Almighty God, the New Testament reveals why today's two chapters are so important to us. Read how God organized the people in preparation for their inheritance of the promised land. Over 85 times in the Book of Numbers we read these wonderful words: The Lord spake unto Moses (Num. 1:1).
And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt (Num. 1:1).
Nearly a year had elapsed from the time Israel left Egypt to the time God ordered Moses to organize an army and number all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies (1:3).
Only those who were true Israelites could be soldiers. The mixed multitude that left Egypt when the Israelites left were either Egyptians or those who were intermarried with Egyptians. Because they were not true Israelites, they were not qualified to be soldiers. It seems that this mixed multitude were leaders anytime the children of Israel complained (11:4).
God had promised to give the land of Canaan to the children of Israel, but not without many battles. Innumerable enemies had to be conquered before they could enter and possess the promised land. This illustrates the plan of God for His people today. There is a spiritual warfare: No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier (II Tim. 2:4).
Many church members are not good soldier(s) of Jesus Christ (2:3). They are like the mixed multitude — traveling with the true Christians but causing dissent and creating distrust in the promises of God. Although they associate with true Christians, they have never been saved. This point is also emphasized in the Book of Galatians in speaking of the difference between Isaac and Ishmael: The son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman (Gal. 4:19-31).
The first qualification for spiritual service is the new birth — a true conversion whereby we become children of God, equipped by the Holy Spirit to victoriously claim His promises (Eph. 1:12-13).
For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel. . . . That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God (Rom. 9:6,8).
Thought for Today:
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever (I Pet. 1:23).
By Moses as he led the people (Num. 1:54). Jesus said: I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep. . . . My sheep hear My voice . . . and they follow Me (John 10:14,27).
1:2 Take ye the sum = Take the census; by their polls = number each one individually; 1:16 renowned = chosen national representative; 1:17 expressed = designated; 1:18 pedigrees = ancestry; 1:44 princes = leaders; 1:53 charge = responsibility; 2:2 pitch = set up, camp; standard = flag; ensign = tribal emblem or flag; 2:24 rank = group.
Pray for Country: Senegal (10 million) in western Africa Major language: French Religious freedom 92% Muslim; 4% animism and ancestor worship; 3% Roman Catholic; .1% Protestant Prayer Suggestion: Depend upon the Holy Spirit to help you in your prayers (Rom. 8:26-27).
Memory Verse for the Week: