Numbers 26

Numbers 26  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
There is after this in Numbers 26 a fresh numbering of the men of Israel in view of going to war. They were now on the borders of the holy land; and the same grace of God which took account of every one of His people when they entered the wilderness gives evidence that His love was unabated, and His personal interest the same to the end. There was all that could have turned Him aside, had it been possible. Without this there would have been merely the taking in the people as a whole; but here He gives this witness of what they were, every one of them, to Himself; for He loves to convince His people of His unwavering love, spite of failure on their part.
There is only one remark that I need make now on the persons that are enumerated here, but it is one of great interest, as it appears to me. The most solemn judgment recorded in the book of Numbers was that of Korah with his company in the awful scene where Jehovah created a new thing, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up alive.
The children of Dathan, Abiram, and the rest, were all swallowed up; but, wonderful to say, there was an exemption. Where was it? some particularly faithful person, who had the unhappiness to be nearly associated with them? Not at all. The exception of grace was in the household of the very worst of them. The people who deserved least of all, as man would have thought, to be exempted from destruction were precisely those for whom God did reserve this special grace – the sons of Korah! – of Korah the leader and organizer of the apostasy, from his position as well as in his conduct, above all others most guilty. The sons of Korah were the objects of a most singular deliverance. Is not this the true grace of God? It is the same God whom we now know, the same God from first to last. Grace is no new thing with Him; but where can you find a finer sample of its power and superiority to all circumstances than in the distinguishing grace that saved from destruction the children of gainsaying Korah, the most infamous of those who had conspired against the types of Christ’s royalty and priesthood; namely, Moses and Aaron? Nothing can be more explicit than the information here: “The earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign. Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not.”
Further, this is, I think, an important key to the book of Psalms. Every attentive reader will have noticed that the second of the five divisions of the Psalms gives us at its beginning psalms entitled, “For the sons of Korah” (Psa. 42-49). These mean the descendants of the men in question. And who were so fit to have such psalms and songs as the sons of Korah?
What state does the second book of Psalms suppose? Assuredly as a whole days of future apostasy and the sorest trouble that the Jews will ever pass through. It is the last and greatest tribulation. It is the time when the mass of the nation will have completely cast off the true God and rejected His grace – will have abandoned His truth, and lost themselves in losing it. To this fiery trial it is that these psalms apply. And no doubt what was at the beginning of their history will be re-enacted, and more, at the end. In the midst of a condition guilty indeed, and in the nearest connection with those most guilty, God will reserve a remnant – not more surely the children of Korah in the wilderness than a band not unworthy of the name, and witnesses of no less grace from God in the last crisis. These psalms will be suited for those morally in similar circumstances, and delivered by the very same grace of God. Thus, we see, whether it be law or psalms or prophets, whether it be the gospel or the kingdom then, it is with the God of all grace that we have to do.
(* Some few follow in book 3 (Ps. 84-88).)
To the end of this chapter the account is given of the numbering.