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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Remembering Their Inheritance

"From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war." (Numbers 1:20-43, 46; 26:2-51)

It may seem strange at first to see that the Israelites counted the number of people twice, once in Numbers Chapter 1 and once in Chapter 26.  It makes more sense, though, when we realize that Chapter 26 is 40 years after Chapter 1.  Only Joshua and Caleb were alive and counted in both lists.  Other than that, not a single person counted the first time was alive to be counted the second time.  God’s promise had come true.

Tribe (or 1/2 Tribe)

Before

After

Reuben

46,500

43,730

Simeon

59,300

22,200

Gad

45,650

40,500

Judah

74,600

76,500

Issachar

54,400

64,300

Zebulun

57,400

60,500

Ephriam (Joseph)

40,500

32,500

Manasseh (Joseph)

32,200

52,700

Benjamin

35,400

45,600

Dan

62,700

64,400

Asher

41,500

53,400

Naphtali

53,400

45,400

Total

603,550

601,730

Not only had God fulfilled God’s promise to make the people as numerous as the stars in the sky. (There were millions of Israelites at this point.)  God had also sustained them at these numbers while they spent 40 years in the wilderness.  This fulfilling and re-fulfilling of the promises helped build their faith in another promise God had made: they would inherit the land.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Divide the land among the tribes, and distribute the grants of land in proportion to the tribes' populations, as indicated by the number of names on the list. Give the larger tribes more land and the smaller tribes less land, each group receiving a grant in proportion to the size of its population. But you must assign the land by lot, and give land to each ancestral tribe according to the number of names on the list. Each grant of land must be assigned by lot among the larger and smaller tribal groups." (Numbers 26:52-56 NLT)

So how about you?  Does God’s faithfulness in your past build your faith in God about the future? How?