Numbers 26-27

Sunday Evening Bible Study

April 5, 1998

Introduction

The Israelites are right on the verge of entering into their Promised Land.

The last time they were right on the edge of entering in, they were discouraged by the reports of giants, and they didnít think they could trust God to take care of them.

So theyíve spent the last 40 years, wandering in the wilderness as God has been transforming them from a bunch of complaining slaves, into a lean, mean, fighting machine.

Theyíve actually began the "warm-up" exercises, by conquering the Amorite kings Sihon and Og.

But then a tragedy has struck, as they got sidetracked by a temptation to sin. The Moabites sent their young ladies into the Israeli camp to tempt them into fornication, and as a result there was a plague, and 24,000 died.

Numbers 26

:1-4 Second Census

:1 after the plague

Note the time of this census, it is after Baal-Peor, immorality, and plague

:2 Take a census

The book of Numbers gets its name from the two censuses taken during it's pages.

The first census was taken in the second month of the second year of the wandering in the wilderness.

We're now some thirty-nine years later.

:2 twenty years old and upward

Only those able to go to war were counted.

Those under twenty, and all the women were not counted.

When the total number of men comes up to around 600,000, we get the estimate that there must have been close to 2,000,000 people total in the wilderness!

:5-51 The Twelve Tribes

Tribe

Start

End

Change

Reuben

46,500

43,730

(2,770)

Simeon

59,300

22,200

(37,100)

Gad

45,650

40,500

(5,150)

Judah

74,600

76,500

1,900

Issachar

54,400

64,300

9,900

Zebulun

57,400

60,500

3,100

Manasseh

32,200

52,700

20,500

Ephraim

40,500

32,500

(8,000)

Benjamin

35,400

45,600

10,200

Dan

62,700

64,400

1,700

Asher

41,500

53,400

11,900

Naphtali

53,400

45,400

(8,000)

:9-11 the sons of Korah, however, did not die.

Korah was part of the rebellion, but weíre told here that his sons did not die in the rebellion.

In fact, they are going to pop up elsewhere in Scripture:

They became gatekeepers in the temple.

1CH 26:19 These were the divisions of the gatekeepers of the sons of Korah and of the sons of Merari.

They wrote some of the most beautiful praise music!

PSA 42; 44-49; 84; 85, 87, 88

Lesson:

God's Grace over the past

There are some today who feel that we are all victims of our past.

If you were abused as a child, then you are going to suffer for the rest of your life for the abuse you took. You'll also need to be in therapy for the rest of your life as well.

If your parents were alcoholics, you're now an adult child of an alcoholic, and you might end up being one yourself.

If you were a battered child, you will probably end up being an abusive parent and pass the sin on down the pipeline.

You may even have a secret homosexual gene now inside you, laying dormant, just waiting to surprise you.

God says NO to all of this!

The sons of Korah were sons of a man who was rebellious against the Lord, and who paid for it with his life.

But God took the sons, and made them wonderfully useful to Him.

2CO 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, {he is} a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

You don't have to be a victim of the past, whether it's your past or your parents' past. Fix your eyes on Jesus and press on!

:51 six hundred thousand and a thousand seven hundred and thirty

601,730

They entered with wilderness with 603,550

:52-56 How land is to be divided

:53 according to the number

The larger a tribe was, the bigger the portion it would receive.

:57-62 Levites

:62 no inheritance given them

NUM 18:20 Then the \Lord\ said to Aaron, "You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor own any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel.

God had made provisions for the needs of the priests to be supplied. They were to have portions of the sacrifices, they were to be given cities and lands to live in, but they didn't get this same kind of locked-in tie to the land that all the other tribes did.

:63-65 Old Generation Gone

:64 not a man of those who were numbered by Moses

The entire 603,000 of them had all perished in the wilderness, except for Joshua and Caleb.

Lesson:

Itís all about trusting God.

Nobody got away with anything.

There weren't a few who slipped by.

The only two who didn't die were the two who trusted the Lord.

HEB 3:17-19 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 And {so} we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

Do you want to enter into all the promises that God has for you, the abundant life that He desires for you to be leading (love, joy, and peace; not health and wealth)?

Numbers 27

:1-5 the daughters of Zelophehad

:4 Why should the name of our father be done away

If there were no sons, then there would be no one to inherit the land, and these people would not receive a portion of the Promised Land.

I like their guts. Isnít it funny that itís usually the gals that have the guts to ask the important questions?

To many people, they would look at the situation and say to themselves, "Well, it's never been done before, why should it be any different now?"

The results of that kind of thinking are that it WON'T be any different now.

How many times is it that the only thing that keeps us from doing or receiving something is because we never bothered to ask?

What's the worst that can happen? You can get a "no". But that wouldn't be any worse that if you didn't ask at all.

Don't let your dreams or your inheritance go by the wayside simply because you didn't bother asking about it!

Lesson:

Just ask.

What harm can it do?

:5 Moses brought their cause before the LORD

I really like this!

This tells me two things:

1. Moses didn't have all the answers.

It's okay to respond with "I don't know". It's much better to do that than just make up something stupid.

The reason we make up stupid stuff is probably due to pride. We don't want to look ignorant.

2. If Moses didn't know, he asked God.

Just because you don't know doesn't mean you can't find out.

:6-11 Inheritance rights

:8 If a man die and have no son ...

So the Lord gave Moses the procedure of passing on an inheritance.

We follow this today, looking for the "next-of-kin"

Special Application:

This passage has more importance than just with probate laws.

This law opens the door for the Messiah!

1. The Messiah would come from a woman, even a virgin!

GEN 3:15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel. "#

ISA 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

2. The Messiah would be the heir to the throne of David.

2SA 7:12 "When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.

3. If the Messiah had no earthly father, how could he inherit the throne of David?

Because of the Daughters of Zelophehad!

Jesus has TWO genealogies. They're both pretty different in covering the period of history between David and Jesus.

Matthew records the genealogy of Joseph, Jesus' step-father.

Matt. 1 - Gives Jesus the legal right to the throne, through Joseph.

MAT 1:16 and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Luke records the genealogy of Mary, Jesus' mother and physical link with the human race.

Luke 3 - Giving Jesus the physical right to the throne, through Mary.

LUK 3:23 And when He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being supposedly {the} son of Joseph, the {son} of Eli,

:12-14 Moses is out

:12 mountain of Abarim

Also known as Pisgah.

:14 For ye rebelled against my commandment...

Moses would be able to see the land, but not go in.

He had rebelled against God, didn't treat God as holy, and misrepresented God before the people at the waters of Meribah (Num.20:9-13).

Moses' sin led to disqualification.

1CO 9:24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but {only} one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then {do it} to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

Note: Moses' disqualification was from entering into the Promised Land, not from going to heaven.

Who was Jesus talking with on the mountain of transfiguration (Mat.17)? He was talking with Moses and Elijah. Moses made it to heaven.

But Moses didn't make it to the final goal of his whole ministry.

Lesson:

You may not lose your salvation because of sin in your life, but you certainly won't be able to achieve the same kinds of things you could have if you had dealt with your sin.

:15-23 Joshua is in

:16 may the Lord ... set a man

You have to hand it to Moses, many leaders become so paranoid, the last thing they would ever think of is giving someone else a chance, let alone turning over their leadership to another person.

:17 who will go out and come in

At times this phrase is used of the kings, at times of generals and their armies.

But here the words are used to describe a shepherd, who would lead the flock into the safe place for the night, then lead them out into the pasture in the daytime.

God wants his leaders to be good shepherds.

:18 Joshua the son of Nun

What kind of man does God choose for leadership?

1. A man filled with the Spirit. (A man in whom is the Spirit.)

God wants your ministry to come flowing out of the Spirit within you.

2. A man of war.

EXO 17:9 So Moses said to Joshua, "Choose men for us, and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand."

Joshua was kind of one of Israel's first generals. He was a warrior.

EPH 6:10-13 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual {forces} of wickedness in the heavenly {places.} 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

The battle is going on around us whether we are aware of it or not, whether we like it or not.

A leader is always going to be a prime target of the enemy.

If you get the leader, the rest of the army is going to scatter.

Itís not so surprising that people who allow themselves to be placed in leadership suddenly face all kinds of attacks. I almost cringe now when I ask somebody to take on a leadership role, because of the attacks I know are going to come their way.

3. A man of faith.

Num.13 - the twelve spies are sent into the land. One of them is Joshua.

When the spies came back with their report, ten of them discouraged the people by not just pointing out the giants in the land, but by saying that the people would be unable to conquer the giants.

Look what Joshua said at that time:

Num. 14:7-9 "The land which we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 "If the \Lord\ is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it to us-- a land which flows with milk and honey. 9 "Only do not rebel against the \Lord;\ and do not fear the people of the land, for they shall be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the \Lord\ is with us; do not fear them."

4. A man with a servant's heart.

Moses was the most humble man on earth (Num.12:3), at least that's what Moses tells us! But Joshua was the servant of Moses. (Ex.24:13; 33:11)

Even after Moses was gone, Joshua was still known as Moses' servant.

JOS 1:1 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the \Lord\ that the \Lord\ spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant, saying Ö

God's greatest leaders are not those who give orders best, but those who learn best how to be a servant.

:21 ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim

We are simply not exactly sure exactly what the "Urim and Thummin" are.

The Mormons think they are special magic glasses that enabled Joseph Smith to translate the Book of Mormon from nonexistent golden plates written in a language that doesn't exist. I think not.

It's more likely that they were some kind of stones that worked within the pocket of the breast piece that the high priest wore. (Ex.28:30)

:22 before Eleazar the priest ... all the congregation

It's important in passing authority from one person to the next to do it in front of the people who count, the people who will be led.

It was done before Eleazar the priest, in case he got ideas about taking leadership himself.

It was done before the people, they were to be the ones led.