Numbers 26-31

Numbers 26‑31  •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 8
UM 26-31{Mamma. In this chapter we read that God told Moses to number the people again,—all that were able to go to war, from twenty years old and more. And Moses and Eleazar counted the men of war in the plains, of Moab, near Jordan. They also counted the Levites, all that were more than a month old, and among them there was not one man found of those that were numbered in the wilderness by Moses and Aaron, except Caleb and Joshua.
Sophy. Had all the men of war died?
M. Yes, according to the word of the Lord, who said that they should die in the wilderness, because they had despised the land. This was now the fortieth year, and they were close to the land of Promise-only the river Jordan flowed between them and it. And now they were numbered for their inheritance in the land. Already the people were thinking of what possession they would have, and some women, whose father had died and left no sons, came to Moses and asked him if they might have the possession that God had promised their father, that his name might not be forgotten among his brethren. And Moses brought their cause before the Lord, and the Lord was pleased with them for counting on His goodness, and He said they should have a possession just the same as if they had been sons.
S. Does God like people to wish to have a great deal of What He gives there?
M. Yes, and He rewards those who have confidence in Him to ask for what it is His good pleasure to give. And He said that whenever a man died and left no sons, his daughters should have his possession, and if he left no daughter, then his nearest relation should have it. And now the Lord said to Moses: Go up this mountain and look at the land which I have given to the children of Israel, and when you have seen it from a distance you shall go down into the grave as Aaron did, because you dishonored me at Meribah.
S. Was Moses very sorrowful?
M. His answer was: Let the Lord set a man over the congregation, to go in and out before them, and to lead them, that the people of the Lord may not be like sheep without a shepherd. This was his first thought.
S. How beautiful! He always thought of the people first of all.
M. Yes, because he always thought of them as God's people. No one knew their badness as well as Moses did, but he loved them because they belonged to the Lord. And the Lord chose his own servant Joshua, who had been with him and ministered to him, and who had seen all his meek and lowly ways; and the Lord said: Take Joshua, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hands on him, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the people, and give him charge in their sight, and put your honor upon him, that all may be obedient to him, And he shall stand before Eleazar, and Eleazar shall ask counsel of the Lord for him. At his word they shall go out and come in. And Moses did so.
S. Did God speak to Joshua as He did to Moses?
M. No. The priest was to ask counsel for Joshua. Moses was God's mediator. God spoke to him face to face, and gave His law into his hands. Now God was going to take away the mediator who had kept them in the wilderness; and they were to enter the land with a leader or captain who began his course by the conquest of Amalek, as we read in the Book of Exodus. The Lord taught Joshua to fight His battles, but the priest, in God's presence, gave Joshua the word of command. At his word Joshua was to go out or to come in.
S. I like the story of Moses better, because I would rather hear about God's wonderful thoughts, than about fighting battles.
M. The story of Joshua is very beautiful, too, and it is a figure, the way in which the Lord Jesus Christ has Bone before His own people and conquered all the powers of evil for Chem.
Now we read that the Lord told Moses to remind the children of Israel about the continual burnt offering, the sweet savor of which was to be always going up to Him; and on the Sabbath-day they were to offer two lambs besides, with a meat offering and a drink offering. And the Lord said: If any man made a vow to the Lord he must not break his word, he must do whatever he has vowed to do. But if a woman made a vow, or promised to do anything to the Lord, if her father or her husband said he did not approve of her vow, the Lord would forgive her, because it vas right for a woman to obey her father or her husband; but if a woman, who was a widow, made a vow, she must keep it. Also, they were to bring their offerings in the beginning of their months, and at the Passover, and at the Feasts of the First-fruits; and on the Day of the Blowing of Trumpets; on the Day of Atonement; and at the Feast of Tabernacles.
S. Did Moses go up the mountain to look at the land?
M. We are not told of it here; but before he died, the Lord allowed him to write all this wonderful history of God's ways, that we have been reading, from the very beginning of the world until the children of Israel got to the banks of the river Jordan; there this blessed servant of God left them, when their journey was over. And now the Lord said to him: Avenge the children of Israel of Midian before you die. And Moses turned to the people, and said: Come, avenge the LORD of Midian! This was putting great honor upon Moses. God allowed him to show, by his last act on earth, how entirely his heart desired to have God honored. These Midianites, who had brought in such sorrow, were to be destroyed by him before he died. And Moses chose a thousand men out of each tribe, that all might have a share in it. So twelve thousand men went to fight against the Midianites, and Phinehas, the priest, went with them, and blew the silver trumpets.
And the Lord gave them victory over the five kings of Midian, and they killed Balaam, the wicked prophet.
S. I am not a bit sorry for Balaam, because he did not love God, who spoke to him, and because he was cruel to his donkey.
M. Balaam is a solemn example of God's judgment upon men who take His name, and His word upon their lips, but whose hearts have not known His salvation and never tasted His love. He was found with the enemies of the Lord, and he shared in their judgment. And they took the children, and cattle, and goods, but they burnt all their cities and destroyed their fine castles, and they returned with all their spoils to the camp, and Moses and Eleazar went out of the camp to meet them. And Eleazar said that none of the spoils might be brought into the camp until they had passed through fire, and had been purified with the water of separation; so they put the gold, and silver, and iron things into the fire, and washed their clothes in water before they carne into the camp. Then they divided all the spoils into two parts, and gave one part to the people that remained behind, and the other part to those who had gone to battle. And Moses took a tribute for the Lord of the share of the men of war, and gave it to Eleazar for a heave offering to the Lord, and he took a tribute from the children of Israel's half, and gave it to the Levites as their Share.
And the officers who were over the men of war came to Moses and said: We have counted our men, and there is not a single one killed in the battle; so we have brought an offering to the Lord of that which we took for ourselves from the Midianites; and they gave gold and jewels, and Moses and Eleazar took their offering and brought it into the Tabernacle, and laid it up for a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord.