Today’s Reading: Numbers 26:1-51 (additional reading Psalm 60:1-12 and Proverbs 11:15)
Key Verse: “Take a census of the people,[a] from twenty years old and upward,” as the Lord commanded Moses. The people of Israel who came out of the land of Egypt were: Numbers 26:2
Even though Moses was not allowed to go into the Promised Land, he spent the final weeks of his life preparing the new generation to enter Canaan and claim the land God promised to give them.
At first glance, today’s reading can seem just like another long list of names, but this chapter we are reminded of God’s faithfulness. We read new census was to be taken in anticipation of assigning land to the families of the tribes, a new leader was identified in Joshua, and the law of God concerning offerings was brought into focus. The primary purpose of the numbering was to ascertain how the land of Canaan would be allotted to the different tribes.
The first census (1:1-2:33) counted the Hebrews who left Egypt. But when the old generation died in the wilderness, another census was needed to know the Hebrews ready to enter the Promised Land. The first census revealed a total of 603,550 soldiers were available (1:45-46). This new census showed that although over 600,000 men (not counting women and children) had died in the wilderness, the male population of Israel now numbered 606,730 (v. 51). When you consider that every man had now been replaced during the previous thirty-eight years except for only 1,820 men, this total is quite remarkable. Just as God had multiplied His people during their years of suffering in Egypt (Ex.1:7, 12), so He made them fruitful during their years in travelling in the wilderness.
Sometimes it may seem like God isn’t doing much in our lives and that we are just walking around some sort of wilderness. But even when to us it looks like there is no direction, God is building us and making us stronger. No time in our life is wasted if we are walking with God. It is essential for us to remember that God is still in the business of building up his people and is at work even in those moments that we seem to be going around in circles.
- Have you been frustrated by a sense of being stuck?
- How has God been working in your life that you haven’t noticed?
- How has God been at work in your church and country?
Father, Thank You that You are always faithful. Thank You that even in those moments when not much seems to be happening, that You are still at work building us and directing us. Help us to notice and thank You for all You do. In Jesus’ name, Amen