Numbers 27

Numbers 27  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
In Numbers 27 there is an incident of considerable interest which illustrates the tender thoughtfulness of God. “Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against Jehovah in the company of Borah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons. Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son?”
There was no son left. This was a case which had not yet arisen; but as we see the daughters of Zelophehad counted on God, and not in vain. It is impossible for God to be like poor man, who says, “You expect more good than I am prepared to bestow.” God could not make such an answer. He always gives more. Whatever may be the petition of faith, the answer of grace never fails to go beyond it. And so the daughters of Zelophehad have their place secured to them in the goodness of God, though outside the usual routine of law.
Further, Jehovah after this intimates to Moses to ascend Mount Abarim and see the land, and he is to be gathered to his people. This leads also to the appointment of another. There is this to be noticed in the appointment of Joshua, that he no less than Moses is a type of Christ, but with a distinct difference between the two.
Joshua sets forth the Captain of Salvation, and this answers to Christ; but it is no longer Christ after the flesh: He is not viewed as a Jewish Messiah, blessed as this may be. For Christ is a great deal more than Messiah. After His rejection on the earth, when it was no longer a question of presentation to Israel as their King, Christ then acts in the power of the Holy Spirit, being no more present in a bodily manner. Joshua represents this. It is Christ, no doubt, but Christ acting in the power of the Spirit, not Christ in flesh connected with the promises and the hopes of Israel. This type is what we see here; it is developed in detail elsewhere.
But even one feature should not be passed by. When Moses was leading the people, he acted alone; but when Joshua leads them, it is said, “He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before Jehovah.” How does this apply to Christ?
It might seem a difficulty, but in reality it confirms the application which has just been made; because we know that, while the people are led to take possession of the holy land, their privilege now is to cross the Jordan, and enter into those blessings with which they are blessed in heavenly places. Observe then here is the connection of Christ acting thus by the Spirit with His position as Priest. At the very same time that we are entering into our heavenly blessings by the power of the Spirit, we also have Christ as Priest in the presence of God.
With Moses we find no such state of things. He was never told to stand before the priest. Aaron might speak rather than Moses, for he could speak well. Other duties he discharged, but nothing at all answering to this: so admirably does God watch over and shape and fashion all these types to impress the full truth on our souls. In Christ’s case, of course He was Himself head of the church, to work by the Spirit of God in us; but besides He is the great High Priest. He unites the two functions. They must necessarily be two different individuals in the type, but the great Antitype combines them.