Numbers 32-36; a sad passage of scripture. We learned last week there was a census taken and 601,730 people over the age of 20 years old. The LORD had told the people no one over the age of 20 except Caleb and Joshua would enter into the Promise Land. They would all die in the Wilderness, including Moses because of his disobedience. We have the book of Deuteronomy before the conquest of the Promise land in Joshua, but Numbers is the last expose’ on the movement and journey to the River Jordan. I counted the various moves of the nation of Israel, some 44 times they moved. Wandering around waiting to die. The last person to die before Israel entered into the Promise of God to Abraham was Moses. He got to see the view from Mount Nebo what could have been, but never got to go in. This is somewhat of an analogy of the Christian life. We get out of Egypt [sin and bondage], journey through the wilderness [carnality] but never enter in to the Promise Land [Abundant Spirit filled life]. So many believers get out but never get in! Living in the Wilderness is living in a carnal state of disobedience. Think about this for a moment, a person through Faith in Jesus Christ, is delivered through the Blood on the Cross – the Lamb of God. Salvation! Forgiveness of sin and restored and reconciled back to God. The old slave master sin has been defeated. The Emancipation of the Sinner! Only to be enslaved again by the fleshly lust of the human nature. Israel always wanted to go back, to live in the past – a sort of nostalgic life. But the OLD SINNER life isn’t worth going back into; yet so many elect to live there. Israel was never meant to live in Egypt or the Wilderness, they CHOSE TO!
Salvation isn’t just about being forgiven and redeemed, it is about Abundant living in Jesus Christ. To settle for anything less is frustration to the Holy Spirit living inside us!
No only do we have in these chapters the culminating story of the dying generation, but we have the choice of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh to live on the WRONG side of the Jordan River! They literally begged Moses to let them live in the area east of Jordan. They acted like Lot when he chose to dwell in Sodom. He looked with human eyes and lusted – 1 John 1:15-17. They said it was because of the great herds of animals and such – but they SETTLED for what they could get instead of what GOD had Promised. Moses allows them to forfeit their Promised Land inheritance, but they had to help the other tribes conquer the land.
We have the death of AARON THE PRIEST and brother of Moses at the age of 123. In chapter 34 we have the apportioning of the Canaan land to each of the tribes. Then there is the Cities of Refuge for those who unintentionally killed someone. A place where they accused could be protected until the “case” was heard by the congregation. There is the dividing up of property to the Levitical Priests who didn’t have any inheritance in the Land; but would be supported by the other tribes.
This is the final instructions to the NEW GENERATION going into the Inheritance of God. In the book of Deuteronomy, we get the “2nd Law” which really is a reminder to the New Generation about what the DEAD Generation forgot. Most of it is about living Holy Lives before the LORD GOD and the inhabitants of the Land they were conquering. The Command “Do not pollute the LAND” with you sin is huge. I believe that is what happened over the course of time by Israel which ultimately resulted in Babylonian Exile for 70 years. God removed the Remnant so He could cleanse the LAND. The Land had become so polluted by the excesses of idolatry and immorality, God had to evict them so he could cleanse it thoroughly.
We will see that Promised Land Living [Abundant Life] is not without its trials and tribulations, But God Said, everywhere the sole of your foot should touch, is Land I have already given you. We today must remember also that we are meant to go and conquer the land before us – knowing that God has preceded and prepared us to LIVE ABUNDANTLY IN CHRIST.